B2B Lead Nurturing: 3 Best Practices to Follow in 2024

Tips to ensure you are top-of-mind when you’re audience is ready to buy.

Ideas Collide
By Ideas Collide
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Successful B2B lead nurturing requires a precise and strategic approach. Yet achieving that strategy does not occur over night – it’s the result of a journey filled with experimentation, learning, and adjustment.

Conducted correctly, a lead nurturing strategy will improve audience engagement, lead quality, and marketing ROI, among other key marketing metrics.

At Ideas Collide, we specialize in tailoring custom solutions for brands of all sizes. We have a 17-year track record of successful collaboration with top brands like Banner Health, ASU, and Hewlett Packard and have had demonstrated success building and honing our lead generation and nurturing strategies.

Below, we will share our perspective on how to develop an effective, results-focused B2B lead nurturing program suited to your unique business needs.

But first, let’s cover the basics.

What Is B2B Lead Nurturing?

B2B lead nurturing is the process of building and fostering relationships with potential clients, or leads, who are not yet ready to purchase but could become customers in the future.

B2B lead nurturing focuses on guiding potential clients through their decision-making process and ensuring that when they’re ready to purchase, your brand is positioned as a top choice.

This process usually involves a combination of marketing and sales tactics such as:

  • Content. Content, the foundation of all marketing, means providing valuable, engaging, and relevant information such as blog posts, e-books, webinars, videos, and more.
  • Email Campaigns. Regular, targeted email campaigns keeps the audience engaged and nudges them along their pathway to purchase.
  • Segmentation. Segmenting the lead list based on criteria such as industry, role, and demographics can ensure content stays relevant to a group’s specific needs.
  • Lead Scoring. Assigning scores to leads based on criteria such as engagement behavior can help with lead qualification.
  • Personalization. Addressing leads by their name, recognizing their specific needs, and tailoring content to their interests has been shown to significantly improve engagement and marketing results.
  • Feedback Loops. Keeping communication open between marketing and sales teams ensures that the nurturing process stays optimized and productive.
  • Multi-Channel Approach. Today, it’s essential to engage potential clients across various platforms simultaneously, including both online and offline channels.
  • Consistency. It’s crucial to maintain regular contact with leads to establish your brand’s authority, build trust, and, ultimately, turn one-way marketing communications into a two- way sales conversation.

Why Response Time is Pivotal in B2B Lead Nurturing

In the competitive landscape of B2B marketing, fast response time is vital.

The time taken to respond to a lead can make or break a potential business deal. Here’s why response time holds such paramount importance:

The time taken to respond to a lead can make or break a potential business deal.

Rapid Cooling of Prospects

Leads can go cold astonishingly quickly.

A study from MIT revealed that companies using web-generated leads were over six times more likely to qualify that lead if they called during the first hour.

First Responder Advantage

The numbers vary depending who you ask, oft-cited research suggests that most customers purchase from business that responds first. Being the first to address a lead’s needs sets you ahead of competitors.

Customer Expectations

Today’s customers expect timely responses. Delays can affect a lead’s perception of your brand’s reliability, which can in turn affect their trust.

3 B2B Lead Nurturing Best Practices

Below, we will look at three specific ways you can enhance your lead nurturing strategy:

  • Improving response time
  • Building an effective content strategy
  • Embracing multi-channel marketing

Following these three best practices can help you build trust more quickly, improve alignment between marketing and sales, and ensure you meet your customers where they are in their digital journey.

1. Embracing Automation to Improve Response Time

In the ever-evolving digital era, a large portion of customer contacts occur online during off- hours. While businesses aim to cater to prospective customers around the clock, not every company can afford a 24/7 sales team.

This is where automation comes in. By automating responses, you can ensure all leads are plugged directly into your marketing funnel, regardless of when or how they contact you.

