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According to HP Software, while most consumers convert on the first touch, they may require as many as five touches before converting.

It's a numbers game for sure, and the key is to determine how to double conversion rates before you reach the point of diminishing returns.

To determine the best way to nurture leads and turn them into sales, HP recommends lead scoring. In lead scoring, points are assigned to each prospect based on specific attributes most often associated with serious prospective customers.

Lead scoring can give important clues into consumer behavior: the higher the score, the more likely the consumer is to be actively engaged in the buying process. Lead scoring is a great way to ensure you have the right conversation at the right time with the right customer.

Lead nurturing is a great way to ensure you are in touch with that customer the magic number of times it takes to convert. A touch might include anything from opting-in on a Web site to a free webinar to a white paper or outside research.

The interval between touches will depend on the buying cycle and the type of solution you are selling. If there’s a long lead-time, you’ll space out your campaign, but will usually want your sales people involved about six months before a potential purchase.

Sample Lead Nurturing Plan
Touch 1: Mail case study and personalized letter
Touch 2: Email a link to a recent article of interest
Touch 3: Email recent customer success story (related company)
Touch 4: Call from sales person personally inviting prospect to seminar
Touch 5: Email "touching base" note
Touch 6: Mail follow-up letter with free report
Touch 7: Prospect calls you - Qualified lead

For HP Software, non-responsive leads become "dead" after 24 months, the usual amount of time a customer takes to upgrade or buy new products. At that point, even though the lead opted in, HP Software stops contacting them.

Maintaining engagement is key and it typically takes two to three touches to yield positive responses before marketing forwards leads to sales.

When you are able to send sales a list of prospects based on criteria indicating they are ready to buy, sales representatives have better luck at engaging in meaningful conversations with potential customers and closing the sale.

Lead nurturing means more sales-ready leads, higher close ratios, a stronger sales pipeline and shorter average sales cycles. 

 


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