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Creating a Compelling Sales Follow Up Process: 4 Things to Consider

June 2017

compelling-sales-follow-up-processFor a sales person, the chances of reaching a prospect on the first attempt and having them readily agree to part with their cash, are extremely small. Being successful in a sales role requires dedication, tenacity, knowledge and at times a thick skin.

Of the hundreds of calls and emails an inside sales team can make in a day, a high proportion of these will go ignored.

Statistics reveal thdbjwqebjies require approximately 5 attempts at contact before they are willing to engage. But with 44% of sales representatives moving on after the first failed attempt at contact, there are a staggering amount of missed opportunities and sales cases lost before they had the chance to begin.

A consistent and compelling process for prospect nurturing and sales follow up is key in b2b lead generation strategy and sales pipeline growth. Voicemails and emails are key components of a well-established follow up process but in order to prove effective, they need to resonate with, and create value for, the reader.

Efficient over Generic

The sales floor is a high intensity environment where high numbers of dials and emails are essential to generating leads and closing sales. Time becomes a valuable resource and allocating it effectively can become a challenge.

For many, the need to achieve these volumes can very quickly lead to the trap of generic follow up processes.

With prospects prioritising the value they can receive from their engagements with a sales representative, generic emails and voicemails very rarely hit home, resulting in low success levels and a suffering sales pipeline.

Time is valuable, but by spending more time creating effective sales follow up processes, your lead generation efforts can become much more efficient, yielding higher volumes of qualified sales opportunities.

Create a compelling sales follow up process which is efficient but not generic by considering the following features:

The use of BASHO Emails

Emails which tell a prospect you were “just checking in” rarely achieve anything. Craft your emails around the specific challenges your prospects are facing and the value you can bring to them. By creating sales email templates in the style of a BASHO style sequence, you can create a readily available follow up process that can be quickly edited to include relevant and valuable information specific to a particular prospect, thus enabling you to demonstrate that you understand their individual situation and needs. 

Subject Line quality

Using BASHO emails is a great way to create the content for your sales follow up processes, but getting your prospect to open your email in the first place depends on your subject line. Creating effective subject lines is more of an art than a science, and finding the one that generate optimal results can be an ongoing series of A/B testing, analysis and evaluation. But there are a few characteristics that are consistent of a good subject line:  

  • Short & Sweet – A typical inbox will only reveal about 60 characters while smartphones display even less. If your subject line is too long, your message will be lost.
  • Place compelling words at the beginning – You have limited space as it is, and you never know if an email will be viewed on a mobile. Place the important words at the start of your subject line.
  • Keep it simple and focused – Make your subject line relatable to the content and focused on the core point of your email message.

 

The number and type of touchpoints in your follow up process.

Giving up after one failed attempt is not the way to generate leads, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that 5 attempts is the golden number.

Finding the exact number of touch points or contact attempts your prospects will need before they are willing to engage will depend on a variety of factors.  Experiment and analyse results until you find the optimal level of follow up required to generate leads and close sales. These follow up actions can be split across calls, emails and voicemails, and any other method of contact you have available to you.

Use previous data to understand what typically works best. This, coupled with your knowledge of a prospect and your skills and experiences as a sales person, will enable you to determine the optimal number and type of touch points required in each  follow up process.

When you are attempting to follow up

Again, previous data will come in handy in determining over what time period you should spread your sales follow up processes. Longer sales cycles might require a longer follow up processes; but again, your knowledge of your individual prospects will enable you to tailor specific elements to generate maximum levels of engagement.

In addition to the length of time your follow up process takes, the actual time of day, or day of the week that you attempt to make contact will have an impact on the effectiveness of your follow up sequence. Use knowledge of your buyer personas to understand which time of day they would be most receptacle to calls and emails.

 

The sales follow up process is a recognisable and essential component of a lead generation strategy, but it’s not enough to just simply have one in place. With templates and processes, sales representatives can create efficient follow up processes which go beyond generic messages, and can compel prospects to further engage.

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