A correct sales follow-up can be decisive for the Lead to close a deal, but for the process to be successful, it is necessary to follow good practices
How is your sales follow-up?
More than just knowing how the prospect is doing, sales follow-up is an opportunity to develop a close relationship with your prospects, create value and, of course, close more deals.
It turns out that, for this, it is not enough to send messages and make calls. It is necessary to have a well-defined follow-up process, which requires planning, attention to best practices and the use of a good CRM tool. In addition, you also need to know when to leave the follow-up behind.
That’s what we’re going to talk about in this article!
What is sales follow-up?
The term follow-up comes from the English language and means follow-up or follow-up. In the sales area, this applies to actions that allow you to follow up on your potential customers, making them advance in the sales process until they close the deal.
This follow-up can be done through a Skype call, an email, a phone call, a WhatsApp message.
The idea is that, through follow-up, the sales professional will create a relationship with this contact, leading them along the path they need to go until they become a real customer. Throughout the follow-up, the prospect needs to feel supported. This will be a decisive factor in whether or not he closes the purchase.
For companies that offer different products or services, follow-up is also a way to direct the contact to the option that best meets his/her needs.
How to follow-up sales? 5 Success Tips
Now that you know the importance of follow-up, you may be wondering where to start. See the steps to follow!
1. Plan your contact
It’s not just saying “hello, missing”. Good follow-up requires planning.
After the first contact, write down all the information you gained during the conversation, preferably in an organized way in a CRM tool. With this data in hand, you can customize your communication. From the subject of the email you will send to the language you will use in the call, everything can be personalized.
Another way to make follow-up more effective—and less inconvenient—is to ask your prospect’s preferred form of contact.
In this way, you approach this contact, after all, who doesn’t like to feel heard and understood in a conversation?
2. Define the next step
After the first contact, already have the next steps in mind. If the person says they can’t talk until the next week, ask which day of the week is best and at what time.
The ideal is to define this next step at the end of the conversation you just had. Send an invitation, preferably during the conversation, to reserve the time in the agenda. Thus, it is more difficult for the person to refuse. If you end the conversation without this commitment, engaging the contact again can be difficult.
3. Take initiative
Don’t wait for the contact to come to you to continue the sale. The best thing is to have a proactive posture, which will even ensure that the salesperson regains control of the sales process. The final decision rests with the customer, but the seller has the power to influence it!
But remember: you need to be intentional when contacting the prospect. Don’t call or text just to ask if everything is ok. Rehearse what you are going to say, and always have a goal in mind!
Ah, taking initiative is also about responding quickly to contact requests and meeting deadlines. Your agility will certainly stand out!
4. Leverage Content Marketing
Many companies invest in creating good eBooks, blog posts, cases and other materials. Make use of them during the sales follow-up too!
Sharing these contents, by the way, is a good reason to get in touch. This makes your approaches more didactic, and the best part is that you don’t have to write it all over again — after all, the content is ready.
If you feel that the contact is in doubt about how your solution can help you, how about sharing a success story of a company in the same segment? If he has doubts about a product’s functionality or is curious about news in the market, shares content about it, and so on.
5. Respect your contact’s hours
The best time to receive an email or call is not the same for everyone. Mondays and Fridays are often tricky days. Second, there are many tasks to do. On Friday, the proximity to the weekend can cause your email or call to be ignored.
But none of this is a rule. Therefore, the best way to respect your contact’s hours and know when to speak with him is to ask. Ask him about the best day for you to communicate and follow his suggestions!
If we analyze literally what cadence means in the dictionary, we have the following definition: “rhythm; chained and regular sequence of sounds and movements”. Based on this definition, we can say that cadence asks us to maintain a sequence of activities with a certain regularity, right?
However, a frightening fact is that, although 80% of sales require an average of 5 follow-ups after the meeting, 44% of salespeople drop out of the process after the first contact. This way, it is very easy to understand why a large part of the sales are not completed or continue to get a continuation and never an advance to the closing phase. Without a well-defined cadence flow, the process of all sales stages is compromised, especially in the final phase.
