In the B-to-B world, most sales are not immediate. The longer selling cycles for most industrial/contractor purchases involve more than one person and selling cycles can go from months to years.
So B-to-B marketers need to be patient. I believe Marketing should be the ones who nurture the leads through, and when ready, transition to sales to close the deal.
I think marketing, if the right processes are in place, is in a better position to move them through the process. Effective nurturing is a series of content-relevant info for each stage of the buying process.
Russ Hill from Ultimate Leads calls it the “Transition Zone.” It is the place in time where marketing hands off the lead they so carefully nurtured to sales to close the loop. But in order to do it successfully, you must have a process that everyone is in tune with, and sales needs to make sure to keep info on that lead current in your lead database so we know when a new customer has arrived, from where and what they bought.
B-to-B companies shouldn’t be worried about quantity but quality of leads. According to Albertson Performance Group, quality lead nurturing can lead to 70% more sales. According to them, nurturing will:
- decrease selling cycles
- increase profit margins
- lessen the competition
- decrease price pressure
- get more referrals
Nurturing is the right way to show ROI on marketing efforts.