Content marketing and its supporting platforms represent a fundamental shift in professional services marketing from a traditional “branding” focus to a new priority: lead nurturing. Lead nurturing is the process of building relationships with qualified prospects regardless of their timing to buy.

According to Brian Carroll, CEO of InTouch 
and author of Lead Generation for the Complex Sale, up to 95 percent of qualified prospects who visit your website are there to research but are not yet ready to talk with
 a consultant, yet as many as 70 percent of them will eventually engage you — or your competitors.

With that in mind, consider these facts:

  • Nurtured leads make 47% larger purchases than non-nurtured leads. (Source: The Annuitas Group)
  • Nurtured leads produce, on average, a 20% increase in sales opportunities versus non-nurtured leads. (Source: DemandGen Report)
  • Companies that excel at lead nurturing have 9% more sales reps making quota. (Source: CSO Insights)
  • 79% of marketing leads never convert into sales. Lack of lead nurturing is the common cause of this poor performance. (Source: MarketingSherpa)
  • Companies that excel at lead nurturing generate 50% more sales-ready leads at 33% lower cost. (Source: Forrester Research)

Read more at Hubspot:

Takeaway

Firms need to stop investing so heavily in broad-based brand awareness and start engaging prospects where they are in their buying processes. Most non-sales-ready leads will eventually be ready — and it is up to you to both provide them relevant information and to be there when they are ready to make buying decisions.

If you do not have a lead nurturing platform (i.e. marketing automation, content management, and CRM) in place, then you are left with two sub-optimized approaches:

  1. Broad-based branding— shouting from the top of the mountain and hoping someone hears. This is a scalable approach, but not personalized to the buyer’s journey.
  2. One-on-one selling— assigning lead generation and time-consuming networking to your consultants. This is a personalized approach, but it’s not scalable.

Either way, you are squandering your marketing and business development investment. Welcome clients where they are. They will reward you in the end.

Be prudent.

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