The Benefits of Automation for B2B Lead Nurturing

Addressing Off-Hour Contacts

The modern business world operates beyond the traditional 9-to-5. With many leads being generated outside those business hours, companies can lose a substantial portion of potential business simply due to timing.

Automation ensures that even when human agents are off the clock, leads are still being
responded to and plugged into your lead nurture program.

Budgetary Constraints

Sales and customers service teams cost money. Automating lead engagement activities, such as email interactions, meeting scheduling, and online customer service, can help cut costs while helping businesses maintain constant engagement.

Consistent User Experience

Automated response systems, such as email autoresponders, web chatbots, and automated messaging systems, ensure that every lead receives a consistent response and experience. Used correctly, automation doesn’t have to mean a loss of personal touch. Modern automation tools can tailor responses and engagements based on behavior and data.

Example: Oktopost’s Lead Nurturing Evolution with Automation

Before Automation
  • Misalignment between sales and marketing. Oktopost, like many other B2B companies, had challenges aligning their sales and marketing teams. This lack of alignment meant that leads weren’t being nurtured as effectively as they could have been, which led to missed conversion opportunities.
  • Manual lead scoring. The team at Oktopost had to manually assess and prioritize leads, which was both time-consuming and error-prone. This could result in high-quality leads being overlooked or low-quality leads being given undue attention.
  • Delayed response time. Without automation, there was a greater chance that leads
    would be left waiting for responses, especially during non-business hours. These delays
    diminished the likelihood of conversions, since, as mentioned, customers and
    prospective customers typically expect quick engagement.
The Automation Solution

Oktopost decided to streamline their lead nurturing process by implementing a zero-touch strategy with Marketo Engage automation. This decision brought about several changes:

  • Intelligent lead scoring. With automation, Oktopost could now score leads based on predefined criteria like online behavior, engagement metrics, and demographic details. This ensured that sales reps spent their time on the most promising leads.
  • Multi-channel lead nurturing campaigns. Automation enabled Oktopost to seamlessly nurture leads across multiple platforms and touchpoints. If a lead engaged with content on social media, they could instantly be funneled into a nurturing email campaign, enhancing the chances of conversion.
  • Consistent engagement. Even outside business hours, automation tools kept the engagement alive. Automatic responses, follow-up emails, and personalized content were delivered promptly, ensuring that leads always felt attended to.
The Outcome

The results of Oktopost’s shift to automation were clear and impressive:

  • Boosted lead-to-conversion rates. A notable 15% increase in conversion rates was
    achieved, showing that more leads were turning into paying customers.
  • Enhanced efficiency. With automation, campaign creation and execution became faster, which allowed the marketing team to spend more time on strategy and content creation.
  • Increased win rates. With quicker response times, personalized engagement, and consistent follow-ups, Oktopost was able to win over more leads than before.

Oktopost’s journey underscores the transformative power of automation in B2B lead nurturing. They moved from a manual, misaligned process to a streamlined, efficient, and highly effective automated system, which improved conversion rates, freed up resources, and enabled them to focus more energy on growth and innovation.

2. Developing an Effective Content Strategy

B2B purchase decisions not only take place over long sales cycles, they often involve multiple decision-makers with varying interests and priorities, so it is important to develop a content strategy that addresses these different personas.

By segmenting the target audience, addressing specific questions and pain points, and catering to different stages of awareness, it is possible to craft a content strategy that resonates deeplyand drives action.

Understanding the Audience

B2B buying decisions often involve a committee that includes different roles, each with its own interests, challenges, and concerns. Start off by understand the challenges each segment faces. For instance:

  • Executives might wonder how a solution will drive the business forward
  • Technical evaluators could be concerned with how well the solution will integrate with
    the existing tech stack
  • Procurement teams will be concerned about issues such as costs, procurement
    timelines, and vendor relationships

By creating content that directly answers these questions, you’re effectively speaking to their needs.

