A sales call is not just calling up and generating a sales lead. It also entails effective follow-up. The manner in which the follow-up is conducted would act as a key factor in determining whether the lead can be converted into a sale. There is a need to maximize the conversion rate of all sales leads. After all, each successful deal adds to the business’s bottom line.
Conversion rates can be improved only through proactive follow-ups of sales leads. It is imperative that your salespeople proactively follow up on all sales prospects. However, research shows that 70% of sales e-mails stop after the first one.
Do not let this happen at your business. Ensure that your salesmen show a sense of urgency, and pursue timely communication when it comes to following up on their leads. The attitude of your salesmen, or rather the prospect’s perception of your business intentions, is the key to understanding whether the prospect would like to purchase your product or service.
To be specific, a sales follow-up can be more impactful if your salesman:
Table of Contents
- 1 6 Techniques for Effective Follow-Up
A follow-up call/email that is flaccid and gives the feeling that your salesman is not in complete control or lacks clarity of the action plan would act as a dampener.
Charts out a Plan:
Tell your salesmen to create a clear-cut plan that directs the flow of their sales conversation/e-mail with a clear objective.
Asks as Much As He/She Listens:
The prospect may not divulge his/her problems unless prodded or may go totally off-course in a conversation; hence, it is important that salesmen ask specific queries that keep the ball rolling in the right direction.
Does Not Push:
Patient and polite follow-ups which are incremental in value will be welcome as compared to repeated sales pitches that could turn out to be irritating to a lead. Studies have found that there are 25% higher chances of getting a response to subsequent follow-ups as opposed to a first unanswered email.
6 Techniques for Effective Follow-Up
Below are some effective follow-up techniques that can help your salesmen close the deals in a short time, thus saving costs and efforts.
Avoid “Touching Base” Calls/Emails:
To keep the sales momentum going, every interaction must provide a business value. Ask your salesmen to always open the conversation with what was agreed upon in the previous interaction, before going forward. Educate your salesmen continuously and tell them to do the same with the prospects. Your salesmen need to share some insights and ideas each time so that that the prospects believe that your salesman is someone who wants to help them by providing better insights.
Ensure that Your Conversation is a Harmonious Blend of Repetition and Variety:
People believe what they hear repeatedly, so make sure that your salesmen reiterate how your product or solution can address their problems. This must be done in each of the follow-up emails/calls. Also, all of your products and services may be on your salesmen’s fingertips, but the prospect, may not remember them well. Listing them down again for the sake of the prospect is a good approach. Ensure that your salesmen use all types of communication to reach out to the client including phone calls, chats, emails or other channels. Each client has his/her preferred means of communication; therefore leveraging all the channels would help get their attention.
Once the interaction through phone or video chat is over, the salesmen should summarize the key points discussed and list them in an e-mail, asking for the client’s confirmation. This would be a point of quick reference for the salesman and the prospective client during further dealings.
It is important that your salesmen close each email or call with a clear-cut action for the next meeting or interaction.
Help your salesmen to create email templates to save time and to ensure that everything of relevance is covered. The email sent by your salesmen should have an engaging subject line to avoid being relegated to a set of unimportant emails. Typically emails should be brief and personalized.
Leverage Marketing and Evidence-Based Content:
Ask salesmen to use relevant content created by the marketing team to support communications to prospects. Marketing teams typically use data analytics, statistical analysis, and evidence, and this content can be used to substantiate claims made to the prospect. Surprisingly, this is often a weak internal issue for most businesses. Docurated’s 2015 State of Marketing Productivity Report reports that although marketing teams are increasing expenditure on creating content, 90% of that content is never used. If such content is shared across a common platform, it will give your salesmen recommendations and evidence that they need to close the sale. At the same time, it will give your marketing team insights as to which content can translate into deal closures.
It requires professionalism and patience to get the most out of a sales lead. If your salesmen respond quickly and connect with each lead personally, it will help them to service the requirements of prospects better. A relationship built on trust shall ensure successful future sales engagements as well.