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Sales Follow-up Strategies That Actually Work in 2022

The chances of getting a response from the first email you send your prospect are lower than Tim Storms’ lowest octave. However, sales follow-up strategies are precisely what you can use to get your prospects to respond to your messages.

The percentage of sales made per contact is as follows:

  • First contact – 2%
  • Second contact – 3%
  • Third contact – 5%
  • Fourth contact – 10%
  • Fifth to Twelfth contact – 80%

Meanwhile, 44% of salespeople give up after just one attempt.

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(Source)

Why Do We Need Sales Follow-up Strategies?

Sales follow-up strategies play a crucial role in the success of any sales process. They help:

#1 Rectify objections

Follow-ups can be used to resolve your prospect’s concerns about your product. If you don’t follow up, you might end up losing a prospect over objections you could easily have resolved.

In fact, 60% of customers object four times before saying yes. Meanwhile, 92% of salespeople give up on the fourth attempt.

#2 Build relationships

Following up with your prospect builds trust. It takes an average of 18 calls to actually connect with a buyer.

By ensuring that you are speaking with your prospect regularly, you both get the time you need to cultivate a valuable relationship.

#3 Upsell

There’s a wealth of opportunities beyond making your first sale to a customer—upselling. 

Follow-ups are the ultimate solution for generating more sales through upselling. If your prospect makes the purchase, it means they trust you and your product/service. This trust keeps them open to making more purchases from you.

That’s why it’s substantially easier to sell to an existing customer as compared to a new prospect.

This was all about looking at the reasons why we need follow-up strategies. Moving on, here’s everything I learned about sales follow-up strategies from our Sales Enablement Specialist Jinit Patel, and Business Development Team Lead Ryan Aneja.

7 Sales Follow-up Strategies That Actually Work

#1 Draft the perfect initial message 

While this isn’t exactly a follow-up strategy, it plays a critical role in the success of your follow-ups.

Why? Because your first message/call is going to shape your first impression on your prospect. All your follow-ups are going to be judged based on it. 

Make sure your first message is clear and concise. Add a simple next step or call-to-action that tells the reader what to do next. It could be something like scheduling a meeting or getting their time for a demo. 

The WIIFY (What’s In It For You) tactic is a must-have in your initial message. Your outreach must offer something that your reader stands to benefit from.

Here’s one of our simple, yet effective email templates that gets the job done:

Sample sales follow up email

(Credit: Ryan Aneja)

#2 Continue to reinvent

Watching paint dry can be way more interesting than going through an endless list of monotonous, cookie-cutter messages in your inbox. We’ve all been there!

It takes the average recipient just a matter of seconds to evaluate whether an email is worthy of their attention. So how do you grab your reader’s attention in such a short span of time? The answer is simple—Reinvent!

Think of all the ways that your email can cut through the clutter and stand apart from the other messages in your prospect’s inbox. Brainstorm all the ways you can grab your prospect’s attention without going astray from the email’s primary message.

Here’s an awesome follow-up template designed by Michael Shane from our sales team:

Sample sales follow up email

In an inbox crowded with emails vying for your attention, this one’s unique subject line alone is a guaranteed head-turner.

It’s short enough to get you to read it, and concise enough to tell you what’s expected. Moreover, it clearly demonstrates the value we intend to provide the reader.

#3 Automate what can be automated

Automation tools and sales engagement platforms offer several services for sales teams such as sales outreach, dialer, open and click tracking for emails, etc. 

Tools like these let you set up personalized sales sequences that you can use to reach out to your prospects in a timely manner. You can send automated follow-ups and even analyze the performance for each sequence. 

Overall, automation lets you focus on things that matter by taking care of the time-consuming tasks and eliminating manual errors.

#4 Tickle their funny bone

We’re not going to tell you your prospect’s going to respond to you just because you made them laugh. 

However, there’s no denying that eliciting laughter captures their attention. It piques your reader’s curiosity and gets them to listen to what you have to say.

Oh, and when we say ‘eliciting laughter’, we don’t mean sending them memes from 2013. To give you a better idea, here’s an awesome follow-up template that we use to get our prospects to crack up:

Sample sales follow up email

(Credit: Ryan Aneja)

#5 Space your follow-ups

Nobody likes being disturbed incessantly. Spamming your prospect with follow-ups won’t get you far when it comes to eliciting responses. 

If the initial attempt doesn’t get a reply, send a follow-up after a few days. Experiment with your messaging and tone. 

However, space your follow-ups appropriately so as to avoid annoying your prospects. Let your prospects take their time. 

If you’ve done everything right and still haven’t received a response, there’s no harm in checking to see what went wrong. This can be a simple one-liner, like the one below:

Sample sales follow up email

#6 Do your homework

If there’s a surefire way to impress your prospect, it’s to thoroughly study their background and include your learnings to personalize your email.

Think about it – which of the following are you more likely to respond to?

  1. An email that sounds like it’s sent out by a bot fed with predefined scripts, or 
  2. One that is obviously sent by someone who took their time to learn about you before contacting you?

To give you an example, check out another one of Ryan’s awesome emails:

Sample sales follow up email

It ended up getting us a response in just 15 minutes! (You can talk to Ryan about it on LinkedIn, if you’d like.)

#7 Follow-up post purchase

Your sales follow-up strategies have finally paid off. Your prospect not only responded but has also turned into a customer. 

Congratulations! What next? 

Follow-up once more! Just because they’ve already turned into a customer doesn’t mean they don’t require to hear from you anymore. Remember, not all follow-ups are supposed to be salesy.

Thank them for their trust in you. Show them that you’re willing to give them a great experience as a customer. This instills a positive image in your customer’s mind and works towards the bigger objective of building an impeccable brand image.

Bonus Follow-up Strategy

Not all your prospects have the authority to make decisions. It’s always a good idea to make sure you’re following up with someone who does. 

So, how do you make sure that you’re following up with the right people? That’s where we can help you! 

As a customer of Slintel, you gain access to the buying patterns and contact information of more than 17 million companies and 250 million decision-makers across the world. 

Remember how we spoke about doing your research? Slintel precisely helps you with that.

Roshan Nair

Roshan Nair

Content Marketing today, caffeine relapse tomorrow. Hopes to tell a great story one day. I consume satire and horror in the meantime... Say, would you watch it if I made a satirical horror movie one day?

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