By David Holland

September 8, 2016


Why Sales People Don’t Follow Up and What They Are Actually Missing

Do you know that only 2% of sales occur on the first meeting? Yes, sales people out there. That technically means that if you are not a fan of follow-ups, you are missing 98% of conversion possibilities to close a sale.

There is actually some fascinating statistics on follow-ups. You see, more than 40% of sales people give up when the customer said "no" to them the first time. That is almost about half of the sales people out there who quit on the first attempt. Imagine how much leads have gone cold just because of the lack of persistence.

Truth be told, for the most successful sales people, closing a sale is about persistent followup. Yet still, why do majority of salespeople quit too fast, so quickly that they are actually missing the big part of the game? Here are a few reasons why.

They forgot to follow up

Yes, even a sales person can unintentionally forget about a lead too. Considering how busy a sales person is, it is easy to forget. When the routine is bombarded with market analysis, brainstorming about a new product and endless meetings with the big bosses -- it is hard to catch up with everything.

The sales person may had the intention to do a follow up call today for that lead whom they talked with, but then with all the daily chaos, anything can be totally forgotten.

They thought the customer would call them.

When it comes to selling, specially for products that cost people money, persistency, the again, will always be the key. As much as a sales person could get very busy, so are customers. As a rule of thumb, never assume that customers will e-mail or call you back.

According to Sirius Decisions, average sales person only makes two attempts to reach a lead but those who go far beyond that, are likely to close the sale. If you have a common product, chances are other sales person might have already reached your prospect on the same day you did. So if you are not quick enough to do that followup, you might be losing the lead to a competitor

They are scared of "No" the second time around

We get it. The first time the sales person get a No, is already a loss. If you take it personally, then, you may be afraid of getting another No.

What could be worse to hear that word again, even if at some point you have anticipated it? A persistent sales person expect several “No’s” but is always ready with clever rebuttal to make the lead finally come to a point where they say Yes.

They found fresh, news leads

Somebody said No or Maybe? Well, why not forget them right you find a fresh new leads who might actually buy your offer? This is a common mistake among rookies sales people. New leads come then there they go forgetting the art of follow-up on previous leads.

New or old leads, you have to keep nurturing them as much as you can. These days, prospects are tired of sales people popping in their phone. This is when e-mail automation comes to play. E-mail is a gentler approach to followup.

They don’t have a system that allows them to automatically follow up leads

When you are a sales person, you are dealing with a whole lot of other stuffs aside from selling the product. What are the chances that you can follow up one by one to all your leads through phone calls or even e-mails? The answer is slim to none.

This is why you use a system that makes followup automated. Infusionsoft for instance, make follow up way easier than it used to be. Infusionsoft humanizes automation for you. You just have to tag and segment your follow up e-mails and it goes to your specific set of leads.

Even though followup e-mails are automated, they are sorted to match with messages customized according to your customer’s point of view. Lead behavior is analyzed so you are actually sending follow-up e-mails that personally connect to the reader.

Why automated followup? Well, according to Inside Sales, if you follow up web leads, you are 9x more likely to convert them into customers. Automation gives you that power to followup almost instantaneously. Gartner Research also pointed that automating lead management increases a 10% on revenue. ANNUITAS Group also cited that nurturing prospects via marketing automation can increase number of qualified leads by 451%

What should be your bottom line?

Although selling through phone calls and face to face are still effective strategies to date, e-mail marketing automation has been proven by many brands to increase revenue and grow reputation.

You see, experienced salespeople don't expect to sell the time they talk with a prospect. They know that only 2% of people are looking to buy the first talk. They know that the first talk is about building trust. They know conversion starts with effective followup.

When it comes to closing a sale, persistence is the key. It pays off to follow up and it would be a lot of saving on resources and time when follow up is done automatically. The longer you hang in there, the greater chances you are going to close that sale.

Begin automating followup and you’ll see the wonders it can do to you as a sales person. No more of forgetting to followup, no more of being afraid of Nos and no more wasting valuable leads.

About the author

Nice bloke with practical ideas. Former Procter & Gamble, Kraft and IBM sales and marketing executive. Became a business owner 20 years ago. Started multiple businesses including EXELA which is the most successful Keap® & Infusionsoft™ reseller in the EMEA region.

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