It’s well-known that not everyone who visits your website or signs up for your email is immediately ready to buy into managed IT services.
Lead nurturing is an essential tool to turn this around and create leads where there were none before. Lead nurturing for managed service providers guides potential leads through the sales funnel and out the other side into your monthly IT services. It’s an incredibly helpful tactic in managed service provider marketing campaigns.
Let’s take a look at how you can effectively nurture your leads.
Accurate Lead Scoring
There are two major components to every lead scoring strategy—lead fit and lead interest. These two categories need to overlap before you can start nurturing that lead to close the deal. Scoring your leads accurately is the best way to find out if that lead is ready to convert.
Your leads’ fit can be broken down into a series of scores. These include demographics (job title, company size, location, etc.), firmographics (company’s name, size, location, revenue, etc. ) and BANT (budget, authority, need, and time). Essentially, your lead is scored on each category to tell you whether they’re a good fit for your company at all and worth pursuing. If your lead is not a good fit, then it doesn’t matter how interested they are; they’ll never be a lead.
Lead interest gauges the behaviors your lead engages in and determines how interested they are in your services. If a lead is a perfect fit, but not at all interested in what you have to offer, then it will be a large struggle to get them in the door. The behaviors a lead may show are broken into latent and active. Latent behaviors include visiting any webpage or blog and attending a webinar. Active behaviors are signals that the lead is showing a stronger interest in your services. This includes going to pricing pages and watching demos.
Two other methods of lead scoring include behavior, and buying stage and timing. These will help you align behaviors with the top, middle or bottom of the funnel.
Without accurate scores on your leads, you could be nurturing leads that are not at all the right fit or have no interest. Create accurate scores on your leads so that you don’t send your sales team running towards a dead end.
Nurturing Leads with Email
Email is targeted, customizable, and excellent for lead nurturing for managed service providers. While you should rarely consider buying an email list, collecting your customer’s email information is important. One way to collect emails is through website forms for ebook downloads or other whitepapers.
Once you’ve created a customer database and scored your new leads, create a workflow to target the most viable of leads. A workflow can be around an upcoming event or webinar and customizes emails based on lead behavior. Consider a workflow a gentle nudge from time-to-time to remind your leads of why they should be interested in your services.
The workflow begins with a promotional email regarding your services or event. The initial email will direct your leads to a sign up page. Anyone who doesn’t sign up, receives another email a few days later, reminding them to sign up for an IT assessment or event attendance. If they still do not respond, an email will go out another day later regarding the call to action and promoting your services. Stop the workflow there in order to refrain from bugging your potential leads too much.
Nurturing Leads with Content
Content marketing brings leads to you. Content can come in the form of a blog or ebook on your company website. Each blog post is crafted around a high ranking SEO keyword. The higher your blog posts rank, the more people will click on the blogs and come to your website.
So how do you use a blog to nurture leads? Always encourage leads to sign up for emails about your latest blog post to direct them to email nurturing. However, you can also nurture your leads directly with content by using strategic landing pages to draw your leads in to an offer and encourage them to contact you. A blog should end with a call to action that brings the lead to a landing page. The landing page will attempt to convert the lead closer to a closed sale by encouraging them to contact you.
Lead nurturing for managed service providers through content may sound tricky. After all, what are you going to blog about? There are plenty of subjects that can fuel your blog posts. Keep an eye on trending topics in the IT industry and engage with subjects that apply to your business and are attracting attention. You can also blog about your services, company events, and use the blog to give thoughtful advice to your customers. Your blog should provide value to your clients, not just sell your business.
Nurturing Leads with Social Media
Surprise! You may not have expected to see social media on here as a way of lead nurturing for managed service providers. Social media is an excellent way to nurture leads in all industries. It can humanize companies that work in a colder industry like IT. For example, it’s much harder to engage people with cat5 ethernet cables versus a puppy at an adoption center. But, if done correctly, social media can reach a target audience that is interested in ethernet cables and managed IT services.
First, you can use social media for lead nurturing for managed service providers by creating a following on the correct social platforms. For most B2B businesses, LinkedIn and Twitter are a good place to start.
Twitter gives you the chance to interact with your audience on less formal community-based topics like trending IT news or videos. Use Twitter as a way to engage with your audience, while reminding them that they can close on your services at any time. LinkedIn is excellent for creating formal business relationships and building up a community of local business leaders.
Next, make sure you connect all of your platforms to social media. For example, at the ends of your emails and blogs, readers should be able to share the content to social platforms. This could then initiate a workflow when readers either share or mention your company on platforms like Twitter. Always respond to mentions of your company or to questions and comments. Being responsive is a huge part of lead nurturing on social media. Without this responsiveness, leads won’t be able to engage with your company and could lose interest.
Ask a Professional. Ask New North.
As a digital marketing company that works specifically in the IT and consulting industries, New North has experience with lead nurturing for managed service providers.
Many clients misunderstand Managed IT Services. Increase clarity and start landing the leads your sales team needs to grow. At New North, we’re experienced with translating your technical know-how into marketing language that your customers will actually connect with.
If you want to communicate your value, reach your audience, and establish yourself as an expert, call New North today.