In today’s dynamic marketplace, businesses are constantly developing new and innovative ways to serve their customers and attract prospects. It has become crucial to continuously be in touch with your current and prospective customers to build strong and trusting relationships with them.
Most customers are not going to purchase from you simply because they purchased from you one time, even if they had an impeccable buying experience. If you do not stay in touch with your customers, they will simply switch to someone else. As far as your prospects are concerned, most of the times, it is not possible to close a deal in a single conversation. However, timely follow-ups with prospects can convert them into customers but you need to be patient and can’t always expect results with just 2-3 follow ups.
According to The National Sales Executive Association “80% of sales are made on the 5th-12th contact”.
But in reality, seldom a sales guy follow this rule.
“Only 10% of sales people make more than 3 contacts with a prospect” and
“48% of sales people never follow up with a prospect”
Reason behind it could be many. Some inside sales rep avoid frequent follow-ups as they don’t want to appear pushy. But follow-up doesn’t refer to just selling, it is about first building relationship with the prospects with systematic follow-ups and a series of communications and then pitching your product. Few key benefits of “Following-Up” will instigate you in adopting this approach.
1) Builds Trust among the Customers as it shows you “CARE” about them
An inside sales representative should make customers realize that the company cares about establishing a long term relationship with them, instead of a mere short term sale. Genuinely following-up reveals that you are serious and reliable and therefore, converts the customers into loyal customers in the long-run.
Nowadays, with the rise of the internet and social media, it has become even more easy and cost-effective to communicate and hence you don’t have to be on a call or arrange for a face-to-face meeting to follow-up. For example, you can always keep in touch with them by sending personal messages on occasions such as birthdays, anniversaries, holidays and festivals and regularly sharing informational articles, whitepapers, special reports etc. Although, one must avoid sending too many messages in a short period of time as it might end up frustrating your prospect. So, depending on the type of business, very intelligently schedule the follow-up time and message and provide some additional value during every follow-up communication using different marketing tools.
2) Get Sales Referrals Easily
Following up with your existing customers regularly make them happy and satisfied. With systematic follow-ups, chances are that your customers will be impressed with your dedication and drive and this might help you in earning referrals from them. Companies into B2B businesses can definitely have an edge if they have referrals. So don’t forget “Happy customer is equal to more referrals”.
3) Reduces Business Cost
According to Forrester Research “Acquiring new customers can cost 5 times more than satisfying and retaining current customers”
So pay more attention to your existing customer base instead of trying to get new customers. Your customers will reciprocate and prefer you over other companies which do not follow up. So, make sure that your brand and product is always fresh in their minds and you have a fair chance to up-sell and cross-sell as well.
4) Get Continuous Feedback and Deal with Customer’s Issues in a Timely Manner
Building a relationship with the customers via timely follow-ups will give you an opportunity to hear your customer’s feedback and find out whether customers are having problems or if they are upset. So, find out what your customers are feeling, what kind of issues they face with your product or service, and what you can do to ensure that both your existing and potential customers can benefit more from what you have to offer.
Implementing a systematic process for follow-ups in your Inside Sales team will allow you to leverage your salespeople’s time and enhance their productivity, which will result in an increase in the closing rate with less effort.
Remember, follow up is critical to your success as it has been rightly said
“Out of Sight, Out of Mind”.
Apart from regular follow-ups, there are few other helpful tips that can benefit Inside Sales and help them close more deals, especially for beginners in the field.