7 Tips for following up on sales prospects
1. Clearly define a lead. An estimated 90 percent of leads sent to sales staff are never acted upon, generally for one of two reasons:
The lead is routed to the wrong person and never gets passed along to the relevant staff member, or is passed on too late
The prospect isn’t ready to engage with a salesperson yet; after one or two unsuccessful contacts with the lead, the sales person will move on to “lower hanging fruit.”
In order to boost sales, your employees need a very precise definition of when a prospect becomes an actual lead that should be forwarded to the sales team.
2. Install an effective customer relationship management (CRM) tool. Providing employees with a tool that captures vital info about their interactions with prospects ensures optimal sales effectiveness.
3. What’s the source? People most often hear about your company, products and services through ads, referrals, online banner ads or some other form of advertising. You need to keep track of what actually brought home the goods, allowing you to determine what works, marketing-wise, and what doesn’t.
In addition, it’s important to discover patterns in sales which you can use to boost future effectiveness. The prospect isn’t ready to engage with a salesperson and after one or two unsuccessful contacts with the lead, the sales person will move on to “lower hanging fruit.”
4. Faster response. Studies have shown that if you respond within 48 hours of a prospect contacting you, your sales closing rate goes up dramatically. Think about it. Ever tried contacting a company for information and they never got back to you, or took weeks to respond? What effect did this have on you? Prompt responses give you an edge over the competition.
5. Slow and steady. Depending on the products and services you offer, most people are probably not ready to buy based on their first interaction with you. Build a relationship with your leads by coming up with creative campaigns that allow you to touch them multiple times, taking them through the process until they’re ready to think about actually purchasing from you.
6. Get your staff buzzing about each prospect. The more information you have about a prospect, the more excited your salespeople will be about the lead. Sales staff need to extract additional information with each prospect interaction. Questions like”what interested you about our products” and “why is it important to you” are good examples.
7. “Tag, you’re it.” How do you save those interesting bits of information about customers/prospects? Tag your records with their details and how they respond to deals, what their objectives are, whether they’ll be a referral or not, which products they already own and so on. You can then easily access those details in the future, allowing you to successfully utilize the information you have..