When it comes to growing your business, it’s easy to focus all your energy on closing sales with the 4% of prospects who are ready to buy right now. But what about the other 96% who aren’t quite there yet? They may not be ready to commit today, but with the right nurturing and follow-up, they could become your most valuable customers in the future. That’s where building a pipeline of future business comes in.

Understanding the buyer’s journey 

To effectively plan for the 96% who need more time, it’s essential to understand the buyer’s journey. This is the process that your potential customers go through as they become aware of their problem, consider their options, and ultimately make a purchasing decision.

The buyer’s journey typically includes three stages:

  1. Awareness: The buyer realises they have a problem or need and starts researching potential solutions.
  2. Consideration: The buyer evaluates different options and compares them based on factors like price, features, and benefits.
  3. Decision: The buyer chooses a solution and makes a purchase.

While the 4% of prospects who are ready to buy are already in the decision stage, the other 96% are still in the awareness or consideration stages. They need more information, education, and nurturing before they’re ready to make a purchase.

The power of lead nurturing 

Lead nurturing is the process of building relationships with potential customers over time, providing them with valuable information and resources that help them move through the buyer’s journey. By staying top-of-mind and consistently delivering value, you can build trust and credibility with your leads, making them more likely to choose your business when they’re ready to buy.

Some effective lead nurturing tactics include:

  • Email marketing: Sending targeted, personalised emails with valuable content and offers based on the lead’s interests and behaviour.
  • Content marketing: Creating blog posts, ebooks, whitepapers, and other resources that educate and inform your leads about their problem and potential solutions.
  • Social media: Engaging with your leads on social media platforms, sharing helpful content, and building relationships over time.
  • Retargeting: Using online advertising to reach leads who have already interacted with your website or content, keeping your business top-of-mind as they consider their options.

By implementing a strategic lead nurturing plan, you can build a pipeline of future business that will pay off in the long run.

Creating a follow-up system 

In addition to lead nurturing, it’s crucial to have a system in place for following up with leads who have shown interest in your business but haven’t yet made a purchase. This could include leads who have:

  • Filled out a contact form on your website
  • Downloaded a lead magnet or other resource
  • Attended a webinar or event
  • Engaged with your content on social media

Create a follow-up plan that includes a mix of personalised emails, phone calls, and other touchpoints to keep the conversation going and guide the lead towards a sale. Use a customer relationship management (CRM) tool to keep track of your leads and ensure that no one falls through the cracks.

Measuring and optimising your pipeline 

As you build your pipeline of future business, it’s essential to track your progress and optimise your efforts over time. Use metrics like:

  • Lead-to-customer conversion rate
  • Average time to conversion
  • Customer lifetime value
  • Return on investment (ROI) of lead nurturing and follow-up efforts

By regularly reviewing these metrics and making data-driven adjustments to your strategy, you can continually improve your pipeline and generate more long-term business.

Nurturing your future success 

Building a pipeline of future business is essential for the long-term growth and success of your company. By planning for the 96% of prospects who need more time and nurturing them through the buyer’s journey, you can create a steady stream of qualified leads and loyal customers.

If you need help creating a strategic lead nurturing and follow-up plan, consider partnering with a web design agency like Sites That Convert. Our team of expert marketers can help you understand your buyer’s journey, create valuable content and offers, and design a website that supports your lead generation efforts. Let us help you build a pipeline of future business that will take your company to new heights.