Monday, February 23, 2009

Voxify: Rejuvenating Dead Leads through Nurturing

The merits of lead nurturing are hard to underestimate. Especially in challenging economic times, it is extremely wasteful to have a leaky funnel that you spend great effort and resources on getting potential buyers into the top of, only to have them leak out the side. More often than not, this is due to mismatches between buyer timing and the handoff to your sales team.

In writing Digital Body Language I had the pleasure of speaking with Hollis Chin and the team at Voxify who had one of the best examples I had seen of using lead nurturing to generate tremendous value from a set of leads that had been discarded as dead leads.

Enjoy the case study:

Voxify: Rejuvenating Dead Leads through Nurturing

Voxify is a provider of powerful speech applications for contact centers in retail, travel, hospitality, entertainment, financial services, and healthcare. Its complex sales cycle can often stretch 12-18 months, which makes it a challenge to align sales resources with leads. At one point, more than 3,000 leads sat idle – leads that could potentially buy Voxify’s software.

Without a structured follow-up system, Voxify was wasting opportunity. If a lead was not ready to buy at the time of initial contact, the lead was recycled; however there was not a process to ensure further communication. Given the length of the sales cycle, and the type of internal project that would drive the need for Voxify’s solutions, this meant that many valid – but early – leads were leaking out of the funnel.

The breadth of Voxify’s target markets, combined with the range of possible solutions, meant the company employed a broad matrix of messaging to ensure relevance with the prospect. A matrix of 26 separate industry and education topics was created with each topic adding value to each unique buyer type and stage in the buying process. An automated nurture campaign kept this messaging in front of the “cooler” leads to maintain their interest level and watch for signs of changes to buying behavior as the messaging evolved from “why speech applications” through to “why Voxify”.

Within six months, the so-called “cooler” leads became the largest source of conversion for new sales opportunities. The campaign created 1,500 responses and enabled more than 400 companies to re-engage with the sales force. The nurture campaign also allowed the sales team to better understand whether the prospect was more interested in a specific vertical application such as a flight check-in system, or in a horizontal application such as a generic routing agent, and cater their conversation accordingly. By keeping relevant, topical messaging in front of prospective buyers, without overtly selling, Voxify identified and acted on buying interest when it arose.
Many of the topics on this blog are discussed in more detail in my book Digital Body Language
In my day job, I am with Eloqua, the marketing automation software used by the worlds best marketers
Come talk with me or one of my colleagues at a live event, or join in on a webinar


Gary said...

Lead Nurture is topic I hear every day when I talk to people - and I talk and listen to alot of people. The efficiency gains of automating lead nurture processes is simply huge, especially in this BS economy. Companies and marketers simply can't afford to turn their marketing engines down or off. With all the cut backs everyone is experiencing Marketing Depts. are hit first and hard - they're exposed like sitting ducks to a duck hunter. This is the time and opportunity for smart marketers to shine and show they're true worth and value to sales....

* People are hitting your web site.
* Stale contacts are in your CRM and haven't been touched for a while.
* Leads that have been generated this past year from your great events aren't being worked because you've had turn-over in the sales dept.
* People simply aren't ready to buy today

The investment in a platform to automate your nurturing processes is a wise investment. The head of sales will love it, the CFO will love the efficiency gains, your prospects will appreciate it and it will give your customers the confidence that you are alive and thriving during these difficult times. It may even save your job...

- Gary McGrath