Accelerating your funnel isn’t just about better lead qualification and assignment. It’s also about continuing to build relationships throughout the length of the sales cycle — without all of the manual work that relationship-building normally requires. With the ability to automate communications and tedious follow-ups, your sales reps can move prospects through the sales cycle with minimal time and effort.

Building Relationships with your Prospects

Nurture leads who are actively participating in the research process.

According to Pardot’s State of Demand Generation study, 77% of buyers want different content at each stage of their research. Using lead nurturing, sales and marketing teams can cater to these preferences by “dripping” appropriate content depending on where they are in the sales cycle. Content can then be adjusted accordingly based on prospect responses. When buyers have completed their research and start reaching out to sales reps, they’ll already be educated, meaning that sales won’t have to waste time guessing at their pain points and needs.

Companies that excel at lead nurturing generate 50% more sales-ready leads at 33% lower cost. (Forrester Research)

Then, nurture leads who aren’t yet ready to buy.

Lead nurturing is an equally powerful tool for buyers who aren’t actively participating in the research process. According to Gleanster, 50% of leads are qualified but not yet ready to buy. Without a way to nurture these leads to a sales-ready state and keep your company top of mind, you risk letting them fall through the cracks, increasing the chances that they’ll be won over by a competitor. Steadily communicating with these prospects by delivering helpful content ensures that sales reps never neglect leads who might eventually turn into opportunities, or even closed deals.

 

For many marketing departments, lead and prospect databases represent one of the largest monetary investments of the entire department. Don’t lose the leads (and potential revenue!) in your funnel to neglect, or even worse, to your competitors.

Have your sales team automate follow-ups.

When follow-up isn’t automated, it can be easy to forget. While your sales and marketing teams may recognize the importance of a prompt follow-up when trying to close deals, they’re often too busy to make it a priority. Instead of wasting time covering their tracks and rebuilding relationships, they could be using marketing automation to define appropriate follow-ups for specific situations. These messages can then be automated and personalized so that sales reps get regular touch points with each of their prospects, reducing time spent on manual tasks and freeing them up to focus on closing deals.

By automating follow-ups, it’s much less likely that prospects will be neglected by sales reps, reducing the chance that they’ll be lost to a competitor. And with regular touch points, reps can stay with their prospects all the way through the sales cycle.