Turning a lead into a sale is what marketing is all about.
But how one carries out the process of selling will determine whether they’re successful or not.
Here’s what happened when I went looking for a company to provide solar panels for a new house I’m building.
I’m a busy guy, trying to juggle several major personal projects while running a company. I contacted several companies for a bid on solar panels for the house.
Truth be told, I wasn’t the most responsive potential customer. I had too much going on. Only two companies followed up with me enough to schedule a site assessment, and after that, I still took a long time to provide the floor plans and other details required. One company was persistent, following up multiple times… and when I finally had the time to respond, they were the ones that had the information they needed to provide a competitive bid.
You see, while I originally intended to get more bids, I ended up selecting the guy from that one company because he was the most persistent – in a good way. He knew when to check in and when to leave me alone to think. He knew what questions to ask me to find out what kind of product and specs I needed. He educated me on the pros and cons of different types of materials and installation considerations, and he also tapped into how this new house would fit into my lifestyle and what my overall end goals were.
In short, he invested just a few minutes in additional follow up time each week, built a relationship with me, and was rewarded with a $15,000 sale.
Here’s a startling fact: Studies have shown that most salespeople only tend to follow up with their prospective customers just 20 percent of the time, losing a whopping 80 percent of opportunities to someone else. Which means quitting after one or two sales calls or visits pretty much ends the game right there.
In fact, as it turns out, 80 percent of sales are actually made after the 5th follow-up call.
So while it’s understandable that a company’s sales force can get busy too, they really can’t afford to miss doing a follow-up at a certain interval or worse, quickly dropping the first hot lead to chase after the next one.
The answer lies in having a solid follow-up strategy in place. And a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system is the perfect tool to help.
A CRM system doesn’t just create a database of leads, it can record your sales targets, then track and measure performance and outcomes to ensure salespeople are hitting them.
Here are 3 ways that a CRM and marketing strategy work together:
First, you need to put together a solid and practical marketing plan based on what you want to achieve over the next 6 to 12 months (this is easily accomplished with the help of an expert marketing team). Then as you add your current clients and prospects into your CRM, you can build on that by formulating a follow up system that is automated and customized to your business.
1. Email Marketing
Once you’ve got a lead in your system, it’s easy to use emails for following up. You can set the intervals you want them to go out, with content based on what the last interaction with the prospect was and what steps you want them to take next.
In addition, you can literally “track” your prospect’s movements with metrics that tell you when they opened the email, what links they clicked on, when they visited your website, and more. This is essential online intel as it helps you continually refine the sales process based on your target market’s behaviors.
An experienced marketing team knows exactly how to monitor these stats and how to create the perfect messaging for these communications.
2. Social Media
Who’s not using social media these days? Once you’ve identified your prospect, get connected to their social media channels so you can begin interacting with them by retweeting/favoriting their tweets, sending them follow up direct messages, and more.
A CRM system can be setup to send out quick email prompts to salespeople to check these platforms at predetermined intervals while the marketing team keeps the social chatter on course.
3. Sales Call (Phone or Visit)
The tried and true voice-to-voice or face-to-face follow up is still a very effective way to keep in touch with your clients and prospects. Again, a CRM can easily be customized to trigger when those all-important calls or visits need to be made.
In fact, it’s easy to have your marketing team create scripts for these that don’t sound canned, in addition to writing content for the emails that should go out directly after a salesperson gets a prospect’s voicemail, after a trade show or conference, etc.
Bottom line - don’t let your salesforce (whether 1 or 100) leave the sales process up to chance.
Stop losing customers from faulty or non-existent follow-up systems. Talk to us today about how we can help your salespeople to get ahead of the game so they have a much higher chance of winning sales.