As a B2B marketer, there’s no doubt you occasionally find yourself scratching your head and wondering, “How is it that so many leads seem to be slipping through my fingers?” The answer lies in better understanding B2B buying habits.
Today’s technology-connected B2B buyers demand a cross-channel experience. They expect a level of personalization in marketing that will catch their eye and allow for a seamless web of engagement without the bombardment of ads or emails. Most B2B prospects are smart, tech-savvy individuals exploring solutions to their pain points at a wide variety of places online.
Lead nurturing is born from the premise that buyers do not want to be sold to – they want to be heard. Lead nurturing helps when converting customers because it ensures that time is not a barrier to your sales, but is instead a platform from which you can build trust and brand loyalty. In fact, businesses that nurture leads enjoy 50% more sales.
This post will look deeper at lead nurturing, why it’s essential for B2B, and the top 10 lead nurturing software solutions available today that will amplify your efforts.
- What is lead nurturing?
- Why is lead nurturing important?
- What are lead nurturing software solutions?
- What are the key features of lead nurturing software solutions?
- What are the benefits of lead nurturing software solutions?
- The top 10 lead nurturing software solutions
What is lead nurturing?
Lead nurturing is the art of building stable, beneficial relationships with prospects and moving them along the sales funnel. The end goal is that your leads will be motivated to make purchases. Lead nurturing is critical to any B2B sales rep and marketer’s job.
Lead nurturing is about creating a bond and trust with your leads while giving them value repeatedly. An efficient lead nurturing strategy would focus on listening to the needs and wishes of potential customers and providing them with the information and answers they want over time. Nurturing your relationship with leads shows them that you care, can change their business for the better, and, most importantly, are willing to wait until they are ready to buy.
Successful lead nurturing campaigns are deployed across multiple channels and media, including social media, email newsletters, personalized emails, paid advertisements, blog posts, and other forms of marketing content.
Why is lead nurturing important?
Lead nurturing is vital to B2B lead generation because it takes the long sales cycle into account, using time wisely instead of letting leads grow cold because it’s just “been too long.” Lead nurturing can help keep you actively involved in these long-haul “bad leads” and can help you determine if they are truly dead ends or just not yet ready to buy.
By keeping your leads engaged with your brand and showing them through valued content that you understand their specific needs, you build their trust in you and move them further down the sales funnel. Ultimately, lead nurturing helps convert leads into paying customers in a shorter amount of time.
Since lead nurturing can encompass your entire marketing calendar, calling on you to incorporate newsletters, product updates, database emails, and other cross-channel communications, it’s in your best interest to get help from lead nurturing software solutions.
What are lead nurturing software solutions?
Lead nurturing software solutions are tools that help sales and marketing teams monitor leads, cultivate brand interest, and nurture relationships with leads, making sure no prospective customer gets lost, no matter where they are in their customer journey. Due to its versatility, lead nurturing software lends itself to integration with other applications, particularly CRMs and marketing automation systems that manage contacts.
Lead nurturing software can allow marketing teams to form lead nurturing strategies easier. In doing this, they create a pathway through which they can create and maintain relationships with prospective customers while the prospective customer moves through the buyer’s journey at their own pace but within a shorter sales cycle.
By utilizing lead nurturing software and lead nurturing strategies, B2B sales reps and marketers can build lasting relationships, increase click-through rates (CTRs), and drive buying readiness.
What are the key features of lead nurturing software solutions?
High-quality lead nurturing software usually includes the following helpful features:
- Lead engagement: Engage leads with promotional, tailored content distributed through various communication channels.
- Email automation: Create drip campaigns that send leads emails based on where they are in the sales process, then move them up or down the funnel based on their responses.
- Campaign management: Plan and carry out a series of campaigns to reach out to your leads, and follow each communication channel to measure the campaign’s success.
- Personalization: Improve customer experience by adjusting the type, tone, or details of relevant content based on the characteristics and preferences of the lead.
