The Four Ps of Successful Sales Follow-Up
We’ve all heard the story: marketing creates leads, and sales follows up to gauge interest, answer questions, and turn those leads. But, as we all know, it isn’t always that easy. Engaging a lead in a two-way conversation requires speed, patience, and tact. The more powerful a Sales team is in these areas, the more likely they are to be successful.
The variables that contribute to Sales success are referred to as “the 4Ps” at SimpSocial. Engaging leads and developing them into opportunities is easier when you perform well in the 4Ps. The four Ps are:
Quickness: How soon does the sales team react to a lead or inquiry?
How many follow-up attempts would the Sales team make before deciding to move on?
Personalization: How much of your answer was tailored to you? Did the answer make an effort to advance the conversation?
Performance: Did the email make it to the primary inbox of the lead? Is it possible that it ended up in Promotions, Social, or Spam?
Let’s take a closer look at each of these to see how relevant they are and how you can boost your sales effectiveness.
When dealing with an inbound lead, the most critical thing is promptness. The higher the chance of converting a lead to a customer, the quicker the connection is made.
But when it comes to speed, how fast is fast enough? Should Sales teams follow up with a contact who fills out a lead form or requests a demo within hours or minutes? To be honest, sellers only have five minutes to contact leads. According to studies, the chances of qualifying a lead contacted within 5 minutes are ten times higher than those contacted within 10 minutes—and dramatically higher than those contacted after 30 minutes.
Similarly, quick answers give you a leg up on the competition. According to research, 78 percent of consumers purchase from the first responder. Recognizing that COVID-19 and the resulting economic downturn continue to have a detrimental effect on sales cycles, companies must adapt as quickly as possible.
The same is true for generating inbound leads via webinars, virtual events, or content downloads, which require consumers to submit their contact information through a lead form. Some of these prospects want to learn more about your company’s services, while others are only interested in your thought leadership. In this case, it’s a good idea to contact them right away so your company will be on their minds.
Persistence is a virtue.
Although speed is essential, it’s uncommon to convert a lead after just one contact. In fact, getting a lead to react can take up to 15 touches. The pandemic has intensified persistence as a pattern. Sales periods lengthen as budgets tighten. More touches from sales teams are required to entice potential customers to take the next move.
People are preoccupied. Even if a lead intends to answer, it will not do so immediately. Your message could become lost in a cluttered inbox as a result of this. Out of sight, out of mind, as they say. Consistent follow-up keeps your company in the lead’s mind until he or she is able to take the next move and schedule a meeting with your sales team.
Personalization requires the most time and effort of the four Ps to create a specific and appealing message. This problem is exacerbated when salespeople either send a customized email to a new lead right away or persistently pursue a lead over time.
Nonetheless, evidence shows that hard work pays off. Personalized emails get double the number of opens and click-throughs as non-personalized emails.
But what exactly constitutes a personalized email? This five-part norm is used by SimpSocial to define personalization:
Personalized greeting: The contact is addressed by name in the message.
Individual sender: The sender’s name—or at the very least the organization, team, or department name—should be listed in the email’s “From” line.
Signature or contact information: The message includes the sender’s contact information so that he or she can reply.
Success factor: By requesting a meeting time, exchanging educational information, or offering to answer questions, the sales associate pushes the discussion forward.
Personalized material: The email’s content refers to the lead’s original request (whether it’s for a tutorial, a content download, or registration for a webinar or event).
All five are present in a fully personalized email.
As you would imagine, personalization and success go hand in hand. The more personalized an email is, the more likely it is to be sent to the primary inbox of the recipient.
Email service providers help consumers by automatically sorting emails into different files. Gmail is a good example of this. A message can end up in the Primary Inbox, Promotions Folder, Social Folder, or Spam Folder, depending on the sender and content of the email. Each of these groups serves a specific function. However, there is a clear difference for Sellers between messaging arriving in the most successful location (the Primary Inbox) and anywhere else.
Sellers can improve email efficiency by adopting best practices and personalizing emails.
What Do You Do If You’re Short on the 4Ps?
Although our 4Ps are focused on industry best practices, hitting all of these categories perfectly every time is difficult. Salespeople only have so many hours in the day to follow up on leads, let alone their other responsibilities. It takes time to create a personalized email, for example.
How will salespeople do a better job of following up with high-performing customized emails on a consistent basis?
Sales teams also use email templates, marketing automation tools, and increasing headcount by recruiting more Sales Development Representatives to help them meet these goals (SDRs). However, it appears that this is insufficient. According to SimpSocial’s 2020 Sales Effectiveness Study, only 8% of companies surveyed performed well across all 4Ps.
Clearly, new strategies and innovations are needed to assist sales teams in improving lead follow-up. Fortunately, an Intelligent Virtual Assistant (IVA) will help (IVA).
By automating lead follow-up and outreach, an IVA helps revenue-generating teams. An Intelligent Virtual Assistant serves as a virtual team member, delivering timely, persistent, and customized messages that often obey best practices, by integrating the power of intelligent automation with the human-like aspects of SimpSocial.
The primary advantage of using an Intelligent Virtual Assistant is the ability to generate sales. Improved operating performance, increased Sales force capability, and better interactions for leads and prospects are all secondary benefits. Sales teams will concentrate their energies on developing relationships with customers and converting leads by outsourcing the tedious tasks of sending personalized messages to leads in order to assess intent and move them to the next best step.
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