Firstly, do an in depth understanding of current follow up practices within your company/team. Talk to your managers/sales reps and tell them the importance of proper follow ups and talking to an ideal prospect. You can define who your ‘ideal’ customer is in multiple parameters. This makes sales guys not chase the wrong set of customers in the first place.
Here are 3 important things you should be doing as follow up strategies:
After Face-2-Face or Phone meetings:
During the meeting, use the last 5 mins to determine the next best steps…it could be a demo, meeting with a senior stakeholder, etc. Block their calendar right there. This will eliminate the need to send follow up mails/messages.
Here it goes without saying that the sales rep should have established what IBM calls BANT – Budget, Authority, Need and Timelines, which would help determine at what level should the follow up be made.
Online : Through E-Mails
1. Do Not Generalize -
No one needs your “Just dropping by ..” emails. There is no reason to engage. Build that reason…offer them Value..talk about RoI that your product or service brings, if you have signed up a competition, tell them that. Show them a mental picture of how better their life would be if they bought your solution. But the key thing here is brevity.
2. Educate to Engage -
Dun and Bradstreet had an interesting feature as part of its Database services. You could tag a company and get industry news about it. Now, this can be a powerful tool to follow up with prospects. You may congratulate them on a client win, award etc, you can share competition information . Just make sure it is not salesy. Objective here is to be on the Top of Mind Recall. But do this carefully, make sure whatever you send is relevant and of importance to them. Otherwise, the prospect wont go beyond the subject line.
One cannot underscore the value and effectiveness of follow ups enough. Just that it requires a strategic focus and team buy in and not a random occurrence in the universe.