Nurturing has been an increasing focus for B2B marketers to combat the challenge of the “leaky funnel”. Whether this be email nuturing or tele nurturing, there was a recognition that responses early in the sales stage were not followed up by sales and opportunities were being missed.
Over the past couple of years, we have been working with Slipstream to develop and hone a nurturing process, based on an approach that looks to replicate a sales call and the buying cycle of the prospect. Known as “Learn, Scope, Select” the process flow attempts to map relevant material, assets, marketing events, etc. to the buying cycle for a particular IT issue.
The IT journey is mapped out in three stages:
1. Issue recognition: Provide material for a client to Learn about the topic/theme/issue – e.g. brochures, interactive tools, podcasts, etc. The objective is to assist people in the issue recognition stage by providing objective, relevant and timely information.
2. Scope requirements: Allow the prospect to Scope out their requirements and the solution in more detail – e.g. case studies, solution sheets, webinars, events, etc. The objective is to provide prospects with information that demonstrates IBM’s capabilities and explains different solutions.
3. Supplier selection: Assist the prospect to Select an offering/product/solution to address their business issue – e.g. endorsements from 3rd parties, comparative information, etc.
Utilising tele resource to categorise organisations based on their stage of the buying cycle has enabled us to segment marketing messages to make them more relevant. It also ensures that all responses, regardless of how early the prospect is in their buying cycle, are followed-up, managed, and communicated with on a regular basis.
The Award entered is Best B2B lead nurturing initiative, and the approach is something that we are further developing within IBM to incorporate both email and tele-nurturing process flows.