By Tom Taylor, Account Advocate, Studio/D
Smart manufacturers know that a healthy, robust prospect nurturing program is critical to their business and key to growth. The savviest among them understand that the marketing and sales funnel is where these disciplines converge. Let’s take a deep dive into the roles both marketing and sales teams play when it comes to nurturing prospects.
Marketers think of the lead funnel progressing from awareness, interest, purchase, and finally to experience. Salespeople think of it progressing from suspects, prospects, customers and finally to advocates. Both disciplines are right – a truly successful nurturing process utilizes two-way information flow and incorporates marketing efforts being informed by (and adjusted with) feedback from the sales efforts as leads are either lost or converted. The process is where the historical disconnect of marketing and sales efforts can be repaired and true alignment of the two disciplines can take place.
Think of the funnel like the competition flowers engage in when attracting pollinators. Flowers lure pollinators through showy color patterns, enticing aromas, conspicuous anthers, and sweetly flavored nectars. In much the same way, marketing and sales teams broadcast the benefits of their particular products or services to persuade prospects to choose their flower, so to speak. Once the prospect has been attracted the goal becomes to convert them to a customer, and the process is repeated again and again.
A good nurturing program is the end result of a great overall business or marketing/sales plan. In the strategic planning phase, sales and marketing professionals define the audience(s) by identifying those characteristics that make up a likely purchaser while determining the best methods of communicating to those targets. The nurturing program should be the communications system and info warehouse used by both marketing and sales as they go about identifying, attracting and closing prospects, with communication focused on key times within their buying journey. Extending the flower analogy further, if the marketing and sales teams aren’t in sync regarding the best enticements, you’re going to have a lot of bees pass by your garden.
Many manufacturers institute a nurturing program only to use it as a static, automatic “set it and forget it” process. These companies will never know the opportunities lost for lack of the proper hands-on use these programs require. Studio/D has the knowledge and expertise to make sure your sales and marketing teams are using your CRM program to its best advantage.
Studio/D is a full-service marketing communications firm working with mid-market industrial and manufacturing clients, together with their supporting ecosystem. We’re a team of “makers” who simplify complex communication challenges with messaging that engages and drives results. Learn more about us at StudioD.agency, or reach us at 314-200-2630.