It is noteworthy that it is very important to analyze the profile of each decision-maker before starting a follow-up. If he has a conservative and very busy profile, maybe creating so many touchpoints is not interesting.
After negotiation, it is essential to date the proposal so that you get a response within a maximum period of 5 days, depending on the size of the company. In case you don’t get a response within the estimated time, here’s an example of how this Follow-up structure could work:
Emails in the cadence stream
After the last day of the deadline given to the potential customer, if you have not received an answer, an interesting first step is to send an email.
The first email of the follow-up flow to be sent has a special function, which is to remind the potential customer of their main problems/goals and why they are seeking to hire your solution. It is through this message that you will get back in touch with your opportunity.
“Hello *Lead*, how are you?
On the day XX/XX/XXXX we made a proposal for you and yesterday was the last day for you to analyze it and give us feedback, be it positive or negative.
Since our first contact, you have made the following challenges that you need to overcome very clear:
Increase your revenue by X%;
Increase the average sales ticket by X% by the end of the year;
Convert Visitors to Leads;
Decrease CAC by Y% in 3 months of operation.
You’ve also made it clear that the priority for resolving these issues is topmost.
Since our last meeting, has there been any change in this scenario?
I’m waiting for your answer.
The last contact made by email, in turn, is what I call a farewell email. In it, we will inform the Lead that we did everything we could, but without a final answer, it is impossible to close a deal. The email must be polite but making it clear that we expected an answer and that this is part of our process.
“Hello *Lead*, how are you?
In our agency, we have a very strong policy of dedicating ourselves to contacts that really intend to advance the decision process. It’s purely a matter of prioritization to scale our growth. We designed a very constructive project for you, with full attention, as we believe a lot in your potential.
In this sense, I would like to know if you intend to put this project as a priority and go one step further or leave it for another time. I end my attempts at contact here until you want to resume.
Could you tell me, then, how are you thinking about it? Prefer to go ahead or leave on stand-by?
Any of the answers are important to me!
Hugs and good deals.”
At first, it may not seem to make much sense to follow up via email, but follow the process and send all the emails that are in the cadence flow. I’m sure you’ll get an answer, whether it’s positive or negative.
If the return is negative, contact the Lead again in a few months. If so, close the contract as soon as possible. Do not waste time!
When to abandon the follow-up?
A good salesperson also needs to know when it’s time to pause the follow-up with a particular contact. It’s just that being too pushy can end up alienating a contact who may not be ready to buy now, but who could be a customer in the future. And, worse, lead you to become a detractor of the company among family, friends, and social networks.
To avoid crossing the fine line between efficient follow-up and inconvenient follow-up, keep in mind that it’s best not to do so when:
- The contact says he won’t buy from you: some contacts just won’t close. Either because the solution doesn’t make sense, because they bought from the competition, or because they aren’t mature enough. If he’s convinced you don’t want to do business, respect that decision.
- The contact makes it clear that you don’t want to keep in touch: if your Lead says openly that he no longer wants to be approached by the company, why waste energy on him? Record this in the CRM tool, preventing other sellers from insisting on contacting you.
The role of CRM in sales follow-up
Now you know how to follow up. The tips we are talking about starting with planning and always include defining the next steps, taking the initiative, using the company’s contents, and respecting the contact hours.
But there is a tip that permeates all these steps and that, because it is so important, it even deserves a separate topic. It is the use of a good CRM (Customer Relationship Management) tool.
With CRM, you can keep all your follow-up actions well organized in one place. It contains information about each contact, reminders, emails sent, the reasons why you stopped following up with a Lead.
This way, you avoid common problems in the day-to-day of sellers, such as sending repeated emails or forgetting to make a call.
Want to know more? Get to know RD Station CRM, a tool that ensures organization, optimization and predictable management not only for follow-up but for your entire sales process.
To continue delving into the importance of follow-up in the business process, visit our complete guide on Reasons for Loss of Sales. In it, you’ll find exclusive content to learn how to sell more based on businesses that didn’t go ahead in your company!