Follow-up – what does it mean?
You are opening a business that is going to revolutionize the world – you create a website, place your product or service on it, attend conferences and meetings, give away vouchers and… nothing. No new clients in sight. You start wondering whether your idea was really as good as you thought it was? Calm down – yes, you just need to remember about follow-up meetings with your client to remind him of your existence.
You are surrounded by tutorials on how to acquire leads (i.e. people or companies that are interested in your product and, for example, have left their contact details), but few of them mention how to manage them. However, the results of marketing research show that only 10-15% of leads obtained online are “ready to buy” right away. The remaining 60-65% are people who still need to be contacted in the near future. Otherwise, the relationship will cease to exist and you will lose time and money.
Put yourself in your client’s shoes – every day he is bombarded with lots of information from different channels – on TV, radio, newspapers, the Internet or on the street. Influenced by so many stimuli, he becomes more and more immune to them. So why should he remember that among all these messages he has – in the meantime – come across your product?
Follow-up is nothing more than contacting the customer several times. According to a study by the National Sales Executive Association conducted in 2016, only 2% of sales transactions are finalized after the first contact. Only after 5-12 contacts the number of sales increases up to 80% – which gives you an average of 8 contacts that you have to plan to “make the deal“.
Find out how to contact prospects
There are many ways to make the lead acquainted with your product and it’s solely up to you which way you choose. As it happens in marketing, choosing the ideal path for your business takes a lot of trials and errors before you find it. So don’t break down at the beginning, just act, try, test and analyze.
You can contact your clients by means of:
- phone call,
- text message,
- offering the so-called “freebie”,
- case studies.
One of the most effective forms of contact is e-mail, which is why it was mentioned here in the first place. Clients do not like to be immediately attacked by direct contact from marketers. There’s a really thin line between a polite reminder and intrusiveness. E-mail gives you time to get to know each other, and also creates a comfortable distance in communication from the client’s perspective.
Fortunately, we live in times when we are able to automate many processes and activities. If you use a CRM system, such as Salesforce, you can easily create a rule so that you can remember when and which lead you should contact.
When to contact a lead?
How quickly do companies respond to their prospects? The average response time to lead’s interest is as long as 44 hours. This is far too long! You have the best chance of winning an online customer for the first 5 minutes after he or she has shown interest in your product. The longer you wait, the greater the chance that your lead will turn to the competition, because 78% of sales is achieved by the company that speaks first. Do you need any more arguments why you should be interested in introducing an effective follow-up strategy?
When is the best time to contact a prospect?
- up to 24 hours: During this time you thank the client for the e-mail or meeting, you can also send the promised materials.
- up to 48 hours: If you have sent an offer, give your prospect some time to get acquainted with it without any rush. In this case, contact them after about 2 days.
- after 1-2 weeks: Still no answer after submitting your offer? Give your client a last chance and remind yourself. An interested lead will surely get back to you!
- every 3 months: This is an optimal time to maintain relations with the customer, and long enough not to make it seem intrusive to him.
Follow-up is a very useful strategy, but it may seem time-consuming. That’s what most companies think – “I don’t have the time to spare on leads”. You couldn’t be more wrong! There are a number of applications that will help you effectively implement follow-up, e.g. Salesforce’s “Follow-Up” application. It only takes a few minutes to properly program the options in the application. In addition, this program has voice control and integration with Google Assistant, which will further facilitate your work and shorten the response time for future clients. A genuine win-win situation!
What is effective follow-up?
You already know what follow-up is, why it is worth implementing, and when and how often you should contact the leads. But how do you do this effectively? Below you will find a few tips that should help you at the beginning of your follow-up adventure.
1. Make sure that the customer has not already replied to your message
It’s apparently obvious, and yet we forget about it. In the hustle and bustle of daily emails, client messages can easily escape our attention. Therefore, always check how many leads responded lively to your offer after the first contact. By using Salesforce for correspondence purposes, you will see the client’s answers directly in his CRM history!
2. Create an eye-catching title
It is rather unlikely that your potential client will click on an e-mail called “Offer”. Therefore, make sure that the title of the e-mail is interesting and different from the others. Salesforce e-mail templates allow you to customize and adjust the content and title of your e-mail to your client – even in case of bulk e-mailing.
3. Present a concrete goal
Act on the assumption that your client has little time to look at your message and try to make sure that e-mails are based on the principle of “one subject of the e-mail, one specific goal”, e.g. setting a date for a meeting. The templates mentioned earlier should be prepared in consultation with the rest of the team, thus creating a consistent and clear way of communication with the client.
Do not address the customer or write about yourself in plural form (“we” as a company) – only you and your client are taking part in this conversation. In this way the lead will have a sense of exceptional care and will be more willing to become your client. The already mentioned personalization of the e-mail will allow you to always address the client by name or directly refer to his or her shopping history.
5. Make a reference to a specific situation
During various conferences and meetings you encounter people who would like to learn more about your product and leave their contact details. Why not make a reference to this situation? In the e-mail, mention the circumstances in which you decided to contact them, using this strategy as an “ice-breaker”. Leads will much more easily form an association in their mind and will be more likely to reply to your e-mail. By gathering information in one place thanks to the CRM system, when you send an e-mail, you immediately know the circumstances in which the given lead was acquired and how to take advantage of it.
6. Cater for the needs of mobile users
According to GetResponse research, 42% of users reject e-mails that display poorly on mobile devices. Therefore, when creating content and graphics, always check how they will be displayed on your smartphone. The e-mail template components used by Salesforce’s B2C marketing product Marketing Cloud will make sure that they are displayed properly on mobile phones.
The lack of a follow-up strategy in your company is a huge loss of potential sale opportunities. A bit of effort and automation through Salesforce applications and tools will make you gain a lot from the use of follow-up. Don’t let the chances slip through your fingers, just grab them with confidence, and you won’t have to wait long for the results – it’s really worth it!