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Sales follow-up avoids critical leads from falling through the cracks.
It’s a strategy to engage with the prospects by targeting their queries, understanding their vulnerabilities, and empathizing with them.
Follow-ups with B2B prospects are a great way to uncover industry-related hurdles and pain points.
An effective follow-up strategy is about stitching a prospect’s pain points with the product’s value.Here’s a framework that can help you in moving the prospect forward in the sales funnel and eventually winning the deal:
How to Follow Up B2B Prospects After the Initial Sales Call
1. Review Notes About the Prospects
Leveraging available information about the prospects in follow-ups reduces friction. It makes your prospect comfortable talking to someone who already knows him. Using previous notes as remarks in follow-ups makes you less of a stranger.
So, before hopping on a follow-up call, gather all the information you have about the prospect. For instance, figure out where your prospect lies in a sales funnel and ask yourself these questions:
- Is he having a rundown of the product or just basic knowledge?
- Are you starting from square one?
- Are you answering questions that the prospect asked previously?
Whether you made the initial contact or some other executive, review the data you’ve about the contact. You can use Fireflies.ai in sales discovery meetings with prospects.
It’ll automatically generate digitized notes, which you can search across later and dig critical information about prospects using smart search keywords like budget, requirements, follow-up, etc.
After reviewing the vital points, try to link them naturally into the conversation.
For instance, if he told you that he’s going on vacation later in that day, casually asking about their good experiences builds a strong rapport. Remember not to get too invasive. Your goal is to talk about topics that interest the prospect.
2. Deliver Value Every Time
Forget the old, ineffective method of “just following up”. Make sure every follow-up is worth the prospect’s time. You must give them a reason to listen to you or open your email.
Your deal may not close after the first follow-up or sales call, depending on the value and position of the prospect in the sales funnel. This means that following up with no plan in mind won’t move the prospect forward.
Perhaps the best strategy in sales follow-up is to deliver value. Ask yourself: How can you make your prospect open your email or reply to your calls during his super busy day?
Content marketing is a great way to educate the prospect with relevant information without being salesy. Deploy this strategy across different touchpoints to capture the prospect’s attention.
This includes sending a case study or guide on the topic that you previously mentioned. Or, in a phone call, this includes using detailed information to answer a question.
3. Start Follow-ups with Email or Call
After setting the preparations right, this is the time to do the critical task: talking.
During the follow-up, it may be tough to understand what hindrances the prospects are facing. Sometimes, they are not aware of their struggles.
Ego and insecurity can play a role in guarding a prospect before making a purchase.
Instead of rushing to get the order, gradually ease the conversation to build trust.
It is difficult for business owners to be open and vulnerable to a stranger.
You can’t just kick off a conversation asking, “What problems do you face in daily life that keep you up at night?” That’s straight weird, invasive, and inappropriate.
Let the prospect put all the things on the table to bring trust into the call. Talk about the business points they are mentioning. Nudge them to go deeper into the issues around your products to gain authority.
When they mention their industry-related pain points, remember to reciprocate with patience, understanding, positive intent.
When it comes to winning a deal, the ideal talk-listen ratio for a sales rep should be 43:57. And that’s where the secret lies.
4. Move On When you Don’t Close
Not every follow-up results in the closing of a deal, and that’s normal. In fact, about 50% of your prospects aren’t a good fit for your product. That’s why you’ve to keep moving forward even if you fail. In fact, if you learn from your sales mistake and prepare for the next interaction, your winning chances would be higher.
Get ready to engage with the prospect in the next call. Summarize the previous conversation and clarify why the prospects are not purchasing yet. Draft steps you’d be following to resolve the issues.
- If they have unanswered questions, ensure to provide information in the next follow-up.
- If there is a price objection, offer them a different package or tailor a package as per their needs.
- They might also say, “I don’t have time for this.” which translates to “I don’t trust your product yet.” In this case, compliment your offer with genuine testimonials and case studies to stand out.
Draft a timeline of the next touch-ins and bundle the next follow-ups with valuable content, information, or insights.
Never perform a hollow “check-in.”
Bring value each time you send an email to them. It is also effective to ask prospects how they’d like to be reached. Asking the preferred medium, day of the week, and time makes it seamless for prospects to engage.
Most prospects don’t close after one or two follow-ups.
You need to be consistent and patient in your approach. If your prospects don’t engage at the very first touchpoint in the sales cycle, it doesn’t mean they won’t close.
It may be because they need time or are not confident about the value that the product brings in.
- Is your prospect questioning real-world applications? Explain with the help of case studies.
- Is your prospect curious to know how your product works? Demonstrate a demo.
- Is your prospect not confident about the value? Show them testimonials.
The secret sauce is to keep evolving your sales follow-up strategy as you move forward.
Even if they close or not, every prospect is an opportunity to gather new insights and polish the strategy. In the end, it’s okay if the prospects don’t engage after follow-ups or reply with “don’t email me.”
This is where you should move on and respect their decision.
Focus on Value
It’s crucial to understand that you’re playing a long game with your B2B prospects. Remember, focus on the value provided over the frequency of follow-ups.
Two value-packed follow-ups are better than ten vague touch-ins. If you just sell your product without empathizing with the contacts, they won’t retain it longer.
Thus, you should sell to aid their decision-making, productivity, and efficiency by solving their pain points. There is no bigger win than a customer feeling happy about their purchase.