Keep In Touch — Because Sales Follow Up and Lead Nurturing Are Crucial to Convert More Prospects and Close More Sales.
Has this ever happened to you? … Your team identifies and qualifies 35 warm leads, perhaps coming out of a conference or a tradeshow.
Riding the buzz of new possibilities, your salespeople make a flurry of calls. Some of them go very well. Good rapport, lots of interest, obvious issues you can help with, specific questions about what your products and services can do for them. Quite promising!
And then … well, what then?
Many times, in all too many of the companies I work with, what happens then is little more than nothing. The small handful of easy-pickings sales that resulted out of the first barrage of calls now has consumed the team.
There is no time, energy or focus on following up on the rest of the prospects. Instead, the sales team returns to its usual ways by relying on relationships and rapport. They rest on your company’s reputation. And, they go with their gut and try to feel out the sales. And often, they simply wait for the phone to ring or the form to be filled.
These approaches simply aren’t enough in these days of longer sales cycles. In fact, the sales process has grown by 22% over the last five years, according to Biznology. Along the way, there are many more moments when you can either cultivate a prospect or allow it to wither on the vine.
The companies that are playing a long game of keeping in touch, nurturing relationships with value-added content, answering questions and staying top of mind for potential customers are the ones who land the sales in the end.
If, on the other hand, your team is content to hang back and follow old-school sales instincts, you’re likely leaving behind a lot of potential revenue and a lot of exciting and essential growth. (Consider that 80% of sales require 5 follow up calls, but 44% of salespeople give up after 1 follow up.)
So, does any of that sound familiar? If so, and if you’re like many other business leaders I know, this sales follow-up fail doesn’t sit well with you. And it shouldn’t.
Maybe you’ve seen some of the stats that remind us all why lead nurturing is so important. Maybe some of these numbers swirl around in your head at night:
- Companies that nurture leads make 50% more sales at a cost 33% lower than non-nurtured leads, according to Forrester Research
- If you follow up with a web lead within 5 minutes, you are 9x more likely to convert them according to insidesales.com
OK, so then you probably recognize the challenge. You’ve got to mind your follow-through and finish what you started.
But really, what can you do about it? As a leader, you have so many different, often competing priorities, and I bet you play many different roles on a daily basis. Chief executive. Operations leader. Treasurer. Spokesperson. Marketer. Motivator.
Where do you find the time to make sure you and your team keep in touch with your prospects (and your current customers, too, of course — because we all know that retaining a customer is enormously easier than finding a new one)?
The truth is, you might not be able to find the time. But you might not have to, either.
Think of how much easier Facebook has made it to keep in touch with family and friends. Well, today’s marketing automation tools can work wonders that way, too.
When you know the secrets and you put in place a complete, continuous system taking advantage of today’s online platforms, you can reach and nurture leads, prospects and customers keeping these all-important relationships moving and growing.
I’m not just talking about email marketing, although that’s certainly still part of it. Semi-regular newsletters and other email-based communications that highlight relevant content for a database of engaged prospects can be a very good thing. But you’re sending something to an unqualified lead, a prospect that isn’t ready to buy, or another type of target who isn’t conditioned to expect or want your email? Well, think of how you react to most emails today. (Delete, delete, delete.)
Instead, you’ve got to use the many other methods at your disposal for sales follow-up and lead nurturing.
This includes AdWords and Bing Ads, as well as an array of advertising and tracking tools through Facebook, LinkedIn, ManyChat, Messenger and more.
You can automatically share relevant content that helps prospects navigate not only the final decision on a purchase but each stage of the buying cycle: exploring their problem, identifying options, evaluating alternatives, etc. Fundamentally, it’s about being where your targets are, and talking about what they’re thinking about and searching for.
Just as important, all these tools can be configured to collect data about whom you’re engaging with, what’s working and what isn’t. You can even bring offline tracking data (such as notes from cold calls or the status of quotes) into the mix for a fully integrated and optimally effective solution.
And we can build a system that automates a huge chunk of all these efforts!
It might sound simple, but here’s the problem. There are literally hundreds, perhaps thousands of options out there in terms of marketing automation technologies. How do you know what’s right for your business, your industry, your customers? Which approaches will get you the biggest bang for your buck?
You could easily get swallowed into a black hole if you try to figure it all out or implement the whole system on your own. I doubt you need another big initiative weighing you down.
However, we’ve got this stuff streamlined so you don’t have to get sucked in. Through a precise, four-step process, you can take control of and automate your marketing efforts. With so many touch points in today’s lengthy sales cycle, this system can help you master the challenge of keeping in touch and nurturing every opportunity.
To see how it works, check out this complimentary training.