B2B Sales, Lead Generation and Marketing Blog

A Cheesy Take on Lead Qualification, Scoring & Nurturing

Posted by Sean O'Neil on Fri, May 30, 2014 @ 15:05 PM

Cheesy take on leadsYes, the Vendere Partners team is about to make analogies between cheese-making and lead qualification, scoring and nurturing. Why? We’re just kind of cheesy like that. Plus, the complexities of cheese-making, as we recently discovered after several Google searches and a somewhat awkward phone call with one team member’s extremely cheese-savvy grandmother, funnily enough, do mirror some of the steps required to qualify leads. 

If You Want to Make the Cheddar, Pun Intended

To make good cheddar, the first thing you have to do is heat things up. A cheesemonger will tell you that you have to heat up the milk to a certain degree; the B2B lead generation professionals at Vendere will tell you that you have to turn up the heat when it comes to marketing.

Assuming that you already have a good and scrubbed leads list (which we recognize is not so easy to obtain without a partner that provides high-level data services), you need to follow a certain trajectory in order to truly qualify and score leads and generate a solid, moving sales pipeline. That trajectory will include cold calling, of course, but it will also include multi-channel marketing efforts, and especially, e-mail marketing.

When you’re making cheddar, once the milk heats up, you have to add culture and let it ferment. E-mail marketing automation makes it possible for you to share your company’s culture and vision with your target audience, and then let your messages ferment in the minds of your prospects through behavioral e-mails triggered by the opens and click-throughs that occur as a result of an initial e-mail or initial e-mails. The fermentation process required to make cheese isn’t unlike the decision-making process; the value of the product has to sink in if you want to make real cheddar.

How do you stir things up and homogenize the process at the same time?

When it comes to e-mail marketing, you’ve got to provide compelling content.

Is your messaging fresh, original? Are you using a bunch of tired tag lines and canned phrases that everyone has heard or seen before? Of course you want your products and services to be easily recognizable, but if you’re constantly mimicking your competitors rather than sharing your company’s unique story in a unique voice, you’re not going to stir things up enough to propel your target audience into next phases of your sales cycle. In other words, you won’t be able to get the opens and click-throughs you could get from people you already know have a want and need for your services, and you won’t be able to accurately determine interest levels and score leads accordingly. To analogize further, you won’t be able to homogenize or group together leads according to their similarities, i.e., according to interest levels, readiness to purchase, ability to purchase, etc.

Making Your Cheddar and Eating It, Too

To make edible cheddar, you have to add diluted rennet—yeah, we had to look “rennet” up, too—and mix it in slowly in order to get what the Cultures for Health website calls, “the highest possible yield.” In the B2B lead generation business, you have add people; you have to set the appointment, whether it’s a phone call, a video conference or face-to-face meeting.

What does the word, “diluted,” have to do with making appointments with leads? At Vendere, we discussed it, and came to the conclusion that in keeping with our cheesy analogy, “diluted” conjures up some interesting and truly relevant ideas. As B2B sales and marketing professionals, we recognize that while our messages should never be diluted, it is of extreme value to dilute the sales-y aspect from salesoften through messaging! We also recognize that the easiest way to dilute the sales-y aspect from sales once salespeople and leads are communicating directly is by having previously addressed the specific pain points of customers through engaging content, and too, by having clearly determined the levels of pain the customers are experiencing via data gleaned through tools like e-mail marketing automation. 

When you come into a conversation with a lead prepared and armed with inside data and knowledge, you’re much more likely to get “the highest possible yield.”

Separating Whey from the Curd Like Leads from the Herd

We get that the header above rhymes. That sort of thing happens when you have content marketing professionals on staff who win poetry prizes.

We also get that there are a ton more steps to making cheddar than we can possibly analogize with B2B lead qualification, scoring and nurturing in one blog post, so we’ll leave you with a just few more thoughts.

When you separate the whey from the curd, or the unviable leads from the viable through things like targeted, scrubbed leads lists and solid data, cold calling, and e-mail marketing automation, you ripen your pot. Your sales pipeline becomes streamlined and you are able to easily separate quick wins from customers that may need longer-term nurturing. You are able to hone your sales approach and better gauge and forecast the short and long-term results of your efforts. To sum up, you are able to determine whether the cheddar is available to you right now, or whether it needs to be nurtured, aged. And you are able to plan accordingly.

Want to know more about how to make better cheddar?

Click here to learn more about lead qualification, scoring and nurturing.

Click here to learn more about B2B sales outsourcing.

Click here to learn more about your e-marketing options.

Topics: prospect lists, content marketing, e-marketing, lead generation, lead nurturing, outsourcing

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