When you are capturing leads or getting opt-ins, you need to be patient with them. Like nurturing a seed, it takes time for the plant to come out, so it is with leads.
Most leads in the B2B space could take weeks if not months, to mature, to a stage that they actually give you a requirement. During this stage you need to keep following-up with your prospect, educating them and being top of the mind so that when they have a requirement, they reach out to you. While marketing nurtures a large universe, the moment they get a lead to qualify, they hand it over to sales.
Now most sales people only follow-up for 3-4 times and then don’t bother because they want leads which can help them meet their quarterly targets. Most of them are always behind targets because they don’t nurture the leads which can help meet the quota two quarters down the line.
As the value of the orders increase the amount of lead time goes up even further. For a million dollar kind of deal, we have had to even keep nurturing the prospect for around a year.
Due to the complexity of the corporate environment, by the time a requirement is recognised and then budgeted and then a RFP raised, its quite easily a 6-8 month cycle.For a B2B process, for high value kind of business, I would advice nurturing a lead for upto 18 months at least before discarding them.
Different companies have different priorities, so its like a moving parade, some may take longer and some may immediately feel the need for your kind of service. So after a lead comes in, you need to be patiently educating them and nurturing them. You need to look at them as assets which will give returns over a long period of time.
Till next time then.