Perfecting the art of follow-up in sales is crucial for any business's success. Balancing assertiveness with respect is essential to prevent coming across as pushy or bothersome, which could potentially distance prospective clients.
Leads and conversations encapsulate the potential clients or customers who interact with a brand through various channels. Marketing Donut suggests that 80% of sales leads typically need at least five follow-ups after the initial contact, yet only 8% of salespeople follow up this many times. Following your leads can significantly impact the conversion from potential interest to paying customers. To maximise this opportunity, specific strategic steps can be taken.
In this article, we'll delve into what constitutes a lead follow-up, the significance behind this action, and effective methods for following your leads.
Key Reasons to Prioritize Following Your Leads
Assessing interest: They provide insights into how the brand resonates with potential customers, guiding adjustments to marketing strategies.
Addressing customer needs: Checking if the lead's requirements align with the brand's solutions, ensuring a tailored approach to meet those needs.
Customer care: Demonstrating care for both existing and potential customers, showcasing the brand's commitment to exceptional service.
Exploring marketing avenues: Identifying new platforms where potential customers engage, enhancing the effectiveness of marketing campaigns.
Establishing communication: creating a point of contact for future interactions, simplifying the process for both the brand and the leads.
Finalising sales: Handling cart abandonment issues in e-commerce, guiding leads toward making purchase decisions through timely reminders and supportive communication.
How do I follow up on leads?
Consistency in sales follow-ups
Determining the ideal number of follow-ups in sales isn’t straightforward. Each lead is unique, varying in responsiveness. While some may require just a gentle prompt with one follow-up, others might demand multiple attempts across different communication channels before eliciting a response. Consistency in communication remains your strongest strategy. Whether a lead responds promptly or needs time, maintaining regular follow-ups is key.
For instance, if a lead requests two weeks to contemplate an offer, diligently note this in your CXM and reconnect at the specified time. In cases where a lead doesn’t provide a specific timeframe, inquire about their preferred schedule to arrange subsequent follow-up calls or emails. The essence lies in staying persistent while respecting the leader's pace and preferences
Optimal point of contact selection
Connecting effectively with leads relies on choosing the right communication channel. Selecting the appropriate point of contact ensures that your message reaches the lead in a way that resonates. Utilise various channels, such as social media, email, SMS, or physical promotions, based on the situation.
Engaging initially through email is common for many businesses. Typically, an introductory email includes a compelling offer to encourage the lead to take action. Emails provide a direct yet relaxed approach, giving leads time to consider. On the other hand, phone calls offer a more immediate connection but can sometimes catch leads at inconvenient times, potentially putting them in an uncomfortable position. Emails, being flexible and personal, often create a friendly impression for your brand.
3. Nurturing leads with valuable content
In every stage of communication, the focus should be on delivering value to your audience. Whether they're at the beginning or advanced stage of the buying process, offering useful content is key. Options such as blog posts, infographics, success stories, or downloadable guides are excellent for nurturing leads. Instead of solely aiming for conversions, concentrate on smaller, valuable engagements, like downloading a guide or exploring a blog post.
The primary objective isn’t immediate conversion; it's about warming up the leads gradually. Rather than pressuring them into becoming customers right away, focus on providing valuable content that guides them through the buying journey, making each interaction meaningful and beneficial.
Also read: how can you win more customers
4. Choose the right channel for communication
Tailoring communication to personalise interactions is vital during the follow-up process as it contributes to fostering a more intimate connection between the lead and the brand. Implementing personalised elements in your communication, such as addressing the lead by their name, responding personally to online inquiries, or offering information relevant to the specific products or services they showed interest in, adds a special touch. These personalised approaches aim to make the lead feel acknowledged and valued, nurturing a sense of comfort and trust.
5. Craft a balanced schedule
Setting up a follow-up schedule is crucial, considering that it usually takes around 7-10 interactions before a successful conversion occurs. Creating a structured follow-up plan ensures consistency in your communications, preventing valuable leads from slipping through the cracks. The aim of your communication calendar should be to maintain a presence in the minds of your leads without overwhelming them.
For instance, a proposed schedule could be:
Emails: once a week
Phone calls: once a month
Face-to-face meetings: once a quarter
However, it's essential to strike a balance. Exceeding these touchpoints risks over-engagement, potentially leading to a lack of interest from the leads.
6. Timely engagement matters
When a lead responds, prompt action is crucial. Answer their questions swiftly to aid their decision-making process.
Timely lead response management is vital. The longer leads wait, the more opportunity rivals have. Different communication channels might be used, and it's essential to ensure someone handles calls effectively, collecting lead information for your follow-up.
Also read: 13 Reasons why your company needs an all-in-one inbox
7. Monitor your communications
If you have a CXM (customer experience management) system, you're significantly enhancing your operational strategy. CXM systems enable you to maintain comprehensive records of customer outreach and the outcomes of these interactions. Cloodot provides a range of SaaS solutions that service AI and automation technologies. These tools aid businesses in streamlining and modernizing their customer experience management by utilising review and messaging functionalities. Incorporating CXM tools from Cloodot can revolutionise your approach to customer interactions, fostering better customer engagement and streamlined operations.
8. Keep track of when to stop following your leads
Knowing when to cease following your leads is essential in specific scenarios. For instance, if a customer outright rejects your offer or requests to unsubscribe from your email list, continuous follow-ups may not be appropriate.
Moreover, cold leads who haven't displayed any clear interest or disinterest shouldn't be consistently pursued. Continuing to contact such leads despite their lack of engagement can negatively impact your business reputation and consume a significant amount of time. This can result in reduced sales productivity and eventually affect your overall sales performance.
Lead prospecting involves maintaining a consistent presence with your clients without becoming an annoyance—more of an omnipresence, so to speak. The primary objective shouldn't be immediate persuasion for a purchase, but rather being readily available when they are prepared to make a buying decision. This reliability significantly benefits your brand and nurtures a sense of respect and value among your leads.
For more tips, check out these customer acquisition strategies for more lead management.
You can also sign up with cloodot to learn more about leads by using our tools and generate 10x leads by reducing your working hours up to 80%.