Creative, engaging, and informative marketing content is critical to generate leads. But what happens when a lead engages enough to warrant a response from your sales team? If you’re already using all of the benefits of Salesforce for keeping track of your leads, you’re off to fantastic start. You’ll be more organized and more prepared to approach your role in the sales process with confidence (and you won’t have to buy as many Sticky Notes!) Perhaps you’re also using a method of lead scoring, which can help measure the maturation of leads, so you’re never contacting one too soon, or wasting valuable time on leads that aren’t engaged (more on that later in this article). By keeping these 5 tips for successful Sales follow up in mind, you set yourself up to generate more revenue, and turn more inbound leads into lifelong, repeat customers.
Yet, just because an interested party worked up the courage to submit a “Contact Us” form, does not mean all of your work is done. There are many tips and tricks that a salesperson can keep in mind to be more effective – while some are industry specific or can only be gained with experience and “feel”, others are backed up by statistics and ring true regardless of the product or service you bring to market. In light of that, here are 5 of the Nuvem Consulting Sales Team’s best tips for turning interested inbound leads into lifelong clients.
1. Follow Up ASAP!
In the world of sales, timing is everything! Following up as fast as possible with a lead shows off multiple positive attributes for your organization. In fact, research has shown that following up with a lead within 10 minutes of their point of contact, can increase the chances of a sale by 400%.
First, it shows that you, the salesperson, will be their go-to source of information. It innately shows that you are organized and you carry earnest integrity into the sales process. Nobody wants to deal with a slow salesperson. Secondly, especially when using web-to-lead forms, it shows that your organization’s business processes works smoothly.
Finally, following up quickly has another added benefit – it gives the lead less time to contact competitors’ sales teams. If you don’t contact a lead with haste, I promise you another salesperson gladly will!
2. Include Links to Helpful Content in Follow Ups
Leaving a friendly and enthusiastic voicemail for a lead is a great way to build rapport. However, at its core, a one-sided request for a meeting is generic and unmemorable. Instead, turn this first follow up into an opportunity to craft your organization’s story and capabilities, even if it’s in a broad sense. If your company has client success stories, now is a great chance to include one.
If you have relevant information on services or products, include those links. Some leads may be extremely general, in which case it is best to keep your response content broad. Others may be extremely specific in their request, in which case you can tailor your content at a more granular level. Even if your organization is new or does not have robust content, something as simple as the “About Us” page can provide a useful talking point when initially engaging with a lead.
3. Don’t Follow Up With Everyone
This is where the lead qualification mentioned above really comes into play and using Salesforce with a marketing automation tool such as Pardot really produces the greatest ROI from a sales team’s perspective. Not everyone you have the ability to contact should be contacted. Certain interactions an interested party has with your organization should be left to “mature”.
For example, if someone subscribes to your blog – great! That does not mean you should immediately press them for a chance to set up a meeting. Let them enjoy and learn from your blog content and become organically engaged. Once ready, those subscribers will reach out to you and at that point they already have trust that you have expertise. Again, timing is everything. Marketing automation tools like Pardot can design campaigns that nurture leads until they have gained enough momentum to make them accepting of a sales call or email.
4. Express Empathy With Your Lead’s Pain Points
Even with the increased automation of modern sales processes, empathy is still a salesperson’s best friend. A sales pitch devoid of emotion is often devoid of success, too. After a client discusses their concerns or pain points, many salespeople will jump right into their suggested product or service. Sadly, that’s missing out on a great moment for the salesperson to pause and say, “That sounds like a genuine problem, I can understand why that would be frustrating, but I’ve had other clients in similar situations and I’m really hoping I can help solve this for you”. Your lead can probably guess you have a suggested solution – instead, take a moment to genuinely acknowledge their pain.
5. Clearly Outline the Next Steps
It’s easy as a salesperson to get swept up in where the client leads the conversation during an initial follow up. Ultimately, however, it is your responsibility to direct the conversation to analyze their needs and to set the next steps or meetings in the sales process.
Regardless, it is critical to clearly state what comes next. After your initial voice to voice call with an inbound lead, send them a follow up email. In it, thank them for their time and interest in your products or services, and clearly state what steps they can expect next. If it’s another meeting, send them available dates and times and ask them to pick what works best for them. If the meeting time was already determined, send out a calendar invite so they have clear visibility and a reminder of your next touch-point. If documents or artifacts need to be provided by either party, clearly state them in bullet points at the end of the email and include dates if possible. It’s easy to get swept up in the enthusiasm of the first contact with an inbound lead, so make sure you stay grounded by giving both parties visibility on the goals you are moving towards.
Inbound leads do not produce any guarantees, but you can easily increase your standing in the eyes of a lead. Remember, while marketing content may have spurred a lead to reach out to you, as the salesperson, you are likely the first human interaction they will have with the organization. Make sure that interaction is prompt, enthusiastic, and shows off the best practices your organization has built; they reflect more to a lead than you can imagine.