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Kate Heron 12th August 2019

Effective Sales Follow up - How to close more deals

When it comes to effective sales follow up, finding that happy medium between being overly persistent and pushy, to no follow up procedure at all can be tricky for salespeople.

That middle ground of what the Goldilocks principle would class as neither too hot nor too cold isn’t always a walk in the park (or woods in her case!) and can take years of practice to perfect.

Working in B2B sales you’ll know that your team doesn’t have years to refine this process and effective sales follow up is something which needs to be accomplished right now.

Marketing Automaton can act as that cog in the wheel to keep your sales funnel turning, helping you achieve maximum effectiveness within your sales follow up process with minimal effort from your sales team. We’ve put together a few insider tips from our decade of experience working alongside hundreds of businesses across industries.

Establish a process

Follow up processes are often created on a whim, pieced together reactively or individually by each salesperson with no clear consistency.

By switching this up and establishing a follow up process across your business before any lead generation activity, you’ll avoid any headache from your sales and marketing departments as to who is responsible for initiating contact with prospective clients.

According to Gartner Research,

automated lead management has helped companies see a
10% uplift in revenue in less than a year.

Marketing Automation works by putting together your ideal ‘workflows’, which can be tailored individually to each activity, call to action or pain point and work seamlessly in the background from opportunity creation to close of sale.

You can schedule communication or sales emails to go out automatically based upon each lead’s engagement, delegate tasks based upon opportunity profile and fill in any gaps in your messaging which can often get lost within the sales funnel.

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Time is of the essence.

According to Hubspot,

35-50% of sales go to the vendor that responds first.

Far too often sales opportunities are being missed due to delayed response rates from sales teams. Time really is of the essence when it comes to follow up and so being too busy really isn’t an excuse for delays in following up opportunities.

For example, a study by Harvard Business Review found that those who attempted to reach leads within an hour were nearly seven times likelier to have meaningful conversations with decision makers than those who waited even sixty minutes.

Opportunities have a shelf life and leaving prospects waiting around for answers won’t cut it when it comes to beating your competition.

By automating follow up emails through marketing automation software you’re given the peace of mind that each engagement is being actioned, whether you’re currently tied up on the road, are on annual leave or just haven’t even had the time of day to sit still, yet alone monitor your sales pipeline.

You can create emails to go in real-time following any immediate enquiries, schedule emails based on opportune times of the day or even create a sequence to send on popular days of the month where prospects are likely to be listening.

For example, HubSpot’s email report found that sending emails at 11am has a 30% higher open rate than any other time of the day. However, remember that this might change based upon the industry you’re targeting, so do your research beforehand and then schedule your engagement at the most appropriate times for your sector.

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Content that makes a kick

Lastly, but potentially the important thing to consider when managing your sales follow up process is what information and content you’re providing prospects to get them on board.

Slapdash emails with two lines asking them to get back in touch really won’t cut it anymore.

DemandGen found that,

95% of buyers chose a vendor that provided content to navigate each stage of the buying process.

Although responsiveness is crucial when it comes to maximising on sales opportunities, don’t underestimate how much the quality of your responses will resonate with prospects.

For example, Marketing Sherpa found that something so simple as personalising emails with a recipients first name in the subject line boosted open rates by up to 30%!

Focus your content ahead of prospecting and build a central supply of information which you can easily tap into as and when needed. Most automation software will allow you to build up your own media centre which you can draw on should you see fit.

Companies that excel at lead nurturing generate 50% more sales-ready leads, and do so at a 33% lower cost.

So remember, just because you’ve got your foot in the door, doesn’t mean a prospect has bought into your offering. Be persistent, without being pushy, create content that captivates and use marketing automation and lead nurture as a tool to provide you with the highest returns (with as little work as from your sales team as possible!).

Fancy a chat with one of our sector specialists to see where Marketing Automation could fit into your sales process? Le’ts continue the conversation by getting in touch through the link below.

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Written By Kate Heron
Kate graduated with a first in Marketing & communications. She supports delivery of multi-channel marketing campaigns, ensuring that communications are aligned across telephone and email marketing channels.

Also written by Kate