Manufacturers Use Evaluation Kits for Effective Lead Nurturing

Lead nurturing plays an important role in industrial lead generation programs because it is rare that an industrial sale is completed on the first call or the first visit to the manufacturer’s website.

Forrester, CSO Insights and Marketo reported that lead nurturing produced much better results. Here are some of the significant findings from their research studies:

  • Reduced the number of marketing-generated leads ignored by sales to as low as 25%
  • Raised win rates on marketing-generated leads by 7% and reduced “no decisions” by 6%
  • Helped 9% more sales reps make quota and shortened ramp up time of new ones by 10%

Still not convinced? Read my earlier post, “Lead Nurturing Is Not A Marketing Option, It’s A Sales Necessity.”

Lead nurturing is usually done by sending out helpful content to prospects and moves them from the top of the funnel (ToFU) to the bottom of the funnel (BoFU) where they are ready to make a purchase decision. Some refer to this as “drip marketing.”

Manufacturers find it difficult to produce good lead nurturing content. They are not quite sure what if anything they can create beyond case studies, product data sheets and application notes. Those are great but your customers are going to demand more than that if you sell to OEMs, system integrators and design engineers.

I have seen manufacturers use evaluation or engineering kits very effectively for lead nurturing. After the initial sign up and/or a free needs assessment analysis, qualified leads buy an evaluation kit at a low, introductory price or are given free engineering kits. Another option is Valve Sizing programs for valve manufacturers. Software as a Service (Saas) and technology companies use this lead nurturing tactic very effectively with their trial software.  Read my post “Industrial Marketing Content that Helps Buyers” for more ideas on creating content for lead nurturing.

This lead nurturing strategy is very effective because you save your customers valuable time in finding the right parts and speeding up their design, testing and new product introductions. Speed to market is a valuable competitive advantage in many industries.

OEMs, System Integrators and Design Engineers need more than product specifications, they need your actual products and components to plug into their designs and test their systems under real-world operating conditions. This is a key consideration for your customers and you because design wins lead to RFQs and production orders.

Manufacturers benefit by:

  • Viewed as a collaborative partner not just a vendor
  • Involved throughout the decision making process (just the position you want to be with lead nurturing)
  • Receive valuable feedback that can be used to improve and refine your industrial products
  • Use empirical results to evaluate performance against design parameters
  • Create valuable case studies from trials, especially useful if you are entering a new market

I see this as a, wait for the cliché – a win-win situation for the manufacturer and the customer. Are evaluation or engineering kits part of your lead gen and nurturing programs?

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