The first step in the B2B sales process is lead generation. Once leads start coming in, the next step is to nurture those leads in order to move them further through the sales funnel and closer to a purchase. Once a lead is generated, it’s important to follow up in a timely manner in order to keep their interest and prevent them from looking elsewhere for the products or services that you offer.
While there are plenty of communication channels available today (email, social media, online chat, etc.), perhaps the most effective form of communication during the B2B lead nurturing process is the good old-fashioned phone call. Here’s more information about why that’s the case:
Live Phone is More Personal
While online lead forms are great and email and online chat are convenient, when communicating via these channels the prospect isn’t given the chance to get to know who they are communicating with in a more personal manner. Ultimately, people want to buy from people and establishing a one on one relationship with a business representative builds a level of trust and confidence in the organization as a whole. A live phone conversation is much more personal than communicating online.
Keeps Prospect More Engaged
Online communication certainly has its place in the B2B sales world, however it has its drawbacks. For example, responses aren’t immediate. In fact, hours, days, and even weeks can go by before a prospect replies to an email. In that timeframe their interest can wean and perhaps they started researching other opportunities.
During a live phone conversation, both parties are involved in the communication at the exact same moment. Both the prospect and the sales representative can get the information they need and are able to ask questions as the conversation goes on. This keeps the prospect more engaged and likely to continue a dialogue if the product or service seems like a good fit.
Phone Calls Uncover Information
Lead forms should be simple, making it easy for a prospect to get in touch. A lengthy lead form can detract people, either because they don’t have the time to fill it out or they don’t want to give you too much information upfront. This can really stall the sales process!
Once a prospect fills out a lead form, following up with a phone call allows you to gather the information you need in order to determine whether the prospect is qualified and should be passed on to sales or if they should continue to be nurtured. During the conversation, an agent can ask follow up questions, learn about the buying cycle, determine who decision makers are, and spot buying patterns.
While a phone conversation may seem old-fashioned, it remains a powerful component of the lead nurturing process. A two-way dialogue helps to move prospects through the sales funnel in a personable and efficient way.