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3 creative ways to master sales follow-up

June 9, 2021

Let’s be realistic...

How many times did you get a conversion out of the first interaction with a prospect?

Following up is an essential part of B2B sales. It helps you build relationships and increases your chances of closing the sale.

Sales reps do it all the time, so much so that it’s almost become something that a potential buyer expects - a sort of courtship display in the process.

But this doesn’t mean you should just keep on calling or sending messages until your prospects say “yes” or politely ask you not to contact them anymore.

You need to get creative and think about all the ways you can follow up on your sales without crossing that fine line.

Let’s consider some important steps and tools of the trade at your disposal. Keep scrolling 👇 for the good stuff - or use the menu to jump to the section that interests you.

Customize your social approach | Personalize your overall communication | Align your communication with the customer journey | Key takeaways | Join the Cognism sales community

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Customize your social approach

When you’re preparing your follow-up communication, you should consider all available channels. One of the sales trends to notice is social selling, as LinkedIn has become one of the most important ways to nurture your leads.

This doesn’t involve only messaging the same prospects daily with a one-size-fits-all template in the hope somebody responds. You need to get used to offering more than your product, especially when we’re talking about the most exciting leads.

When crafting your social selling message, think about the following:

  • Have the prospects’ specific goals, needs and pain points in mind - your message must reflect them.
  • What the most relevant offer for them is currently - it needn’t be a demo of your product, for example, it could be a piece of content they’d get value from.
  • Try to give them insights that could help them or point them in the right direction - you could offer to connect them with somebody in their niche.

The key here is to show that you took the time to actually think about them and tailor your approach accordingly.

Want to go the extra mile?

Then why not make a video addressing them and the previous interaction you had. It doesn’t have to be long - you can capture their attention and ask for feedback in less than a minute.

Personalize your overall communication

Even though social media attracts increasingly more attention, you can’t ignore those tried-and-trust lead generation sources.

Email marketing is still one of the most valuable tools you can use in your sales strategy. When you’re trying to get the most out of your follow-ups, taking some time for email personalization can go a long way.

For starters...

You need to think about standing out in your prospect’s inbox. Email marketing software can make your efforts more efficient. With many such tools, you can import all the leads you already contacted and segment them into lists. This will be your base for further follow-ups.

What’s the best way to segment your leads?

Score them on the level of interest shown and then prioritise the most interested leads. Try catching their eye by adapting your subject lines and making them “pop”. Even though it may seem like a detail, a simple change before you even start the email body can make a difference between conversion and an unread message.

Your follow-up shouldn’t just be a simple reminder; use this as an opportunity to offer something tempting to get their attention. This could be done by mentioning a recent project, asking a question about something specific to their industry, or even offering some additional benefits right off the bat.

When thinking about leads that you already established a relationship with, you should consider additional ways to stand out and stay their top-of-mind choice.

One idea for doing that is taking things offline. How does it work?

Let’s say you had an initial meeting or it’s scheduled to happen soon. Then you should consider using handwritten cards to nurture the relationship. This is something that isn’t likely to be done by most sales reps, so it will definitely make you stand out.

Align your communication with the customer journey

A great way to adapt your follow-ups is to follow the stages of your sales funnel. From the awareness stage to a purchase, each piece of information they get from you should give your prospects a clear next step.

Let’s say you got them considering your product but nothing has happened for a while. That’s the perfect time to come in with a fresh case study or a testimonial that will bring them closer to a decision.

Ideally, you should always be moving forward with this, bringing new information each time until you close the sale or get an explicit rejection. Remember the only answers that matter in outbound sales are “yes” or “no”!

Combining your approach works best for this - use explainer videos, share blogs with relevant topics and other thought leadership content.

It’s also important to know when to rely on automation and when to get involved directly - the safest bet is to keep track of the process along the way, so you notice if something needs your involvement on a personal level.

A conversion doesn’t necessarily mean the end of your cycle - follow up emails for WooCommerce are an example of how you should maintain the relationships with your buyers and keep the communication going to keep them coming back.

What if the lead still isn’t interested?

Of course, you shouldn’t keep trying forever. If you’ve tried following up without success and notice they’ve gone cold, put the ball in the prospect’s court.

Send them a final message that will leave the door open and make it easy for them to reach out. The conclusion should be that they can always reach out to you. This could be made even easier by offering to keep them in your newsletter list or setting up a toll free number.

Key takeaways

When you think about follow-ups and the overall sales process, your communication should be tailor-made with specific goals in mind. From social media content to interacting with prospects offline, all should be done to correspond with your prospects and their needs.

Explore prospecting tools that suit your needs and use them to automate the processes that are time-consuming, such as sorting your audience and A/B testing. This means you’ll have more time to focus your attention on keeping track of the results.

One final tip - always try to go one step beyond!

Whether it’s an ad-hoc video about something that’s of interest to your buyer or offering a special incentive for closing the deal, think outside of the box and get creative. Your prospects will love you for it!

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Author bio

David Wachs is a serial entrepreneur, David's latest venture, Handwrytten, is bringing back the lost art of letter writing through scalable, robot-based solutions that write your notes in pen. Developed as a platform, Handwrytten lets you send notes from your CRM system, such as Salesforce, the web site, apps, or through custom integration. Used by major meal boxes, eCommerce giants, nonprofits and professionals, Handwrytten is changing the way brands and people connect.