Success in sales is all about perseverance with a high level of patience and grit. Very rarely do sales deals close on the first call. Less than 5% of the sales deals close on the first call itself, while more than 80% of the deals close after the 5th meeting as per a study. More interesting facts have emerged from the study. There are ~5% of organizations that are active in the process of buying actively, while around 40% of them are about to start the process very soon.
Reasons why follow-ups are super important
- Helps maintain continuous engagement with prospective buyers
- In-depth understanding of their needs and requirements over time
- Help develop a better relationship with the contact
- Constant follow-ups aid in timing the buyers when in-market
- Opportunity to discuss product offerings with cross-functional teams
Follow-ups are indispensable in sales! Not that it is a recent discovery, but almost all sales leaders are pretty aware of this fact. It’s generally an execution and tracking problem with most organizations. Follow-ups, though sound simple, executing them consistently over 365 days across the sales teams, is not that easy.
Why do most teams struggle with a robust follow-up cadence?
Even the most battle-hardened salespeople falter with a rigorous follow-up regime. There are several reasons why follow-ups as an activity have not been the most interesting of tasks. Several reasons are impacting better follow-up compliance:
- A large majority of follow-up calls and emails are ignored by buyers
- An equally large proportion of follow-up efforts get a negative response
- Delayed responses to serial follow-ups actions
- Inconvenient process without a proper system in place
- Sales teams are preoccupied with new leads
- Lack of motivation among salespeople
- Psychological reasons
- Manual effort required
Setting up an automated follow-up process in sales CRM
- Automate follow-up on cold emails: You frequently shoot cold emails to priority prospects with little success. Following up on such a big chunk of MQL could be time and effort-consuming. Setting up an automated follow-up email, based on the response (opened, did not open) of recipients will reduce a lot of manual work.
- Trigger an automated post-meeting email: Suppose you just had a good meeting with a prospective buyer. A lead has been just updated the Lead as a qualified lead. You can set up an email trigger for your customers with a “Thank You” message and a quick note that you will send a detailed email later that day.
- Set up Auto-dial feature to call follow-up leads: Imagine having an integrated telephony solution with your sales CRM solution. With advanced features, you can set up an auto-dialing facility on the set of follow-up leads. For example, every Wednesday between 4 pm-5 pm, with a single trigger from the CRM, the telephony solution starts auto-dialing all follow-up leads one after the other. Calls that get connected are diverted to the salesperson.
- Automate follow-up call reminders: You made an outbound call to your prospective buyer, and the call was unanswered. Now, you update the details in CRM, and an automated reminder for a follow-up call to be scheduled by the system.
- Follow-up nudges on email: Set up a follow-up nudge in your sales CRM system to pop up leads to be followed up without an automated response. This feature would be helpful in cases where you would not want to send automated responses/trigger emails.
- Callback reminder workflow: All leads that are updated in the CRM with a callback disposition, and the system every time asks for a callback time mandatorily. This automation will ensure minimum chances of missing out on creating callback reminders separately in the system.
Making the follow-up process a success across the sales organization:
For any team aiming to drive a consistent cadence of follow-up in their sales process, the first and the most important thing is to make this process a part of the organization's culture. It is also essential to drive this practice top-down and conduct training sessions to build awareness and emphasize the need from a business objective standpoint. Through a set of case studies, industry research, and group discussion sessions cascading the importance of follow-ups is very important. These actions should be a good starting point to kickstart the drive.
Although to sustain the drive, an engagement cum incentive program should be rolled-out across the sales function. Salespeople should be incentivized for adhering to the follow-up structure and laggard team members should be constantly sensitized to its importance. Over time, when front-end salespeople observe the results, they would truly recognize and appreciate the painstaking effort that everyone took to a common business objective.
Chakra Sales is a modern sales execution solution to productize your sales process from Lead to Order, eliminating manual activities and multiple data entries. Integrating all the associated tools, Chakra Sales creates a unified interface for sales activities with automated data capture and activity logging.
If you are looking for a customized sales solution for your fast-growing organization, do consider a free demo with Chakra Sales.