- Lead scoring: Assign a value to your leads based on how involved they are in the sales process, allowing sales reps to prioritize their efforts during that time period.
- Lead segmentation: Organize groups of leads based on their traits or behavior to deliver the appropriate content at the right time.
What are the benefits of lead nurturing software solutions?
There are many benefits to implementing lead nurturing software solutions. Some of the most significant advantages lead nurturing software solutions offer include:
Boosts your KPIs – Lead nurturing software increases engagement rate, conversion rate, and customer retention rate. It reduces marketing costs and boosts ROI with minimal investments.
Ensures your leads that you will deliver a high-quality experience – Each lead that interacts with your company will have a consistent, high-quality experience thanks to lead nurturing software. When you nurture them with relevant marketing materials that speak to their needs, you ultimately give them a preview of what working with you would be like in the future.
Increases brand awareness – A lead must be aware of your company’s name, what you do, how you differ from your rivals, and how you can improve their lives before they become a customer. Lead nurturing tools help you enhance your brand-building efforts and develop a relationship with the leads so that your business will be the first to pop to mind when they are ready to make a purchase.
Saves time and costs by automating tasks – Lead nurturing software automates time-consuming, repetitive operations like setting up meetings, tracking leads, reacting to social media posts, and sending follow-up marketing and sales emails. Automated processes save valuable time and resources in the long run.
Prioritizes hot leads – You can track and keep an eye on how each lead is doing as they move through the sales process with the aid of lead nurturing software. Leads can be scored based on various parameters and filter them based on their responses, which helps you manage the large pool of leads and concentrate on the ones ready to convert. Some lead nurturing programs also allow you to create buyer personas for your various sales and marketing campaigns.
Enables you to learn from campaign data – The solution offers actionable insights into how your leads respond to your marketing and sales campaigns. Leverage this information to assess the effectiveness of your campaigns, do A/B testing, and reorganize your outreach.
Leverages today’s long sales cycles – Before making a purchasing decision, B2B buyers are spending more time than in the past researching their options and educating themselves. Keeping your brand top-of-mind is a priority. Nurturing leads shortens your sales cycle and converts more leads into buyers.
Top 10 Lead Nurturing Software Solutions
To reap the rewards of effective lead nurturing, it’s crucial to find a lead nurturing software solution that best meets your organization’s needs. To help you with this choice, we’ve rounded up the top 10 lead nurturing software solutions here:
HubSpot’s Marketing and Sales Hub is a marketing software duo for lead nurturing. With marketing automation, you can create targeted outreach, offers, and marketing emails based on the behavior of your leads. Sales representatives can schedule customized emails to reach the prospect at the optimal time.
Pros: The list generation and management and campaign management features are robust. It integrates into HubSpot CRM.
Cons: Customer support is weak. Pricing can be expensive. There’s little flexibility in customizing and managing your themes for emails and landing pages.
Pricing: Hubspot has a free version. Plans can range from $45 per month to $3200 per month, depending on the plan/suite.
Reviewer says: “Implementation is a breeze and daily use is painless once you’re up to speed. What I like least about the software is how its user permissions are structured. They are extremely rigid and don’t allow for granular access control.”
Oktopost is a social engagement suite that enables B2B marketing teams to increase brand awareness on social media and measure the true impact of social media on their company.
When handled properly, an active, engaged social media presence can be a powerful tool for lead generation and nurturing. Social media marketing strategies provide would-be buyers with free content that raises awareness, builds trust, and promotes sharing every time they scroll within their social media account.
Oktopost’s social media management, social listening, and employee advocacy solutions enable marketers to interact with clients and prospects on social media, gather helpful information, and demonstrate social ROI. Oktopost seamlessly integrates with all other major marketing automation and CRM platforms. The platform allows marketers to use social data to enhance customer experiences and increase sales.
