This whitepaper is a transcript of a webinar our CEO, David Chapin, recently conducted for Salesforce and Pardot.
Our next webinar will be April 2017. Please visit our website www.formalifesciencemarketing.com/webinars for more details.
Good morning everyone. Welcome to today’s webinar: The secrets to effective nurturing in the life sciences. Thank you all for joining. My name is Moya and I am your host for today’s health care and life sciences webinar. I’m joined by David Chapin, CEO of Forma Life Science Marketing. I would also like to recognize Steve Giovinazzo; he is our vice president of our health care and life sciences and played a huge role in making today’s webinar happen. So just before we begin, I would like to cover a few quick notes about our webinar platform. Today’s webinar will be available on demand after we wrap up and will be sent out for you within a few days. Please note the slides will be automatically advanced throughout the presentation. And if you want to enlarge those slides, please click the enlarge plus button located in the right-hand corner of your presentation window. If you need any technical assistance, please click on the help located on the bottom left corner of your console. And lastly, we would like to encourage you to submit questions at any time throughout the presentation. You can use the question widget at the bottom of your console. We will also answer as many questions as we can at the end of this presentation. Now, I would like to introduce our speaker for today.
For today’s presentation I’m especially excited about the program we have for you with our guest speaker David Chapin, who is the CEO Forma Life Sciences Marketing and the author of an incredible book entitled Making the Complex Compelling, a guide for life sciences marketing. David has been recognized by the Harvard business review and his work has appeared in Medical Marketing and Media magazine and many more industry publications. In addition to being a marketing thought leader, David also has a very specific background in science. He has been named inventor of more than 40 patents in United States and additional patents in other country. And for those of you that have not read David book yet, it’s the go-to strategy manual from life sciences marketers and C-level executives. Today, David will be speaking about effective lead nurturing in life science marketing, which is the top priority for marketers today. In fact, according to an emarketer survey among b2b marketers, lead nurturing was their number one priority. There’s the right way and a wrong way to implement a lead nurturing program, and through today’s webinar, you will learn about the winning approach. Without further do, I like to pass it on to David.
David Chapin, CEO of Forma Life Science Marketing: Moya, thank you so much. Alright everybody, let’s dive into this fascinating topic. I just want to let you know that if you’re interested in taking an assessment to take the temperature of your efforts in marketing and in lead nurturing, you can use this URL at the bottom of the screen (Tinyurl.com/FormaAssessment) and that will take you to a very short assessment that you can use to figure out the places where you are weak and where you are strong in your marketing efforts. I would like to start today by reporting a conversation that I had with the vice president of sales for a top-three global life science company. Now we’ll call him Johann. That’s not his real name of course, but we had this conversation as part of a diagnostics that we do when we begin working with our clients. One of our many activities is to have phone calls with all the top leadership team. In this phone call with this global vice president for sales, I asked him, “How do you handle the prospects who aren’t yet ready to buy?”
He answered, “We give the prospect everything we can – all the data and all the information – right up front, so they have everything they need to make their decision.”
That surprised me and so I asked, “What if they’re not going be ready to buy for six months or a year or maybe two?” After all, this is a long lead-cycle business.
He responded, “Well, the sales person will call them from time to time.”
“So are these calls made according to some sort of preplanned schedule like once a month?”
“No, it’s up to the individual sales person to decide when to call.”
“Well, do you offer the prospect anything during these calls, anything like whitepapers or webinars?”
“No, all that information is given to them right up front, and of course it’s on our website.”
I don’t know about you but this dumbfounded me at that time. It’s clear that Johann has no conception about how to nurture a lead. And this conversation crystallized my decision to get very explicit about lead nurturing. In this webinar, we’re going explore this topic. How do you nurture your prospects? So here’s our agenda today. We’ll provide a definition for lead nurturing. We’re going look at how lead nurturing leads in to closing and what happens when you try to close people and they slip back farther of the buying decision chain. We’re going look at how people buy and the exchange of value that happens, one that forms the fundamental exchange for lead nurturing. We’re going talk about 15 reasons to nurture your prospects. There are probably 1,500 reasons that you should be nurturing your prospects, I’m highlighting 15 of them here, and then we’ll go through the nurturing cycle: those eight activities that form the cycle of nurturing our leads.
