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By and large, marketers have mastered acquiring high-quality leads, but they strike out when it comes to nurturing them.

Despite having the ability to contact 92 percent of leads, Forbes’ research shows that brands touch base with only a quarter of them.

Lead Nurturing Stats for Marketers

When they do reach out, often it’s too slowly. Forbes reports that 71 percent of generated leads spoil because companies don’t react soon enough.

Fight the urge to point a finger at the sales department. Pinterest’s Head of Partner Marketing Steve Patrizi says a majority of the sales funnel belongs to marketers.

From top of the funnel to the bottom, here are a handful of lead nurturing stats and what they mean to marketers:

1. Automation drives leads

Need more leads? Businesses that use marketing automation to nurture prospects see a 451 percent increase in the number of qualified leads.

What it means: Automation is a must. Not only does automation deliver the right content at the right time, it’s a foolproof way to ensure that every prospect gets nurtured.

Want to get more leads? Download Vocus’ free Do Marketing Automation Better guide now!

2. Leads not prepared to buy

In 2010, Gleanster reported that between 30 and 50 percent of the leads that enter a pipeline are better for future opportunities than current ones.

Relating to that, MarketingSherpa reports that 61 percent of B2B marketers send all leads directly to sales.

What it means: In general, sales departments perform best in the short game. The stats above indicate that marketers don’t deliver the leads sales are best at closing. Lend them a helping hand.

Score your leads and send the closest to conversion to sales. For the rest, nurture them to the point where they need a salesperson. Establishing your business as a trusted resource and maintaining an open dialogue is the best way to do this.

3. Sales cycles lengthening

For 43 percent of B2Bs, the time it takes to go from attraction to conversion has increased. (A SiriusDecisions study reportedly shows that the sales cycle has increased 22 percent.)

What it means: Shrinking budgets and more decision-makers from more departments are at least partially responsible for the numbers above.

Though the former may be something for the sales team to tackle, overcoming the latter requires understanding the needs of each person in the decision-making process and providing content that answers those needs.

Customers rarely move along a path to purchase that marketers dictate. Tracking customers and finding where they abandon that path shows which content works, which falls short and how to adjust accordingly.

4. Different content for different stages

Roughly three of every four of your customers want different pieces of content as they move through the sales cycle.

What it means: Meet the demand by diversifying your content. Identify the types of information your customers need at each point in the marketing funnel. Then determine the best platform for addressing your customers’ needs, whether it’s a blog post, webinar, white paper, newsletter or video.

Bonus stat: Email is a go-to tool for providing information. Targeted emails drive 18 times more revenue than non-targeted ones. 

Lead Nurturing Stats - Content

Customizing content to a prospect’s position in the sales cycle helps nurture them. (Via Salesforce)

5. Jumpstart stalled prospects

Often, it’s easier for prospects to do nothing instead of making a purchase. In fact, nearly three in five sales opportunities end with buyers doing nothing.

What it means: Customers may not realize they have an issue or how serious it really is. Identify your prospects pain points, show how your product provides great ROI and differentiate yourself from the competition.


The happy ending? Despite requiring more time and effort, nurtured leads deliver big rewards.

Companies that nurture leads well generate 50 percent more sales at a 33 percent lower cost.


Image: DellCloudApplications (Creative Commons)