Depending on which reports you may read when it comes to lead nurturing, approximately 60% or more of B2B businesses do not have a formalized lead nurturing program. Yet, depending on these same reports from the several research organizations benchmarking such effort, companies who perform effective lead nurturing enjoy a better than 25% higher return on their efforts than those who do not. Which begs the question: why are companies slow to adopt to lead nurturing?
I suspect one reason may be that the pressure for instant results from lead generation efforts is a primary driver. Especially from firms heavily rooted in measuring results monthly and quarterly to a fanatical nature. Which makes you think: how much potential revenue is being left on the roadside in the speedy monthly pursuit to instantly convert leads generated into month-end results? If organizations who find themselves in this predicament were to evaluate their efforts against what has been bypass in their pursuit, I believe they would find a sizeable amount of opportunities.
Another important reason why adoption may be either slow or unproductive is that there is a “once size fits all” mentality to lead generation and lead nurturing. While efforts are made to develop the usual litany of content such as white papers and other mediums, they are focused on a generic understanding of challenges and issues. While mapping content to the buying stages or journey has come into vogue, a review of forty qualitative research programs I have been involved in indicates that today’s buyers do not think or behave in such linear fashion. Their information needs do not necessarily align or map one-to-one to a linear view of buying stages.
Buyer Scenario Modeling
While modeling the ideal buyer is of extreme importance, in the form of buyer personas, it is only one model of multiple to understanding buyers today. In terms of lead nurturing; perhaps one of the most significant efforts an organization can make today is in the area of buyer scenario modeling. Here is buyer scenario modeling defined:
“Buyer Scenario Modeling is the process of analyzing research-based modeling of possible events, buying scenarios, buyer behaviors, buying decisions, and alternative future outcomes.”
Lead generation, lead nurturing, and content marketing can each be enhanced dramatically as well as integrate together on a more effective level with buyer scenario modeling. This is more so than any mapping to buying stages or journey. Buyers today do not think today nor are they forced to think in a linear fashion as they may have in the past. Buyers are thinking in terms of the situation they find themselves in and the world swirling around them; pulling from their ecosystems and networks to meet objectives.
Changing B2B with Predictive Buyer Modeling
I recently introduced the idea of how predictive buyer modeling will change B2B as we know it. One of the underpinnings of this idea is the use of buyer scenario modeling. What companies can do more effectively through this process is begin to segment their lead generation and lead nurturing programs according to predictive scenarios, buyer behaviors, and buying outcomes. Gaining knowledge and insight into how buyer scenarios develop, what challenges occur to trigger buying considerations, how buyers interact with others, and why decisions are being made.
One such Fortune 100 company who helped to co-create this concept with me recently segmented their lead nurturing efforts by modeled scenarios of the time buyers were investing in researching, evaluating, and decision-making once a challenge, problem, or issue arose. Not happy with their lead generation results, they reorganized programs around four identifiable and predictable buying scenarios to achieve a much higher return on their efforts. Content was developed to support the buying scenarios buyers found themselves in and not according to previously mapped generic buying stages.
This type of effort turns out to be good for all parties involved. Marketing no longer is wasting effort and content on non-applicable situations. Selling teams are nurturing leads at the right level and more importantly – timing. Buyers are getting their information needs met at the right time, the right place, and the right situation of challenges they are dealing with. To a greater degree, companies will be better able to identify and predict the ideal scenarios that give them the best shot at winning and being a long-term alternative to buyers.
Buyer scenario modeling is needed in today’s connected buyer world due to the multiple types of scenarios buyers find themselves in today. If companies are not in synch with understanding possible scenarios and outcomes, then they will be left out of the picture so to speak. It is time for companies today to make giant leaps in their lead nurturing efforts. Buyer scenario modeling may be just the springboard they need.Follow @tonyzambito
- Are Your Lead Generation Tactics Targeting The Wrong Buyer? 4 Steps You Can Take. (buyerology.com)
- Boost Demand Generation Using Target Ready Buyer Models (buyerology.com)
- Predictive Buyer Modeling Is Changing the Future of B2B (buyerology.com)