We begin with the definition of nurturing. What is nurturing? Nurturing is the process of building a relationship with our prospects, one that allows us to help them by guiding their transition from one stage in the buying cycle to another. This is a lot of detail here, so let’s tease it apart. Nurturing is a process; it’s not one and done. It’s not one and done for any one prospect, we can’t just give them the phone call or send them a brochure, or email them a light paper and then the nurturing is complete. It’s a continuing process for that one prospect, and it needs to be a continuing focus inside our organizations. If it’s not, our lead nurturing efforts will falter. We build relationships through lead nurturing, and these relationships are built on credibility and trust, and we build this relationship through the exchange of value that I’ll talk about in just a minute. We build these relationships with our prospects. You nurture the prospects you know, you also have to nurture the prospects that you don’t know. There are a lot of prospects out there that may be following you; they may be interested in what you have to offer. But they might not have raised their hands by giving you their email address. So you have to nurture prospects that are both known and prospects that are unknown, and of course it goes without saying, but we’ll say it anyway, you need to nurture your clients as well.
Nurturing allows us to help our clients, and we help them by offering something they value. This is not sales focused, this is educational early in the buying cycle, inspirational in the middle of the buying cycle, and then full of reassurance at the end of the buying cycle.
We guide them because, let’s face it, we have more experience than they do. We are the experts and they need our help, so we guide them, but we can’t do this in a heavy-handed way and we can’t do this in a sales-focused way; we have to nurture them. And we help them through this transition, we help them make the transition from one stage of the buying cycle to another, and this ultimately moves them closer to purchase and eventually over the finish line to purchase. In some senses, closing is just the extension of nurturing, it’s a form of nurturing. The basic exchange that happened during nurturing is this: we answer their questions. We give away unique valuable insight and we do this for free, and that sounds crazy, but that’s the way it has to be today because they will get this information from other people if they don’t get it from you. If we give away valuable content to them, what do we get? We get an enhanced reputation, we get more credibility, and we ultimately build trust. And hopefully, we’ll get the chance to have a closing conversation when the time is right. This is the exchange of value that underlines nurturing.
Let’s talk about how nurturing and closing relate and what the flow is that anyone individual prospect will go through.
Here’s a flow chart for lead nurturing. First person comes back from trade show; they’ve got a stack of business cards. Now you may have had a closing conversation or you may have just picked the business card off the floor of the trade show. In either case the salesperson reaches out to these people. He contacts them and he’s qualifying, and when he’s qualifying, he’s asking several questions. He wants to know who the decision makers are, he wants to know what their schedule is for making a decision, he wants to what their budget is, and he wants to know if what the organization can supply will address the pain that client has. And as he qualifies this lead, he may find out they’re ready to buy. That’s great, then we go into a closing mode. He sets up the meeting we get all the right people in the room including all the decision makers, and we have a conversation, and then we close. Either we close them and win the job or we try to close them and they buy from somebody else, or we close them and they slip back. They are not ready to buy, and so they need nurturing. If they’re not ready to buy, well, they might get there because we try to close them and they slipped back. Or we find out they’re not ready to buy yet. If they’re not ready to buy, we can do what Johann was doing—ignoring them: waiting, hoping and praying. Or we can nurture them. If we nurture them, then at some point they’ll be ready to raise their hands. When they raise their hands, we contact them and we qualify them again. It maybe that they’re raising their hands just because they have a question. Maybe they’re raising their hands because they’re ready to buy. Those organizations that are really good along the entire nurturing path will also periodically contact people and qualify them to determine where they fit.
So, this is the basic flow that happens. If you look at what Johann was doing, he wasn’t doing any nurturing, and his team wasn’t doing any nurturing. They were substituting “hoping, waiting, and praying” for active nurturing. Which is useless and doesn’t help the organization succeed. So lead nurturing takes care of this right hand side of the diagram. Now I’d like you to think about the relative weight of your prospects. Where do most of your prospects exist on this diagram? If you’re like more firms, the majority of your prospects are on the right: they’re not ready to buy right now. Only a few of your prospects are on the left.
