Today’s guest blog post comes from LeadSift. LeadSift is a Sales Intelligence Platform that is helping B2B companies to identify and reach target accounts based on buying signals. They monitor public mentions of competitors content, qualify, and send their clients a daily digest of opportunities. From their guest blog post, we’re going to learn about the common pitfalls that salespeople encounter when they need to follow-up with their leads and their solutions.

How good are you at following up after you’ve made that initial sales contact? Follow-up isn’t easy – in fact, it can be nerve-wracking to think that you’re “bugging” someone, and you don’t want to ruin that great feeling that comes after you’ve initiated the first touch contact.

But sales follow-up is essential for any business that wants to grow and succeed in the marketplace. According to a recent studies, the chances of making contact with your prospect jump up to 90 percent if you make up to 6 outreach attempts – compared to under 40 percent on the first try.

Without further ado, here are 4 of the most common issues that businesses face with sales follow-up, and how to solve them:

 

1. You give up too early

Are you actually reaching the contacts in your database? Your goal is to reach out to leads, talk with them and close sales, not to just to dial numbers, so if you are hearing voicemail too often, that means that you’ve never found the right leads in the first place and you’re missing out on some big opportunities within your marketplace.

Always, always make at least 6 attempts to reach a contact. Despite the statistic from the study above, about 40 percent of sales reps give up after just one call.

 

2. You don’t respond quick enough

Sometimes, the follow-up is all about speed. According to Harvard Business Review, nearly half of the companies took more than 24 hours to respond to an online lead… or sadly, they didn’t even bother to respond at all.

If you’ve already initiated contact with a lead, or if a lead comes in via inbound channel, be sure to follow up as quickly as possible. The ideal time to follow-up? Within one hour. If you can’t manage that, within 24 hours is acceptable (but might cost you down the line).

 

3. You use a generic template

Non-personalized and non-nurtured outreach is one of the biggest problems for sales teams today, especially as they scale. It is difficult for salespeople to personalize when they’re contacting dozens or hundreds of prospects each day. But as they say taht the money is in the follow-up, so is in the personalization too.

Try to incorporate social selling into your sales follow-up by leveraging information about your contacts’ social media presence. This can be made part of an automation process so you’re not stuck manually clicking through tweets, and it can go a long way in adding that personal touch. Referring to something that your lead posted on social media and complementing about it is always a wise personalization choice.

 

4. You’re disorganized

Not sure when you last followed-up with that lukewarm lead? Lost count of the number of times you reached out to a hot new account? Disorganization is the bane of any sales department because it means missed opportunities, not to mention internal stress and confusion.

That’s why you should create a calendar of reminders for when to follow up with each lead. You can even go one step further, by inviting your entire sales team to see the calendar. By doing this, there will be no missed follow-ups and no duplication of efforts.

 

No Warm Leads To Engage And Follow-up? We Got You Covered. Check Out Our 6-Step Lead Generation Approach For More.

 

Following up with a lead is difficult, but by being persistent and offering value, you’re bound to see higher response rates than if you just drop a lead after that first touch. For more on effective sales and marketing strategies, check out LeadSift’s blog.

 

As a startup, you need to think long-term and acquire customers that will prove profitable over a lifetime. You need to position your business in the most profitable space on the market and create a huge demand for your product. Alone you’ll spend a huge amount of time on research, digital marketing, testing and content creation to reach the right leads. You got to ask yourself if you’re experienced enough to do it in your startup phase.