You’ve reviewed your data and adjusted your tactics.

You’re doing great!

Now it’s time to focus on sales follow-up. You’ve got leads coming in, after all. When monitoring your marketing, you notice that people have been opening your emails and they’ve been reading your content. Repeatedly, even.

Not too shabby.

But here’s the tricky part—how do you really know if they’re opening your emails with any intent to buy? Are they just compulsive clickers? Are they just passing information along?

You know, there’s only one way to find out.

You need to reach out to them and work those sales prospecting muscles.

Following up

Reach out and “touch” someone

When someone clicks on content piece, you’ve got mere hours of sweet spot time to contact them. After 24 hours, that click becomes old news. They’ve probably already forgotten whatever made them click.

In short, you’ve got to act fast if you want to effectively follow up on a lead.

When you reach out to someone, be direct and polite in your tone. So if you’re on your best behavior, does that mean they’ll definitely contact you back?

Nope. It’s not guaranteed.

As a sales follow-up best practice, you’ll want to call your prospect to establish a more intimate relationship. If they don’t pick up, send a follow-up email offering your assistance.

It’s a valuable 1-2 punch that covers all your bases.

They’re listening. Now what?

Holy moly. They actually responded to you, and now they want to hear what you have to say.

This is your big moment.

You don’t need to sell the prospect everything you’ve got. In fact, you don’t really need to sell them anything at all. It’s not a binary system—don’t look at it as sold or not sold. Even having them respond to you is a huge win. This is a relationship you are starting.

First impressions are important. So, always have a plan when you contact your leads.

Start by giving them some basic information. That includes:

  • Why you’re calling them. You know why you’re contacting them, so tell them exactly why you’re calling them. The truth is that you’re calling to see if they have any questions. Put the focus on them, and you’ll come off as helpful—not salesy.
  • How you can help them. Again, you don’t need to walk away with a multi-million dollar deal on the first call. You just want to let them know that you’re their go-to resource when they need more information on whatever topic they want to learn more about.
  • What you want from them. It’s good to be direct here—you don’t want to be a sly dog in your approach. They know you’re in sales, but that doesn’t make you annoying unless you make yourself annoying. Seek permission to follow up in the future to help them out.

Wait . . . where did they go?

If your prospects are responding to you, you’re in good shape.

But what if they aren’t?

It doesn’t make sense from an analytics perspective. You’ve been following a prospect’s activities closely, and they’ve been super-engaged with everything you’ve delivered related to network security.

On paper, they are your biggest fans. They read all your stuff, they open all your emails, and they love clicking on each and every newsletter article link.

You’re confident, so you call them (no response) and send a follow-up email.

This Might Help: Our Secrets for the Most Successful IT Marketing Emails

And yet, your calls and emails go unanswered.

What do you do?

Naturally, you need to keep following up. But it’s important to know the distinction between being persistent and being obsessively annoying.

If you’re getting snubbed from your prospect, and you’ve tried just about everything . . . consider sending them a breakup (or “take away”) email. This email essentially says “Hey, I tried. You’re busy, I’m busy—it simply wasn’t meant to be.”

While it may seem counterintuitive, it’s actually a fantastic way of jolting a response out of a prospect.

Helpful Stuff: Struggling to write a breakup email? Check out our template with a few choices.

The point of all the sales follow-up

The end goal of all these follow-ups is for you to close a deal.

In theory, it’s simple. In practice, it’s not.

The reason you need to be careful with your sales follow-up is that you need to establish a relationship with your potential clients. Gone are the days of the cold-calling, slick-haired, devil-tongued businessman with a car phone, a wink and a cheap suit.

We’re kind of sad to see it go. Not the tactics—just the fashion.

The fact of the matter is that the marketing of today’s digital economy revolves around helpful inbound marketing. It’s focused on helping you, and not doing what’s most profitable for me. When you build a relationship with your clients, you’re far more likely to win their business.

To sum it all up: you’ll get amazing results with your sales if you align your sales follow-up to match your marketing.

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