The reason we need to nurture our leads is because most of your prospects are not ready to buy right now; they’re still farther up the chain in the buying cycle. Now those boxes in green are the classic responsibility of your sales team. And it used to be that this dotted box in green that surrounds nurturing used to be the responsibility of sales. If sales is responsible for nurturing, then they may not nurture effectively because they’re focused on making their numbers. They’re focused on the things that happen on the left side of this diagram. So how do we nurture? It helps to look at the buying cycle.
There are four stages to the buying cycle. And the model that describes these stages applies to big ticket purchases. It doesn’t really apply to buying a soda at a convenience store. These stages were defined by Prochaska and that scientific work has been extended by others. We’ll focus on the first four stages here. At the end of the four stages is the purchase decision. So of course we’re very interested in what happens going on during the first four stages. We’re interested in how we can help people move from one stage to the next. And the thing you need to understand about buying is really simple: buying is changing. As buyers go through the buying process, they change. As they think about making a purchase, buyers are considering changing suppliers or changing instruments, or they’re changing the type of solution they use. But they change much more than that. They change their attitudes, their perceptions, their opinions, and their behavior. And this change happens in four distinct stages. To understand how people buy, we have to understand how they change.
These four stages are quite distinct. At the first stage of the buying cycle, there is no perceived need. For example, many of you aren’t really interested in buying a new car. Now, there could be many reasons for that. Maybe you live in an urban area and you take public transportation, or maybe the car you have is only two years old and it runs just fine. Whatever the reason, your perception is that the perceived advantages of changing are far outweighed by disadvantages of changing. At the other end of the buying cycle, when people are ready to buy—that is, when the prospect is in stage four, that situation has to be reversed, in other words, the perceived advantages of changing must be more significant than a perceived disadvantages.
Now, the science shows that people don’t change their perception gradually and equally along every stage, they change it in several distinct steps. In the first step, the perceived advantages of changing increase dramatically, and this tends to happen quite suddenly. To continue our car example, this may happen because a new car model is introduced or maybe your transmission just fell out on the road, or maybe you got rear-ended and the insurance company decides to declare your car a total loss. Whether the reason is positive or negative, you’re suddenly inspired to consider a change. The prospect can stay in this stage for quite a while.
To encourage prospects to take a step closer to purchase, the perceived disadvantages of change have to decrease. Unlike the transition from stage one to stage two, this transition tends to happen in multiple steps.
The implication of this model is clear; salespeople need to evolve the reasons they contact prospects. You see, early in the buying cycle, people need education. In the middle stage of the buying cycle, they need inspiration, and at the end we need to contact them frequently because they need reassurance. So we’re going educate the unaware, we’re going inspire the interested, and we’re going reassure those who have intent. It’s interesting to note that these three activities: education, inspiration, reassurance, won’t work if the buyer isn’t ready.
Now, in what stage are the majority of your prospects? Mostly, in stage one or maybe in stage two, in other words: they’re not actively planning to purchase, that is, they’re not in the middle of making a purchase. Most of your prospects are in stage 1, which means they need nurturing, and that nurturing has to happen through something they will be receptive to—education, non-sales focused education.
What does nurturing look like in practice? It can take all different forms. They might see you on the podium and they think your argument makes sense, so they begin to trust you. And then, they might attend a webinar, and the trust level increases. They follow up by downloading some of your white papers and their trust level goes up even more. In each of these interactions, there’s an exchange of value. We’re offering information and in exchange, we’re gaining trust. And it’s this growth and trust that enable the final exchange where we get money in exchange for the product or service that we’re selling.
Now, it’s interesting to note that the division in responsibilities between marketing and sales has changed. In the past, marketing was responsible for building awareness. In other words, basically focusing on those people that are in stage one, but that has shifted. Today, marketing is responsible for a good portion of the buying cycle. Because not only are we responsible for stage one, but we’re also responsible for inspiring the interested, and to some extent we are reassuring those with intent. What this does is free up our sales teams to focus on reassurance, to focus on closing, to focus on bringing in revenue. This is a good shift, but it means that the divisions between marketing and sales are being redefined, and this means that marketing and sales have to be open enough to talk to each other and collectively redefine their responsibilities.
In the past, nurturing happened through conversations. This was handled by sales and was handled manually, one individual at a time. (This is still true today for small organizations.) In the present, for larger organizations in particular, nurturing happens through automated systems delivering content and it’s primarily the marketing function that’s responsible for this. Now, you can also assign these two other labels, groups at top and individual at the bottom, and you’ll see that sales people were focused on an individual prospect, and now marketing is focused on building, fueling and maintaining the system itself to address groups of people through workflows, and this makes the lead nurturing system much more efficient.
