Sales follow-up is every bit as important as the initial outreach, if not more so. More than 98% of all sales leads need more than one communication with the sales rep before they are ready to buy. You will spend plenty of time on outreach, and only one of those interactions will ever be a “first” for the customer or lead.
Then, there’s the issue of feeling like a bother and worrying about getting rejected if you reach out too soon, too often, or in the wrong way. It’s understandable. Especially in today’s sales environment, mastering the art of follow-up is more important than ever. Some people are better at it than others, but you can improve your skills if you’re willing to do the work.
For example, one great way to make follow-up easier is to invest in a partner to help with it, such as the dedicated team at Smith.ai, a leader in outreach campaigns and other sales and lead gen solutions. We’ll talk more about that at the end, though. For now, here are eight things every sales rep can do to improve their follow-up.
This is the biggest advice for almost every company and sales rep: just do it. Make the call. Send the follow-up email. It doesn’t matter if the lead in question has been in the pipeline for five days or five months. Keep following up until you get an absolute “no” from the lead that tells you to stop.
Many follow-up battles can be won just by doing the work. If you feel like you’re bothering your leads, you’re not in the right mindset. Think about all that you have to offer and what your leads could be missing—it’s time to get excited for your leads and help them see why your company is the best.
Following up with leads is nothing if not a consistent effort. Or at least it should be. There’s no magic number or limit here that you can set in place. Every single lead is different. Some may need you to follow up 10 times. Others may just need a few nudges. Whatever the case, make sure that you are consistent with your follow-up and keep lead-tracking data so you can see how your consistency is paying off.
If a lead gives you a specific timeline, hold them to it. They want two weeks to think about it? Set a reminder to return to the CRM and reach out in exactly two weeks. If you always check in on leads at certain touchpoints, keep doing that (and if not, consider starting). Consistency is key.
Again, every lead is different but the frequency of follow-up is just as important as how and when you reach out. This goes along with consistency. You definitely want to follow up right away unless the lead says otherwise. You should then follow up on a schedule that works for you.
You may need more or less frequent follow-ups depending on your industry and the leads involved. You can also check out past leads and conversions to see what has worked before and start there.
There are so many different options for follow-up these days that it doesn’t make sense for you to stick with just email or phone. Yes, they are the most common, but they aren’t the only options. If you do choose email, make sure you have a series of emails that can help you catch those leads. For phone calls, don’t leave more than one message at a time or you might seem desperate or annoying.
If you find leads on social media or find they like following up better that way, that’s another option that you have. Just make sure that you’re using the right:
If you’re trying to capture leads, you want to make sure that they know that your company is the best choice for the job, no matter what. Convincing them of that starts by making sure that you are providing more value for their needs than the competition. Focus less on the basic products/services and their features and more on how you can improve future processes and follow-up by providing more value.
Utilize case studies, informational blogs, and other materials to show clients why your company is the best choice. Then, the follow-up does the work for you.
All of your leads are at different stages in the buying journey. Therefore, it can be difficult to keep up with follow-up until or unless you segment those leads for easier classification and communication. When you segment your leads, you’ll be more effectively able to target the right prospects with the right message and get the conversion, even if that’s just another opportunity to follow up later.
Most of the following up that you do should be short and sweet. Whether it’s an email, a phone call, or even a social media message, you should keep it simple, get to the point, and make sure that you don’t waste people’s time. Focus on getting them to that next step.
This isn’t a sales call or an information session. This is a chance to win people over. You need to make sure that you’re brief, direct, and explain the advantages of choosing your company.
If you’re still not sure you’re mastering the art of follow-up, you can enlist someone to help you along the way. The virtual receptionists at Smith.ai have a full suite of solutions for outreach campaigns, including lead intake and appointment scheduling. Plus, we can even act as your 24/7 answering service so you never miss a lead.