There are a number of reasons that an opportunity may need to be marked as “Lost.” Maybe the account is in another contract, going through changes in management, or they “just can’t make it happen right now.”
Whatever the reason, it doesn’t mean you stop your pursuit of the sale. If you stopped pursuing all the accounts that went dark or put you off, you’d miss out on a majority of your quota. Even cold, lost, or unresponsive opportunities can be turned into serious revenue with a persistent nurturing program. An entire multi-billion dollar marketing automation industry was founded on this belief.
But you can’t wait around for marketing or management to build these nurture campaigns for you. After all, you know your customers better than anyone. Fortunately, sales engagement platforms like Salesloft allow you to create nurture campaigns on your own and on the fly. Before you jump into the nurturing deep end, here are a few important principles to keep in mind when nurturing your opportunities.
Take it Slow
After an account has been lost, it’s very likely that the prospect you spoke with will put your product out of their mind soon after your last conversation. This creates a very narrow window for continued engagement without creating an uncomfortable dynamic with your prospect. You need to give them space, while still keeping lines of communication open. This means it’s on you, the sales rep, to stay on their radar with a systematic and consistent nurture process.
Your goal is to nurture, not to nag. Your ideal nurturing process will send just enough messages over a period of time to keep your product at the top of your prospect’s mind.
Set up a cadence specifically to re-engage your prospects. Mathew Sweezy with Pardot recommends sending your emails between 6 to 45 days apart. By spacing your messages over time, your prospects will be kept in the know at a rate they won’t find irritating. But by continuing to send messages out your prospects can easily reenter the sales cycle when they’re ready.
Offer A Reason To Reengage
Just because the nurture journey is automated doesn’t mean your messages shouldn’t be compelling. If you are going to reengage dark accounts you’ve got to craft your messages with care.
According to TOPO’s 2017 Sales Benchmark, 43% of high-growth sales leaders recognize value-selling, or the ability to communicate value to a prospect, as a top strategy. Incorporating value-selling into your nurture campaign can connect the prospect’s needs to your solution.
Write emails that will deliver value with just the right kind of message. You want to help your prospects in their day-to-day. If possible, align with your marketing team to provide good and relevant content to your prospects. The better content you have available, the more value you can provide that will prompt your prospect to reengage.
Leverage Previous Conversations
While most sales start from square one with qualifying information, lost opportunities are unique since you’ve previously communicated with the account. You’ve already gathered information about the needs and pain points, in addition to whatever reason they didn’t purchase your product before, that can all be put to use during your nurture.
You can use this data to execute nurture cadences by segmenting them depending on factors like person or the reason a company didn’t purchase. This way your messages will be sent at scale within the cadence, but the prospect still receives the personalization they crave.
Your most optimal nurturing involves a solid balance between well crafted messages and authentic automation. But by melding the two together you can your opportunities from “Closed Lost” to “Closed Won.”
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