What Exactly is “Two-Way Nurturing?”

May 4, 2020

One of the tenants of an Account Based Outbound strategy revolves around the idea of “Two-Way Nurturing,” which can be a confusing concept at first. It seems like an industry standard, the term “nurture.” It gets thrown around enough to be considered one, that’s for sure. However, “Nurture” has a different definition for the Account Based Outbound model: it doesn’t involve the marketing team.

The bottom portion of this chart is quite clear — nurturing in the Account Based model relies less on automation and more on personalization. In fact, it requires little to no use of the traditional marketing automation system.

When it comes to the concept of “nurturing” a lead, most people assume that’s taken care of by the marketing department. They produce the content after all, so shouldn’t they be the ones to send it along? This is where Account Based Outbound really separates itself from that mindset and establishes the concept of 2-Way Nurturing — it’s driven by the SDRs and Sales Teams themselves.


2-Way Nurturing highlights a more customized process — both in terms of content and frequency of messages. With a traditional marketing automation system, prospects in “nurture” mode are placed into one of a handful of buckets and sent through a re-engagement system. The prospects in those buckets all receive the same content at the same time, regardless of their individual situation. While this allows the marketing team to keep on top of these leads, sales is almost entirely removed from the process and is unable to tailor any of the messaging. It also adds a more “robotic” medium between the prospect and the sales team — more often than not the emails being sent through the marketing automation system are colder than those coming from SDRs, and they don’t have the level of engagement you would see from a more personalized message.

Contrary to that, the Account Based Outbound model keeps the nurture process in the hands of the SDRs themselves. This gives them the autonomy to select what message gets sent and when — adding a personal touch to the typically robotic task of nurturing. This allows the sales team to tease out additional pain points, existing technology, key stakeholders, and anything else they might have missed the first time a connection was made. The personal touch adds a level of humanism to the whole process as well, allowing the SDRs to foster a better relationship with the prospect during the nurture time period.

With sales more involved in the nurturing process and the style of marketing automation emails removed, SDRs are seeing higher conversion rates and better chances at re-engaging with cold prospects. By employing the 2-Way Nurturing model your team will be well in its way to executing an Account Based Outbound strategy.

Are your SDRs involved in the nurture process, or are you leaving it up to your marketing automation system?

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aj alonzo

AJ Alonzo is the Head of Marketing at demandDrive. A former SDR turned marketing leader, he's made it his goal to develop resources for sales reps who are looking to level up and for managers who are looking for guidance. Outside of work you can find him trying to shoot under par at his local disc golf course, sipping on a bourbon on the rocks, or continuing his quest to be the very best like no one ever was.
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