With the term “lead nurturing” trending lately, you’ve probably noticed that a hot topic in conversations about sales and marketing recently has been lead nurturing funnels and programs.

In case you’re wondering, lead nurturing is exactly what it sounds like! This marketing strategy involves taking a hard look at how leads are being follow-up with after their initial capture. This strategy applies to all levels of business and all industries, but the tactics for execution can vary.

Since we work closely with agencies, we wanted to get a better understanding of how marketing agencies viewed lead nurturing. And we hoped to find out how agencies are implementing lead nurturing strategies into their everyday goals as well as their clients’ goals. To do that, SharpSpring partnered with Ascend2 to conduct a State of Lead Nurturing survey that was fielded to a panel of marketing professionals and marketing research subscribers.

What we ended up with was an informative report that gave us a view into how the industry was implementing and struggling with this marketing strategy. We surveyed respondents in big and small agencies, in various roles and positions, and in both B2B and B2C markets to represent the widest number of people. This report represents the opinions of 107 marketing professionals who provide agency services and we think they are valuable for you too!

Current Status of Lead Nurturing

The data is clear. Marketers seem to agree that building strategies that actively nurture leads down the funnel will strengthen any marketing program. Of those surveyed, nearly 75% already had a lead nurture program in place or were working on doing so.

We wanted to go deeper than just the basics. The report also includes priorities, successful tactics, and biggest challenges, among more data points. These insights pointed to some common goals and struggles with these funnels. One of the most glaring issues was the problem of allocating appropriate time and resources.

All of the responses in the report point to a common trend of embracing a nurturing strategy as part of the framework for marketing campaigns. Instead of thinking of the follow-up process as an after-thought, agencies are taking steps to plan campaigns where nurturing plays into the process as a whole.

For example, most businesses are looking to achieve two things with their leads: improved quality and improved engagement. Lead nurturing programs work to achieve both of these goals as they focus on quality and engagement over quantity.


This report is a great tool for anyone looking to benchmark the status of their agency’s performance or share the value of lead nurturing strategies with resistant team members. Download the report and use the data as your talking points!

Noteworthy points we found include:

  • Top challenges facing establishing a lead nurturing program were aligning marketing and sales efforts, allocating adequate resources, and creating targeted and engaging content
  • The two most important pieces for the programs are providing targeted content and timeliness of following up.
  • 82% of agencies view automation as critical to the success of their programs.
  • 88% of marketers agreed that dedicating more time to these would ultimately improve conversion rates.
  • Only 6% of agencies would qualify their efforts as “Unsuccessful”

The report also highlights significant challenges agencies are facing when it comes to these funnels. One of which is generating targeted content to use in nurture campaigns.

Content is the cornerstone of this strategy. To be able to successfully warm up leads, companies must have a certain level of helpful, useful, or engaging content on hand to give new leads. How effective your lead nurture campaigns are is tied directly to how effective the content is. Understanding that means marketers can start the strategy on the right foot and adjust as needed along the way.

This report can help agencies avoid common pitfalls in the planning stages.

Key Takeaways

For anyone whose goals are quality leads and higher conversion rates, lead nurturing is the ticket. Although many agencies are struggling with finding the resources and bandwidth, they are stepping up to the challenge and making it work because they understand the value of quality over quantity.

When it comes to finding the competitive edge for your clients, using more lead nurturing funnels might be just what you need. Put this data to use in your own marketing strategy or clip the charts to share! Either way, grab this report to help you benchmark your performance.

Download the report and see how other agencies have been using lead nurturing to build success.

Rebecca Wentworth