It's all in the follow up

September 30, 2016

It's all in the follow up

In our last blog, get Smarketing working for you, we shared with you some best practices around keeping up the momentum between sales and marketing in relation to lead generation.  So you have your leads. Great!To_do_list.jpg

But how do you convert them into customers? It’s all in the follow up!

Research suggests that only 2% of deals are closed at the first meeting. Despite this, most sales people give up after one or two objections.  In addition, the 2% who buy in the first meeting, will almost always have spent time researching their purchase, so in essence they already know what they want, further reinforcing the need for inbound marketing.

So what about the other 98%?  This is down to follow up or lack thereof.  Research shows that only 20% of sales leads are ever followed up.  In other words, 80% of opportunities coming into your business are lost simply due to laziness on the part of your sales team.

If you also take into account that most sales only occur after 5 follow ups and you’re only working with 20% of your leads, that really whittles down the number of new customers you can take on board.

When you put it into context, it takes 5 continuous follow ups with a potential opportunity before a customer will say yes.

The percentages below show some important statistics on sales people’s following up habits:

44% of sales people give up after 1 no

22% give up after 2 nos

14% give up after 3

12% give up after 4

So basically 92% of your sales team theoretically give up after 4 nos, and they are only following up on 20% of your opportunities in the first place.  Pretty grim!

So what can you do about it?  Below are a few tips to help maximise those hard earned sales opportunities.

  • Introduce a 5 “nos” follow up policy – In other words your sales team cannot give up on an opportunity until they can prove they have followed it up 5 times.
  • Introduce “feedback Friday” – You worked hard to generate those opportunities so why let your team throw 80% of them away? Get your guys to generate a report every Friday to give you an update on every lead they have had passed over.
  • Multiple Outreach Channels - Email and telephone aren’t the only way to follow up with your customers.  Get them using social media to ensure a winning strategy.
  • Time between follow ups – Be mindful of how your team is following up and the frequency. I find the below guide works well and uses multiple outreach channels.
    1. Day 1: Call and email
    2. Day 2: Email and Twitter
    3. Day 3: Twitter
    4. Day 5: Email and LinkedIn
    5. Day 7: Email
    6. Day 10: Call and email
    7. Day 17: Email and Twitter
    8. Day 21: LinkedIn
    9. Day 28: Call and email
  • Content of the follow up – What you communicate when you follow up with your client is just as important as the follow up itself. “Just touching base…” gets boring quickly and sales people are supposed to have a personality. Always consider the below when following up with a potential client:
    1. Reemphasize the business value
    2. Offer insights
    3. Educate
    4. Share news

By utilising the above, you will have a better conversation rate than your competitors who don’t.

Inbound marketing for sales directors