Understanding the basics of lead scoring and lead nurturing will take your success as a marketer to the next level.

When scoring leads, some prospects could invariably score high based on the need for the product or service that is offered – but, at the same time, they could rank low on the chance of conversion. This is where nurture marketing comes in. Marketers need to engage such prospects on a frequent and interactive basis, understand why they score low on the chances of conversion, and close the deal.

The underlying reasons for low scoring prospects could be anything: a negative perception about the company, inability to afford the product/service, they’re not convinced about whether the product would fulfill a need, etc. It is the marketer’s job to approach such leads at their time and convenience, engage in conversations with them, understand what exactly holds them back, and offer possible solutions.

Success depends on properly addressing the prospect’s interest or want at each stage of the nurture cycle. A key challenge here is processing many unique pieces of information regarding the prospect and taking customized decisions within the realm of the corporate policies to strike a win-win solution. A possible distorter is data, which is highly fluid with today’s fast paced lifestyle, and the best solution to eliminate such distortions is speed.

This leads to the issue of crossover time, when the marketer hands over the prospect to sales. For reasons mentioned above, and also because the prospect may change their mind or a competitor may get a foot in, it is imperative to close the deal quickly. This, however, is easier said than done. High-end deals may take weeks or even months to crossover.

A possible solution to this problem is combining marketing and sales, or empowering the marketing team to finish the sales process as well. The new tools in the market, especially cloud based SaaS offerings that automate all these functions and make data accessible anytime anywhere, makes this viable.

While there are some challenges with nurture marketing, it helps an organization analyze their sales and marketing processes to make sure they are aligned, while increasing the chances of closing more sales. In the long run, lead nurturing does more harm than good.

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