Follow ups: The secret revenue?

January 2, 2024

In sales, almost everyone knows the importance of follow-ups, but let’s face it—it is one of the most difficult and neglected parts of a salesperson’s role. “Why is that so?” you may be wondering – if so, you are not alone. In this article, I will share my personal experience as a salesperson, as well as the insights I’ve gathered from speaking to countless business owners and sales people over my 10 years as an entrepreneur.

Observation 1: Following up consistently with old leads needs to become a business priority

In sales, there is often a bias towards 1) number of new leads, and 2) engaging with new leads. Chasing new (“warm”) leads takes precedence, which consequently leads to de-prioritisation of existing leads*.

Yet, follow ups demand consistency over time. And constantly prioritising only new customers most definitely guarantees that your existing leads will not be buying your product or solution.

Fun fact: A whopping 44% of salespeople give up after one follow-up attempt. Just imagine all that lost revenue!

*Existing leads is defined as prospects whom contact has already been established previously

Observation 2: Following up with prospects is the key to closing sales

Exabloom has helped our clients close an additional 30% of leads, simply by enabling them to follow up automatically and consistently. And this is no surprise.

In the fast-paced world of sales, the golden ruleis this: it takes an average of seven interactions to seal the deal. Before you dismiss this piece of information, multiple research has been conducted on this topic: 

  1. On average, high growth organizations report 16 touch points per prospect within a 2-4 week timespan (source).
  2. The most optimal number of follow-up to is 2-3 (source).
  3. 95% of all converted leads are reached by the sixth call attempt (source).
  4. 44% of salespeople give up after one follow-up attempt (source).
  5. 92% of salespeople give up after no sales on the 4th call. 60% of customers say no four times before saying yes (source).

Let that sink in for a moment. If it takes six to sixteen interactions before a prospect to become a customer, following up is not a choice – it is a necessity. 

We’ve all seen it happen, probably more times than we realize – leads transforming into closed deals simply because a company was diligent in their follow-up game. Why? Because not every lead that comes into your sales funnel is ready to purchase your product or solution immediately. Some are in the research phase, others are getting to know your business, and some are browsing around to compare their options.

By following up with your leads consistently, you have the opportunity to guide your prospects down the sales funnel, moving them from “casual browsers” to “ready purchasers”. 

Observation 3: Existing leads management solution do not provide salespeople with the key insights  they need

By now, we already know that following up is essential to closing the deal. So what exactly is stopping salespeople from doing so?

While it is tempting to put it down to laziness or a lack of incentives, we discovered that the reason was much simpler – existing leads management solutions do not give salespeople the insights they needed to follow up quickly and effectively with their leads.

Effective follow ups require 1) engaging leads in a timely manner, 2) engaging them where they are currently at in the buying process, while 3) remembering their different objections and decision making criterias. This means that every follow up requires the salesperson to re-read the entire conversation history – a daunting and time-intensive task for anybody! 

This is why Exabloom is designed to help salespeople quickly identify 1) which prospects require following up with, and 2) where to pick up each conversation with their leads.

The solution: Providing salespeople with actionable data and insights

By simply providing our clients with visibility over their lead status, Exabloom has increased the conversion rate of leads by up to 30%.

For every 100 leads that a business receives monthly, this is a staggering 30 customers that are successfully converted! Assuming a customer lifetime value of $1,000, the potential cost of a business not following up quickly adds up.

Current ProblemHow does Exabloom support businesses in following up?Why is this important?
Following up is tedious because salespeople need to re-read their entire conversation to respondExabloom provides salespeople key prospect information such as the prospect’s current buying stage objectionsSalespeople can now quickly and easily identify the leads they need to follow up with, and the information they need to provide in a timely manner
Following up is tedious because salespeople need to scroll through their inbox to identify which prospects require following up withWith our unique dashboard, salespeople now have easy access to leads that require following up withSalespeople can quickly access the leads they need to follow up with
Business lose out on revenue because old leads are not being proactively followed up onWe provide businesses with the status of their old leadsBusiness leaders have visibility into the follow up status, which reduces the likelihood of neglect and revenue loss
  1. Entrepreneurs and sales managers lack the visibility into follow-up stats, hindering proper tracking. Unable to monitor effectively, sales reps assume that if it’s not trackable, it’s not a priority for entrepreneurs (which is not true), leading to the neglect of this vital action.
  2. To complicate matters further, sales reps often grapple with the challenge of identifying who to follow up with.
  3. Buried in the chaos of inbox threads and chat logs, relying purely on memory for follow-up work proves to be inefficient for them and, more importantly, ineffective. So the natural consequence is to give it up and work on new leads instead. 

This often leads to wasted resources as not all the leads being acquired are being utilized properly. 

How we solve this follow up problem for our customers: 

Recognizing the pivotal role of follow-ups in the sales game, we embarked on a mission to alleviate the challenges faced by our customers, particularly those handling many leads daily. 

Our solution? An automated follow-up system designed to streamline and supercharge the follow-up process.

Firstly, we created a robust system to collect comprehensive lead data, laying the groundwork for an engine that guides customers on who to follow up with and precisely when. This translates into daily follow-up prompts for sales reps, ensuring a consistent and targeted approach to their follow-up efforts.

But that’s not all – realizing the important role that entrepreneurs and sales leaders have in this process, we shouldn’t and didn’t just stop at empowering sales reps. 

Our system automatically generates detailed reports for managers and bosses, offering a real-time snapshot of follow-up stats on a daily, weekly, and monthly basis. Now, they can accurately track follow-up progress, set effective cadences with their teams, and make informed decisions.

For those who prefer a hands-on approach, our platform allows sales reps to manually follow up by setting personalized sequences. The flexibility empowers them to tailor their strategies while still benefiting from the system’s automated support.

The ripple effect of this streamlined follow-up cadence extends beyond boosting sales. It becomes a morale booster for the entire team. By operationalizing a crucial part of the sales process, entrepreneurs and business leaders can redirect their focus, confident that follow-ups are seamlessly handled.

By doing so, the often-daunting task of follow-ups into a well-oiled, automated machine, creating a win-win scenario for both sales reps and leadership. 🚀

What if you are on a tight budget but want to solve this problem?

If you find yourself strapped for budget and still yearning for a solution to the follow-up problem. Here’s a manual approach that won’t break the bank:

Excel Sheet Mastery:

  1. Start by creating a simple yet effective lead tracking system using an Excel sheet.
  2. Use tools like Zapier to automatically populate the excel column once a lead comes in 
  3. Dedicate a column for the status of each lead, providing a quick snapshot of where each one stands in the follow-up journey. 
  4. For every lead processed, add a new line to the sheet. This ensures a clear and organized overview of your leads. 

With this method, your sales team gains clarity on the next steps for each lead, even without the bells and whistles of automation.

While admittedly less efficient than automation, this manual tracking method can still get the job done, especially if your lead volume is manageable.

It serves as a cost-effective workaround for the time being, allowing your team to stay on top of follow-ups without the need for immediate automation.

Remember, the key is adaptability. As your business grows, you can always explore more sophisticated solutions. For now, embrace the simplicity and efficiency that manual tracking on an Excel sheet brings to your follow-up game. 📊💪