Become a sales follow-up master
A sales team’s focus should be to direct their efforts on sales activities that drive the best results., right? According to IRC Sales Solutions, only 2% of sales are made during the first point of contact. That means there is a 98% chance of losing sales leads if your team isn’t following up. Want to lessen that chance? It’s go time; it’s time to follow up!
Effectively nurturing prospects from lead to customer involves a steady flow of communication. When you follow up with leads, you must maintain a relevant stream of valuable information that isn’t annoying. The nature of follow-ups allows you to build and maintain long-term relationships with new customers. It’s not just about when you follow up but also how. Consider the stage they are in your funnel, their needs, and the timing of your communication. A new lead who signed up for emails will probably be more receptive to your product’s benefits than a random cold call.
Effective follow-up strategies should involve consistent contact that nurtures your leads with relevant and valuable resources. Remember, your sales pipeline is only as strong as your team makes it. A rewarding pipeline will continuously grow as it’s built by sales reps and managers that know how to personalize follow-up with sales leads. Sales teams spend too much time on administrative tasks that can be easily. Their daily efforts should be centered around actively selling and following-up.
Time spent daily on administrative tasks:
- 21% of the day writing emails
- 17% entering data
- 17% prospecting and researching leads
- 12% scheduling calls
Reduce these statistics and watch as your team is able to sell more. For a sales team, the most valuable asset is time. Let’s look into how you can optimize and organize your daily sales activities to drive results.
What is a sales activity?
Before we discuss which activities are essential, let’s define what exactly sales activities are. These are all the actions, sales practices, and strategies that salespeople and managers do daily to move prospects and customers through the sales process. The efforts from their activities lead to closed deals and sales goals that are met (and exceeded).
Types of sales activities that sales reps perform are:
- Marketing campaigns
Each of these activities provides salespeople the opportunity to approach, meet, and sell their products/services to consumers. These interactions initiate other preparatory actions that bring them closer to closing deals.
Importance of sales activity
Any sales activity, no matter how minute to you, or your team, is an important factor in the customer journey and closing of a deal. It is important to note the outcome of your activities. The frequency of contact you have will determine how and when prospects will make a purchase. Consistent communication helps you to understand your customers’ desires and which ways you can help achieve them. The insight your team receives gives you more detail on where every deal is headed and which activities close deals faster. Use this opportunity to look at ways to improve the efficiency of your activities.
Keep the conversations going
- Be consistent but not annoying
The quickest way to annoy and put off prospects is following up too many times and too closely. The average buyer prefers to make well-informed decisions by researching available options that will satisfy their purchase. Therefore, you cannot expect prospects to purchase from you during their first interaction with your company.
While there is no exact formula on how to space your follow-ups, the best thing you can do as a salesperson is to understand your prospect’s timeframe. Create a follow-up schedule that meets your prospect where they are at and stick to it. Take into consideration your lead’s time zone, the product you’re selling, and other variables that would affect the interactions from your lead.
2. Scrubbing leads
Typically when you have a prospect, you spend time scrubbing them. If all you have is an email, name, and job title, you will spend extra time finding other necessary qualifications per lead. After that, you take the time to review the list of leads to remove the non-legitimate ones. The process ensures that all leads are valid and your team is pursuing prospects that have shown interest in your product or service. The collected data should be used to provide a more tailored interactive experience for your prospects.
3. Learn from your analytics
Your campaigns will provide you with insights into what content your audience prefers. Looking at analytics from campaigns, you can determine open rates, engagements, and interactions. Use your data to gauge how you’re performing with prospects. Your data will help achieve predictable revenue and improve your customer’s buying experience and sales contribution margin.
4. Personalize your approach
No matter what stage your prospects are at, your focus should always be to add value. You accomplish this by nurturing your prospects with content marketing. Avoid using follow-up emails or calls that sound like a sales pitch. You want to attract and engage your audience during your approach to maintain that interest.
To keep prospects engaged, you must tailor each interaction by discussing what they need and providing relevant content. Find a balance between discussing their needs and promoting your product. Sending new and valuable information can increase conversion rates by three times.
5. Use various communication channels
Whether emails, meetings, or calls, choose the right channel to communicate with your prospects. Everyone has a different preference; however, your analytics should reveal which platform is the most effective and efficient. Remember, you want to position your offer of value in a format that works. If you don’t know which is best, just ask. During your initial conversation, ask your prospect their preference of communication.
Normally, an email will be the response you receive. Establishing basic expectations early in your relationship will help you build trust and a foundation that supports open communication and keeps you in front of your prospect’s mind.
6. Build a community
Create an online presence around what you do by providing free resources that inform, educate, and engage your prospects. Doing so builds credibility and value for the people that use your products. Provide a platform that encourages feedback and interaction for improved activities and conversions. Think about it; any time that they are giving you is valuable. Use this stage to correct and address all inquiries and provide solutions.
7. End each interaction with a clearly defined next step
Keep your prospects up to date and engaged in your meeting by defining what’s next. If you miss the opportunity to express such, it can become challenging to maintain your prospect’s respective customer journey. At the end of a call or meeting, use your skills and gain the commitment from your leads to solidify your place in their mind. Don’t leave room for the competition to swoop in on the foundation you have nurtured.
Measure your sales activity
While there are many things you can’t control about your business, you can control the quality of service your team delivers by providing them with the appropriate training and tools. Monitor the activities of your sales team to track and break down insights for better quality interactions. Tracking specific activities helps identify key metrics. Sales activity metrics are data points that display the performance and behavior of your sales team. Not to be confused with KPIs, which are specific metrics that connect to overall organizational goals and objectives.
But what should you be tracking and measuring?
Your company is unique to its brand and industry. It’s important to understand that some metrics will matter more to your team than others. You have to decide which metrics you should be tracking and how to assess them. What will the statistics mean to your team? More importantly, how will you measuring them affect your business and your growth? Understanding what your metrics mean will ensure you take the correct steps to improve your bottom line, support your team, and deliver excellent experiences to your customers.
Take your team’s efforts to the next level.
The key to a successful business is understanding sales activities, their importance, and how you can use them to increase growth. On-time delivery of messages and effective follow-up strategies should be your focus to ensure team optimization. This will allow you to direct your attention to driving predictability and consistency throughout your sales team. Find a steady balance that supports promoting your product and being a valuable resource.
With GlassHive’s fully stocked marketing library, we have different content to nurture and generate the right leads. Our platform provides all-around visibility with data-driven insights. Data that makes it easy to uncover how and where energy, time, and resources should be used for following-up with prospects. We track all your sales and marketing statistics and even allow you to compare them against the best performers in the industry. Our integrations feature with Office 365 and Exchange ensures that no activity (big or small) will be missed from your team. When the right activities are happening, you can expect increased sales performance and revenue. GlassHive provides your sales team with the tools they need to carry out sales activities without the daily to-dos; check out how.