Following up on B2B leads is crucial. Without follow up, your chances of selling a lead is slim. But the timing of when your your sales people follow-up on a lead is paramount.
For example, you're more relevant if your last contact is recent rather than frequent. Frequent follow-ups become an annoyance to businesses. And that's not good.
But knowing when to follow up isn't easy. Ideally, you should follow-up according to the type of interaction or feedback you have had with a business, such as talking with hot leads first.
The blog post below provides tips on creating a strategy for when to follow up on leads—one that's based on your sales funnel chart.
You should follow-up right away. In fact, you should follow up within one hour of your initial contact. Studies have shown that following up within an hour of initial outbound contact (those contacting a business) are 7 times more likely to qualify the lead.
This approach gives you an idea of what the company's impression of your presentation was along with their actual need for your product or service. Keep this initial follow-up contact short, in the form of an email.
Install an email-tracking tool that will let you know if and when an email has been viewed. If customers are reading your emails but not responding, attempt a single phone call for feedback.
You don't have to be in constant contact with a B2B lead, but you must stay recent. A client is more likely to do business with a salesperson they remember, rather than one that annoys them with constant follow-ups.
Start with making a good impression by providing value in emails. Include new features, reasons for the business to use your product or service and attempt to schedule a meeting.
Salespeople tend to forget that a lead is only going to buy when they are ready to do so, not when you want to sell to them. So your company has to make the best impression. To turn a lead into a buying customer, you need to provide a product or service that the business really needs.
Use Automation Tools
Automation tools help you stay in-touch with your B2B leads. You can use a tool called Chrystal to help you construct follow-up and general contact emails. The tool helps distinguish the right language and right approach to take.
Automation tools are ideal as they help you become more efficient in following up on leads and making a better impact with potential customers by wording emails appropriately.
Some automation tools even allow you to connect social media profiles and emails within the tool to create fluidity in content sharing and continuity in email delivery.
Create a Funnel Calendar
You need to have a sales lead funnel calendar for your B2B leads. For instance, those on your hot leads list should be contacted once every 14 to 21 days to stay recent and relevant in their minds.
Middle-ground clients, or those that seem iffy when it comes to making a purchase, should be contacted only once per month with updates and to see if a meeting can be scheduled.
Cold leads, or those not likely to make a purchase should be followed-up with every six weeks. While there's still a chance that a cold lead may make a purchase, they just take a little more work than those that want the service to begin with.
Follow-Up the Right Way
Every client has a preferred method of contact. Some business owners or executives may not check their email often and prefer a phone call. If you follow-up 24 hours after initial contact via email and do not get a response within 72 hours, make a call.
Make sure your follow-up message makes sense, gives the client a reason to purchase, and asks what needs the client has that have be met for them to do business with you. Then do your best to make that happen.
Include an Asset
You may already be presenting a B2B lead with a great deal. But customers want more to get them to do business with you. What can you add to the deal to give it more value to the client?
Consider the types of assets that your products/services provide to the client and use that as an angle to pitch them. Include an additional product or service, not a discount, for a specific period of time as a trial period. You can also offer to discount the rate of that product or service for a set number of months to keep the client on-board.
Following up with a lead at the right time is crucial. The key to following up with B2B leads is staying recent, not frequent. It is even okay to ask a potential client how often they’d like you to check in with them, that way you can plan your follow-up contact calendar accordingly.
Also, keep your email contact follow-up attempts short and to the point. Include a few bits about new products or features to pique a B2B lead’s interest.
Remember, contacting the lead at the right time can turn them into buyers.