It is no secret that account-based marketing is one of the most prominent trends in marketing today. With the wealth of customer data available, companies are unifying their sales and marketing teams on a shared mission to target the highest value accounts with a best-in-class customer experience.
Account-based marketing focuses on crafting a heavily-personalized experience for specific high-value clients. That “white glove” treatment helps organizations extract the most business from target accounts with the highest potential. However, with such an emphasis on personalization, companies that have adopted an account-based approach often forget the key role that nurture campaigns play in helping B2B leads navigate the customer journey. Why are nurture campaigns so important?
#1. Most of the Modern Sales Cycle Occurs Before Engaging with Sales
B2B leads are typically more than half of the way through your buying process before they engage with a member of your sales team.
All of the front-end research that businesses do when they become aware of a problem and start seeking out the right solution generally occurs before you or anyone in your organization has a chance to actually connect with the potential client. Therefore, it is the content you create and distribute through nurture campaigns that gives you the opportunity to share critical information with your audience.
That means if you are not leveraging nurture campaigns to help educate your leads during that early “awareness” stage, they are going somewhere else for the information, namely, to your competitors. Ninety-five percent of B2B customers choose the vendor that provides quality thought leadership at every stage of the buying process, and 82 percent of customers view three to five pieces of content from the vendor-of-choice before making a purchase.
Nurture campaigns give you a chance to stand alongside your target accounts at every step in the customer journey, including when they are ready to actually make a purchase.
#2. B2B Buyers Make Decisions on Their Own Terms
There is no question that a successful account-based marketing strategy requires sales to get involved and collaborate. However, the truth is that your customers want the flexibility to make a buying decision in their own time, not just when a salesperson gives them a call. Ninety-three percent of B2B buyers prefer making a purchase from a website rather than through a sales representative.
Nurture campaigns allow you to offer that flexibility to your target accounts. Personalized offers sent through drip emails and included on landing pages allow your high-value accounts to make buying decisions when the time is right for them. Often, that time is when a group of decision makers — not a lone leader — signs off on the purchase.
That leads to the next reason nurture campaigns still matter in account-based marketing.
#3. Choosing a Vendor is a Collective Decision
According to Gartner, the average B2B buying decision requires the consensus of 5.4 people on average. Account-based marketers know this and often seek to create personalized experiences for known decision makers at a target account.
But what about when you do not know all of the decision makers?
Or what about when you think you do, but those decision makers seek feedback from a peer or their team before giving their approval?
Nurture campaigns supply the content those decision makers need to get off the fence and commit to your business. Your nurture campaigns can reach more people, previously hidden to you, that might be involved in the purchase sign-off. Your content does the talking and can help build a consensus among a large group of decision makers.
#4. Nurture Campaigns Lead to Bigger Sales
If the goal of account-based marketing is to get the most value from the highest-potential accounts, then nurture campaigns should be your best friend. Why?
Check out these two statistics:
- Nurtured leads generally result in 20 percent more sales opportunities than leads not involved in a drip campaign.
- Purchases made by nurtured leads are 47 percent larger than those made by non-nurtured leads.
Not only does lead nurturing increase your chance of landing a deal, it also increases the potential size of that deal dramatically. That is a pretty good reason for using nurture campaigns, right?
#5. Nurture Campaigns Teach You More About Your Target Audience
Even though lead nurturing can have an immediate impact on the accounts you are targeting today, the influence extends to your future campaign strategy, too.
Drip campaigns increase the number of engagements you have with your target audience. More engagements mean more opportunities to collect and analyze performance data. The high-quality data you can collect from a great nurture campaign tells you a lot about your customers, including:
- The types of content they need
- The medium of content they prefer (webinars, videos, blog posts, etc.)
- The number of outreaches it takes to convert them to customers
- The right frequency for your outreach
- The types of offers that best resonate
With that information in hand, your team can develop even better account-based marketing campaigns in the future.
Well-designed nurture campaigns start and end with high-quality data. ReachForce can help with that. To learn more about how ReachForce SmartForms can help you optimize lead generation and improve your impact on revenue, sign up for a free trial and get a demo today.