8 Lead Nurturing Strategies to Leveraging Customer Data

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8 Lead Nurturing Strategies to Leveraging Customer Data

How do you turn a lead into a sale? Every salesperson wrestles with this question. We all have our own theories, strategies, and go-to moves. 

Most of us practice lead nurturing in some way because it feels like a natural part of making a sale. Understanding your potential customers, building a rapport, and offering solutions to their problems is a time-tested sales tactic. But lead nurturing strategies can be so much more powerful. 

Lead nurturing can utilize customer data to offer an in-depth view of lead behaviors and expectations, allowing you to build deeper relationships with prospective customers and create comprehensive conversion strategies that work. 

Small and medium-sized businesses, in particular, don’t always have the resources of enterprise companies. Lead nurturing allows sales and marketing teams to streamline and focus their sales strategies on any budget. 

In this article, we’ll discuss how effective lead nurturing strategies can help you understand your potential customers, build better relationships with them, and turn more leads into customers.

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What is lead nurturing?

Customers don’t want to be advertised to; they want to be understood. Lead nurturing fulfills this need, turning potential customers into paying customers without expensive marketing or flashy gimmicks. 

Lead nurturing is the process of building relationships with prospects, communicating with them, and leading them through each step of the sales funnel. 

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Customers have high expectations. Modern customers are good at self-service, putting in the research before they make a purchase. They want personalization, education about products and services, and support that empowers them in their decisions.

Lead nurturing covers these bases, offering:

  • Communication with leads at every stage of their buying journey.
  • A guide to taking leads from one step of the sales funnel to the next, resulting in sales.
  • Education about products and services and how they address pain points. 
  • Support to help customers serve themselves.

Lead nurturing is essential for B2B companies, who tend to court high-paying clients for lengthy contracts. 

B2B lead nurturing involves developing one-on-one relationships with prospects, decision-makers, and clients and maintaining those connections to find and create sales opportunities. 

B2B sales are highly personalized and require in-depth knowledge. If a client wants to better understand the benefits of an enterprise architecture, the salesperson should have the answer. For B2C businesses, lead nurturing can offer an edge. 

Most B2C businesses can’t maintain personal relationships with every customer, but leveraging customer data to create personalized and targeted communication at the right time can help move large amounts of customers through their journey.

The benefits of lead nurturing

All of this might sound like a chore, but it’s worth putting in the time and effort to develop strong lead-nurturing strategies.

A strong lead nurturing strategy can:

  • Utilize customer data to segment customers into demographics, personas, etc.
  • Find patterns to predict behavior that indicates conversion likelihood.
  • Understand pain points.
  • Schedule communication at the right time, through the right channels.
  • Create a high level of personalized outreach.
  • Identify the leads most likely to convert.
  • Identify high-value customers.
  • Build stronger relationships with leads and customers.
  • Improve your brand image.
  • Improve your content strategy.
  • Convert more leads into customers.
  • Help cut down customer acquisition and marketing costs through better utilization of resources. 
  • Help you up and cross-sell to existing customers.

Small and medium-sized businesses can utilize lead nurturing to great effect. 

Customers of SMBs might expect higher service quality, extra attention, and a personal touch. They might gravitate towards SMBs to avoid feeling like just another drop in the bucket of a large corporation. Lead nurturing allows you to enhance and capitalize on what people love about SMBs. 

8 Lead Nurturing Strategies to Leveraging Customer Data

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Lead nurturing can improve the customer experience and sales conversions of your SMB. Here are some steps to creating effective lead nurturing strategies.

1. Define your goals

Every strategy starts with an end goal in mind, so what’s yours? Do you want to improve customer experience scores? Have a sales target in mind? Need to improve your brand’s image?

First, define your goals. Then create and monitor metrics to determine if you’re hitting those goals. This way, your lead nurturing strategy has a solid backbone. If something is working, keep doing it. If you’re not hitting your targets, it’s time to re-evaluate. 

2. Leverage customer data

Who can teach you to turn prospects into customers better than your existing customers? Collecting and analyzing data from your customers can tell you a lot. 

