By neglecting follow-ups, your business would be willingly letting go of a huge bulk of potential sales and profits.
What’s a Sales Follow-up System?
A sales follow-up system is a method that you set up that allows you to be able to track and move leads through your sales cycle.
Leads come to you in different ways such as through referrals, search engines, social media, networking events, or emails.
However they come, you need a system that allows you to interact with them further and edge them towards sales conversions.
Here are some ways to accomplish this:
1. Use a Follow-up Schedule
Don’t make your follow-up a random event or leave it to luck. Most businesses fail to take the time to set up and communicate in clear terms their expectations of what an acceptable follow-up is.
When you give your sales reps random expectations as to what you want, that's what you'll get.
You need to be specific.
Develop a follow-up schedule which maps out when exactly email and call follow-ups should happen, down to the minutes and seconds.
This will have a positive effect on your sales personnel as they will know what exactly your expectations are regarding follow-ups. Make sure your document your strategy if you want to see better results.
The whole aim of a schedule is to maintain a timely and consistent follow-up regardless of whether they are ready to purchase a product that very hour or request that you get back to them in a month’s time.
At the start, all you need is two simple contact schedules; one for passive leads and the other for active leads. Active leads are leads that are more responsive than others and have shown signs that they are eager to make a purchase as soon as possible.
Passive leads, on the other hand, are still qualified as good leads but they have a longer time-frame of waiting before they purchase anything.
For example, a customer interested in making a purchase but asks the sales rep to reach out to him in 2 months’ time is a passive lead.
In addition, your follow-up schedules can last up to an entire year. However, the frequency and tenor of communications has to change depending on the level of interest shown from the lead. No point communicating with a lead no longer interested in your product.
2. Time Your Follow-Up to Get Better Results
Timing is the most important factor in all aspects of life, and your business is no exception. Imagine you're in the middle of a hectic day and you receive an email from a shoe delivery website you recently visited?
You most likely won't pay any attention to it and will probably forget it came.
That's how powerful timing is. Even prospective leads can be lost with the wrong timing. Some hours of the day and certain days of the week are better to initiate a follow-up than others. It's the plain truth.
What's more, according to a recent study carried out by HubSpot, which covered data from more than 200 emails sent out in a 10 month period. It was found that the average individual opens their emails on Tuesday the most on working weeks.
What's even more exciting is that there was a specific time of the day at which the emails were interacted with, more than any other time and it was 11 am EST.
Can you see how important timing is in sending follow-up emails?
Not just the day but the exact hour has to be gotten right. If you run a business you've probably wondered why some days you get replies to emails in seconds and others perhaps 4 days later.
It all has to do with timing. You need to find out the hours of the day your follow-ups are actively interacting with your messages, whether by email or call, plus the exact day. Then you work it.
3. Send Follow-Up Email to a First Conversation
Sending a follow-up email can be the little nudge that your lead needs to convert to sales. It isn't nice to go quiet on your prospective customer especially first-timers.
It’s advisable that you send a follow-up email to them to show that you care.
The follow-up email can be a thank you email where you express your gratitude to your client.
It has been proven that gratitude is a very powerful way of establishing a connection between you and your client.
You can out-rightly say thank you to express your gratitude or you can communicate your gratitude in other ways. Whichever way you choose to say it, ensure that the recipient of the email is convinced that you are really grateful.
Alternatively, you can make references to the common aspects of the meeting that you enjoyed. A lot of people are attracted to positivity and highlighting the positive aspects of the meeting will endear the client to you and your brand.
You can also show your commitment to working with the client in the follow-up email, this will give the client an assurance that you will follow through well.
Whichever content you choose to include in your follow up email, ensure that it is solid enough to leave a good impression on the Intending client.
4. Follow-Up with Leads Stuck in Your Sales Pipeline
Having leads is a good thing but it is far better to have the leads convert into sales, this is the only way your business will profit.
This is why it is important to follow-up with leads that are stuck in your sales pipeline. The truth is that a huge percentage of the sales made by businesses were made between the fifth and the twelfth follow up contact.
You will need to follow-up these clients for a period of time before conversions are made. This, however, does not mean that you should pester the leads with follow-up calls and emails, if you do, you will most likely be marked as spam.
First ask the client if it is okay to follow-up, and if they agree, then send follow-up messages and calls to them periodically.
Let the follow-ups not be too far apart from each other and let them also not be too close to each other to avoid constituting a nuisance.
5. Integrate Sales and Marketing in Your Follow-Up Email
Another smart follow-up strategy is to integrate sales and marketing in the follow-up email you send to your potential clients.
Integrating sales and marketing in your follow-up email is a great way to build relationships with potential customers, gain intelligence, and steer prospects’ attention towards your products and services.
For example, if your brand deals in home remodeling and you have a potential client, in the follow-up email, you can include information or a sales advert about best floor-finishing products.
Doing this will add more value to the email and will get the prospective client interested in your brand and once they’re sold, the chances of making purchases are high.
6. Send Post Sales Call Follow-Up Email
Although this isn’t a popular follow-up strategy, it’s definitely a rewarding one. In the Art of Selling, Mike made it clear that effective selling goes beyond asking the prospect “how are you today.”
After interacting with your prospect over the phone, don’t end the conversation there. You should follow up by sending a quick email to appreciate them and their time.
If they haven’t made up their mind yet, your email can nudge them to choose your brand above other brands.
If a prospective client makes a sales call to your company, it’s advisable that you send an email to follow up the call, this will keep the attention and focus of the client on your brand and will increase the chances of the customer making a purchase from you.
7. Send Follow-Up Email after a Voicemail
After leaving a voicemail with a prospect PR client, it’s important to send a follow-up email, but this shouldn't be done immediately to avoid being perceived as a nuisance by the client.
Of course, there are strategies (both primary and secondary) you can use to improve your voicemail results.
If you sent the Voicemail earlier in the day, then the follow-up email should be sent later in the day if the client doesn't call back. Let the follow-up email be short, straight to the point and sweet.
Remember not to bombard the prospective client with voicemails and follow-up emails, you may appear desperate to the client and clients avoid desperate brands.
A sales follow-up system will ensure that you stop losing out on potential conversions, sales, and profit.
You need a system to guide your leads through your sales funnel and a follow-up system will do just that.
Essentially, when you’re looking to set up a profitable follow-up system for your business, you should consider integrating marketing and sales automation.
If you don’t know where to begin, our team can help you. Bloominari is a Digital Marketing Agency based in San Diego with a focus on marketing automation to help you maximize your sales. Get in touch today.