You had a fruitful discussion with a prospect and even sent over a business proposal after a series of emails and phone calls. However, does that mean that the deal is closed? You’ll just wait for them to respond? No – your work does not end here. People get busy, have different stakeholders to take buy-ins from, and have to make a well-informed decision on behalf of their business.
It takes a lot of persistence, patience, and effort to close a B2B deal. If follow-ups are not done right, it can cost companies millions of dollars’ worth of revenue in lost opportunity. A study by Forbes showed that organizations waste up to 71% of their leads due to poor follow-ups. In today’s world where competition is stiff and choices available to prospects are varied, timely, and effective sales follow-ups are of utmost importance in order to close more deals in less time.
Read on as we discuss why timely follow-ups are key to closing more deals, and how companies can do it right.
Closing a deal and trust-building go hand in hand. Only if you manage to establish a good rapport with your lead and help them to feel comfortable, will they warm up to the idea of buying from you. This is especially true during meetings at B2B events where hundreds of people meet for the first time and are trying to create a lasting impression. Even cold calls and meetings, whether virtual or in-person, have similar dynamics.
- When you meet a prospect, whether privately or at a mass event, the most important thing to do is to get their contact information. This is often done in the form of exchanging business cards or if you’re meeting online, by exchanging contact info through email. Once you have captured your prospects’ contact information instantly and accurately, the follow-up process becomes a lot easier as you can reach out to them directly.
- When your prospects are still in the consideration stage, i.e., ‘I am considering if I should buy’ phase, if you maintain contact with them with timely follow-ups, patiently answer all their queries, and sort out their issues, they will feel that you really value them. This improves your chances of conversion and helps you win a client that will stick around.
Resolve Issues on Time
Even if prospects have asked you some key questions during the sales process, it is likely that they would have more queries as they go down the sales funnel. However, there are times when prospects do not reach out to get clarification. In such situations, there is always a chance that the conversion may not happen and the lead may back out at the last minute. However, if you’re in touch with the prospect regularly and follow up early and often, you will know about their level of interest, doubts and address any questions they have. Resolving would-be client issues timely is sure to help you close more deals.
Find Opportunities to Generate New Leads
Timely follow-ups will help you to generate more leads.
- If you have just closed a deal or are in the process of signing up a new account, you should stay in touch with your customer or prospect and keep them engaged. It’s common for sales reps to lose connection with their prospects the moment the lead moves down the funnel.
- Connect with them on professional networks such as LinkedIn so you can prospect similar people in their network who can be potential buyers.
- You don’t have to ask for a referral right away, but if they feel warmed up enough to you, there are chances that they will give you more leads from those in their network who might be looking for your product/service offering.
With the ScanBizCards app, you can save all contact information in one centralized database such as your CRM or email automation system. Your follow-ups will not only become more efficient but you will also be able to find out your ICP or ‘ideal customer profile’ with key data points such as job title, LinkedIn profiles, company location, etc.
Avoid Being Pushy with Prospects
Sending a quick intro note always goes a long way in building the initial touchpoint. But if you think that you can start your follow-ups first thing in the morning in the hope that a deal will be closed by the end of the day, then think again. Prospects are likely to need adequate time and understanding before making a purchase decision in a B2B scenario.
- It is important for you to not only know the preferred mode of communication but also the best time to reach out to your leads.
- Constant follow-ups can become irritating. Hence, strategize when you will engage with the lead and also always have something relevant to talk to them about. Offer value with each touchpoint.
- Sometimes follow-ups after office hours in a more casual environment can go a long way in building rapport. When you talk business in a more relaxed manner it will help you to build a bond with them.
Upsell or Make Repeat Business
A research done by the Harvard Business Review showed that acquiring a new client can cost 5-25 times more than upselling to an existing client. Hence, if you are in constant touch with your existing clients, and follow up regularly with them, you will open up the chances of a second sale. The honeymoon phase is when you have just closed a deal. During this time your new client will be in an exciting phase. Use this time to your advantage.
- Start with a thank-you email or a phone call.
- Check-in on the client to see that he/she is satisfied with the product.
- Keep in touch and share important information like emerging market trends, new product or feature launches available on your product and so on.
With time you will get to know more about the client and the needs that still exist in their business that you can address. This will help you to offer your product or service in new ways, thus leading to a second-time purchase.
Always Be Closing!
There are times when a sales rep is great at selling the brand but may fail when it comes to closing the deal as they are unable to do timely follow-ups. Know the importance of time when it comes to a sales follow-up and never miss out on an opportunity with your prospects and clients. Nurturing, after all, is the key to closing more deals.