Sales are revenue-generating transactions that help establish businesses financially. It’s one of the most critical units within product or service-oriented organisations. But while closing a sale is great, after-sales follow-ups enable your team to show commitment to customer care and experience. Follow-ups also help in building rapport and relationships between your business and customers — increasing the chance of repeat business and customer retention.
In this infographic, you’ll understand the nature, importance, and best methods of sales follow-ups. Much like the art of negotiation during the initial stages, there’s an effective way to do follow-ups to keep the ball rolling during the sales cycle.
The Importance of Follow-Ups in a Successful Sales Cycle
A sales process typically comprises seven steps: prospecting, preparation, approach, presentation, handling objections, closing, and follow-up.
Among these steps, the sales follow-up is where you can discover bigger and better opportunities for your business. Ideally, after making your sales pitch, you get on the phone with your prospect or send them an email to follow up their response to your proposition and, at the same time, initiate insightful conversations with them.
Here are some compelling statistics on sales follow-ups:
80% of sales are closed after five follow-up calls, and yet 44% of sales reps follow up with their clients only once
12% of online shoppers think there’s no limit to the number of attempts companies should make when following up
42% of consumers are likely to purchase if the sales rep called back at an agreed day or time
These figures show that sales follow-ups are a necessary step in a successful sales cycle, given the potential of closing a sale with a client.
How to Do a Sales Follow-Up
The following section will identify some of the best practices you may want to consider to maximize your sales follow-up efforts:
1. Send a thank you note
Businesses that take time to express appreciation toward their customers through a simple message of thanks have a lot to gain from this gesture. For one, it’s a representation of your company’s brand of customer service: sincere, immediate, and personalised.
Thank you notes also let you hit two birds with one stone, as you can include anything from your contact details to a discount voucher or an invoice.
2. Ask for feedback
Businesses should be proactive in requesting feedback via sales follow-ups without overdoing it. Busy customers may not be receptive to answer lengthy surveys or polls, so a quick check-in should be enough.
Give customers enough time to try your product or service, go through your proposal, or even compare your offerings with those of competitors so they can give a thorough assessment of your business initiatives.
3. Open the communication channels
Communicating with clients on the right channel is crucial in enhancing the customer experience. For instance, if you would like to follow up on a product you’ve sent over to the customer on a trial basis, a personal visit is obviously the most suitable option. You can demonstrate the proper way of using the product right before the customer and point out other features they may not have explored yet.
You may then use phone and email for your succeeding follow-ups, as you now have fewer bases to cover that do not need face-to-face interactions. Whatever channel or method of communication to use, do it within reasonable limits and without being too aggressive.
4. Aim for a second sale
Follow-ups don’t necessarily have to be sales-oriented, as they can be integrated into market research. As you interact and engage with your customers, you’ll pick up a thing or two about their buying preferences, patterns, or priorities. From there, it will be easier for you to make the most suitable recommendations for their next purchase.
5. Discuss referrals
Not all clients will go out of their way to do something for you, but loyal and happy customers are four times more likely to refer their friends to a business they trust. Through referrals, you can meet like-minded people who may have the same need for your product or service as existing customers do and expand your market reach in a cost-effective fashion.
Just don’t lose sight of the need to provide value to both customers — consider offering exclusive perks and rewards to the referring party and, of course, provide top-notch customer experience to new clients.
Keep your referral and reward strategies simple and seamless, too. The last thing that customers want is to spend more time than what’s necessary to redeem a prize in exchange for giving you new business.
4 Benefits of Sales Follow-Ups
So, you might ask, why should your business do sales follow-ups? Here are some of the prime benefits that sales follow-ups bring to your business:
1. Boost sales
Although a salesperson will always think and act from a selling perspective, it’s also essential to establish what’s in it for the customer. Whether it’s a discount that’s too irresistible to pass up on or the value of buying more products or services to complement the first sale, your sales agent must help the customer spend their money wisely.
2. Gain customer trust
Sales translate to revenue that helps you fund your company’s expenses. This cycle can create stability and growth for your business, making it necessary for your team to understand the various factors that can steer your sales follow-ups in the right direction.
One of these factors is being customer-centric. The way you interact with your customers during the sales cycle can lead to either a positive or negative experience, which they’ll use to determine if they want to continue doing business with you. When you prioritise your customers’ needs over sales and profit, they’re more likely to make a purchase, refer you to more people, and come back for the long term.
3. Improve customer retention
Customer retention is more practical than customer acquisition because you need more time and resources to form emotional connections with new customers. Whereas the loyalty you’ve built with existing customers through regular follow-ups ensures they’ll be sticking around longer with you.
4. Innovate and reinvent
Your clients are one of the best sources of new business ideas as they have direct and personal knowledge of what customers typically look for in a product or service. You only need to pay close attention to their feedback, queries, or stories describing their experience with you and other businesses.
Sales Follow-Ups Matter for Your Business
When done right, sales follow-ups can be beneficial in improving your business finances. You could tie in positive customer experience into the bigger picture to produce a loyal and satisfied business following that will bring in sales at customer and referral levels.
The right strategies and tools can make your sales follow-ups more efficient and profitable. More sales means more opportunity for business growth. Earlypay specialises in business financing in Australia, with competitive financing options for your company. Whether you need to purchase assets for growth or smooth out your cash flow, Earlypay has the finance option to suit your needs. Ask what our team can do for you!
If you'd like to learn how Earlypay's Invoice Finance & Equipment Finance can help you boost your working capital to fund growth or keep on top of day-to-day operations of your business, contact Earlypay's helpful team today on 1300 760 205, visit our sign-up form or contact [email protected].