Pros: The campaign focus is excellent for marketing teams. Easy integrations can connect Oktopost to the most popular social media platforms and Google Analytics. It’s very user-friendly, making it easy to train teams and simplifying post-scheduling. Reports are best-in-class with essential metrics, and one tool integrates publishing, inbox, advocacy, and analytics. Flexible dashboards make it simple to demonstrate social value to stakeholders, and there’s outstanding customer support.
Cons: While it may be challenging to fully understand the vast range of services Oktopost delivers, there are helpful training webinars.
Reviewer says: “Oktopost plays an integral part in helping us be more effective at marketing and measuring ROI. Within one quarter of using Oktopost, we generated a 39% increase in clicks and a 386% increase in trackable conversions.”
Trendemon is a Web Personalization and Account-Based Orchestration solution. Trendemon’s website journey orchestration offers automated personalized content to every visitor and target account at the appropriate stage to get them closer to your business goals. Users can increase conversion rates using hyper-targeted calls-to-action based on marketing automation lists, engagement levels, and campaigns.
Trendemon links revenue attribution, web personalization, and journey mapping to increase your website’s impact on your sales pipeline. It’s the only attribution-powered personalization platform that shows the impact of marketing on sales and leverages real-time personalization to accelerate growth.
Pros: Amazing customer support and training. The product makes website customization easy. Any team member can deploy personalizations. Companies can embed elements in their site or call attention to their user through pop-ups or exit intents.
Cons: Reports could be more intuitive. Dashboards and analytics could be more customizable.
Pricing: Ranges from $2,599 per month to $4,099 per month, and custom pricing for enterprises.
Reviewer says: “As a digital marketer, I worked with several web personalization and funnel mapping tools, but none perform as well as Trendemon. Assessing what works and what doesn’t on your website and using targeted models to optimize content performance is easy. Any question and issue was quickly fixed with Trendemon’s professional and friendly support.”
SharpSpring is a platform for revenue growth marketing that assists small businesses in generating leads, improving sales conversion rates, and maximizing return on marketing expenditures. SharpSpring’s innovative platform has an open architecture and free customer support. It nurtures leads by sending perfectly timed emails at every stage of the sales process so you can ensure that your brand catches the attention of your leads.
Pros: The visual marketing automation builder and VisitorID are highly rated features. In reaction to lead activity, it sends targeted emails, and its marketing automation streamlines tasks with its visual builder.
Cons: This may be too pricey for small businesses, with too many features. It can be hard to navigate, and the metrics can confuse some users.
Pricing: Ranges from $449 per month to $1449 per month, and custom pricing for enterprises.
Reviewer says: “For us, it’s a vital aspect of our digital marketing strategy because of the help they’ve given us. The email editor might be a touch clumsy and formatting prose and layouts can be problematic.”
Keap is a lead nurturing solution that helps you from the minute a lead fills out an information form till the process is complete. The platform forms different groups for leads as soon as they fill out the contact forms and sends them perfectly-timed messages based on a lead’s action.
Pros: Keap offers lead capturing, nurturing, pipeline management, invoicing, and payment processes in one platform, plus highly-rated customer service.
Cons: The learning curve is steep for many features. Emails can go to spam. Keap sometimes doesn’t save progress if the software freezes or logs out.
Pricing: Ranges from $129 per month to $199 per month, and custom prices for enterprises.
Reviewer says: “The software is built to do just about anything you need with email marketing and has great deliverability. Just the learning curve is hard. It takes a while to get used to the software, and it seems like there’s always a better way to do things.”
Exceed.ai is a Conversational Marketing platform that uses artificial intelligence, machine learning, and conversational technology to automate the lead qualification, scoring, and nurturing processes for sales and marketing teams. Exceed.ai works in real-time, providing personalized human-like, two-way conversation over email, website chat, and SMS. When qualified prospects are ready to speak with a human, the AI assistant immediately loops in sales and schedules a meeting on your rep’s calendar.
Pros: Strong customer service. You can create an unlimited number of sequences that span a wide range of use cases.
Cons: The software has some preset limitations, sometimes making it inflexible. Integration with CRMs is clumsy.
