5 Essential Ways to Follow Up with B2B Leads

sales follow up ideas

Lead generation continues to be a top priority and challenge for companies. I can understand why this continues to be a challenge for many because it does take time, resources, and money in order to figure out what’s going to really move the needle.

More specifically, there is more than just getting qualified leads in the door but actually making sure that there is a solid process to follow up. To be more specific, following up with web leads within 5 minutes makes you 9 times more likely to engage with them.

Even with this stat in mind, 44% of salespeople give up after one follow-up and many don’t really make it a priority to instill a process to follow up with legitimate leads in a timely manner. 

In today’s blog post, I’ll highlight the following:

  • Five specific ways you can follow up with the leads you’re getting in the door.
  • Nurturing leads further down the funnel to take action.
  • Leveraging your content assets to provide value that triggers a response from leads.

Before we dive in, you know the drill, here are clear stats by HubSpot you should be aware of:

  • 60% of customers say no four times before saying yes whereas 48% of salespeople never even make a single follow up attempt.
  • 80% of sales require 5 follow-up calls whereas 44% of salespeople give up after one follow-up call.
  • 35-50% of sales go to the vendor that responds first.
  • 75% of online buyers want to receive between 2-4 phone calls before a company gives up; 12% would like a company to try as many times as it takes to get a hold of them.
  • 70% of salespeople stop at one email. Yet if you send more emails, you’ve got a 25% chance to hear back.
  • 42% of people would be encouraged to make a purchase if the sales rep called back at an agreed-upon, specified time.
  • 57% of people said they would be encouraged to make a purchase from a salesperson who doesn’t try to apply pressure or hassle them when following up.

Let’s get started…

1. Personalize every follow up

I’m a huge fan of automation, but if you don’t personalize your automated workflows and follow up, you likely won’t hear back from a qualified lead. Sending out a generic response for different actions taken is going to yield you poor results. 

Email personalization is huge when it comes to getting a better open rate and click-through rate, as well as conversions. More specifically, segmented email campaigns earn 100.95% higher clickthrough rates as compared to non-segmented email campaigns and when using proper targeting, businesses can drive 3x the revenue per email as compared to broadcasting.

In order to make this happen, here’s what I recommend:

  • Segmentation by persona. Let’s say you are selling a B2B SaaS product that offers a freemium model, trial, and paid. The way you segment content to each of the personas within these buckets, as well as their lifecycle stage, is going to help you better understand what’s going to make them become a paid customer and what you can do to also help retain them.
  • Have a relevant and clear CTA. Personalized calls to action convert 202% better than default calls to action. Don’t use a standard CTA across all emails. Instead, make it relatable and relevant to each persona, by lifecycle stage, and by behavior. 
  • Diversify your content. Figuring out the path to becoming a paid customer is important and during that process, your content should be valuable and help them along the way. 

Services like Ontraport and HubSpot can be extremely helpful to help you not only design and send out emails, but also monitor open rates and click-through rates and segment the recipients based on activity. 320% more revenue is driven from automated emails than non-automated emails, so ensuring that you have an efficient email workflow can be key to your overall strategy.

2. Chatbot and scheduling tools for your thank you page

Here’s an example of how a B2B lead gen campaign works: you throw up a LinkedIn ad, your targeted personas are exposed to this ad, they click on it, land on your landing page, fill out the form and submit their request. Once they do this, direct them to a “thank you” page and then consider testing the following:

Chatbot

This is about having a conversational approach that continues the nurturing process post a form being filled out by a prospective customer. This can give you a way to better qualify the lead that just filled out the form and have it segmented properly within your CRM for sales to then follow up accordingly. In order to make this work well, you have to be succinct with your qualifying questions so whatever information is going to help you gauge the leads actual needs, the better.

Scheduling tool

One of the tools I love using is Calendly. It’s easy to set up and get running as part of your follow up processes. A great place to test out the placement of this tool is on the thank you page and of course, within your email follow up.

Doing so gives people the opportunity to schedule time to speak with a sales rep right off the bat without having to go back and forth with email correspondence. You can also customize things like the call duration, times that can be booked, etc. 

BONUS TIP: If you aren’t quite ready to test out these tools, then consider having a thank you page that guides leads further down the funnel by letting them know what next steps look like. Here’s a great example by Unbounce:

As you can see, right after someone downloads a free guide, the process of collecting more information and getting a call scheduled follows.

3. Pick up the damn phone

I listed this stat above but I want to reemphasize the importance of timing and how it can increase your chances of really connecting with leads that come in: following up with web leads within 5 minutes makes you 9 times more likely to engage with them.

Picking up the phone might seem like a hassle for some but for hungry sales reps (and companies alike) who want to “make it rain” and really be successful, you have to get comfortable with it. Here are stats that prove why a phone call is still beneficial:

  • 41.2% of salespeople said their phone is the most effective sales tool at their disposal.
  • Gong.io analyzed over 100,000 connected outreach calls and found successful salespeople talk for 54% of the call, while unsuccessful salespeople spent only 42% of their time speaking.
  • 63% of Sales Leaders believe that virtual meetings are just as or more effective than in-person meetings.

4. Leverage LinkedIn messaging

Recently, I downloaded a guide from a company and their sales rep not only followed up with me via email, he did so by phone, and then found me on LinkedIn as well. 

Here’s what I loved about this:

  • He was eager but didn’t pressure me.
  • He was consistent and personalized every single message he sent my way.

This is definitely something that I’d recommend to any sales team that’s pushing to follow up with leads who have taken action on landing pages and a website contact form. Your chances for success are much higher.

Moving ahead – your activity and results both matter

Instead of just measuring your results, you have to really look at the activity that’s put in place for follow up. You’ll find that by doing this you’ll yield even better results. Moving qualified leads through their buying journey to becoming a paid customer is the ultimate goal, but the processes instilled before that point is reached is also just as important.

Having a solid process means that you’ll be able to make sure segmentation is in place, there is an honest and open feedback loop between sales and marketing, having sales focus on talking to leads who truly are interested in your offering increases, and building pipeline becomes much more seamless.

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