Is nurturing a means or an end?

Is nurturing a means or an end? B2B marketing

What is nurturing for?

In my daily contact with marketing personnel from various companies, I have recently noticed that many of them are unable to answer questions such as the above when they are asked.
Perhaps it is because it is a very basic question that they have trouble answering it.
I would like to rethink the purpose of nurturing.

Nurturing is a means to an end

As you may already know, nurturing is an effort to motivate prospects to buy and become customers by providing them with information on a regular basis.

In other words, it is a means to an end, not an end in itself.

Then what is the purpose?

The goal is to expand the customer base.

Before concluding, there is one interesting piece of data. It is an indicator about the ‘wall’ between the sales and marketing departments.

1) 87% of sales and marketing departments are critical of each other.(McKinsey survey)

2) 92% of B2B Companies feel they are not well aligned.
(*Pain survey)

Why are there so many companies where the sales and marketing departments are not aligned with the same objective of “increasing customers and profits”?

It has a lot to do with the sales process.

Sales Process

New customer acquisition – Prospective customer acquisition – Prospective customer nurturing – Conversion to customer – Conversion to good customer (cross/up-sell)

When considering the above process, the priority of sales activities is customer conversion. Therefore, initial visits and requests for information materials given by the marketing department will take a back seat to closing deals. The MARKET department reduces sales man-hours and shortens the time until customer conversion by conducting the new business development – acquiring prospective customers those salespeople do.
As you may have noticed, the above division of roles does not result in the successful conversion of prospects into customers because the process of prospect nurturing is missing.

Many people understand that nurturing prospects compensates for this, but we see many who stop there.
Sales will not increase with only the above mechanisms.

This is because in the above, the sales department has only shared what they have been doing independently until now. Moreover, since there are differences in sales skills, doubling the number of salespeople will not double sales.

So, what is the purpose of nurturing?

Nurturing Objective

The purpose of nurturing is to increase customer transactions through value-added proposals.

The true meaning of nurturing is to increase profit per transaction by proposing the company’s various products during the process of increasing the customer’s willingness to purchase for a certain period.

For example, if a salesperson is able to contact a potential customer who is considering a product that the company handles, the first priority of the sales person is to move from quotation to closing.
However, these customers often have already determined their purchasing requirements (specifications, budget, etc.), which increases the likelihood that they will have to compete with the competition. Although the numbers increase in the short term, it is also difficult to make value-added proposals, which is a characteristic of projects contacted through requests for quotations.

On the other hand, prospects for nurturing often have no set requirements or budgets, so it is possible to introduce products and create opportunities for proposals in a variety of ways. Although time-consuming, an aggressive approach is necessary from this stage to increase the purchase amount per company through value-added proposals.

Summary

It is important for the marketing department to consider nurturing based on initiatives that can improve sales per deal through value-added proposals and eliminate competition by making customers fans of the company’s products.
It will be easier to understand the issues if you can confirm whether the current efforts are appropriate as a mechanism to achieve these goals.

On the other hand, even so, there will be situations during a full year in which short-term sales are important.
As I mentioned at the beginning, nurturing is a means to an end. If the focus is on short-term sales, it is important to analyze the nurturing list for potential customers, but it is also necessary to consider the use of various other information and methods.

By first organizing your objectives and priorities, we will be able to provide you with information that meets your goals, so please feel free to contact us if you are interested in the initiatives and success stories of other companies.

I&D provides high-quality inside sales representative services based on our track record of more than 3,000 projects completed in the past. Please feel free to contact us for more information.

The writer of this article.
Miyuki Saito

Manager, Global Solutions Department

Over 15 years of experience as a marketing manager, product manager, promotion, etc. for various global B2B companies.

Has executed many projects to support foreign companies wishing to start sales activities in Japan to expand their business overseas.

Graduated from the University of California, Berkeley.

Miyuki SaitoFollow
B2B marketingMarketing Strategies
Miyuki SaitoFollow

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