Congratulations! You just generated a bunch of new leads for your organization. But now what? How do you turn those interested individuals sitting in your CRM into revenue-generating, loyal customers? Lead scoring and lead nurturing are two smart next steps in the journey from lead to customer.

Lead Scoring

All leads are not created equal, but without an effective lead scoring system in place, all leads are treated like they are. This means that marketing passes leads to sales that aren’t ready to buy, sales pursues these leads and so begins the traditional tension between sales and marketing teams. Lead scoring can help both sides come together to agree upon what makes a hot lead and how to follow up accordingly – whether with a sales call or by adding the lead to a nurture program (more on that later in our post).

Lead scoring involves ranking leads on a scale based on how interested a prospect is in a company’s products or services, how likely they are to buy and how soon they will be ready to move from prospect to customer. Using a lead scoring model, prospects are assigned points based on the actions they take. So, a lead that downloads an eBook might earn 10 points, while one that visits your company’s pricing page earns 25 points. A lead scoring strategy will look different from one organization to the next, but a carefully considered strategy can help sales teams quickly and easily determine which leads to pursue.

Lead scoring can also help companies understand changes in lead behavior over time. For example, if a hot lead is defined in part as someone who downloads two pieces of content, but sales finds over time that those prospects aren’t quite ready to buy until they also register for a webinar, lead scores and marketing activities – perhaps offering more webinars – can be adjusted.

Lead Nurturing

Did you know that, according to MarketingSherpa, 79 percent of marketing leads never convert to customers? That’s often due to a lack of lead nurturing.

Buyers today rarely become customers overnight, which makes lead nurturing an essential part of a successful modern marketing strategy. Using nurture marketing, also known as also known as drip marketing or campaign automation, you can send a series of relevant and timely communications to prospects or customers over time. These automated campaigns respond to the recipients’ actions, thus creating a more personalized experience for your leads.

For example, if a prospect that you’re nurturing within a campaign automation does not click a certain link in an email, you might send them a follow up email. On the other hand, if they do click on that link, you might send them a different email or even notify a salesperson to call the individual.

Remember that a nurture campaign should include information that leads or customers want or need. Don’t just send a series of “buy now” emails that don’t provide any value. Think about the type of content that would help your prospect or customer based on where they are in the buying cycle – and that will help move them forward on the journey from lead to loyal customer.

Happy Marketing!