The sales follow up email/call stands to be the most important part in your funnel. But are you practicing them rightly? Is your sales follow up email/call too straight? Surely the above email is one of the most awful emails to be sent to your prospect. Following up timely and in an effective manner can do wonders for your sales team but at the same time can even destroy your funnel if not followed effectively.
To begin with, let me put a question for you to think. When do you think sales follow up starts?
An excellent sales follow up starts much before you leave the meeting with your prospect. You have to make sure that you are controlling the game, so remember to fix your next follow up with your prospect during the first meeting itself. Select the day and time suitable to your prospect and make sure to send a calendar invite. A good start will definitely help in delivering better results.
I conducted a survey and gave a sheet to my organization’s sales team (they were 10 in number selected for the survey and they chose their 10 recent leads). I asked them some questions like:
How many times do you follow up with a lead?
What do they generally discuss in various follow ups?
How your leads respond at various follow up stage?
What do you feel about your lead conversion after each follow up?
Based on questions like these and a long discussion, I finally came out with a Lead Follow up story which you can see in the image below:
The next question that must be playing in your mind is to how to discriminate prospects and plan follow ups? I consider that I am right, so moving forward with the solution. The solution lies with you, as reps generally focus mainly on hot leads (leads who show some kind of interest in your product) but do not nurture warm (leads which will show interest in near future) and cold leads (Leads that might not be ready). A correct follow up strategy will not only help reps to close hot leads quickly but will also help in converting status of warm or cold leads. Warm/Cold leads require more no. of follow ups through various touch points in order to understand the need of the product/service offered to them. Thus, it is more than essential to understand the nature of your leads and apply correct follow up strategy.
Let us deep dive into the follow up strategies that will help you extract wonders:
1. Plan a Follow up Program
As you have different set of leads (hot, warm, cold) with you, so it is more than necessary to decide which mediums to follow to touch base with a lead. I would first suggest you to choose your medium from the following:
- Social Media Channels
- Phone calls
- Personalized Sales Email
- Marketing Emails with some offers
- Newsletters – Education material
- Gifts or Rewards mailer
- Case Study, Whitepaper and Ebook Downloads
Once you have finalized the mediums, it is better to strategize the same into a program. Here’s a cheat code below for you to refer, I call it Lead Capture Timetable.
Remember: The timetable is apt for an ideal scenario but you need to check your lead’s interest and responses to manipulate the follow-up program.
Using of such programs help you to better understand your leads and help in segmenting your list to serve them the needful. The good news is, you have got your leads covered!
2. Decide timing based on your chosen medium
Some days are good for sending emails and some are good for calling or social media. Generally, it is observed that monday is never a good day to offer sales as people are busy checking their weekend/pending emails. So for better open rates for your email choose any day among tuesday,wednesday and thursday. Similarly, for a sales call, timing is really important and the best time to call your prospect is between 3 pm to 5 pm. Along with both of these, do not forget to use your social media channels like linkedin, facebook, twitter, instagram etc., to great effect. Get your leads to like your page, follow them and may be actuate some activities by the end of week. For social media friday,saturday and monday are good days to plan your sales activities. Remember the old saying – All days are not same, we have just revised it here!
3. Control, Analyze and Report everything
You are the leader, you are the driver! Didn’t get me? No problem, I will ease it out. Never leave it on god to decide the time to follow up, rather you being the driver of your sales funnel and leader of your sales activities, it is you who should always plan in advance and send your leads an invite for next follow up. Mind you, it doesn’t end here, you have to be sure that your lead should respond to the invite and you have a clear understanding of all your follow ups. Along with this, regularly monitor and analyze your email opens and click rates to understand your lead requirements. Such results will help you gain a clear insight on what material (blog, case study, ebook) does your lead wish to accept, when do they like to receive emails and on the top when to follow up with call after you send them the email. An organized report about all these stats will help you achieve glory.
Did I miss something? Thats sad, but please mention it in the comments section below.