Poor sales team performance is synonymous with the lack of a lead nurturing strategy.
Yes, almost always.
It takes time, effort and money to generate a lead – an interested contact, a form you've received, a call, an email requesting information or a person walking through the door.
It's a cost that very few companies know how to calculate, but I can assure you that it is always higher than they think.
When I talk to companies of all sizes, once we get a little closer, we almost always branch off the topic of Google Ads and conversions and into talking about what happens to the leads that come through Google Ads (and all leads in general).
We enter the territory – almost unknown in some European countries – of lead nurturing: the process of following leads through the buying cycle, from the moment of first contact until they become customers.
A lead nurturing strategy helps to convert more leads into more customers, plain and simple.
It is useless to generate leads with Google Ads, to have a low cost per lead and a very high impression share for your keywords if, once a lead comes in, there is no clear protocol on how to act.
You'll find several tools online for managing leads – courses, books, on everything under the sun – but lead nurturing can be broken down into 3 simple parts:
1. Lead arrival
Here we do what is called lead scoring (especially in large companies): we identify whether the lead is ready to enter the sales process or if they are still at the top of the conversion funnel (in which case we would label them as "green" and they would go to the marketing department).
2. Strategy for conversion.
3. Transformation from lead into customer.
Some interesting stats:
- According to some studies, when a lead nurturing strategy is applied, sales opportunities increase by 20%.
- Companies that pay attention to lead nurturing produce 50% more sales-ready leads.
- Companies that "follow" leads achieve 50% more sales at 33% lower cost than those that do not.
- Followed leads have a 23% shorter sales cycle.
- 50% of buyers choose suppliers who respond quickly, so the lead nurturing process is essential.
- The first and most effective lead nurturing channel is email, preferred by 78% of people. It is a direct and professional way to build solid connections.
Depending on the size of your company, your industry and the number of leads you get, you can do this with a simple Excel or with software that automates almost everything.
I'll give you a direct example that I know very well: ours.
We have 2 types of leads: those who arrive through Google Ads and those who reach us by word of mouth (I recommend you read our blog post on this subject).
1. Newly arrived lead: I answer as quickly as possible, and I do so directly, with the sole purpose of arranging a meeting. At this stage, I add the lead to my Excel doc (which works great for the size of my company), segmented by how they came in (via Google Ads or another client).
2. Almost everyone answers (those who don't answer are automatically removed from the system and I don't do any follow-up), and we have a meeting.
3. In less than X hours they receive a price quote (yes, we analyse everything).
4. We have systems in place to analyse email open rates and response times:
Variation 1: confirm quote = new client.
Variation 2: no answer (here, too, we do not follow up, because someone with whom we have held a meeting and who doesn't bother to answer is not the profile of someone we work with.
Variation 3: is unsure, does not want to start right now or considers it "too expensive (read the blog post)".People from variation 3 enter our lead nurturing funnel. Without going into detail, I can guarantee that more than 35% of our leads will become clients within the next 18 months.
So, if your company has a lot of leads and a very low conversion to customer rate, you will have to implement a clear lead nurturing strategy and know how to analyse it so you can fine-tune it over time.
On to the next conversion with Google Ads!