Tips for Improving Your B-to-B Lead Nurturing Process


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You are under pressure to do more with less these days. And now that someone took the time to download your white paper or attend your webinar the last thing you want to do is miss an opportunity to follow up on their interest. So your call center jumps on the phone to qualify the prospect, and generally ends up leaving a voice message. In fact, it may sound something like this:

“Hi Alan, this is John at XYZ Company. My phone number is 555-1212. I wanted to do a quick follow-up and touch base with you. It looks like you recently visited our website and downloaded one of our white papers. I just wanted to find out about your current initiatives and the projects you are working on, and see if I could answer any questions. If you would please return my phone call I would appreciate it, my phone number is 555-1212, and again this is John at XYZ Company and my number 515-1212.”

The message above is actually taken from my voice mail from a couple of days ago. I sometimes download white papers and attend webinars for both educational and commercial reasons; however, I doubt I’ll be calling John back. One reason I would not return the call above is that it came across as a pleading push to place me in a “call-to-action” headlock so to speak. Of course, when you read the message without the benefit of also hearing the tone you might not see it that way. The other reason is that I don’t have a budgeted project that makes use of their technology at this time. Either way, in today’s economy you need to make sure that your lead qualification and nurturing process is going through a quality review.

When it comes to lead nurturing let’s start with the leave behind message in general. I’m surprised that more organizations don’t leverage the power of appreciation through a simple “Thank You.” However; I can safely say that I’m rarely thanked for downloading a white paper or attending a webinar when it comes to the follow-up phone message. For me, a message like the following would have been much more compelling as it relates to engaging or getting me to take action.

“Hi Alan, this is John Smith at XYZ Company. I want to thank you for downloading our white paper titled “How to Thrive in a Down Economy.” In fact, you will find that our companion webinar “Doing More with Less” helps expand the main concepts covered in that white paper. I’ll be sure to send you an email invitation to review that webinar and it should arrive in your inbox this afternoon. I know you’re busy and your business environment is unique. I’d be honored to help you evaluate your project at a deeper level or provide additional research ideas. Again, this is John Smith at XYZ Company and you can reach me at 555-1212. Have a great afternoon.”

What do I like about the second message?

1. The power of appreciation: Yes, your company invested both time and resources to assemble the information contained in that white paper or webinar and that is providing hard value. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t thank the prospect for taking the time to download and review your document.

2. The power of nurture: Prospects unwilling to spend (or move current initiatives forward) now will likely be able to at some point in the future. That is where lead nurturing becomes important. Offering additional information (companion webinar, etc) helps show them value over time so that when budgets become available you are more likely to be remembered.

3. Humble but confident, and patient: Yes, I know you would love to speak to me in person right now. But I’m more inclined to call back someone who would be “honored to help me,” as opposed to someone who directs me to “return my call,” even if they used the word “please.” And be patient, aggressive tones in the current economy are not going to motivate me to return your call.

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Alan See
Alan See is Principal and Chief Marketing Officer of CMO Temps, LLC. He is the American Marketing Association Marketer of the Year for Content Marketing and recognized as one of the "Top 50 Most Influential CMO's on Social Media" by Forbes. Alan is an active blogger and frequent presenter on topics that help organizations develop marketing strategies and sales initiatives to power profitable growth. Alan holds BBA and MBA degrees from Abilene Christian University.


  1. Alan, I appreciate your insights on the typical follow up follies. This is so true, often it feels like we’re being pushed into the sales process without the representative knowing what the prospects true objectives are. I really like your comment about a simple thank you. I think that is effective, a bit disarming and would spark my interest, possibly even a return call.

    This begins the lead nurturing process… As you’re aware, it goes much deeper, and could possibly involve multiple communications from various marketing channels over the next few weeks, months or year. As you know, so many companies and schools begin the process with the follow-up from the white paper, but it rarely goes beyond that.

    If you’d like to read some more of my thoughts on lead nurturing, follow the link below.


    Squeeze your leads


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