Pricing: By request
Reviewer says: “I like that they are constantly working on improving their system based on customer feedback. [Their] code is on the large side and not fully optimized for fast delivery that slows down the page load time.”
Bitrix24 is a highly secure, complete intranet solution for small and medium-sized businesses created for efficient teamwork, communication, social networking, business process, and knowledge management. Transferring data from local drives and network silos to a secure central repository improves knowledge continuity.
Pros: An optimal network layout and integrated social media feeds.
Cons: Too many clicks and too much configuration are needed for someone trying to track a startup’s info. Template options are sparse.
Pricing: Bitrix24 has a free version. Plans range from $39 per month to $159 per month.
Reviewer says: “It has a built-in chat messenger feature that helps keep an ongoing communication between teams. Since it brings together several different features, it contains a lot of information onscreen, which in turn for some people it’s hard to use and navigate.”
Sendlane is a marketing automation and customer engagement tool created to assist eCommerce retailers in using a drag-and-drop email builder to generate and send emails to specific audiences. With Sendlane, marketers can create SMS messages tailored to their target audience to increase customer interaction. Businesses can also track clicks, sales, and visits across websites in real-time, boosting data-driven decision-making.
Pros: Sendlane has highly-rated customer service, is user-friendly, and has many ways to create emails and workflows.
Cons: It’s geared towards e-commerce, and could have more landing page template options.
Pricing: Ranges from $83 per month to $229 per month, depending on the plan.
Reviewer says: “My favorite feature is how they allow me to automate my marketing message, follow up and feedback with customers. I feel their knowledge base could be updated more to reflect the unique ways in which Sendlane operates compared to other similar services.”
Marketo provides email campaign tools in addition to ad experience so that leads are targeted with the appropriate material at the right time on any platform. Marketo can assist you in viewing customer experiences via mobile push notifications or via lead behavior on social media platforms.
Pros: Marketo’s simple user interface and reports features are highly rated.
Cons: The starter plan is expensive. Marketo’s interface lacks the email design functions of its competitors and can feel dated.
Pricing: By request
Reviewer says: “[Marketo] can collect a broad range of data out-of-the-box, which provides significant advantages compared to competitors. Marketo’s ability to scale, technically, can be a limiting factor at times.”
EngageBay is an all-in-one marketing, sales, and service CRM software designed for small businesses and startups to recruit, engage, nurture, and convert site visitors to satisfied customers. You can gather leads using lead generation forms and pop-up advertising, keep website visitors interested with attractive landing pages, nurture them with emails, and automate your marketing funnel.
Pros: EngageBay generates automated messages and has an integrated CRM system with an intuitive UI.
Cons: Email templates and design options are limited. Sign-up forms are difficult to customize, and automated text messaging is sometimes problematic.
Price: EngageBay has a free version. Plans range from $13.49 per month to $89.99 per month.
Reviewer says: “We use it for sending individual booking emails alongside broadcast emails. The other thing we love is the customer response – there’s a chat service and usually, someone is on there within minutes of a request, and they stick with you until it’s fixed. The training manuals could be improved.”
Lead Nurturing Software Gives You Superpowers
Lead nurturing is universally accepted as an essential weapon in the B2B marketing armory. If you are not making full use of lead nurturing in your marketing strategy, there’s no time like the present to climb on board.
Using automated lead nurturing software solutions provides the ideal way to keep leads on the hook during the long B2B sales cycle until they are ready to buy. With less time spent manually nurturing leads, you’ll be free to focus on other parts of your business while keeping your pipeline full of hot prospects – a true marketing superpower.
By nurturing your B2B leads through social media channels, you add an extra layer to every customer relationship, resulting in a much deeper and more valuable connection.
Oktopost’s social media engagement suite is a high ROI solution that provides actionable social engagement data that can transform your strategy. Book a free demo today and begin leveling up your B2B marketing efforts and exponentially grow your sales.