In sales, there’s nothing more soul-destroying than a red-hot lead slipping through the cracks while you’re off chasing a bunch of tire-kickers.
That is a real morale killer.
Particularly if marketing is working really well with sales to qualify the lead for your team.
Frustration builds fast. You’re slogging it out to handle all the leads in your pipeline, but all people outside your team see is a precious opportunity lost.
We want to share the 4 practical steps you need to build into your sales process to make sure your excellent leads don't get away because you can’t follow up effectively.
Focus on the Activities You Control - Not the Results You Can’t Control
We’ve all experienced the lack of control you sometimes feel when selling.
You can do everything right, but you simply can’t control the mind of your prospect. Sure, there are ways to improve the chance that people want what you’re selling by leveraging cognitive bias. You can even train your sales team’s soft skills and work on improving your sales conversations to give yourself a better chance at closing more deals.
But the result is not in your control.
Leads may just decide not to buy.
Even if you did everything at the top of your game - some prospects will not pull the trigger.
But what if you’re losing leads through the things that you can control?
That’s a huge problem.
You need to focus your attention here and develop a process to reduce (or banish) thses instances.
Late or missed follow-ups are a pet hate for any sales manager. Equally, your potential client can be so frustrated by your lack of communication that they may spread the story of their negative experience with others. This compounds your mistake and costs you even more potential deals in the future.
Sales reps operating under a scattergun approach with no structure to their daily tasks can appear disorganized, underprepared and lacking in confidence. Prospects can easily sniff out a lack of research and a spot of desperation.
1. Things you can control:
- When you follow up
- How you follow up
2. Things you can’t control:
- If the customer buys
- When the customer buys
Focus on number one.
We want to explain the four practical steps you need to implement into your sales process in order to stop losing deals because of the way you follow-up.
But first - two simple rules your sales team needs to live by immediately (even before you update your sales process).
Prompt Communication = More Deals Closed
According to a survey commissioned by the Harvard Business Review, salespeople see a 400% increase in lead response when contacting a lead within the first five minutes.
This could be as simple as developing an automated (but personalized) initial response email template.
Getting in first is clearly important.
A study in the UK also found that only 2% of deals are concluded when the two parties meet for the first time, while 80% of sales take five follow up calls to close. But over 50% of salespeople give up after just one follow up call!.
So, that’s two simple things you need to build into your sales process straight up.
- Get in first and get in as early as possible
- Persistence will pay off, so don’t give up at one attempt
Build follow-up speed into your process with automated email follow-ups (and use email templates to make this change quickly and consistently across your team). Here’s a simple way to make this automation happen with Pipedrive.