Whether you connect with your prospects on the first try or the fifth, the real struggle comes when you have to develop a strategy to follow-up with them and get them to commit. There are so many things that can go wrong – you either oversell your product, contact them too often, or you come off as pushy and annoying.
Here are a few suggestions that can help you build an effective follow-up strategy:
1. Identify prospect interest
The journey to understand your prospects’ interests is never-ending, but gaining insight and a better understanding of consumers and consumer behavior is important to keep up with your industry and stay ahead of competitors.
Sales reps are always looking for new ways to predict their target buyers’ behaviors. Start by segmenting your target buyers based on who’s talking about your brand, who’s following along or interacting with you, and who has trust and shows purchasing intent in your products. Once segmented, figure out what topics they are interested in. By doing this you can discover some incredible insights about your prospects that can help your sales team make big business decisions. This is an area that brands have largely untapped opportunities to learn about the people they want to reach out to and connect with.
There are various ways to conduct prospect research – market intelligence tools, manual data analysis, customer surveys, etc.
2. Create a prospect directory
You can’t really market your brand unless you actually know who you want to market yourself to. Building a prospect directory is about identifying the right customers for your unique set of services.
Creating a prospect directory is one of the most effective ways to avoid becoming overwhelmed and to stay focused on end-goals. You become more organized in your marketing efforts and business management when you’re working from a prospect directory.
Your prospect directory need not be something fancy: in fact, a basic spreadsheet that keeps your ideas and thoughts organized all in one place will do the job. If you have no idea who your ideal clients are, then it’s time for you to start creating an ideal prospect profile!
3. Plan a roadmap to connect with a prospect on a schedule
You’ve built a prospect list and have an awesome prospect directory in place – now you can build a relationship with those prospects and start pitching them your product!
Analyze your current relationship status with each of your prospects. Do they know who you are? Have you connected with them in the past? What are the various possible ways to cultivate relationships with them?
Identify at least three actionable ways in which you can cultivate a relationship with each of your prospects on creating a scheduled timeline for the communications to be sent – then stick to it!
4. Create follow-up sequences to engage and establish connections
Having a follow-up strategy is essential to building trust and relationships with your prospects, but you have to know what kind of strategy is right for you.
Sending emails is one of the most common ways to follow-up but is often overused – because of this, use email follow-up in conjunction with a specified cadence to avoid having your emails getting caught up in spam filters.
The more personalized the approach, the better the chances for success. Send your prospects hand-signed letters, for example. When your prospect sees your name on their phone, it helps to build awareness.
Invite them to a seminar and let them hear you speak. People often regard speakers as authorities on their subjects. By doing this you get a chance to meet them in person and establish yourself as a knowledge leader at the same time.
LinkedIn and similar social media channels have also changed the way business is done. You can now identify prospects that maybe 2nd or 3rd-degree connections, alongside shared connections from industry, your previous firms, and colleges. These provide a great excuse to reach out.
There are many other channels to get on a prospect’s radar. Some are loaded with heavy traffic while others are an open road to your destination.
5. Record prospect responses from email and phone calls and update it on the CRM
Maintaining a healthy record of communication is essential to any good business. When it comes to finding suitable customers, your prospecting records are a treasure trove of information. They can help you quickly identify and meet your prospect’s needs – making the most of every prospect interaction.
The prospecting database will allow you to classify people as leads or prospects. It assigns priority rankings to prospects and leads and can help you avoid sending repeated information to your prospects.
A good CRM system stores details including:
- Date and time of contact
- How the contact was made (website/phone/email)
- The content of written correspondence
- Summary of verbal interaction
- Results of the contact
This information can be used to schedule future contacts and help target follow-ups to secure sales. With accurate data, you can assess the effectiveness of your past campaigns and easily predict the future behavior of your prospects.
6. Maintain email cadence and call schedule flow
You obviously want to get in touch with your prospect as soon as possible. This means calling them multiple times in a short period, right? Unfortunately, doing this can make you look desperate and annoying. So how else do you get in touch and not put them out?
Very simple. Create a follow-up schedule and stick on to it. The schedule may differ based on the type of product or service you’re selling, your prospect’s location, or the season in which you call.
If you haven’t got any response from your first phone and email, don’t give up. Simply wait for a day or two and reach out once again. This time you’ll have to focus more on offering a different solution to a problem that your product or service solves.
Still no response? Wait another two days and then reach out to them again. Your third message will restate that you’ve tried contacting them twice before. In this email, you can send relevant materials from your blog that effectively addresses a problem you think they’re facing. Make it very clear you’re always available to schedule a call, speak about their goals, and share your expertise.
7. Evaluate the sales lifecycle to learn the effectiveness of your communication
High-quality customer experience is made of high-quality customer interactions. The goal of any company that is interested in using the customer experience as a competitive advantage should be mainly to create a positive response at every touch point.
Attempting to measure customer experiences with only a single metric can often turn out to be an overly simplistic and ineffective approach. Measuring and managing a portfolio of metrics that include touch point results can provide valuable insights into what is working and what is not.
However, not all “touches” are the same. Some interactions might matter more than others. By measuring each touch point independently it’s easy to determine its contribution to the overall effectiveness – as well as, more successfully measure the entire customer experience.
8. Repeat or recreate the process that works
Here’s the thing. If you don’t effectively pitch prospects, you’re going to get stuck in an endless cycle of passive relationship growth without ever making much progress. At some point along the way, you’ll need to “sell yourself” and promote your services.
After all, if you’re never selected by your clients then you aren’t making any ROI from your business. Always remember, it’s essential to be persistent in sales, but being also run the risk of becoming “that annoying sales rep”. If you schedule your touches, try different avenues of communication, and commit to investing in the relationship, you’ll be able to get a response without coming off as irritating.
Repeat and recreate these best practices to follow-up with your prospects and close more sales.
Boost your Follow-up Strategy with Flobile
Flobile’s prospecting mechanism helps you build the evaluation process to track and analyze your results at every stage of your follow-up journey.
The AI-driven data scientist-developed system purges old data and verifies entries with up to 99% accuracy to empower sales teams with actionable insights. Flobile updates your CRM every 90 days to close loopholes and deliver reports on the findings.