Welcome to the fourth and final chapter of Fileboard’s Guide To A Killer Sales Presentation. Today, we will be discussing an important but often underestimated component of the sales process: The follow-up . Very few sales are closed from the presentation alone. If you are looking to ramp up your sales department’s success and increase your conversion rate exponentially, this is an indispensable skill set to develop.
But when and how often should you be following up with your prospects? How do you avoid being perceived as an annoyance rather than a benefit? Understanding the answers to these questions has the potential to unlock a major sales multiplier for your brand. Let’s get started!
Reach Out More Than Once
Perhaps even more than in consumer markets, business-to-business customers need to know that your organization will take care of them after the sale. This is why handing a prospect your business card after the presentation and waiting for their phone call isn’t going to cut it. Good salesmen understand this and will reach out for a conversation, but placing a single follow-up call doesn’t express a firm commitment to winning their business either.
Because of the amount of decision-making involved in committing to B2B provider, it takes an average of six follow-up phone calls to convert a prospect to a customer. Very few sales organizations commit to this degree of persistence, creating a natural competitive edge for those that do.
Reach out to your prospects on a regular basis following your sales pitch. Of course, you should use your better judgment to determine how often these calls are appropriate, but once every other day is a good rule of thumb. Wait longer than a week and the client might forget about you. Consider the following tips:
- Wednesday and Thursday are the best days to contact a prospect.
- The hours of 8:00 – 9:00 AM and 5:00 – 6:00 PM are the most effective times to contact a prospect.
Remember The Five Minute Rule
One of the most commonly overlooked big-time multipliers in business-to-business sales is the five-minute rule. Simply put, this rule states that your company should reach out to prospects within five minutes of their interaction with your materials. Research shows that your odds of actually contacting the customer within this window are 100 times greater than if you waited a mere 30 minutes more.
Shockingly, only 1.8% of companies practice the five minute rule. Knowing this, you might be wondering how your sales team can put this powerful principle into action from a practical standpoint. The answer is deceptively simple: Tracking.
By setting up a multifaceted tracking system that is congruent with every interaction a prospect has with your organization, your team will have an instant read on the interest level of your clients. Pay close attention to all the important actions your visitors can take and strike while the iron is hot. Some examples include, but are certainly not limited to:
- Connecting on social media
- Signing up to your e-mail list
- Downloading your white papers or exclusive content
Do Not Re-Pitch The Prospect
There is a huge difference between following-up and pestering. One of the fastest ways to land your efforts in the latter category is by re-pitching them on every subsequent call/email. This is typically one of the hardest lessons for salesmen to understand because they feel the inner urge to deliver the hard sell all the time.
Remember this: Every prospect wants to feel like they’re being individually catered to and taken care of by your brand. We have already advised you to and make an average of six follow-up calls to demonstrate this concern for their business, but if all you do on those calls the deliver the same standard sales pitch, you can expect a lot of “hard stops” and hang-ups.
Think about it: they already sat through your pitch at the presentation. They certainly do not need to be inundated with it every other day the week. Instead, use these calls and/or emails to express your entity for their needs. Ask them if they have any questions, remind them of the main benefits you highlighted during the original presentation, and send them relevant third-party articles that strength the case you’re building for your branded solution.
How Fileboard Can Help
Unless you have been meticulously tracking your customer’s interaction with your collateral and materials, you’ve likely been losing momentum that could result in missed opportunities. Fileboard ensures that these time lag issues never plague to your brand again.
Using our cloud-based software, your team can target the right materials to the appropriate prospects, and process signed contract straight from your inbox to Salesforce. Additionally, Fileboard helps you manage legal back-and-forth that can typically slow down the deal closing process. We help turn your sales funnel into a greased chute that prospects will effortlessly slide down to conversion.
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