Nurturing leads is as essential to an SMB as water is to the body. However, when the end-to-end lead nurturing process begins is when an SMB realizes how tricky this process can get. Sending out automated drip emails to capture more leads is still a simple and quick task. But regular follow-ups and monitoring, lead management and scoring, and more tasks like these can be time consuming.
With so many on-going tasks, it gets hard to balance them all accurately. Plus, usually an SMB might encounter time constraints, and sometimes, lack of workforce. This minor setback does affect sales and has to be rectified immediately.
So how can any SMB nurture leads in whatever limited time they have?
Well, here are 6 best practices that can be used to improve the lead nurturing process.
1. Use Twitter Lead Generation Cards
How can you nurture leads if you don’t have enough prospects to handle? The simplest way to record and obtain more leads is by using the lead generation card option on Twitter.
Twitter’s lead generation cards are simple sign up forms and you can use them for free. So you are not only saving time but money as well. Using Twitter cards is simple – whenever you are posting promotional posts for your business, attach these lead cards to such posts and followers of these posts can record their contact information on Twitter in real-time. This helps control lead bounces and captures lead faster.
2. Automate Emails
This is the most crucial action item – automate all kinds of emails. However, the key here is to focus more on triggered emails to new leads and drip emails. You send triggered emails when the sales team communicates that a potential lead has filled out the contact us form. Instead of sending out manual emails (which is obviously not real-time), just automate these emails. So you not only save time but also contact the lead faster. For instance, by using Agile CRM you can send a real-time triggered email as soon as a potential lead fills out the contact form.
Now follow the same process for drip emails as well. Create a tailored campaign with specifics and automate the emails to be sent on specific times and dates. Remember, never waste a minute more on an email than required.
3. Use Pre-designed Templates
Emails or newsletters always take more time than usual because sending out freshly brewed content with attractive designs is necessary. Save yourself some breath and just go with pre-designed templates that you can find anywhere on the web or on your CRMs. Many CRMs offer landing page builder and email builder wherein you can just drag and drop templates to create an appealing email.
Please keep in mind that your leads won’t have time to sit and read long mails and appreciate the effort. No, that won’t happen. Be smart and use templates that are stocked with good content and design. Your only task is to push the send button, and if you automate that as well (like mentioned in the point above) then you will save yourself a lot of time.
4. Real-time Notification To Track Leads
It is always good to know where you are headed and make sure you don’t hit a dead end. The same policy applies to your leads. Tracking leads’ behavior manually can be very time consuming.
One good option is to set real-time notifications and drop leads whenever required without wasting any time. Basically, what you need to do is to add specific actions (such as no response or negative response buttons) to all your leads and activate real-time email notification. Based on these notifications, sales reps can decide how to proceed (or not proceed) with the leads.
5. Automate Leads Based On Score
This is a very useful action item when you want to identify hot leads and push them to the sales table. Have a scoring table of every lead based on criterion such as type of web pages visited, top-of-the funnel interests, buying pattern and company size & type. Assign different brackets to leads based on the scores (from most to least) and then create automated alerts for sales reps to contact leads with high scores. It is easier to automate leads’ activities as their behavior changes on a daily basis since tabbing leads manually can be cumbersome.
6. Connect With Leads Using LinkedIn
If you want to up your nurturing game in less time, use LinkedIn for networking with your leads. This platform is the best social networking platform for professionals and you can connect with your potential buyers. Once you are connected with your lead on LinkedIn, associating with them using InMail feature is the best option. You can also use newsfeeds to share more info about the company or send regular digests to their mails.
To reiterate, automate the processes that can easily be automated and use social media for optimum networking. Don’t let leads fall through cracks by slacking on regular communication. Try to bridge the gap between the marketing and sales teams to make sure they work in alignment.