Stress, anxiety, indecisiveness. The nagging fear of being rejected despite our best efforts. As sales professionals, we’re familiar with all of those emotions. And nothing pries open that Pandora’s box of negative feelings more than the concept of sales lead follow-ups.

But following up with your leads is just a part of the sales process. While the fear of rejection is always around the corner, so is the possibility of landing a big client. You’ll never know which way you’ll end up if you just give up after the first contact attempt.

Thankfully, there’s a way to take away at least some of the anxiety involved in the follow-up process. In this article, we share some of our most effective sales follow-up tips to live by.

Why Follow Up With Sales Leads?

According to Marketing Donut, it takes at least five follow-up calls to acquire 80% of potential leads. Sadly, 44% of salespeople give up after the first call and 94% give up before the fifth one. 

The stats behind sales emails paint a very similar picture. According to Yesware, the chances of getting a reply on your first sales email is just 30%. After that, the chances of getting replies increase incrementally with each follow-up email. Much like cold calling, the optimal number of follow-up emails required to get a response is five.

Clearly, follow-ups are a crucial part of the sales process that you can’t ignore. And while there’s always a chance that prospects will be annoyed if you keep pestering them, there’s a way to do things without turning off potential customers.

How to Follow Up With Sales Leads: 7 Tips, Tricks, and Secrets

According to Hubspot, 60% of buyers only want to talk to salespeople when they’re in the consideration stage, i.e. after they’ve had the chance to research the product and shortlist a few companies. 

That accentuates the need for follow-ups because most buyers aren’t even ready to talk to the sales team when you send out your first email. So how do you follow up at the right time and in a way that sways buyers in your direction when it’s time to make a decision? Here are some tips: 

Space Your Follow-Ups Appropriately

The last thing you want is to scare away prospects by bombarding them with three emails a day. Instead, try to understand your prospect’s timeframe and get a feel for how long it might take for them to make a decision. Obviously, B2B clients signing a thousand-dollar contract will need more time to decide than an individual consumer spending a few dollars on hair products. 

Generally speaking, try to give your prospect at least two or three days between follow-ups so that they have the time to appropriately consider your offer. For prospects working in the B2B industry, give them at least a week to raise your offer with the rest of their team.

Follow Up Across Different Platforms

Sometimes, a certain platform might just not be the right way to communicate with a prospect. For example, some don’t check their emails regularly and prefer to receive phone calls instead. Yet others, especially busy leaders and company executives, are annoyed by unsolicited phone calls and prefer that you email them to set up a time before you call.

It really depends on the prospect, but try following up using a variety of methods, such as cold calls, email marketing, and social media platforms like LinkedIn. Also, remember to properly space out your follow-ups across different platforms lest you appear too insistent.

Offer More Value With Each Follow-Up

You might think that a quick check-in is enough to put your email back at the top of the inbox and get the conversation going. However, “thought about just checking in” and “following up on my last message” emails are usually considered lazy and don’t offer additional value to the prospect. As a result, they’re likely to be given the same silent treatment as your last message.

Instead, take the time to do additional research on your prospect and hit them up with an offer they can’t refuse. If your sales lead didn’t respond to your first email, try sending them a limited-time discount offer or a personal message targeting their specific pain points.

tips for following up with sales leads

Always Provide a Clear Call-to-Action

If you don’t define a concrete next step or provide a clear call-to-action in your follow-up emails, there’s a good chance your prospects will simply move on from your offer. Make it easy for them to respond to your follow-ups, such as by including a link to a calendar app so they can schedule a triage call. 

If you’re trying to push a trial offer, make it easy for prospects to sign up: “Just reply with “yes” and I’ll set you up with a free trial.” The truth is, people hate extra work — and the easier you make it for them the more likely they are to respond to your follow-ups. 

Try Using Eye-Catching Subject Lines

If you’re using email follow-ups to reach out to your prospects, the subject line will be the biggest factor impacting your open rate. Generic subject lines such as, “Following Up” or “Checking In” simply won’t cut it.  Instead, use personalized subject lines that address the prospect by name and hook them with an interesting sales pitch or offer.

