Sales Call Follow Up Strategy
Sales Call Follow-Up Strategy
When finding the best sales call follow-up strategy, I prefer to set clear definitions of what is and what is not a sales follow-up call.
Example: If I call a new lead and only get the gatekeeper, voicemail, and/or send an email that does not get an initial response, the next time I reach out is not a follow-up call. It’s an FTC #2 attempt. FTC stands for First Time Call.
I label it this way for three reasons.
- It helps me keep track of the number of attempts I have made so far to this specific lead.
- Knowing which FTC attempt I am on allows me to know which message to use in case I get the gatekeeper, voicemail or need to send a 2nd (or 3rd) email. After all, you don’t want to leave the same message repeatedly.
- And the final reason is FTC’s (first-time calls) and actual Follow-up calls have different OBJECTIVES.
What is a Follow-up Sales Call?
A follow-up sales call is when you have spoken with the prospect, and for whatever reason, a “follow-up” call needs to happen before the deal is closed.
How Many Follow-ups to Close a Sale?
Every solution (product or service you sell) will be different. For example, some companies will have one-call close solutions, while others require multiple follow-ups. To find out the average for your company, track the statistics on closed/won opportunities if you are using sales tools (CRM, VOIP ETC) to get your company’s average.
To shorten the number of follow-ups required, sharpen your team’s sales qualifying skills by providing sales techniques training on how to get:
- problem recognition,
- identifying all the decision-makers,
- uncovering the timeline to implement the solution
- and qualifying on price.
These are all critical sales skills required to shorten sales cycles, reduce the number of follow-ups and increase close rates.
How to Follow up after a Sales Presentation
The secret to follow-up sales calls success is what you do on the previous call.
One important detail that needs to be uncovered on the previous call for you to have a successful follow-up call is correctly identifying your prospect’s role in the decision-making process.
One of the biggest complaints I hear is “We’re not closing enough” or “The sales cycle is taking too long.”
One of the main reasons those two sales problems arise is because the salesperson has put the prospect in the “decision maker” category when they’re either an info gatherer, an end user, or an influencer who was not asked to look into a solution.
If you have your prospect marked down as a decision maker, but they are an end-user or an info gatherer, you can do all the follow-ups you want and still not get any closer to closing the deal.
You’re chasing leads in your pipeline, thinking you are following up with the decision-maker when you are only following up with someone who has no power. It’s tough to win deals that way.
If you ever thought you had a solid deal in the pipeline and kept following up with your prospect and eventually got them on the phone and said:
“I’m calling to touch base, check-in, see if you had any questions?” and their answer is:
“No, I think we’re all set.”
That often happens because, on the previous call, we didn’t correctly identify the prospect’s actual role in the decision-making process. So that’s why I want to drive this point home. I don’t want to spend too much time on this subject in particular, but if you wish to make better follow-up calls, you must first make sure you correctly identify your prospects’ role in the decision-making process. If your inside sales team needs help learning how to do that, put them through this online course.
Your follow-up calls will be more successful when you learn to ask the right qualifying questions on the initial sales call.
Remember when I said there are different objectives between a first-time call (FTC) and a Follow-up call?
A follow-up call, your objective is to REIGNITE THE SALE. Therefore, you must reheat or warm the prospect back up in the first few seconds of the follow-up call.
Sales Follow-up Examples
Your personalized follow-up sales script is written for you when you ask the right sales question on the previous call!
“Hi (Prospects name) – Last we spoke, we discussed (now mention problems they want to solve), and (now mention what was supposed to happen between now and then). I also had another idea that might be of some interest to you. Is now still a good time to have that conversation?”
Should I Follow-up With “No” s?
One question I received from a student was:
“Should I still follow up with a prospect even after they have said “NO” to what we offer?”
Too many salespeople waste a lot of time calling on prospects that have repeatedly rejected their offers.
This clogs up your pipeline. You can only make so many calls in a day, and if a good majority of those calls are past “rejects,” it shouldn’t be a surprise if you are struggling to hit your sales quota. You can’t expect to grow a crop in bad soil, no matter how many times you replant the seeds.
What to do instead
There’s this funny thing that all prospects get every once in a while.
It’s called a “TRIGGER EVENT.”
A trigger event happens on the prospect’s side that makes them realize they now have a problem and could use a solution. Maybe your solution.
It’s what makes a cold lead warm. Or even hot.
However, if you kept calling every prospect that has told you “NO” and continued to follow up with them, you would never have time to restock the lake. And constantly talking to fresh new prospects is vital in sales.
So… What Do We Do Now?
If you are a solopreneur, learn how to write, create and send out helpful newsletters that “do the dialing” for you.
As your database grows weekly, you will get more and more “no’s” along with your yes’.
The ones that fall into the “no” category can be on your helpful newsletter list.
This is where you offer advice on how to solve a problem your targeted audience has. And if they like what you say in your newsletters, they will continue to read them.
And when a trigger event happens, their hand will go up. They will call you!
If you are one of many inside sales reps in your organization, I think marketing should take care of this. If they aren’t doing this already, feel free to share this email with them. After all, the more leads you close, the better marketing looks!
Have your marketing team use automation tools like Hubspot or Active Campaign and set them up so that if someone on your newsletter list that was a NO in the past suddenly visits a particular hot page on your website, you get notified asap.
This is a great way to be notified that a trigger event may have happened with your prospect as they are now back on your website looking at what you offer, and it would be an excellent time to pick up the phone and call them asap.