The relationship between sales and marketing is always a bit stressed. This stems from the quantity and quality of leads received by sales from marketing. Two factors contribute to this tension. First, there are never enough leads; and second, even if there are, these leads are seldom perceived as good enough. That is unless you have a highly developed, well-running lead nurturing process in place to qualify and develop those leads until they are sales ready. And that is the answer to the question “Why is lead nurturing important to B2B lead generation”.
Another reason lead nurturing is important to B2B lead generation is that 80% of the prospects deemed “bad leads” by sales teams actually go on to buy within 24 month, according to research from SiriusDecisions. A lead nurturing program can help reduce this number and keep you actively involved in these opportunity. It can also help you reevaluate these “bad leads” to determine if the opportunity is truly lost or if it is simply not yet ready to buy.
A well-designed lead nurturing program functions both on the front-end and back-end of your B2B lead generation process. On the front-end, it qualifies leads until they are sales ready by identifying key buying criteria and timelines. On the back-end, it validates your sales feedback to understand how the qualification process fell short, what conditions changed, or the level of attention given to the lead by the sales representative. This design not only allows you to better optimize your B2B lead generation efforts to produce better quality leads, but it will improve the relationship between sales and marketing in the long-term.