When someone has expressed interest in a company, a stopwatch starts ticking. The prospect is now testing that company to see how responsive they are and what they respond with. Will they get a spammy email or something more personal like a phone call or custom-made video?
Salespeople know that the calls we make today end up being the business we write down the road, but few of them have a system for ensuring they make time to plant those seeds with inbound inquiries today so they can generate business tomorrow.
Instead of relying on an autoresponder to handle prospect inquiries, we’ll explain why a personal touch always wins and how to ensure we fit those touches into an already packed schedule. We sat down with Dave Lorenzo and chatted about the importance of follow-up and how to ensure it was consistent.
Because we’re trimming hope from our sales strategy, we’ll use the acronym TRIM to guide us through creating a system with a trigger, ensuring it’s repeatable, building in ways to improve it and of course, ensuring it’s measurable and getting us results.
T-Trigger: Dave says that once an inbound lead hits the desk of a salesperson, salespeople should immediately put time on the calendar to contact each lead. Unless it’s on a calendar, it’s tough for a salesperson to call an unknown prospect.
It’s no secret that phone converts better than email in most industries, but what is often overlooked is that calling a prospect personally sets the tone for the rest of their relationship with your company. Will they be just another number or are you the type of sales team that personally reaches out, maximizes value and solves problems?
R-Repeatable: There are multiple ways to make our follow-up repeatable. Dave says after ensuring every incoming inquiry has a spot on your calendar, salespeople need to know what you are going to talk about and say to that prospect.
Depending on why and where they entered your funnel, you may be inquiring about whether the prospect was able to download a report they requested, what questions they had about your product or service, or when they would like to schedule an in-depth conversation. That means having basic question scripts segmented by type of inbound inquiry ready.
I-Improvable: To ensure we’re improving our follow up, David advises we need to continually survey the prospects we do get on the phone with and ask them what their preferred method of communication is. Depending on the industry and type of prospects, we might learn our prospect prefers video conference or a quick video from the company, or perhaps an email, or even direct mail.
M-Measurable: To measure the effectiveness of our follow up, Dave recommends we measure first whether we stuck to our own calendars and made the calls to new prospects. Without responding to inquiries, it’s impossible for us to control the next step of the sales process or learn whether our method of communication is what’s working to generate conversations.
Next, we need to measure how many conversations our follow-up generates. If needed, we can adjust our type of follow up to more video, more direct mail to generate the conversation, etc.
Instead of relying on an automated program to handle our inquiries, systemizing a personal touch will always win more business.