Now let’s look at 15 reasons to nurture your prospects. These reasons will be divided into four groups: Buying Cycle, Sales Environment (promotional merchandise), Buyers, and the Sales Process. There are 15 reasons to nurture your prospects and the first one is Reason #1: life science sales are complex and slow. It can take a long time. If you don’t nurture them, they may not remember that you exist when it’s time for them to finally make a buying.
Reason #2, buying in the life sciences doesn’t always proceed linearly. The process get derailed, decision makers change their mind, new technology gets introduced, new regulations come into effect. It’s rare that a buying process happens linearly from step A all the way through step Z. Five minutes after you hang up the phone with the prospect, you don’t know what’s happening in their office. Their CEO might have just walked in and said, “Okay, I got the money, we are ready to go.” Five minutes before that, the answer was, “Well, we’re waiting; it might be a year or more.” But all of a sudden that has changed and so you need to nurture your leads so that when they make their decision, when they’re ready to go, they think of you.
Reason #3 for nurturing our prospects: because our life science competitors are nurturing our prospects. They’re providing useful educational information. They’re primarily doing this online, and if they are nurturing our prospects, we must be nurturing your prospects.
Reason #4 is because life science prospects just have too much choice. And actually, the research shows that when people have too much choice, their inclination to buy, to actually make a purchase decision goes down, and so we need to nurture our prospects to help get them past this plethora of choice that they’re faced with.
Reason #5: the life science customer isn’t always right. Yes, they’re always the customer, but they’re not always right. They’ve got less experience in buying than we have in selling. They don’t go through this buying process very often. We go through the selling process every day. We need to help them buy, and they may have impressions or opinions about how to buy, but quite frankly they might be wrong and if we build enough trust, we can help them avoid mistakes.
Reason #6: Our life science prospects might need us 24/7 365. Twenty four hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year, and nurturing makes that assistance available. I don’t know about you but I’m not going to answer my cell phone at 3 in the morning.
Reason #7: We nurture to build trust and reputation among our life science prospects. This is one of the big reason that we want to nurture because people buy from people they trust.
Reason #8: We nurture because prospects memories are short, and there is some great data that show that people are most likely to buy from vendors who have been contacting them regularly than vendors who have been invisible.
Reason #9: We nurture our prospects to help our internal champions, educate, inspire, and reassure their colleagues inside the organization.
Reason #10: We nurture because it helps stratify our life science prospects. It lets us put them into different buckets, so we can treat them differently. We can identify whether they are ready to buy and they need attention right now, or they’re a long way from buying, and therefore we don’t need to focus on them that urgently.
Reason #11: It takes at least seven touches to close a sale. That’s been a truism in sales culture for a long time, and I don’t know that I’ve ever seen the actual data to back this. But if you think back to the last 3 or 10 closing situation you encountered, my guess is you touched those prospects a lot more than 7 times before they bought. So it may not be scientifically proven, but anecdotally, I believe this to be true.
Reason #12: We nurture to build our habits of nurturing. The more we nurture, the better we get. The more we nurture, the more content we’ll create, and that content will be more likely to find an audience because it’s more likely to answer the questions that our prospects have.
Reason #13: We nurture because it’s more efficient to nurture a lead that we already know and going out and finding a lead we don’t know.
Reason #14: We nurture because all sales and marketing activities have a half-life. I’m going take a brief detour to talk about half-life. Here are the touch points that are typically used to nurture prospects, and these are organized according to what I call the “ladder of lead generation.” Earned exposure is at the top of the ladder, and listed here are some sample earned exposure touch points: your reputation, a book you may have written, your presentation from the podium, a testimonial.
Next is the content marketing rung on the ladder of lead of generation. Then the paid exposure rung and finally the personal interaction rung. These rungs all have different attributes.
