If you're using lead nurturing then you're probably wondering when it's time to call a lead.
That's a great question. Do you call leads or wait for them to call you?
They say that good things come to those who wait but we don't want to wait forever. But the answer isn't exactly simple. What we need to do is look at something called lead scoring, which is a method of assigning points to every lead that comes in. How you score your leads is dependent on what's important to your business.
But you know what? Let's scrap that and keep it very simple. All you really need is this, the sales lead readiness spectrum:
To see how this works, you need to ask a different question.
Knowing When A Lead Is Ready To Buy
Rather than asking the question “when do we contact a lead during lead nurturing” ask “how can I get a lead to contact me when they are ready to buy?”
This is where the sales lead readiness spectrum comes in.
Rather than giving a lead a score each time they do something set up your lead nurturing process so that by the time a lead contacts you about a product or service they are very close to buying. Here's an example of how you can do this.
It Starts With Content
Multiple times a week you publish blog posts. These posts are optimized for people as well as SEO. You syndicate them via social media channels. People come and read the posts and some opt-in to your various opt-in offers.
Behind each of these opt-in offers is a lead nurturing system that delivers valuable content automatically on a scheduled basis.
Over time some people opt in to multiple offers, read more and more of your blog posts, and are pulled further and further into your world.
All Along They See Your Calls To Action
Not all emails they get are content though – some are crafted to help them take the next step in the sales process. Depending on what that step is it could result in you calling them.
For instance, if you have a service-based business, your next step could be a free 30-minute consultation.
Now here's the thing – the customer determines whether or not to take this step. But by them taking this step rather than you the sales cycle is much shorter. As an example, I gained a $6,000 client with a one-hour phone call and three emails. What led up to that is where the magic happens. This client had been reading my blog and opting in to my offers for more than 4 months.
Keep This In Perspective
One thing I really want to ensure you understand here is this – the average time between when someone has first contact with you and later becomes a customer is, on average, between four and six months. And no I'm not making that up.
I became a HubSpot Certified Inbound Marketing Specialist and during the training they said that 4-6 months is the average time for an inbound marketing strategy to start landing customers.
Can it happen faster? Sure. Building a referral partner network is a great shortcut. Other than that it takes time for people to see you as an authority and trust you without direct contact.
What's Working For You?
How do you determine when it's time to contact a lead? Do you proactively call them or do you wait until they trigger an event that causes them to call you?
Inquiring minds want to know!
So let's talk about it in the comments below. I'll see you there…