Segmenting the Audience

Here is one example of a decision-making committee and areas to address:

  • Executives. Focus on the broader business benefits, ROI, and long-term vision.
  • Technical evaluators. Offer insights into integrations, security features, and technical specifications.
  • Procurement teams. Discuss pricing, package options, and value propositions.

Catering to Different Stages of Awareness

Prospective clients will be at different stages in the buyer’s journey – they may be researching their problem, evaluating ways to solve that problem, or comparing costs and features of specific solutions. To ensure that messages are relevant, it is crucial to tailor content to each stage of that journey:

  • Awareness. Here, potential leads are recognizing a problem. Provide educational content such as blog posts and articles to help them understand their challenges better.
  • Consideration. At this stage, prospects are evaluating solutions. Offer comparison guides, webinars, and ebooks to showcase your solution’s value.
  • Decision. Decision-makers are now ready to make a choice. Case studies, whitepapers, datasheets, and detailed product demonstrations can differentiate your solution from the competition’s and help drive action.
Leveraging Automation in Content Marketing

Automation tools can be used to publish content across multiple platforms and ensure that your target audience sees your message. Such tools not only streamline content distribution but also offer insights into what content resonates best.

Example: Diving Deeper into Groove’s Onboarding Campaign

By transforming their content strategy, Groove was able to improve their conversion rates, brand reputation, and users’ confidence in their product.

The Transformation with the New Content Strategy
  • Setting expectations upfront. By informing new trial users that they would be receiving a series of emails right at the outset, Groove set clear expectations. This transparency fostered trust and made users more receptive to subsequent communications.
  • Tailored user experience. Instead of generic emails, Groove’s campaign began
    addressing individual users’ needs and queries. Personalization can be a game-changer as it shows users that a company recognizes and values their unique challenges and requirements.
  • Active engagement. Groove’s campaign turned passive users into active participants in the onboarding process. By providing them with content that was relevant and timely, users were guided through the platform’s features, leading to a more immersive and enriching experience.
  • Graphical representation. By visually mapping out the onboarding process, Groove allowed users to know what to expect at each stage. Visual representations can simplify complex processes, making them more accessible and understandable.
The Results
  1. Increased user confidence. By understanding the software better and knowing how to harness its features effectively, users became more confident in the product’s
    capabilities and its value proposition.
  2. Enhanced brand perception. An efficient and tailored onboarding process can significantly enhance how users perceive a brand. It signals professionalism, user-
    centricity, and dedication to customer success.
  3. Higher conversion rates. The ultimate testament to the strategy’s success was the significant increase in the number of trial users converting to paid customers. While exact numbers aren’t disclosed, the positive shift underscores the strategy’s

3. Embracing a Multichannel Approach

Today’s customers use a variety of devices and digital channels to perform product research and engage with brands, so it is important to create a consistent brand experience and engage with them on their terms, regardless of which device, platform, or channel they are using.

Key Channels to Consider in B2B Lead Nurturing

While some marketers may use “multichannel” or “omnichannel” to mean digital channels, they can also include offline marketing approaches. For instance, marketing channels can include:

  • SEO. Optimization for search engines to improve organic reach.
  • PPC. Pay-per-click advertising to capture high-intent leads.
  • Outreach. Targeted and personalized engagement with potential leads.
  • Social Media. Leveraging platforms like LinkedIn to engage with professionals.
  • Print media. Offline print advertising, magazines, newspapers, and even books.
  • PR. Strategic public relations to enhance brand image.
  • Events. Hosting or attending industry events for networking and relationship building.
  • Offers. Providing special offers or incentives to entice conversion.
The Challenges of a Multichannel Approach

Multichannel marketing is essential in today’s world, but it is not without challenges:

  • Coordination. Ensuring a consistent message and brand voice across multiple channels requires oversight and, in many cases, the coordination of multiple teams.
  • Resource Allocation. Managing multiple channels requires careful allocation of resources, such as time, personnel, and budget.
  • Data integration. Gathering and analyzing data from multiple channels to gain a unified view can also be complex, requiring, for instance, specialized software and the integration of several data sources.
The Benefits of a Multichannel Approach

Despite the increased complexity of multichannel marketing, it offers major advantages in the modern business world – and, since most companies are engaged in multichannel marketing, it is essential to staying competitive.