Keep your subject line concise and conversational. Sometimes, it might also be worth creating a sense of urgency by making your subject line time-sensitive. “Here’s a limited time offer for this week only,” is bound to get more clicks than, “Would you like to buy our new product?”

Focus on Your Prospect’s Unique Needs

You might be tempted to use your follow-up emails to talk about how big your company is or how great a product you have, but these things only matter insomuch as they offer value to your leads and prospects. Focus your emails on your prospect’s unique pain points instead of being overly promotional. 

Do ample research to make sure you know your prospect intimately. Then personalize your emails to include something that will make them tick. Show them how well you understand their needs and their use case. 

Don’t Be Annoying or Show Hostility

If a prospect doesn’t respond even after the umpteenth follow-up email, it’s a good idea to know when to give up. Generally speaking, five successive follow-ups are usually enough to gauge a prospect’s interest — after that, the chances of receiving a response are very low. Try sending a “break-up email” to let them know it’s your last follow-up — it might just spur them into action. 

It goes without saying, but never show hostility towards a prospect if they don’t respond to your follow-ups. And in case they reply with a firm “no,” don’t follow up again as it will only annoy and irritate them. It’s much better to spend your energy on more promising leads instead.

A Few Tips for Following Up With Existing Clients

Just like sales leads, existing clients are worth following up with too. After all, they’re the ones with the greatest potential for buying your products time and again — they already did it once! However, you can’t just take a one-size-fits-all approach for all sales follow-ups. Here are some tips worth remembering when following up with existing clients and customers:

  • Shortly after you’ve managed to close a deal, schedule a quick follow-up phone call with your customers to check in on them and ensure they are making the most out of your product. If customers are satisfied with their first purchase, they’re more likely to do business with you again.
  • Build lasting relationships with existing customers by signing them up for your newsletter, sending them targeted offers and content, as well as inviting them to in-person events for your business. Regular communication helps you gather more data that you can use to further personalize your client communications.
  • The flywheel approach is an inbound marketing principle that explains how returning customers can also turn into promoters of your business if used in the right way. Ask your customers to review your products and services online, or offer referral incentives and bonuses for those who draw in more customers to your brand. 
5 follow up attempts to acquire 80% of potential leads

Understanding the Art of the Perfect Sales Process Follow-Up

Of course, following up with potential customers is about more than just the actual follow-up. You need a killer lead management process to help you gather contact information, segment your prospects, perform lead nurturing, and more. 

Use a variety of channels to maintain a constant stream of communication with your sales leads and existing customers, be it using email, phone calls, or social media platforms. You can also use sales automation tools to empower your sales reps to follow up at scale.

Remember — a successful follow-up strategy is built on data, which in turn is collected by interacting with your customers. It’s a constant cycle of communication that keeps your sales pipeline fresh and flowing. 

Using Lead Generation Tools to Improve Your Sales Follow-Ups

Lead generation tools can make it easier to follow up with sales prospects by tracking leads and measuring the success of your follow-up communications. They can also empower you to make better decisions by giving you more data on potential leads before you initiate contact. 

In addition, lead generation tools help with organization by enabling your sales managers to store all their contacts in one place and share them with the rest of the team. Some of these tools even let you set follow-up reminders and track past communications with your leads. 

Most importantly, lead generation tools help you gather contact information. Without that, it’s impossible to initiate contact with a potential lead — let alone schedule a follow-up! A good lead generation tool lets you hunt down email addresses, phone numbers, and social media profiles of potential prospects so that you can start a conversation with them easily.

Datanyze: The Ultimate Tool for B2B Sales Follow-Ups

Datanyze’s Google Chrome Extension allows you to dig up contact information on potential leads directly from LinkedIn. Using one nifty dashboard, you gain access to all the information you need to initiate conversations and schedule follow-ups with every prospect. Datanyze also empowers you to start better conversations using detailed professional data on each lead.

But it doesn’t just provide information on prospective clients, Datanyze also allows you to maintain a database of client contacts so that you can easily schedule follow-up sales calls for your startup or small business using a single interface. 

Ready to take Datanyze for a spin? We have free and premium plans to suit all manner of B2B teams. Sign up for a free trial today and see how easy lead generation can be.