Rungs at the top of the ladder of lead generation have a long reach. You can talk to 2,000 people from the podium, you can talk to more than that if you write a book. At the bottom of the ladder of lead of generation, it’s really hard to give a sales presentation to 2,000 people. The reach is much shorter at the bottom of ladder of lead generation. But the speed is faster at the bottom and the speed is much slower at the top, because it takes you longer to get on the podium than it does to dig up the opportunity to give a capabilities presentation or to make some phone calls. This basic balance between reach and speed is why organizations that are strong in lead nurturing and marketing in general will have strength on every rung of the ladder of lead generation.
Now, the newest one of the ladder is content. Content marketing was actually invented by scientist three and a half centuries ago; they call it Peer Reviewed Publishing, it’s an exchange of value. I give away all the results of my experiments and methodology, the data, the opinions at the interpretation, I give all that away and I do that for free. And in exchange, all I get is a slightly enhanced reputation—plus my name on a paper.
Now that we’ve introduced this idea of the ladder of lead generation, let’s talk about half-life. In chemistry, half-life is the time required for any specific property to decrease by half. That term has been adopted by marketing. In marketing, half-life is the time required for half of the action of a particular marketing touch point to take place. So you mail out a catalog and over the life span of that catalog mailing you get one thousand orders. The half-life is the time it takes for you to get 500 of those orders.
I would like to propose a new definition in the field of marketing. Let’s look at this from the point of view of recipient. Half-life is the time required for half of the recipients to forget that particular touch point. This means that it’s going be recipient dependent. For example, your wedding will have a longer half-life for you and your spouse than it had for your second cousin once removed; he was just sitting in the back just waiting for the bar to open.
Half-life can be measured in time spans from minutes to years. Let’s look at the very bottom rung on the ladder and take an example: voicemail messages. Let me ask you some questions. Do you remember all the choice mail messages you heard in the last 10 minutes? Yeah, you probably do. How about the last 10 hours? Probably. Last 10 days? Probably not. Last 10 weeks? Almost certainly not. What that means is that half-life for voice mail messages is going be measured roughly in minutes to hours. There are error bars that I won’t really show, and I’d like you to remember that this is not a completely scientific assessment. I’m going to ignore those error bars from now on.
You can see at the bottom of the ladder of lead generation that the half-life is relatively short. As we go up to ladder of lead generation, the half-life tends to get longer and longer. Reputations can last for years; people who leave the profession can still have a positive reputation. So if you do some kind of approximation with a closest fitting curve, you get a curve that goes up and to the right. What this tells us is that, again, activities on the topline of the ladder of lead generation are really good for long-term nurturing. Activities at the bottom of the ladder of lead generation are really good for short-term nurturing.
What this means is that we can assign stages in the buying cycle to these rungs. The top rung is really good for people in the first two stages of the buying cycle. And as we come down the ladder, we start to get later and later in the buying cycle. So personal interactions, that’s when we involve our salesforce to nurture those people that are doing planning and action in the last two stages in the buying cycle.
Reason #15: The last reason we nurture our prospects is very simple: because nurturing works. There’s some great data on this lead nurturing benchmark study, the latest I was able to find was from 2015. One question they asked: How have your nurture campaigns performed compared to non-nurtures? No measurable difference, 5%. 26% of respondents found an increase of between 10%-20% better. 25% found an increase of between 20%-30% better. In other words, a majority of people are saying that their nurturing campaigns are performing better than non-nurturing campaigns, and many are saying that nurturing works at least 10% better.
How have nurtured leads performed within your funnel versus non-nurtured leads? No measurable difference, 40%. But 21% reported a 10% increase, and 23% reported a 20% increase. In other words: nurturing works.
What tactics work best within your nurturing efforts? White papers, thought leadership, articles, and webinars have the longest bars here. These are the classic tools of lead nurturing: white papers, thought leadership articles, and webinars.
What have you seen as the greatest challenge of lead nurturing programs? On a scale of 1 to 5 with 5 being the most challenging. The answer that got the most responses: Developing targeted content for buyers for their stage and for their interest. 41% of respondents gave that a 5, the most challenging. Yes, developing content is one of the most challenging aspects of lead nurturing.
Here, we also see some interesting data that point out to me a misinterpretation of the best way to think about lead nurturing. The question they asked was: What have you seen as the greatest for lead nurturing programs? About 20% across the board gave this a 1, 2, 3, 4 or 5. I said early on this blog cast that we need to nurture those people that we do not know yet. So I think that you shouldn’t care at some level whether the buyers raise their hands or not. If they’re consuming their content, you’re building a relationship with them. Ultimately, you do want their email address, but if they’re consuming your content, you’re being effective in lead nurturing.
