Lead follow up is reaching out to a lead who has previously interacted with your brand. Even though sales reps don't dread these sales calls as much as they might dread cold calling, sales people still generally regard them as difficult. However, lead follow up is vital as it often turns into a very productive conversation. After all, you’re talking to someone who has expressed an interest in your brand.
While lead follow up doesn’t explicitly refer to engaging with inbound leads, that’s what we will examine here, as that is a difficult task. So what makes it so hard? We’ll tackle that along with advice on how to make it a little easier. Read on.
Unfortunately, bad data is part of the sales process. It’s a problem that isn’t going anywhere.
You might encounter a prospect who intentionally gave you the wrong email address because they wanted information without getting contacted. Another common case of the bad data blues is when a person fills out a form with a typo (or multiple typos) in a vital field. However the bad data gets into your system, the lead really isn't qualified, because it doesn't contain valid contact information.
If this keeps happening, your sales reps eventually won’t trust your inbound data.
Nobody wants to waste time on attempting a follow-up sales call with incorrect information. Data enrichment software paired with a process for filtering out bad data can save time and reduce frustration.
Nobody Has Time for Sales Follow Up Calls
When the sales team has to manually make calls, send emails, confirm contact information, and also handle the current customers in their sales territory, they may simply run out of hours in the day for lead follow up.
That means reps are letting qualified leads get a little colder everyday.
Help the sales team work more efficiently with an automatic dialer or cadence software. These tools keep salespeople from the drudgery of manually making phone calls or having to compose new emails every time. With these tedious tasks automated, salespeople can work more efficiently because they can spend most of their time selling.
Salespeople Have Trouble Balancing Persistence With Annoyance
Certainly, the members of your sales team are humans too. While they want to maximize the value of leads by following up, they understand that frequent outreach can get annoying from a customer's perspective. If prospects don't respond right away or say that they're busy at the moment, it's hard to tell if they are really busy or simply uninterested and trying to get out of the call in a polite way. Of course, many prospects are momentarily busy and really want to learn more when it’s convenient for them.
Good timing and using a mix of different contact methods, like phone calls, emails, and even social posts, can help. It can take some experimentation to balance the kind and pace of communication, according to HubSpot. Some people would rather have the two-way communication of a phone call, while others will prefer to read an email that they can respond to when they have time. Rather than just giving up on leads, prudent salespeople learn how to take a break from certain leads and then continue following up after a few days. Also, offering options for communication can help appeal to a wider audience. Check out this previous blog for more on cold email vs. cold call.
Nobody Has Defined the Sales Process for Follow up Contacts
Proper marketing and sales alignment will give salespeople more confidence in their interactions. They won't waste their time because they will mostly call upon qualified sales leads. Members of both marketing and sales should meet to discuss lead scoring and exactly what qualities will qualify as a lead. If the sales team and marketing team both have very different definitions of qualified leads, neither department can work productively.
In addition, marketing representatives may have some information they can supply that will help with timing and the kinds of contact to make. When salespeople understand who should get a call, an email, or a tag on social media, they can simply follow a well-defined process. Of course, both teams should periodically revisit this process as they gain experience.
Lead follow up isn’t hard when you have the right tools and the right process. Make sure your reps have the software they need to succeed, and expectations are clearly set.