Step 4 – Manage
Step 5 – Opportunity
Step 4 - NURTURE
In this stage, I talk about why it might be necessary to park the brakes on some of your contact with your prospects, depending on how close they are to buying. By taking them through a sales pipeline and keeping an eye on how they respond to you, you can nurture your prospects to successfully convert them into customers.
Taking Their Time
So the simple truth is, not every prospect is ready to buy straightaway. Just because their interests and your business align, it doesn’t mean you should go in all guns blazing. Taking your time to nurture them through your marketing tools will get you more business—not only in the short term, but in the long term too.
The Right Foundation
As we mentioned in the previous stage, Manage, having a sales pipeline will make all the difference. Of course, you have to tweak your sales pipeline to suit your business. Not all companies will progress their prospects in the same way. You can read our article on how to make the right sales pipeline for your business here.
Firstly, make sure it’s set up to be familiar. This is your sales pipeline and you need to be able to work with it easily. Then make sure it’s effective: avoid having basic, general stages of the process. If you usually call your prospects two or three times before making the sales conversation, then keep these as individual stages! The last thing you want is to get muddled about who was contacted when. Most of your time and effort should be focused on what you’re saying to the prospects you’re nurturing. Don’t confuse yourself further.
Use What You Have, And Wisely
Combining email marketing, social media engagement and website tracking will give you a good idea of where your prospects are looking and what stage of the customer buying cycle they are in.
Checking The Temperature
For example: Prospect A visits your site irregularly, and the pages they view cover a wide range of topics. They’re on one of your mailing lists, but they don’t always open your emails. As such, they’re not ready to buy yet, but they’re still showing some interest. Now would be a good time to fine-tune your contact even more. You could send them offers or discounts that they might be interested in, or test to see if they will respond better to another type of content. Social media engagement is still in the picture at this point, too. This will be regular, but not as frequent as your contact with Prospect B.
This is because Prospect B is more active. They’ve asked you questions on social media and keep returning to a specific set of pages. Maybe these are articles on a certain type of product you’re selling. You should increase your level of contact with them. (If they’re not already subscribed to a mailing list, then they absolutely should be.) Remind them of similar products and offer chances for feedback. Plus, direct conversation, such as a website’s chatbot, would also be beneficial here.
These prospects are at different places within your sales pipeline. Prospect A is a ‘cool’ prospect, whereas Prospect B is a warm prospect. Therefore, you need to tailor your responses to each of them.
What You Want, What You Need
With CRM software, you can set up automation rules for when your prospect responds to your content in different ways. If they’ve opened your newsletter more than three times, it can automatically progress it along your sales pipeline. If they visit a page on your website, they can have a corresponding response sent straightaway. It’s up to you, as you should know what works for your prospect best.
If it’s all working correctly, then that means your software will be doing its job too. It needs to be flexible and account for every stage a prospect might enter. It needs to work whether they’re part of your first campaign, or asking for correspondence in the future.
As I’ve mentioned before, having a CRM to manage and nurture your prospects is vital. But so is getting the right software for all your PRM needs. Again, this in the previous section, Manage. For more detail you can also visit our page on the right CRM for your business.
Remember, having a fancy CRM with unlimited tools won’t always be the right choice. Most importantly, you need the software that works for you now, not in five years’ time. After all, if you’re not successful, you won’t reach that five years with your business.
Keeping An Ear On The Ground
Setting up rules and organising your prospect into a sales pipeline are a great start. But for these to work best, you need to make sure you’re looking after your prospects. Therefore, you should test and measure their responses to your marketing at regular intervals. If your emails aren’t getting opened, you need to ask if you’re adding value to their relationship with you. What are they reacting to, and how often? Recoup, experiment, and adjust. Find what works, and change what doesn’t.
If they don’t bite, then that doesn’t mean they’re a write-off. It just means they’ll be need to be nurtured again. You can put them back into a nurturing column in your sales pipeline so you can message them later. Although you may have to repeat your actions, you’ve still renewed your chances at getting a conversion. Build up that trust and confidence again so you’re their first choice when they move to buy again.
All of the tools we’ve mentioned above? popcorn can do all of these for you. popcorn puts your sales pipeline front and centre so your process is visual from the start. As segmentation is key, it also allows you to segment based on email marketing, website tracking and CRM activity. Therefore you can organise as much or as little as you need! Plus, the automation that smoothens the process is in-built. It’s not just for automatic responses to your prospect’s actions: you can set up all the rules you need. For example, you can set a rule that will notify you of a change—such as a signup to an event you’re hosting. As popcorn has an in-built email marketing editor, setting up these rules for your emails doesn’t require any extra tools.
This is designed to help make the nurturing process as painless as possible, for however long that takes. Tailor your work to your prospects, and as a result you should see them progress at exactly the pace that they need—their own.
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