With a forum centred on lead nurturing and sales and marketing alignment, we could not forego marketing automation company Act-On Software. The main question we asked its CMO Atri Chatterjee: “Why should we care about lead nurturing?”
“Lead nurturing offers a lot of benefits to B2B companies”, said Atri. “B2B products often have a long lead time. Lead nurturing lets you interact and engage with a lead or a prospect right from the time that they show some interest. Using a well-thought out lead nurturing program will help you get the maximum amount of money, out of the funds you invest. The advantage actually runs from the complexity of the product, through to being an efficient way to engage with clients.”
In order to effectively nurture leads, companies should align sales and marketing.
Atri: “it will help you to bring these leads to your sales department at the right time in the right cycle of the process. Sales and marketing alignment is crucial. Sales and marketing need to talk with each other. It all starts with communication. You need to define what the criteria are for success in the different stages. You will get a bigger buy-in because people will see that it works. Be sure to measure what you are doing. Data never lies. Focus on results and the alignment will become even better”.
Lead scoring is essential to lead nurturing
We will meet Atri at the B2B Marketing Forum in Amsterdam soon, but first, he would like to share some insights that we can all put to good use. He believes you can’t implement an effective lead nurturing program without lead scoring. Also, you can’t effectively implement lead scoring without aligning sales and marketing. You need to define what a good score is and what not. Looking at successful lead nurturing, Atri sees three challenges:
- Things are changing so quickly. There are so many things to take into account. There are so many ways to effectively market your product. You need to keep up with the ways to effectively market and thoroughly measure what you do.
- Aligning sales and marketing. Find the right process and get commitment from the organisation. As a marketing employee you are effectively responsible for about two thirds of the top of the sales funnel. Be aware of this responsibility.
- Effectively measure what you are doing and change your strategy based on what you are learning from the data. Change constantly.