Implementing Lead Nurturing – A Practitioner’s Perspective

January 31st, 2011 by Sean Dwyer

Continuing on with the theme of Lead Nurturing and how important it is for SMBs, we would like to share best practices from a practitioner’s point of view like we have for other marketing best practices. For Lead Nurturing, we asked Andy Ellicott, a marketing expert for early stage companies, to share his thoughts and ideas on how to implement Lead Nurturing.  Having headed up marketing for several early-stage B2B software companies such as Vertica, VoltDB, Nexaweb and others, Andy has put lead nurturing programs in place a number of times and has agreed to share his experiences, best practices and results. Hopefully, these real world examples will help you round out your understanding of lead nurturing and provide you with tips you won’t find in the theoretical papers on this topic.  Here’s the first Q&A of the interview with Andy:

Where have you implemented lead nurturing?

Ellicott:  “I’ve done almost all my marketing within B2B software companies, usually early-stage (like Vertica and VoltDB) bringing new database management, business intelligence and application software development products to market.

  • Target leads tend to be technical IT people, with some overlap to business buyers
  • I’ve used lead nurturing within traditional enterprise software, software as a service (SaaS) and open source software companies.
  • I’ve typically supported a direct sales force with a global reach (directly or via internet) and with 3-6 month sales cycles and deal sizes ranging from tens of thousands of dollars to millions.

As a startup marketing guy, I’m very dependent on lead nurturing. Startup “buzz” usually generates a lot of interest and we capture way more leads than our sales people can process. Lead nurturing email campaigns allow us to process incoming leads without having to hire legions of sales people and also make a great impression on early adopters. A few months after the launch, the buzz dies down and so does the new lead flow—stay-in-touch lead nurturing campaigns allow us to uncover new sales opportunities within our existing leads database so we don’t have to spend so much acquiring new leads. To sum up, lead nurturing allows us to achieve the sales and marketing throughput of a much larger company even though our budget and team is small.”

For the complete interview with Andy Ellicott, download Lead Nurturing Best Practices for Small to Medium sized Businesses (SMBs)

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