Smashmouth B2B Blog: Sales & Marketing Demand Gen

Demand Gen - Nature, Nurture, or Both?

Posted by Mike Damphousse



37% of prospects that were nurtured move on to further sales activity from an introductory meeting,  12% higher than those not nurtured

As you all know, Green Leads is in the b2b appointment setting business. Similar to b2b inside sales teams, we book meetings with C/VP level executives on our clients' behalf and only get paid when the meetings take place. The ROI is easy to calculate as clients only pay when the sales rep completes the meeting. So X meetings for $Y. We can deliver this service predictably because it's all about the numbers. Those of us in the business can recite stats at the drop of a hat -- what list penetration numbers are, the mix of titles based on the client or industry, the number of C/VP level referrals, the reschedule and cancel rates -- you name it.

Last year some stats started changing. During regular review meetings, two clients asked within weeks of each other why their list penetration numbers were dropping (the number of meetings booked per list). They were still getting the same amount of meetings that "Natural", but they were right, we were all working harder, and we were consuming bigger and bigger lists to achieve the same numbers. Then, a third client asked what we were doing different because their penetration numbers were increasing. It happened to be the same period.

After some discussion internally, we realized that the third client had been feeding us lists that were actively being nurtured. The lists were smaller in size than the other two clients, but each contact was receiving valuable contact through white papers, webinar invites, analyst studies, blog links, etc. Inbound leads as a result of the nurturing campaign were routed to their inside sales team. The remaining leads, after reaching a certain lead score based on the numbers of email opens, forwards, website visits, and other criteria, they were transferred to our lists for outbound appointment setting. We were converting them to meetings at astonishing rates.

Since then, five of our clients have started feeding us nurtured leads to augment traditional raw names. In two cases, they outsource the management of the nurturing process to us.

The results -- Prospects that are nurtured are 17% more likely to be accept a meeting when pitched, and of those, the appointments completed moved on to further sales discussions 37% of the time (12% higher than non-nurtured).

We are now recommending to all our clients that they implement nurturing programs in conjunction with our appointment setting. If tightly integrated, the results of the two are significant:

  • Prospects are further into the buying cycle when the sales team engages
  • Resources used to build larger lists for outbound work can be redirected to nurturing efforts
  • Quality of introductory meetings are increased, resulting in a more mature pipeline
  • Ongoing branding to prospects nurtured is significantly higher than those not nurtured
  • Outsourced vendors or inside sales teams can operate more efficiently, providing higher quality as well as additional services
  • Increased ROI of the program can contribute to increased demand gen programs

 

Tags: b2b sales, demand gen, lead nurturing, appointment setting, marketing automation