Building a Solid Follow-up Process for Your Sales Team
Businesses are built on sales and any business worth their merit will know that sales take time, effort, strategy, and a good old ask!
Asking for the sale is the way to grow businesses but ‘sales calls’ are not everyone’s favourite pass time, so we’re not going to suggest that you ‘hit the phones’ in a cold call frenzy.
Following-up is essential if you’re working on bringing in leads to your business and a CRM like Sales Radar can only help you get to the exciting point of following-up when they say “YES!”.
But you and your team have to take the action! The CRM can only guide you.
In her book, “Your Money is in the Follow-up” Helen Callier shares her thoughts on why all small businesses can (and should) grow their sales by using effective follow-ups.
Helen argues that there are three basic phases in the sales process.
- Identifying market opportunities and target accounts.
- Presenting solutions.
- And following-up.
“Follow-up is vital in the sales process and it is important in the on-going development of your business relationship with your target accounts.” Helen explained, and we’re inclined to agree.
SalesRadar was built to help you manage your follow-ups and we’d like to share some ways to follow-up and some ideas on building up touch points (a simple form of follow-up).
Fifth time’s a charm
The reason following-up in sales is key is because of that well-known and well-used stat that “80% of sales are made on the fifth time of asking”.
Simply put: most (68%) of salespeople don’t get the sale because they don’t ask (enough) for it.
This isn’t about being annoying either (more on that below). This can and should be about adding value, checking in, updating contacts, or simply making them laugh, think or act.
Follow-up doesn’t have to mean sales calls!
It just needs to involve talking, continuing conversations, and getting to know your leads better… and vice versa.
You’re building trust, and any sales team will tell you how important that is.
Stop hiding behind email
Sorry, but five emails are not five follow-ups. Not all emails arrive, not all emails are perfect, and most emails tend to get ignored.
Being ignored doesn’t count in the follow-up game – attention does.
Email can be a great medium and you’re welcome to try using email in your follow-up but just like creating content to stay front-of-mind (which we’ll cover further down), email can be a really useful background sales machine, marketer, and trust builder.
Email marketing sent out regularly when full of value can help you to keep in contact with someone without hassling them for that order, or nudging them to see if they need a quote.
Email marketing, although passive and with low open rates, could be a really useful addition to your marketing streams.
But don’t only follow-up via email and don’t hide behind email. The next tip is for you if that’s you…
Pick up the phone
The old ‘dog and bone’ is a tool you should reconnect with this year. It’s a powerful tool and one that beats emails and social media hands down. Many of the top marketers actually use a telesales team to convert from their digital marketing as they know when you get someone on the phone you can build better rapport far more quickly.
The fear of the phone is a strange one, so why not approach it in a different way?
In his classic book, “How to Win Friends and Influence People” Dale Carnegie shared six simple ways to help encourage people to like you. You could use them on the phone to improve your sales.
genuinely interested in other people.
(On the phone this improves your tone!)
that a person’s name is to that person the sweetest and most important sound in
any language. (Use your CRM to remind you.)
- Be a good
listener. Ask them a question and then… shut up!
- Talk in
terms of the other person’s interests. Find out what they really want.
- Make the other person feel important – and do it sincerely.
The telephone is a powerful sales tool and when you use it to follow-up, you’re talking to people who already know you and understand a little about what you do. Continue that conversation!
Create content to stay front-of-mind
With social media, blogs, emails, and other forms of digital marketing, you have a wealth of options to stay remembered. Creating content consistently means that anyone you come into contact with will see your content and you’ll find it easier to follow-up with them as the content adds value and builds trust in between your sales activities and follow-ups.
The best thing about content marketing is that you do it once and it matters not how many people you have reading or consuming it. Create content, engage with 100s, 1000s, or even 1,000,000s!
Send content or articles to start a conversation
We like this option and we heard a really great story recently that we wanted to share…
A business owner was keen to get involved with a huge global business but was having no luck. After months of following -up, emailing, and trying to get a call booked, he was near the end of his patience.
But he saw an article in a paper that mentioned someone who’d become a local celebrity for stopping a robbery… whilst wearing the outfit from one of their characters. So, he clipped the article, sent it to the client and made a little joke about it… and he got the call!
You see, you don’t have to be salesy to get the sale. Sometimes you just need to be there.
Send a gift
Use the postal service!
How much post do you get now? Not so much, right? Now think about your email inbox and how full it is. How can you stand out?
Sending something inexpensive in the post is really simple and jumps out from the rest. Think about how you can get your brand on their desk or in their minds, or if you’ve written a book – do this!
- Buy your book on Amazon.
- Add a note to the parcel (a message or even “About time we chatted about XYZ?”)
- And then gift wrap it and send it to the lead via Amazon.
Who doesn’t love an Amazon parcel?
Go for coffee
This is an old favourite, but one that works well. Invite them for coffee, invite them to a networking event, offer to meet them at an industry event, or invite them to an event you’re exhibiting at.
Or send them one of those pre-paid coffee cards you can get from Starbucks or similar and casually ask them… or just let them have coffee on you!
Playing it cool, more of the time
Sales calls and follow-up might seem like a horrid task but if you look at them as helping others and adding value to their life and business, it becomes much easier.
Build a little strategy, add it to your audiences on SalesRadar CRM, and get closer to the yes! Remember: most sales come in the fifth touchpoint, but not all touch points need to be sales-led!