The sales follow-up is where most deals are won. Unfortunately, it’s also where most deals are lost, especially when sales reps don’t make enough follow-up attempts to work a lead and ultimately close the deal. Whether you’re a sales development rep looking to get a leg up on the competition or a sales manager looking to improve your team’s performance, these sales follow-up stats should help. The answers to these questions are a great place to start in understanding your sales process and the changes, if any, you may need to make:
- How do you compare?
- How does your sales team compare?
- How does your organization of sales professionals compare?
- Is your sales pitch and messaging consistent throughout your company?
- Do you have an official follow-up process that is required and written into your organization’s sales guidelines?
- Does your company use a CRM platform for automation of the follow-up process?
- Do your sales reps utilize both email follow-up and phone calls?
- Does your sales team know at which point in the follow up process to employ the sales pitch vs. the step of educating the prospective client about your product/service and how it eases their pain points?
80% of Closed Sales Require Five or More Sales Follow-Up Phone Calls
Salespeople are always eager and willing to close a deal the first time they talk to a prospect, but very few sales occur at this stage. Studies reveal that on average 80% of sales occur only after at least five follow-ups beyond the initial sales contact. That’s why tenacity sometimes beats out talent in sales. If everyone was ready to fork over cash to the first person to call them up with an incredible offer, there’d be a lot more salespeople making a lot more money. The truth, however, is that sales is hard, and many people simply don’t have what it takes to survive in this profession—they don’t have the tenacity to persevere.
- Only 2% of sales are made at the first point of contact with a prospective client.
- Since 80% of sales happen after multiple touch points, your sales follow-up process must include 5-12 outreach efforts.
- As high as 63% of those potential customers who request information from your company are not yet ready to make the purchase today and likely not for at least another 3 months.
- Another 20% of these prospects will not be ready to purchase for a 12 month period of time, making your follow-up strategy to help keep your brand top of mind more important than ever.
44% of Salespeople Give Up After One Follow-Up Attempt
And yet, despite evidence that it takes at least five or more follow-up attempts to make a sale, the stats tell us that almost half of salespeople give up after just one effort. Reps who give up after one “no” usually aren’t top-performing salespeople in their organizations; that distinction usually goes to reps who understand that sales is about talking through objections and building relationships over time. In fact, one study found that 95 percent of top sellers have a relationship-oriented style rather than a transaction-based approach to selling.
While 44% of sales professionals give up early in the process after only one follow-up, it is an amazingly high number of those who give up after 4 attempts. An incredibly high 92% who stop their follow-up process at phone call number 4. Yes, 92% which means there is a very small percentage who make the extra effort and truly have the chance for sales success.
Successful salespeople employ a variety of follow-up methods, alternating them for the best chance to receive a positive response:
- Follow-up emails – Email follow-up is a great way to keep you and your company top of mind in a minimally disruptive manner to a decision maker. This is the perfect time to provide a piece of content, like a relevant case study that addresses their unique challenges and issues.
- Email marketing – This is a concerted effort to provide pertinent information to your prospective clients through relevant content. This is different than a follow-up email. A captivating subject line is important here as you want positive open rates for your emails, showing that your content is resonating with them.
- Phone calls – Whether you reach them again live or you leave a voicemail message, this outreach effort is an opportunity to optimize your company’s messaging to address the prospect’s pain points and show that your product/service is the solution they need.
Invest in a CRM and automation to help track and automate your follow-up process. The amount of time saved for your sales team is invaluable and allows them to focus on what is important – closing the sales.
SDRs Who Make 9 or More Contact Attempts Perform 16% Better
According to the Sales Development Metrics and Compensation Research Report by the Bridge Group, an inside sales research and consultation organization, companies where reps make nine or more attempts per prospect before moving on reported 16% higher PPS than those making the average 8.2 follow-up attempts.* The sweet spot appears to be 9-12 attempts per prospect. Overall, the average number of attempts is up 46% since 2012, suggesting that prospects are taking longer to convert once they enter the sales pipeline. Successful SDRs understand that the buyer’s journey is just that, a journey, and that it can take some time (and multiple follow-up attempts) to turn a prospect into a paying customer.
- Be sure you are not only following up multiple times but that you are also utilizing multiple channels, especially the channel of preference for your prospect.
- Take advantage of already existing content your marketing department has created and distribute it through email marketing, social media channels like LinkedIn (and others that make sense for your industry), webinars, blogs, your website, press releases, among other channels.
- Utilize sales templates to help you pinpoint the perfect process that works for you.
- Take the opportunity to capitalize on the experience and success of those who have come before you. Email templates can help you perfect your messaging, staying consistent with your company’s brand and which will help you to optimize past success already built from your company.
- Employ the practice of consistency and repetition to communicate with decision makers to help them retain what is important about your product/service. You want to be memorable!
*“Power Pipeline Score,” developed by the Bridge Group to compare the effectiveness of sales development groups against one another.
Give Your Reps Better Leads to Follow-Up With
How much time do your SDRs spend looking for somebody to call?
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