By John Sonnhalter, Rainmaker Journeyman, Sonnhalter
Industrial marketers who are targeting design engineers need to practice the virtue of patience when communicating with them. I know Sales wants low hanging fruit to sell now, and the C suite is looking for results sooner than later.
The truth is, nothing moves fast when dealing with designers. According to IHS Engineering 360, 70% of new business comes from long-term leads. You don’t know whether they are just fishing for options, have a real project and need help in determining options, or are ready to download CAD files to put in their drawings.
Very rarely does the conversation start at the download CAD drawings. Being spec’d in can take 6 months to several years. Is it worth it? Long term, I think the answer is yes.
As an industrial marketer, our jobs are to identify where they are in the sales funnel and engage with them as they move toward a sales. Your company needs to be top of mind so when the purchasing decision is being made, you have an advocate inside promoting you.
Here are the four cornerstones of a nourishing campaign:
- Nourish – provide them healthy servings of relevant, useful information.
- Protect – keep their interest so they don’t abandon you for a competitor.
- Support – stay in regular contact and always meet their needs.
- Encourage – give them offers to help them through the sales funnel.
IHS Engineering 360 has put together a lead nurturing tool kit. Here are some highlights:
- Respond to inquiries in a timely fashion – if you don’t respond for a month or so, chances are they will have forgotten why they inquired in the first place.
- Respond appropriately. Define your audience segments so the messages will be meaningful.
- Offer value, not sales pitches.
- Create a call to action and objectives. Engage a prospect and monitor results.
- Build a schedule of multiple touches over a period of time.
What are you doing to nurture leads?