ten tips to hold onto your warm leads
ten tips to hold onto your warm leads

According to Hubspot, the average B2B sales cycle is 84 days, and you’ll need at least 18 touches to convert a lead. That’s a long time to wait. And these numbers only increase with new leads or enterprise products with high-ticket sales.

Because of the extended timeline, a lot of SDRs end up getting ghosted or losing their contacts to job changes. So, when you do score a warm lead, keeping them engaged throughout the sales cycle will boost your chances of closing the deal.

But how do you keep a lead from going cold when your sales cycle can take months to come full circle?

In this article, we share 10 tips from sales experts you can use to make sure your leads stay warm and how to re-engage them if they’ve started to turn cold.

10 proven tips for nurturing warm leads

10 expert tips for nurturing warm leads

Lead nurturing is key to building a strong relationship with your prospect. It’s not just about making a sale but making the effort to understand your prospect's needs. As an added bonus, these insights can help you personalize the sales experience and shorten the sales cycle.

We asked sales professionals about how they’ve kept their warm leads engaged throughout the sales cycle and practical ways to re-engage cold leads. Here’s what they had to share.

1. Follow up with an email

Thoughtful emails are a great way to keep the connection between you and your warm lead alive. Life happens, and various factors can distract your lead during the sales cycle. Following up can be helpful on both ends — it keeps you top of mind with the prospect and you can find out what they need to move on to the next stage.

If you’re concerned about spamming them, keep in mind that not all emails are spam. Here’s how to follow up without coming off as spammy:

  • Use a mutual action plan

A mutual action plan is a document that outlines all the steps that need to be taken by the sales team and prospect until the deal is closed. It sets clear expectations for both parties and ensures you are aligned on jobs to be done during the sales process.

"From day one, I seek to create a MAP (Mutual Action Plan) for success to help prospects/buyers reach their success goals. Creating this MAP early allows for touchpoints that prioritize alignment beyond simple check-ins," says Gabrielle Reyson, Senior Account Development Representative at UserGems.

  • Use nurture sequences

Nurture sequences are a series of emails sent to a lead to keep them engaged. They can include information about your product or customer success stories.

Noah Bastien, Senior ADR at UserGems, is a big fan of using nurture sequences to keep leads engaged. “Periodically sending over useful emails or blog posts helps to make sure they don’t forget about what you have to offer.” 

Max Benz, Founder of BankingGeek, adds that automated nurture campaigns allow all leads to receive the same level of attention and consistency. “This way, if someone isn't ready to buy right away, they won't forget about us when they are ready.”

  • Personalize your emails

Personalization differentiates emails from spam. So, what you share in your email should be helpful to your leads. “I call, text, or email my leads with interesting content that applies to their role and the company's main goals. And share non-generic case studies that fit their business. You also can't go wrong with a well-timed funny gif,” says Prince Anyanwu, Enterprise SDR at TigerGraph.

Here's a sample warm lead email template from Noah of UserGems:

2. Reach out with a phone call

Using multiple means of communication helps to build your connection with a lead, and phone calls shouldn’t be overlooked. According to a Crunchbase survey, 57% of C-level buyers prefer to be contacted via phone.

In fact, 44% of sales professionals say phone calls are their most effective channel for remote selling. This makes sense because phone calls are personal and interactive. Your leads can share their concerns and get a response on the spot. And if you need to have another conversation, you can easily secure their permission for a follow-up call or email.

Here's a warm lead call script the UserGems ADR team uses:

Hi {first name} this is {SDR} at {company name} - don’t worry, this is not a sales call.

[pause to make sure that settles in]

You recently {requested more information/signed up for our newsletter/etc} so first I wanted to make sure that you received {requested content} at {their email address}.

[wait for confirmation - if not found have them check their spam folder and mark it “not spam”]

That’s great!  Also just wanted to spend a couple of minutes to understand better your interest in {information} in case I have more content of value that I can share with you.  Do you have 2 minutes to continue?

[If yes]

Really appreciate the time {first name}, so what sparked your interest?

[If no]

Sorry to have caught you at a bad time, but thanks for confirming that you got what you were looking for.  Would it be ok if I sent over content that I come across on the same topic?

