5 Steps to Nurturing Your Sales Pipeline

10/13/2016 11:50 am ET Updated Oct 14, 2017

If your sales are slow and click-through rates uninspiring, it could be time to take a closer look at your sales pipeline. No matter how much content you are writing, links your are building, or content marketing tools you have, your problem may just be you don't have a sales pipeline.

Just as pesky leaves can clog up your gutters; be on the lookout for any blockages in the funnel. They often uncover discord or miscommunication between your sales and marketing departments.

In an ideal world, your teams would work harmoniously together to see your prospect all the way through the pipeline towards conversion. But seeing as we don't live in an ideal world, the staggering fact prevails that around 98% of your qualified leads will never result in closed business.

You read that right. Almost all the marketing efforts that are handed over to your sales team drop off into an abyss. Never to be seen again. No one contacts the prospects in time, they fail to follow-up, the right offer isn't made, or maybe the leads is never contacted at all. Your pre-qualified potential customer, just waiting to make a purchase clicks off to your competition.

But before you contemplate reducing your marketing budget to nil, think about employing a good lead nurturing strategy. This can dramatically improve synergy between your marketing and sales efforts. What does that involve? Check out these top five tips from Mintigo President and CMO, Jon Bara. Here are 5 ways to effectively nurture your sales pipeline.

1. Discover Your Customer DNA with Predictive Analytics

Using predictive analytics allows you to go deep on the data you already have and analyze the past behavior of your best customers. This lets you make predictions about future purchasing patterns.

Using an effective predictive marketing software will provide you with a wealth of valuable information to make better-informed marketing decisions.

2. Target The Best Accounts Based on Your Findings

Once you've run an analysis of existing customer behavior, you can find and match like accounts and customers in your CRM. These are contacts in your pipeline who resemble the data found on your best customers.

If, for example, you find out that your project management software is particularly popular with customer X; there's a pretty good chance that customer Y will be interested as well. You now have the targeted information you need to take action, rather than waiting for your leadss to drip slowing through your pipeline.

3. Initiate an ABM Program

Jon Bara advises going "all in" on an ABM (Accounts Based Marketing) program with unified goals shared by both sales and marketing.

What's an ABM program?

It works to create that much-needed harmony between your marketing and sales teams. When everyone's on the same page, you have a much better chance of engaging the right customer at the right time.

4. Create Targeted Content and Campaigns

Based on the data attributes of your prospective buyers, you can customize and deliver content acting on a wealth of useful information. This ensures that you deliver the right message to the right customer at the right time.

Instead of sending out a weekly newsletter with the same blanket message to all recipients; you can drill down to create a simple, targeted message. No more paralegals were skipping over messages meant for the lead attorney. No more CEO's trashing emails perfect for a CMO.

5. Be Different and Unique

While we're on the subject of your newsletter, don't rely on email marketing as your only source of client capturing. Or to echo the words of Bara - "Go beyond repetitive e-mail campaigns to educate, share and engage your audience in topics the data suggests will interest them, not you.

It's about the customer!"

Conclusion

Focusing on implementing these five key steps will ensure that your sales pipeline gets the much-needed love and attention it's been craving. Your sales and marketing departments will convert more leads and that your business can start to onboard more customers.

What are your thoughts on increasing your leads? Tell us in the comments!