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Healthy HabitsNot everyone who fills out a form, attends a webinar or clicks through on one of your emails should be passed to sales.  Marketers have to evaluate buyer fit (Do they map to your ideal customer profile?) and buyer behavior (Have they shown interest in what you sell?).

What constitutes buyer fit and intent differs for every company. Lead scoring makes evaluation scalable and automated so the ready prospects go to sales, and others get nurtured. But even with scoring and nurturing today, you should have a follow-up formula. That next touch can help advance leads to the next stage.

Here are 5 lead conversion tips to do just that.

1. Know Your Buyer
The way you follow up with a lead can, and should, vary dramatically for prospects at different stages of the buying process. A new contact that registers for a webinar should get a different follow-up email than someone who is already talking to sales.

Tip: Use batch signatures when following up with contacts from events and webinars. This allows you to start a one-to-one dialog. The sender for open opportunities could be the rep they’re already doing business with and customers can get their communications from their account manager.

2. Know Your Goal
Only have four fields of data on your prospect and need more detail to score and route them?  Are you trying to understand buyer intent so you can drive them to a specific asset? Having a firm handle on what you’re trying to achieve will dictate tone and call to action.

Tip: Progressive profiling is a great way to collect additional data without increasing friction.  But you might consider if gating the asset on a follow up email is worthwhile. If understanding buyer fit and intent is your primary goal, then a second form can help. Consider how progressive profiling or gating maps to your nurture strategy.

3. Share Your Follow Up
If you’re using batch signatures or if your sales team is following up directly with leads from a certain program, make sure they know the follow up campaign.  This will help you avoid bumping into each other and that reps know the context.

Tip: Work lock step with the sales team to avoid unnecessary collisions.  The sales team should understand your lead management processes and what part of lead conversion marketing controls. This will help them engage the right people.

4. Follow the Golden Rule
The Golden Rule in marketing is relevance.  Take the time to customize your follow-up emails. Customize your form auto responders to match any search or display campaigns. That little bit of contextual relevance can go a long way.

Tip: Mention the name of the asset they downloaded, or the webinar or event they attended. Provide additional assets in your follow up that are relevant to that topic.  Think of how recommends stuff based on past purchase history.

5. Respect the Buyer’s Journey
In B2B sales, it’s hard to find any two buying processes that look exactly alike. Unpacking past wins can help divine trends in the buying process and automate the delivery of key content.