Depending on which reports you may read (Marketing Sherpa, Forrester, and etc.) approximately 60% or more of B2B businesses do not have a formalized lead nurturing program. Yet, these same reports benchmarking such effort tell us this: companies who perform lead nurturing enjoy a better than 25% higher return on their efforts than those who do not. Which begs the question: why are companies slow to adopt to lead nurturing?
I suspect one reason may be the pressure for instant results. Which makes you think: how much potential revenue is being left on the roadside? If organizations evaluated what has been bypass, they would find a sizeable amount of opportunities. Sirius Decisions shared results which showed as much as 80% of leads deemed “not ready to buy” eventually became qualified leads. Aberdeen Research found a figure of 84% of qualified leads were not ready to buy.
Another important reason for slow adoption is a “once size fits all” mentality to lead generation. Content, for example, is produced with a basic generic understanding of challenges and issues. While mapping content to the buying stages or journey has come into vogue, today’s buyers do not think or behave in such linear fashion. I say this based on qualitative buyer research I have completed in the past two years. Their information needs do not necessarily align to a linear view of buying stages. In addition, I have recently suggested aligning to new goals and behaviors buyers exhibit for lead nuturing via lead research. Lead research can reveal the distinct goals, behaviors, and intent when buyers are in a “not ready to buy” state. Such thinking incorporates the specific development of lead personas for lead nurturing teams.
Buyer Scenario Modeling
While modeling the ideal buyer persona is of extreme importance, it is only one model for understanding buyers today. In terms of lead nurturing; one of the most significant tools to use is buyer scenario modeling. Here is buyer scenario modeling defined:
“Buyer Scenario Modeling is the process of analyzing research-based modeling of possible events, nurturing scenarios, buying scenarios, buying behaviors, buying decisions, and alternative future outcomes.”
Lead generation, lead nurturing, and content marketing can each be enhanced for effectiveness with buyer scenario modeling. Buyers are thinking in terms of the situation they find themselves in and the world swirling around them; scenario modeling allows us to enter this world.
Allowing More Foresight
What companies can do more effectively through Buyer Scenario Modeling is segment their lead generation and lead nurturing programs by buying scenarios and expected buying outcomes. Gaining insight and Buyer Foresight™ into how buying scenarios develop, what challenges occur to trigger buying considerations, how buyers interact with others, and why decisions are being made.
One such Fortune 100 company recently segmented lead nurturing by scenarios of specific buyer challenges. They reorganized programs around four predictable buying scenarios to achieve a much higher return on effort. Content was developed to support anticipated buying scenarios.
This approach turns out to be good for all parties involved. Marketing no longer is wasting content on non-applicable situations. Selling teams are nurturing leads at the right level and timing. Buyers are getting their information needs met at the right time, the right place, and the right challenges. To a greater degree, companies can have better foresight into the ideal buying scenarios which give them the best shot at winning.
Buyer scenario modeling is needed due to the multiple types of buying scenarios buyers find themselves in today. If companies are not in sync with understanding possible scenarios and outcomes, then they will be left out of the picture. It is time for companies to make giant leaps in their lead nurturing efforts. Buyer scenario modeling and buyer foresight may be just the springboard they need.
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