  • The demographics most likely to make purchases.
  • Behaviors that predict conversion.
  • How your products and services solve customer pain points and the most effective ways to highlight that.
  • The customer experience your brand offers.
  • Customer sentiment about your company.
  • The communication channels your customers engage with–email, social media, phone, etc.
  • How much support your customers require throughout their buying journey.
  • Any roadblocks in the sales funnel.
  • Which customers are likely to become loyal.

Your customers became customers for a reason, so get some feedback. You can read feedback on review websites, check your social media engagement, and offer customer surveys to gain valuable insights. 

You can also use automated analytics tools to streamline the data collection and analysis. Many tools come with high-tech features such as AI and data labeling. If you can harness the things customers love about you, you can use them to refine your lead-nurturing strategies.

3. Segment your customers

Customer segmentation involves using customer data to separate your audience into demographics and creating buyer personas based on age, gender, socioeconomic status, shopping behavior, etc. 

Customer personas help you develop the most effective strategies for nurturing your ideal customers. 

4. Use lead scoring

B2B and B2C businesses alike understand the customer hierarchy. 

Some leads are more likely to convert than others, and some customers are more likely to become repeat, high-spending customers than their peers. SMBs have limited resources, so high-quality leads should be your priority. Discarding cold leads can help you save those resources.

Lead scoring uses customer data, segmentation, and personas to find patterns that indicate conversion. Lead scoring helps you separate the hot leads from the cold leads. Certain demographics have a higher potential to become customers, and certain behaviors can signal someone is about to make a purchase. 

Lead scoring allows you to rank prospects, prioritize hot leads, and focus your resources in the right place. An extension of this is the ability to find high-value customers–those who are engaged with your brand, make regular purchases, and advocate for you. 

Lead scoring and getting to know your high-value customers help you nurture those valuable leads and customers throughout their journey.

5. Create a routine for regular communication

Lead nurturing is all about reaching out and following up. Customers want to feel courted, so be a faithful presence in their lives. Communication will look different depending on your unique position, whether you service other businesses or individual customers. 

B2B businesses require a more one-on-one level of communication, such as phone calls, video calls, in-person meetings, and personalized emails. Your customers might have your personal email or phone number, for example, to facilitate email communications. 

B2C businesses generally require a wider approach, utilizing email marketing campaigns, social media posts, and more automation. They can also benefit from one-on-one communication, though, especially small businesses with strong relationships with regular customers.

However, you choose to communicate, remember to:

  • Choose the right channels for your audience.
  • Understand the customer journey and the right times to reach out.
  • Communicate regularly, but not incessantly.
  • Make yourself available for questions, queries, and support.

Sales and marketing automation software offers a way to streamline communication. Using customer data to find patterns throughout the sales cycle, you can predict when a prospective customer might need some support or just a simple reminder. 

SMBs benefit from automation, since it’s a cost-effective way to manage data, schedule communication, and scale operations with business growth. When choosing software, do some research into reputable providers and practice good EA governance.

6. Emphasize value

You’re selling solutions to your leads’ problems, and they need to know it. Don’t beat around the bush–at every touchpoint, emphasize the value your products and services can bring to your potential customers. Let your prospects know that you understand their pain points and know exactly how to solve them. 

7. Provide multi and cross-channel communication

Omni-channel communication is all the rage. It’s important to have a presence across different channels so that you can engage with leads in a variety of ways. People use and prefer different ways of communicating, so knowing your audience and picking the right platforms tailors your outreach and encourages engagement.

This can help you gather more customer data, such as social media handles, email addresses, phone numbers, and other personal details. And if a lead doesn’t respond on one channel, you can try another.

8. Follow up

Lead nurturing doesn’t end at one sale. Leads that become customers have the potential to become repeat customers, with opportunities for up-and-cross-selling. 

Repeat customers become loyal customers, willing to advocate for your brand through word-of-mouth recommendations, positive reviews, and social media content. It’s easier to sell to an existing customer than a new one. Loyal customers are high-value customers.

Creating effective lead nurturing strategies

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Developing a sales strategy in today’s fast-paced, customer-centric, oversaturated market is tough. Small to medium-sized businesses might struggle to gain traction against their larger competitors and even each other. 

A more personal touch is the key to driving more sales. Creating a strong lead nurturing strategy can help businesses utilize their resources more effectively. 

Lead nurturing allows businesses to better understand their prospects and communicate with them more effectively, building relationships with buyers and increasing sales.