3. Share case studies and testimonials

Case studies and testimonials are proof of how your products work and the results they bring for your customers. They play a key role in driving demand for your product so your leads can enjoy the same results. 

Share case studies with similar use cases for your warm lead’s business to make it more relatable. For example, if your client is in the banking industry, sharing a case study of a customer with a similar challenge in the same industry can help to move the needle. This is because people will connect with real-life examples faster than an abstract idea of how you can help them.

It’s also a nice way to show leads that you care about their business goals. “Letting them know, in the aforementioned way, that you are thinking of them as more than an opportunity helps a lot,” says Rhonda Alexander, Market Development Rep at DocuSign

“When they know or feel that you care about more than making a buck, and you honestly care about the relationship, that goes a long way towards flipping a ‘warm’ lead into a ‘piping hot’ lead when the time is right.”

4. Multi-thread

Sales multithreading refers to building relationships with multiple stakeholders — decision makers, champions, and influencers — at your target account. This minimizes your chances of losing a lead since there are other people involved in the sales process. In fact, your chances of closing an account jump to 30% when you apply sales multithreading techniques.

  • Revive a warm lead through industry peers

Sebastian Igla, Head of Sales at QikChat, applied multi-threading to re-engage a warm lead whose level of engagement dropped. “We tried reaching out to the lead via email and phone, but they did not respond,” says Sebastian. “To revive the connection, we decided to change our approach. Instead of reaching out to the lead directly, we decided to reach out to the lead's industry peers and ask for an introduction. Through this approach, we were able to re-establish contact with the lead and move the sales process forward.”

  • Find key decision makers in your target account

Reaching out to peers was effective, but you can ramp up your chances even more by connecting to other decision makers within the account. With a pipeline generation tool like UserGems, you can generate warm leads and surface other decision-makers in the account that can champion your product and shorten the sales cycle.

  • Track past customers and prospects’ job changes

Another multithreading technique often overlooked is tracking job changes of your past customers and prospects. 

A past prospect or customer in a target account can champion your product within a company. They’re also qualified warm leads, which shortens the sales cycle because you don’t need to convince them of the value of your product cycle. 

Revenue teams often overlook this strategy because the manual process of tracking these leads is tedious and overwhelming. But you can automate tracking job changes and generate leads that are 3x likely to buy with UserGems.

The revenue team at Cobalt, a UserGems customer, generated warm leads that increased their ROI to 18X by tracking job change triggers. 

“I’ll take quality over volume any day. And the quality and conversion rate of a UserGems lead is way higher than that of a content syndication program or an outsourced BDR program. Content syndication helps fill out our database in terms of people to nurture, but the conversion doesn’t always play out,” says Clare Corriveau, Director of Demand Generation at Cobalt. “And UserGems puts a nice warm lead who’s open to having a conversation for a BDR. Our BDRs are happy. I look forward to the first week of every month because it’s the UserGems day.”

5. Keep in touch on social media

Social media is an essential touch point for your warm leads, and it can be done organically or through personalized ads. For example, engage with warm leads on their posts and provide useful insights where necessary. Or launch a retargeting ad campaign to stay top of mind on their favorite social platform. Their social media accounts can also provide you with great points to leverage in your next meeting. 

James Urie, Senior Partnerships Manager at Close, recommends engaging with leads on LinkedIn to improve your response rate. “Connect with leads on LinkedIn — like, and comment on their posts (if they have any), or DM the lead on LinkedIn with a short question. Liking and commenting consistently on their posts before you DM them will help warm up that DM message for a higher response rate.”

And with paid ads on social media, you can target warm leads with content that speaks to where they are in the sales cycle. For example, if they are still learning about your brand, you can target them with customer stories or product marketing videos.

6. Offer a demo 

A demo helps to bridge the gap between what you’ve said your product can do and getting a firsthand experience for your client. Where a case study serves as social proof, a demo can show a warm lead if the product is right for them based on ease of use and time to value. They also get to experience the “magic” of your product — especially when it’s an interactive demo.