A few benefits of the multichannel approach include:

  • Increased reach. You can engage with more prospects across a wider expanse of real estate.
  • Personalized experience. Your messages and offers can be tailored based on the channel and audience segment.
  • Enhanced engagement. Engaging customers across channels and on their preferred platforms can increase engagement and the results of your lead nurturing efforts.
  • Robust analytics. Using multiple channels provides a more comprehensive view of customer behavior and preferences.
Example: Belkins’ Multi-Channel Lead Nurturing Strategy

Belkins, a lead generation service provider, shifted from a single-channel focus to a holistic multichannel approach, which increased their reach, conversion rates, and marketing results.

Before the Change

Prior to adopting their multichannel lead nurturing strategy, Belkins had a narrow marketing mix:

  • Primary focus on cold email outreach. While effective to an extent, relying predominantly on cold email outreach limited Belkins’ reach, which could lead to missed opportunities on other platforms.
  • Limited multichannel presence. Belkins had a presence on channels like PPC, SEO, and social media, but these operated in silos, which led to disjointed messaging and poor data quality.

The Transformation

Belkins made several major changes to their approach, both by expanding and integrating the digital channels they used:

  • Integrated multichannel strategy. Recognizing the limitations of their siloed approach, Belkins integrated their channels to ensure consistent messaging, branding, and goals across them.
  • Holistic content strategy. Beyond cold email outreach, Belkins began leveraging diverse content types like case studies, e-books, and data-driven research across platforms. This allowed them to target prospects based on their preferences, engagement history, and stage in the buying journey.
  • Emphasis on SEO. Belkins bolstered its SEO efforts to ensure their content reached professionals organically.
  • Leveraging PPC. They intensified their PPC campaigns and targeted high-intent keywords to capture leads actively looking for their services.
  • Social media engagement. Recognizing the power of platforms like LinkedIn for B2B engagement, Belkins increased their activity on social media, sharing valuable insights, joining discussions, and connecting with potential leads directly.
  • Enhanced analytics and reporting. Belkins invested in analytics tools and processes to gain a unified view of their lead nurturing efforts, which, in turn, allowed for more agile decision-making and real-time optimization.

The Results

Though they clearly invested heavily in the overhaul of their marketing strategy, their efforts paid off. The benefits of their new approach included:

  • Wider reach and engagement. With a presence across multiple channels, Belkins was able to reach a broader audience, including those they had previously missed.
  • Higher conversion rates. By tailoring their messages based on channel and audience segment, they improved engagement and conversion rates.
  • Improved marketing ROI. One of the standout successes from their revamped strategy was the GoHealth campaign. Through a combination of channels, including cold email outreach, SEO, PPC, and social media, Belkins landed over 376 appointments for GoHealth, each averaging a deal size of $100,000.


B2B lead nurturing forms an essential part of any B2B marketing program. With the right strategies and tactics, it is possible to get better results from your marketing spend, improve lead quality, generate more sales, and even build better customer relationships.

The best practices we have covered in this article show a few key ways you can get more from your marketing dollar:

  • Automation can reduce costs and increase engagement by enabling consistent, fast responses anytime, through any channel
  • Content strategy improves engagement by ensuring your message is relevant to all members of your target audience
  • Multichannel marketing maximizes your reach and ensures you stay in touch with audiences across platforms

Together, these three best practices can help you improve the outcomes of your B2B lead nurturing efforts.

By automating responses, you can ensure all leads are plugged directly into your marketing funnel, regardless of when or how they contact you.

By creating content that directly answers these questions, you’re effectively speaking to their needs.

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