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Best Follow-Up Strategies Every Salesperson Should Know

Posted by IndustrySelect on Thursday, September 8, 2022

Best Follow-Up Strategies for B2B Sales


How many times does your first contact result in a closed sale? Unless you were born under an incredibly lucky star, not many. So let's discover why a single call won't complete the transaction and investigate some B2B follow-up strategies.

Why Following Up is Essential

If you delve into industry research, you'll find that 73% of your B2B prospects won't be ready to do business on your first cold call. They could be waiting for budget approval, the beginning of the next quarter, or obtaining a certification necessary to qualify for a contract. Whatever the reason, your follow-up call is what moves your sales ball down the court.

Sad explanations for sales failures jump out in the following statistics.

● 48% of sales representatives never follow up.
● 64% of companies confess they have no organized system to usher leads along to a closed sale.
● On average, it takes companies an excruciatingly long 72 hours to follow up with a prospect.

On the road to a closed sale, the percentage of time sales representatives succeed per contact is:

● First: 2%.
● Second: 3%.
● Third: 5%.
● Fourth: 10%.
● Fifth through twelfth: 80%.

Unfortunately, 44% of sales representatives abandon their efforts after initial contact. The reluctance to proceed is a recipe for disaster. However, some follow-up methods are more effective than others in promoting continued communication. While letting your fingers fly over the keyboard may be less stressful than picking up your phone or knocking on a door, a continuous flood of emails won't convert a prospect into a purchaser.

Why Email is not Enough as a Follow-up

How much of your email goes straight to your spam folder? How much of it do you wish would go straight to your spam folder? Unless you enjoy being besieged by unnecessary and sometimes infuriating offers, you would likely say a majority of it. Your prospects quite likely face a similar situation. Unless highly anticipated, emails that make it to their eyes will receive the most cursory of glances. As a result, daily follow-up emails often accomplish nothing. So what are the best B2B approaches for follow-ups that seal the deal?

The Dos and Don'ts of Successful Follow-ups

What's the most convenient form of communication? Increasingly, it's a text. Texts are rapid, easy, and less likely to intrude on scheduled activities than a phone call or a visit. However, to send a text, you need one indispensable piece of information: a cellphone number. You can obtain one with a simple strategy. On your first contact, inquire about your prospects if they need more information. A customer request for data increases your probability of a sale by 300%. Make sure you ask for the number to send the text. Voila! You've opened your communication channel. Now you can send text, images, or links, whatever your potential customers require to keep their interest piqued.

A prospect is also more likely to respond to a call on a personal cellphone than a company landline. Once you've established your channel, you can continue to get your message heard. In addition, remember to record cellphone numbers in customer profiles. Comprehensive files can be worth their weight in gold.

To breach the walls of decision makers, always treat gatekeepers like royalty. If they can connect you to qualified prospects, you've overcome a massive hurdle to making a sale. Even if you can't obtain a cellphone number or reach the decision maker, don't give up—address as many options as possible. Call the prospect's office, the receptionist, and co-workers who might facilitate the connections you need. Another approach is requesting the name of a subordinate who'll accept your call and pass on your information to a superior. Whether in conversation with a live person or, as a last resort, a voicemail, don't forget to leave a curiosity-provoking message.

Why Persistence Pays Off

If you've completed all those calls and don't sense a sale approaching, the impulse to slack off may rear its ugly head. Resist that temptation! People love to know you've taken an interest, whether you've actually completed a transaction or not. A friendly lunch, a pass to a trade show, an update on industry conditions, or a heads up to an unannounced product release can all lead to sales, even if they’re a substantial period of time down the road.

How Getting Creative Can Lead to the Best Follow-ups

Anyone can call, knock on a door, or send a text or email. If you want to capture a prospect's attention, get creative. One method you can use to drum up interest in sending a newsletter. Information on upcoming regulations or supply chain bottlenecks can convince a prospect of your deep understanding of the industry. Providing business-promoting intelligence will keep you at the front of a potential purchaser's mind.

If you really want to make an impression, try a handwritten letter. Among stacks of documents spit out by printers, a human touch will glow like a beacon. Subsequent to a call or a meeting, a personal thank-you note will engender warm feelings and a positive response to your next communication. Do you want your prospects to remember your face? Try sending a selfie video. Embedding yourself firmly in their mind's eye will contribute to building trust in you and your product.

Most importantly, never forget or ignore a contact. Positions change, and companies reorganize. The middle manager who loved your product but couldn't authorize a purchase last quarter may become empowered to execute a future agreement. Make every possible effort to stay abreast of your clients' pertinent developments.

How to Make the Most of Your Calls

How do you both locate new prospects and keep the information you have reliable and up to date? IndustrySelect can help. A subscription will provide you with vital decision makers' names, positions, and contact information. Additionally, you can create and expand lists and export profiles. You can even synchronize data with your address book. Make every call count. Sign up for a free demo today!

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