The sales follow up after communicating with a prospect is a fragile thing. You don't want to come off as annoying or too aggressive in your pursuits. Instead of always second-guessing your decisions and worrying about losing a potential sale, the trick is to plan ahead for sales success.
The great people over at Breakthrough Email and Signals put the sales process to the test in a big way, keeping track of over 1,000 meetings, 15k emails and $100 million in sales for 7 years. With this research, they pinpointed the most common follow-up problems that a salesperson has and provided solutions to help you move your prospect along the sales funnel with ease.
Plan Ahead for Your Sales Follow Up
Whenever you talk to a prospect, always make sure to have a mutually agreed-upon follow-up plan before you end the conversation. This way you can manage your prospects and don't have to worry about trying to track them down again. With another meeting, follow-up email or phone call in place, you can continue through the sales process.
Common Sense is Key
Common sense goes a long way when following up with your prospects. If you wouldn't call your friend or significant other three or four times a day to see how they're doing, don't make it a part of your follow-up tactics. It's also silly to be offended when a prospect doesn't reply back right away. Your focus is on them and the feeling is probably not mutual. Let them take their time and contact you when it's convenient for them. If they're not interested, take the hint and move on.
Right Tools at the Right Time
Having an effective email marketing strategyis important, but so are the tools you use to carry it out. A strong email that can be tracked to see who opens it is very valuable because you can target those who are still interested in your emails. Don't keep pestering your email list with recycled emails praying for a response. Keep your prospects interested with useful information that they want to read. Then, the potential is there for them to reach out to you to ask questions about your product and make a purchase decision.
Common Sales Follow Up Problems and How to Fix Them
1) "I just had a conversation with my prospect and haven't heard back from them."
Problem: Your meeting ended before there was time to provide specific next steps. Solution: If it makes sense to continue the conversation, never leave a meeting without both sides committing to the next meeting.
2) "I submitted a proposal and haven't heard back."
Problem: You're now chasing the prospect, hoping that they still agreed on the proposal. Solution: Before even sending the proposal, schedule time to review the proposal together. That way you're guaranteed a conversation ahead of time.
3) "I made a cold call and left a voicemail. I haven't heard back."
Problem: You are leaving messages over and over and getting no calls back. Solution: Stop slogging through cold call after cold call and re-assess your strategy. Try finding a mutual connection to introduce you or cold email them.
4) "I sent a cold email and haven't heard back."
Problem: You don't know if they're interested in your product or if they're the right contact. Solution: Send your emails with Signals email tracking to know when they're opening your emails and reach out when they're actively opening your message.
5) "I sent out hundreds of emails and didn't get a single response."
Problem: You are wasting time copying and pasting the same email. Solution: Use the Breakthrough Email System to write an effective email that gets responses.
6) "I met my prospect at a conference and never heard back from them."
Problem: People are slammed post-conference trying to catch up on missed work. Solution: Don't leave the conference with a business card. Schedule your meeting time before you leave.
7) "When I met my prospect, he/she was really interested. Now I'm politely stalking them."
Problem: They were interested and have now fallen off the face of the earth. You have no feedback. Solution: Get control back of the sale by pushing back on them or threatening to leave.