Sales Follow-up Calls: Why, When, How

Following up with a potential prospect is a high-priority part of any marketing strategy. A strong follow up is essential for closing deals as it actually leads to establishing long-term relationship with prospects, strengthening the sales process and, thus, making them more likely to become customers.

Potential clients always have some questions, concerns and doubts; therefore, understanding and effective solution of those pain points at the stage of follow up is one of the key roles of a sales agent. The more efficient sales representatives follow up with their prospects, the more comfortable they will become with the company and more willing to buy a product or service.

To establish a successful follow-up call that gets the sales cycle rolling up, sales reps should have a certain strategy. Let’s find out what  the main tips to make perfect sales follow-up call are:

  1. Preparing for the follow up. One of the most important things every agent should remember at the end of each initial call is to prepare a prospect for further follow up and never end it up without a clearly defined «next step». Therefore, a sales representative has to set a specific date and time for a follow-up call and let the prospect know that they are going to be contacted again. Once it is done, sales reps should make sure they track appointments and set a deadline in a Lead management system so that they will not forget to contact prospect in the future.
  2. Sending an email reminder. On a day before a follow-up call, it is preferable to send an email to the prospect to remind them about the appointment. Such email should contain the date and time of the appointment, a brief list of information discussed during the initial call, and agenda that should be accomplished. Besides, to add this email more value, sales reps can attach an article with useful marketing material for keeping prospect’s interest and enriching further conversation.
  3. Using templates and scripts. Before making a follow-up call, an agent should look through different templates of a script and then create their own samples. (Personalization of a script is highly important for using it in day-to-day following up.) An effective well-written script will help not only to stay confident and not to get lost in what to say for a certain call situation, but also to increase the possibility of sale and transform the average sales agent into a professional. Moreover, it helps sales representatives to ensure that every relevant point is covered in each interaction.
  4. Building a follow up opening statement. The first thing at this stage is to be punctual with a call. This helps to gain trust of a client and and a sales reps and shows that an agent is a professional. Then, while building follow-up opening statements, sale representatives should keep in mind the following tips:
    • to introduce themselves with full name;
    • to give company name;
    • to remind a client about the reason for calling;
    • to mention the main points discussed during the  initial call
  5. Summarizing conversation. Giving a brief and comprehensive summary of what has been just discussed is one of the most important sales follow up tools for salespeople. Once the call comes to its end, reps should send the outline of all the above-mentioned points in a summarizing email and ask for prospect’s confirmation. Sending such an email helps:
    • to overview all mentioned points for the prospect so that they can visualize what they will get out of deal;
    • to prove that the agent understands and qualifies prospect’s needs and pain points;
    • to hold clients accountable for what they told in the most professional way.
  6. Being persistent during following up. People don’t always pick up on the first try. Therefore, sometimes it takes an agent multiple calls to make a contact.  The essential point here is not to give up after the first attempt. Recent research has shown the correlation between making another call and the probability of making contact.

According to the statistics calling 3 times is 81% more effective than calling one time (only 48%) and calling 6 times is 93% better. Another important moment in following up is the frequency of contacting. Even though it crucially depends on the client’s case, there is a general scheme for timing follow-ups:

  • Day 1: First follow-up
  • Day 3: Follow-up
  • Day 7: Follow-up
  • Day 14: Follow-up
  • Day 28: Follow-up
  • Day 58: Follow-up (from there on once a month)

Apart from this, a sales representative needs to contact a prospect by combining different types of communication. It can be a phone call, email, chat, or on-site visit.

In some cases, a follow-up call can be more challenging than a cold one. Therefore, a successful following up requires patience, persistence, and clear tactics. A sales representative should value every prospective client and handle each interaction professionally. Only in this case, they will build a trust-filled relationship that will definitely bring the desired results.


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