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Our tried & tested nurture cadences to win back prospects

  • Nov 15, 2023
  • 4 minutes

As a sales industry, we’ve been lazy in how we approach prospect nurturing in the past.

We didn’t realize just how lucky we were, with too many opportunities around the corner, quickly replacing the ones that were leaving the pipeline. We focused too much on the targets to be met this month, without looking ahead to the targets that needed to be hit around the corner. 

Short-term thinking led to laziness around forward-filling the pipeline and nurturing lost or tricky prospects.

Looking back now with 20-20 hindsight, I see that these ‘lost’ prospects in our CRM are a gold mine.

Branded simply as ‘nurture’ and left to slowly slip into the ether, these are individuals who know your brand, have engaged with individuals in your team, and have shown an active interest. You have insight into their needs, goals, structure and they may have got close to buying from you. 

At best, they’ll have been stuck into an automated email nurture sequence and left to inevitably unsubscribe.

All because we threw our toys out of the pram when we didn’t get the sale we wanted.

But I believe we can and should do better with these prospects. 

Firstly, because they deserve better. 

After all, we all know how difficult it is to get someone’s attention and start a relationship from scratch, so why not make the best of the relationships we’ve already started?

And secondly, when pipeline leakage is as rife as it is now for so many industries, the activity of nurturing prospects for the future could be the most effective use of your time on a daily basis, in terms of securing revenue.
So, with that in mind…

Here’s the tried and tested approach we’re taking to nurture cadences at Jiminny.


Step 1 - find the prospects to nurture

Look at all the places in your sales process where prospects fall out of your funnel, from first touch, all the way through to closed lost opportunity and maybe even churned clients. Thoroughly scour your CRM as these records are typically given the least care, so could be anywhere.

Bonus points here if you take the time to find client contacts that leave the business you first interacted with and go to work somewhere else. These are prime targets as you’ve already done half the sale.

 

Step 2 - find out the ‘why’ and the ‘right time’

Now, before you get excited and dive into getting in touch with each of them, you need to confirm why the prospect didn’t buy when you last spoke with them and when they might be ready to.

The why reasons generally tend to fall into two categories:

#1 They were locked in with a competitor or alternative solution until x date. If this is the case, locate the competitor renewal date and mark this on your records as ‘the right time’.


#2 The problem you solve wasn’t a business priority for them when you last spoke. If this is the case, find out more about what is going on at the organization, what was the priority and what might be the next few priorities they are fixing following that. From this, you can start to piece together the all-important ‘right time’. 

 

Step 3 - create a nurture cadence


Now you are armed with the right information, work backward from the company’s ‘right time’ date to formulate a plan for each prospect. Remember, this isn’t about writing a blanket email to all your lost leads. The process should take time and precision, so be ready to dedicate your resources. 

For each prospect, create a touch point every three weeks or so depending on how close ‘the right time’ is.

Nurture cadence touchpoints should:

  • Offer value to the prospect - advice, information, support
  • Bring your name to the front of the prospect’s mind - making you a trusted and known partner
  • Align you and your brand with the prospect’s desired state or destination.

So how do you achieve these objectives? 

Here’s our list of steps to include in a prospect nurture cadence:

 

Emails - the aim of this isn’t necessarily for the prospect to read them and respond, the aim is very much for them to be reminded of you and your company. 

Send your prospect new case studies that relate to their business, pain points or goals. This form of social proof will serve you well as the stories are more memorable than stats alone.

Connect on LinkedIn - this is key to upholding a relationship outside of their noisy email inbox. It also builds familiarity and means they will see the rest of the consistent, value-add content you are posting on LinkedIn so consistently as a salesperson… (guilty of not staying on top of your social selling game? Tom Boston gave us his tips here)

Send video check-ins - better than a simple text email or LinkedIn message - this reminds the prospect of your personality and energy. Reflect on updates at your business they might be interested to hear about, share new features or demos and remind them you are always there should they need you.

Invite your prospect to any events your business is hosting or any networking events you are attending - anything that might be of use to them and their role. As with any of the touchpoints on this list - relevancy is key.

Connect on LinkedIn with other individuals at the prospect’s business and drop them a message. Just like when you’re in the sales process, multithreading will only further your cause. 

Get your C-Suite to connect with the prospect on LinkedIn, this adds authority and shows your company is invested in them.

Crucially, whichever of the above you choose, in whatever order - commit to making them happen. Set yourself a calendar or CRM task to make sure you complete each touchpoint on the allotted date. 

Timing and consistency are so important with a nurture cadence, so don’t let them slip. 



This multi-channel approach maintains the prospect’s curiosity and interest through variety and means you’re not leaving sad, lonely voicemails for months on end (the slow, painful death we all want to avoid as salespeople).

From my experience, the more touch points you include, the better your chances of success. But it is a balancing act, as you don’t want to harass the prospect either. Listen to your gut and gauge their behavior in response. 


Step 3 - tailoring your communication

Your messaging at each touchpoint can be layered depending on why they left your pipeline in the first place. For example, you would nurture someone who no-showed twice to a discovery call, differently to an opportunity you lost to a competitor. 

When the time comes to complete each touchpoint, check yourself and make sure you are not sending them a message just for the sake of it.

Choose your value point and tailor it specifically to the individual.

 

Step 4 - remember the human touch

Whoever had that initial relationship with the potential buyer should be a key part of the future nurture cadence. With all that effort you’re about to put in to rekindle the deal, it would be crazy to attempt to nurture them without a familiar, personal touch. 

If the initial contact can be the sender and manager of the cadence, that is the ideal. If not, you need to work harder on the first few touchpoints to build trust. 



Prospect nurturing is a strategic investment of your time. So work smart, not hard, and get those prospects back into your pipeline.

They’re worth it.

 


Shelley Lavery is the COO and Co-Founder of Jiminny, the leading conversation intelligence and sales coaching platform that helps companies maximize their revenue. With over a decade of experience in coaching B2B sales teams, Shelley was previously Group SVP of Sales at Reward Gateway now leading the conversation intelligence discussion with expertise and insight.

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