So here are 15 reasons to nurture your prospects, all of them are strong. There are probably 1,500 more.
How do you do this? What is the nurturing cycle? Well, there are eight activities in lead nurturing. Now those of you who are really smart have already counted the spaces on this diagram and said, “Oh there are only seven slices on this wheel.” Well, please stay with me, we’ll get there.
The first activity is Identify. You identify who you’re nurturing. At the low end, we’re using a spreadsheet or a stack of business cards. At the high end, we’re using a CRM like salesforce. We’re pulling people out and saying we think they’re ready for some lead nurturing based on path clues of behavior like their visit to our website, based on conversations we have in qualifying conversations, or in any other clue that we can gather.
The next stage, we Contact them. How do we reach out? Typically through email. At the low end, people that are not very sophisticated in nurturing are sending one email at a time, using an individual email address. At the high end, we’re doing this through marketing automation, using workflows to contact entire batches of people, all of whom are in the same stage and might be interested in the same content.
Implicit in that email is an offer, we’re Proposing something to them. What do we want them to do? We build the call to action. This the first of two calls to action in the lead nurturing cycle. The technology we use is… well there’s not much beyond the basics sort, which sounds like: “Hey, are you interested in what I have to say?” At the high end, we’re doing split testing, sometimes known as A/B testing. We’re varying the subject matter, we’re varying the content that we offer, or we’re varying the email. Subject, it can be any one of a number of things that we’re varying when we’re doing split testing with this third step.
When they click, they go somewhere. They go to the website, where we Deliver something? The low end is just home page, where they can read about us. At the high end, we’re offering them specific a conversion-focused landing page.
When they get there, this is when we Inform them; we give them something of value. At the low end, people that are not sophisticated in lead nurturing don’t have any valuable content. What they have is sales-focused messages. The high end, we’re giving them useful tailored content.
Alongside that content there is another Offer. This is the second call to action. What do we want them to do next? Typically most life sciences company wants us to call and buy something. That’s not very effective because people who are using your website, they’re not ready to buy. They’re ready to have a conversation, but they’re not ready to buy. So just asking them to contact us to buy something doesn’t often work. A better conversion is to get them to sign up to get emailed our steady stream of compelling, useful, magnetic content. As we do that, we also are doing progressive profiling where we ask for a little of information. And each time we ask for a little bit information, we expand what we know. The first time they come, we ask for their email address. If we already have their email address and marketing automation system, then the next time we’ll ask for their roles or their company size, or their industry sector.
The next activity: we’re Tracking their behavior. At the low end, we’re just using basic Google analytics, which can’t distinguish between individuals, at least not as well as we can when we use marketing automation programs to identify and track specific individuals.
So here are the seven basic activities, and people go round and round their cycle again and again.
What about the eighth activity? We Attract people to us. How do we bring people into the cycle? Maybe we’re entering people whose business card we picked off the floor of a trade show, or we come back from a meeting with a business card from a conversation, or we buy a list. These people at the high end are using search engine optimization to drive traffic to specific landing pages on our website where we’re using paper click ads to drive people to our website.
Now this last step: Attraction, is really lead generation, isn’t it? So this nurturing cycle is also the lead generating cycle. There are eight activities in lead nurturing and we take any one prospect around this cycle again and again, because the buying process can take a long time. We will customize this cycle based on their individual behavior and based on their individual needs.
When you look at the nurturing abilities that your team must have, there are three basic abilities that are required of your team. First, you have to have the ability to master and harness diverse technologies. Google analytics, marketing automation, CRM, emails, SEO, paper click, website, all of this diverse array of technology that your team has to be able to master to do lead nurturing well. Firms may have all the skill internally, or it’s okay to get that from outside.
Then, you have to have the ability to create compelling calls to action. This requires an understanding of psychology, an understanding of the pain points of your audiences, and an understanding of motivations.
And then finally you need the ability to create useful targeted content. As we saw earlier, this is the most challenging aspect. Most firms have trouble creating compelling useful targeted content. We must not only do it once, but do it on a routine basis; 3,000 of words a month is a typical target for adding unique magnetic content to your website.
