Lead nurturing is certainly en vogue in early 2012. We aren’t sure that the methods advocated will deliver the promised results — sales from prospects who are slow to move or to even express a direct interest in enterprise software or services. Rather, we think it makes more sense to expend resources, when timing is right (we have in mind innovative tech firms marketing under the radar, for whom covert market contact may be the best solution at present) to establish marketplace prominence and to maintain this prominence over time.
At the root of our opinion is our conviction that marketplace contacts, the real folk that make up the “leads” in lead nurturing programs, aren’t “sales leads”. Rather, contact needs to be made with these individuals (chiefly parties who respond to newsletters, or even reach out with specific product questions, who, nevertheless, are still parties from prospects that are largely unknown and, therefore, very far removed from what may be fairly called a sales lead), specifically to accumulate as much information about their companies as we can in order to make a determination of whether or not this prospect meets a useful customer profile for our product or service.
Of course the question will inevitably arise as to what should be done with these types of contacts? We think it makes the most sense to participate in any information exchange that an individual may have requested. Further, it certainly makes sense to request permission to add an individual’s email address to an outbound email contact list. But we don’t think it makes sense to periodically call this type of contact to “keep [him or her] warm”. In fact we don’t detect a warm level of interest within this type of outreach from a contact.
Once resources have been expended on sensible marketing efforts to establish and maintain a prominent brand, then there is certainly nothing to be lost by running, periodically, coordinated campaigns of direct marketing outreach with a follow up telemarketing effort. However, the telemarketing effort should be strictly limited to a personal “thank you” for interest expressed in a company, along with an offer to field any questions or to elaborate on information that has been received. Going further brings us across the border into “pushy sales people” country where little, if any positive result can be realized.
We think approaching prospects with an opportunity to expound on how a product or a technology methodology is used within their enterprise is a far more productive exercise that can (and does) illuminate areas where needs may exist that prospects are looking to satisfy. If you resonate with our approach and care to further this discussion, then please contact Ira Michael Blonder at +1 631-673-2929 to further a discussion. You may also email Mike at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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