A demo also minimizes the risk of overwhelming your clients with too much information. “In today’s buying environment, many of our clients experience information overload and buyer’s fatigue,” says Carley Congdon, Sales Manager at Team Building. “We diversify our communications by using email, calls, text messages, virtual meetings, and live demos so that our clients are motivated to engage with us.”

7. Create relevant content 

Engage your warm leads with relevant content that’s personalized to their needs.  “Leads can go cold if the only engagements are sales calls and demos,” says Joe Kevens, founder of B2BSaaS Reviews. “Invite your leads to webinars and customer roundtables and send them relevant case studies and how-to guides to keep them warm. Your leads may even thank you for it because this content helps them too.”

Here’s how to make sure your content always hits the right spot:

  • Understand your target audience

Chris Cicconi, Director of Business Development at Replicant, notes that understanding your prospect and what’s important to them is key to keeping leads warm. 

“Some folks are into learning and will be very gung ho to attend events and webinars or receive content. Others care more about the relationship, and a few well-timed calls, emails, or videos could be worthwhile. Those types of folks can even appreciate being on a text message basis, while others would hate to receive something like that.”

  • Focus on providing value

Carley Congdon advises focusing on providing value to clients through your content rather than making sales. 

“We encourage our team members to act as resources to their clients. This step gives our clients the support they need during their buying process without feeling the pressure to act before they are ready. We find that this approach keeps clients engaged with us even if they are not a ‘hot lead’ ready to buy right away.”

8. Use personalized videos

In a Hubspot survey, 36% of marketers revealed that video content drives more engagement than other types of marketing. It’s an easy channel to showcase your product in creative ways that trigger interest.

For example, you can embed personalized video messages in emails as an alternative means of introducing yourself to a warm lead. Your personality will shine through, helping to build a connection with the client. 

James Urie at Close recommends using platforms like Loom or Sendspark to send personalized videos via email. Here’s his suggestion to get your lead to engage with a video.

“When recording a video, make sure your shared screen is on the lead’s LinkedIn profile or website. Record your relevant video message and embed the video within your email outreach. Your lead will click the email, see the embedded email with their LinkedIn profile or website on the thumbnail and be far more likely to view the video and reply. You'll also get a notification that they watched the video, so you can reply when they’ve engaged with your video."

9. Add a human touch to your tech stack

Using B2B lead generation tools will help you scale sales activities, but adding a human touch to your tech stack can help keep your leads warm. 

“While marketing automation is a powerful tool to help streamline your sales process, it can be set up to overcomplicate things and lead to missed opportunities,” says Matthew Ramirez, founder of Rephrasely.

“When trying to keep leads warm, it’s important to use marketing automation strategically. For example, you might use your marketing automation to send a welcome email to new leads, but you also want to ensure you follow up with them quickly after they fill out a form or respond to a social media post. You can use your marketing automation to set up a series of follow-up emails or even a phone call, but make sure you’re also reaching out manually to warm leads.”

10. Streamline your sales process

The more complex your sales process, the more likely a lead will go cold. Time kills deals, so making your sales process easy and straightforward can improve your win rate. 

“We have streamlined our sales process so that working with us is easy,” says Carley Congdon at Team Building. “We encourage our Client Advisors to remove the “fluff” in their communications and set clear next steps for our clients. This allows our customers to quickly get the information they need with minimal effort on their end, meaning that they are more likely to respond to us throughout the sales process.”

Keep your leads warm until they convert

Warm leads are quality leads that have already shown interest in your product. Generating them is hard enough without having to lose them to ghosting or a complex sales process.

Thoughtfully following up with your leads, sharing relevant content, using multiple communication channels, streamlining the sales process and multithreading key contacts in your target account are some practical ways to keep them engaged — and prevent them from going cold. 

If you’re finding it challenging to generate a steady stream of warm leads, check out our self-guided demo to see how UserGems can relieve your team of pipeline anxiety.

Why UserGems

UserGems is a pipeline generation software that helps revenue teams generate and protect revenue efficiently. With UserGems, companies can track and automate outreach when their champions change their jobs, and capture the buying groups to find the warmest path into every account.

Companies like Mimecast, Greenhouse, Medallia use UserGems to reach their revenue goals, quickly and efficiently.

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