September 2, 2022 Prospects Still Not Ready to Buy? Here are 6 Lead Nurturing Strategies for Closing the Deal Written by Almost 80% of new leads never result in a sale. As a salesperson, you can’t afford to give up on a prospect simply because they are unwilling or unready to buy at the current moment. Instead, savvy sellers use tactics to cultivate these relationships and provide hesitant leads with the support they need to successfully move forward in the buying process. Read on to learn how to quickly identify the prospects who aren’t ready to buy and use tried-and-true lead nurturing techniques to turn ‘Maybes’ into decisive ‘Yes’s”. But first, let’s make sure we’re on the same page… What is lead nurturing? Why is it important for results-driven sellers? Lead nurturing involves engaging potential buyers with value-based content and personalized outreach across every stage of the sales funnel. It is the process of investing in leads that are not yet ready to buy and helping them get to a place where they feel confident and ready to purchase your product. This involves strategies like: Scoring and segmenting leads Creating relevant and engaging content Building personalized email campaigns Leveraging multi-channel outreach methods Successful lead nurturing also involves anticipating the needs of the buyer based on who they are (i.e. title, role, industry, company information) and where they are in the buying process. What you put into lead nurturing – you get out of it. Companies who excel at lead nurturing generate 50% more sales leads at 33% lower cost. This is because investing in the prospects you already have (rather than pouring more funds into outbound marketing) is infinitely cheaper. Not to mention, it results in more satisfied customers and an increasingly positive company reputation. Identify unready prospects and accelerate deals with these lead nurturing strategies As a sales rep, you should always make an effort to develop relationships with your sales-qualified leads. However, it’s the prospects who aren’t ready to buy that could especially benefit from dedicated lead nurturing strategies. Here are some of the signs that your prospect isn’t close to closing a deal with you and lead nurturing strategies that will get them there: Sign #1: They have no urgency. When businesses are faced with a problem, they are often urged to find and purchase a solution. If your prospect is slow to respond and passive in sales discussions, it shows you that they don’t see the inherent value in your product (and need to be made aware of it). Try: Nurturing them with relevant content. E-books, case studies, video tutorials, product comparisons – engaging sales content takes many forms, and sharing these materials with prospects can be a great way to warm them up and educate them about your product’s value. It’s important to remember that potential buyers want solutions; not pages of content that talk about how great your company is. To properly nurture your leads, demonstrate that you understand where they are at. Send relevant content that addresses their specific situations and pain points, helping them confidently move forward in the buying process. Sign #2: They won’t reveal their budget. If a potential customer refuses to talk specifics on budget, they aren’t serious about buying yet. It’s a surefire way to tell that your prospect doesn’t currently feel an attachment to doing business with your organization. Try: Ramping up the personalization. Nothing fosters positive relationships with buyers like personalized experiences. Along with sending them relevant content, you can nurture hesitant leads by increasing personalization all across your sales interactions. You can do this by: Adding first names to email subject lines Highlighting specific needs and pain points in sales discussions Using behavior triggered email automation to deliver messages that are relevant to a current stage in the buyer journey Leveraging video prospecting to create humanized experiences Making the time to chat with prospects in real-time Infusing specific contact data and company info into message bodies (You can find all the personalization data you need in Apollo’s 260M contact database using 65+ granular search filters such as funding and revenue info, company size and departmental headcount, hiring data, and more.) If you’re looking to ramp up personalization (without the huge time sink), consider investing in a sales engagement platform that will allow you to build high-quality personalization in seconds. Apollo features like Snippets, email templates, and Vidyard integrations are a few examples of easy, yet powerful personalization tools! Sign #3: They don’t answer the important questions. Prospects who aren’t willing or ready to buy are often unwilling to answer important questions such as: What does success with our product look like to you? Or, what’s your timeline for purchasing this product or service? Whether they are withholding the information or are simply unsure, it’s an opportunity for clever salespeople to do some calculated questioning. Try: Guiding them to the right conclusions with strategic questioning. This strategy comes straight from Apollo SDR and sales pro, Gerardo Benitez, who has seen enormous lead nurturing success by simply asking the right questions. “If a prospect states that they are not interested, I’ll ask an open-ended question that will get them to tell me more about the situation that their company is in, plus it gives me the opportunity to put in a good word for my product,” Gerardo says. Some of his examples of strategic questions include: “Why is securing XYZ not a priority for your organization right now?” “When you say you are not interested, are you speaking for the entire company?” “If timeline or budget were not constraints, what would your ideal solution look like?” Questions are a great way to remain open to your prospects’ concerns while guiding them toward deal-closing conclusions. Sign #4: They put you off again…and again. “Call me later”, “I need to reschedule”, “Send me the information and I’ll review later”; these are all signs that your prospect is disinterested and far from purchase ready. Try: Leveraging multi-channel touchpoints to snag their interest. 72% of consumers prefer to connect with brands and businesses through multiple channels. When your prospect’s attention is elsewhere, reach them where they are and where they like to spend time – beyond just email inboxes. One great lead nurturing strategy is creating sales sequences full of omnichannel touch points like phone calls and SMS, social media connection requests, emails, direct messages, and other action items. It’s even better if you can automate these actions, which not only saves you time but allows you to schedule the right messaging and interactions for just the right time. And don’t forget to add an A/B test to the mix. Testing your outbound messages allows you to discover which ones are resonating with your audience and getting the best results. If you want to see some stellar automated sales sequencing in action, check out this blog post on the top 3 sequences in Apollo. Other strategies for nurturing a healthy sales funnel Re-evaluate buyer fit with prospects If you try a few lead nurturing strategies and you’re still met with a resistant, uncurious prospect, it’s time to re-evaluate their buyer fit. Some prospects (even if they are initially sales-qualified) are just not right for your business, and that’s ok! A lack of resources, improper company size, unaligned business goals, and/or poor culture fit are qualities that no amount of lead nurturing can fix. Use intent data to find buyers who are ready If you’re forced to drop unfit prospects from your sales pipeline, fear not – buyer intent data is an intelligent way to find the buyers who are ready. Intent data is a set of signals gathered from website traffic, advertising engagement, buyer’s online research, etc that can help sellers determine exactly which accounts are actively pursuing a solution like theirs. Using this kind of predictive data can help you identify best-fit buyers before your competition, prioritize leads to save time and resources, and gain the insights you create personalized and relevant messaging. It’s important to note that there is no one-right-answer for nurturing your leads. Listen to your prospects’ concerns and objections and apply selling strategies that fill their needs and keep them moving towards a sale. In Closing The vast majority of leads fail to convert to tangible sales; so you just can’t afford to simply abandon prospects when they fail to become buyers right away. By nurturing these leads and anticipating their needs with smart strategies, you can start capitalizing on every sales opportunity. And, as the leading end-to-end sales engine, of course Apollo has all the tools you need to execute these strategies efficiently and effectively! Try Apollo for free now and start converting on-the-fence prospects into happy buyers.