Sales Prospecting Perspectives

3 Tips for Nurturing Prospects in Inside Sales

Posted by Megan Toohey on Thu, Sep 11, 2023 @ 09:30 AM

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Sales Prospecting Perspectives is pleased to bring you a post from Taylor Lacey, Business Development Representative at AG Salesworks.

What do you picture when you hear the word "nurture?"

Many people may think of a plant "nurtured" to full health. In inside sales, potential customers can also be nurtured. If they aren't a good fit now, does that mean they will always be unqualified for your product or service? Or can they slowly become a lead by means of a strong lead nurturing campaign? 

We’ve all seen the contact who doesn’t quite fit the qualifying criteria and is automatically added to the nurture bucket. These are three important tips to remember when nurturing prospects.

Some Leads Aren’t Sales-Ready.

It’s the end of the month, and you’re two leads away from your goal… What do you do? Some inside sales reps may pass leads that aren't ready for the next sales step. If the prospect wants more technological detail, that’s OK, but in most cases, it's not. Unfortunately, many leads aren't happy with the way they're being treated. In a recent study, Marketing Sherpa found that “73% of all B2B leads are not sales-ready… not receiving the experience they desire.” Some of these prospects might not be ready to buy, have a smaller objection than usual, or just aren’t a good fit. 

As an inside sales rep, you don't want to encourage bad leads. It can lead to wasted time and wasted profit. When dialing, inside sales reps need to remember that leads need quality, not quantity. Yes, it may look good for Salesperson 1 to pass 25 leads. However, if only 5 of those become closed deals, what happens to the other 20 that weren’t closed? Some companies may not even touch those 20 leads. Instead of ignoring them, implement a lead nurturing campaign for them. A lead nurturing campaign can play a huge role making the prospect aware of your offering and most importantly aware of your offering's value when he or she is sales-ready.

Understand Your Prospects’ Buying Cycle.

By now, we know how to handle the "time to buy" objection. If prospects don't want to move on to the next step, add them to a nurture campaign that’s segmented to their buyer pains and needs. I always ask about my prospects’ timeframe for re-evaluation of their current product in place. When they give you a rough estimate of their timeframe, set up a nurture cycle that benefits the prospect. Many businesses focus on how they sell, but have no understanding of how their customers buy. Not many people buy right away; in fact, most of them take the time to research what the market is offering. Respect the prospect's timeframe, and you in turn will be respected as an inside sales rep. 

Tell, Don’t Sell.

Some inside sales reps tend to sell using overly promotional language. I cringe whenever I hear it. We don’t want to sound salesy or use obvious marketing language: “You NEED this product/service NOW.” We want to provide insight and educational guidance.  Gain a sense of trust and direction with prospects so they can go to you for any questions they have when they need help. You're not in sales to sell, but to help the customer buy. It is a nice feeling to know that, from a customer’s point of view, you are perceived as an expert and a consultant.

Remember that nurture does not equal neglect. As sales professionals, we have to harness the growth opportunity that could be missed on some prospects. Don't ignore your prospects; instead, nurture them.

Tags: Sales Consultant, Prospecting Strategies, Inside Sales, Buying Process, Lead Nurturing, Teleprospecting Strategies, Lead Scoring, Handling Sales Objections