While we work to generate leads and close sales, it is likely that sales prospects will ask us to call them back and perform some sort of lead follow-up. Since this happens very frequently, the better we manage and execute our following up can have drastic improvements in overall sales results. Below are five practical and easy to adopt sales tips that will drive immediate improvements in following up on sales leads.
1. Follow-up Reminders
It is critical to have some sort of tool or process for reminding yourself when to follow up with sales prospects. This tip may not need much attention as it may be likely that most sales people use some sort of reminder or lead tracking system. Even if a process is in place, it can be helpful to make sure that reminders are working so that sales leads are followed up at the right time. Tools that are good for this are CRM’s and computer based calendar programs.
2. Bring Clarity to the Follow-up
It is very often to hear a prospect say, “Call me back in a month.” And one option that we have is to do as they say and call them back in a month. One thing wrong with that path is that when a prospect does this, they might be brushing you off which would mean you have an unqualified lead in your pipeline and you might be wasting your valuable time when you work on the lead follow-up.
One thing you can do when you get the request for you to follow back up later is to learn more about why they are asking you to do this. If they are just busy now and that is why they want you to check back, will it be likely that they will be just as busy when you call back or will be there be some sort of change? If they are just normal busy now and can’t find time for you, it is possible that they will always be too busy and this could provide details in terms of how qualified the sales lead is.
3. Compelling Event
One thing that can help when you are in the lead follow-up process is to identify a compelling event. A compelling event is some sort of event or date that is important to prospect and it can be associated with the product or service that you are selling.
When you are aware of a compelling event, you can then use that information when you manage your follow-up related interactions. For example, if you know the prospect has to make a change by June 1rst, you can then bring that significant date to the discussion when prospects tells when to follow up.
4. Let the Prospect Provide Guidance
When the prospect is not ready to talk or to move forward, it can be powerful to let them tell you when they want you to call them back. As sales people, we can often worry about being too aggressive with our follow-up calls. But if the prospect tells us when to call and we call them exactly when they say to call, there is no way for us to look like we are bugging them or are being too aggressive as we are simply following the guidance that they provided.
5. Evaluation Plan
We could take the guidance tip one step further and build out an evaluation plan with the prospect to detail out all of the future steps and time details of what would need to be done if both parties agree to keep moving forward. This can provide a map for all lead follow-up interactions.