If you work in sales, you already know that following up is important. You know you should be doing it quicker, and do it more often – but a busy schedule often gets in the way. There are also other obstacles, from a fear of rejection to a disorganised or non-automated lead generation process.
According to research from IRC Sales Solutions, around 44% of salespeople give up after just one attempt when a call or email is ignored. And just 8% follow up more than five times.
But it’s only when organisations realise the true and enormous value of call follow-up that they start to take it seriously. Let’s take a look at few stats to shed some light on why following up really counts.
Follow up vs. no follow up
Research shows that the more you follow up, the higher chance you have of getting new clients and making the sale. Here’s what IRC researchers found:
- 2% of sales were made on first contact
- 3% on second contact
- 5% on third contact
- 10% on fourth contact
- 80% on fifth to twelfth contact.
This means that persistence really does pay off. Many salespeople feel that contacting a prospect more than a handful of times is too pushy, or unlikely to do anything but cause irritation.
But when done right, the statistics above show that a carefully planned schedule of multiple call follow-ups leads to a higher likelihood of closing the deal. This is even more important when following up by phone, where research from Gartner suggests that it takes 18 or more dials to make meaningful contact. We’ll look at why this might be the case next.
Understanding the customer and their buying journey
One of the key reasons that following up several times works is to do with the customer’s readiness to buy.
At any given time, just a fraction of your audience is actually ready to make a purchase decision – perhaps as low as 3%. Around 40% may be thinking about it or ready to start shopping, while the rest are nowhere near ready to buy.
But this will change over time, so if you can align your follow-up schedule and carefully nurture the lead – you’ll be poised to strike just when the first flickers of buying motivation emerge.
Speed really matters
Now, how fast do you need to be to convert a lead into a revenue-generating customer? According to IRC’s research, you’re 9 times more likely to convert a lead if you follow up within 5 minutes.
But that may not necessarily be quick enough, as a separate study by B2B Marketing found that conversion rates shoot up by a huge 391% if you call a lead within a minute of receiving it.
Need help with qualifying leads, call follow-ups or telemarketing? Our experts at IT Focus are the perfect people to speak to, as we have specialist expertise in B2B telemarketing for IT and tech. We can not only reach and follow up with your customers but also communicate your value proposition in the most persuasive way – making conversions more likely. Get in touch to find out more.