In closing, what is lead nurturing. Nurturing is the process of building a relationship with our prospects, one that allows us to help them by guiding their transition from one stage in the buying cycle to another. It’s a process of building a relationship and we have to have a diverse set of skills to enable our team to build that relationship. And in doing so, we can guide people’s transition from one stage in the buying cycle to another.
In our next webinar, we’ll look at the evolution of lead nurturing (not the evolution over history, but the evolution of any one individual firm) because few firms are founded knowing exactly how to do lead nurturing. Organizations go through an evolution in their own lead nurturing process. And knowing where your firm is in that evolution will allow you to focus your efforts very specifically on what you need to do next. In our next webinar, we’ll give you the ability to answer the question: where is my organization, and what do we focus on to get to the next level?
As I mentioned at the top of this webcast, there is an assessment tinyurl.com/formaassessment that you can take to figure out how you’re doing with your sales and marketing efforts. Results will be emailed to you.
For more information on this topic, you can get a copy of this book. It’s available on amazon both in hard cover and as a kindle version. There are many white papers on our website at FormaLifeScienceMarketing.com/library. You can subscribe at /library/subscribe.
Thank you for your time. If there are any questions, I’ll be happy to entertain those now. Thank you so much for your time and attention today.
Moya: Awesome. Thank you so much David for that fantastic webinar. We do have some questions here for you. Before we begin responding to those question, I first wanna remind everyone that you can continue to submit any question using the ask the question widget at the bottom of your console, and we want to make sure that our webinars offer valuable content in the audience expectation. So please take a moment to rate the session using the survey widget which you see at the bottom of the console. Without further do, here’s our first question. Richard asks, “What are the three biggest mistakes organizations make in lead nurturing?”
David: That’s a great question, Richard. There are a lot of mistakes that organizations make. I guess the biggest one is the mistake that Johann made, not taking lead nurturing seriously. And then that’s closely followed by not devoting sufficient resources to it or not defining responsibilities clearly, that’s probably the third. The fourth is expecting instant results, “Hey, we did that white paper, why aren’t our sales up by 50%?” That’s not the way lead nurturing works, lead nurturing is the long play. As I said, the sale cycle in life sciences can be long, and therefore lead nurturing takes time to work. This can be tough to justify to a room of C-level executives who are impatiently tapping your feet and looking at their watches. If you find yourself in this type of situation, point to your competitors and their lead nurturing efforts. And if they’re doing lead nurturing, then it’s easy to make the argument that you should be doing lead nurturing.
Okay, next question?
Moya: Thank you David. We also have one more question here from Eve. Eve asks, “My organization is having exactly the trouble what you describe. We’re having trouble creating content. How can we kick start our effort and then maintain them?”
David: So if I understand the question, “We’re having trouble creating content. How can I get started, and then how can I maintain those efforts?” Eve, there are three big components of content creation. The first is resourcing. You need to devote the people and money to it. So I would be asking myself, is this a failure of will, or a failure of knowing what to do? If you find yourself in that situation, you need to do a competitive audit which is part of a larger audit. Show the results to your leadership team and enlist your salesforce to figure out what kind of questions your prospects have and how you can best answer those questions. The salesforce is a really important resource to turn to to discover what content you should create and how your content can be more compelling. Resourcing is one issue.
Then, knowing what content to create is another issue. The basic way to do that is to answer the questions that people have. And again, enlist your sales team to figure out what questions they get over and over and over, and create content to answer those questions.
The third big step is creating content and in doing this, you shouldn’t make the mistake many scientifically-based organizations make and hold your content to the same standards as a peer reviewed paper. Don’t get me wrong; peer reviewed papers are wonderful, they are how science advances, but they do not necessarily support how people buy. Peer reviewed papers are all about the detail. But when people buy, they need the big picture. If you can supply this to them, you can build a lot of trust in a hurry. And then you have to maintain these content creation efforts. You need to start, you need to document any wins that you have no matter how small they are, and you need to encourage people to take the long view.
Moya: Thank you very much David for answering those three questions. That’s the time we have; we do have to wrap up. Thanks to David again for educating us on lead nurturing today. As reminders, today’s webinar will be available on demand shortly, and we hope you guys will join us again in the future. I hope you all have a great day.
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