Sales. The lifeblood of your business. In your body, a constant flow of blood keeps your vital organs alive and ultimately keeps the body alive. Covid-19 has shaken sales pipelines to the core and unfortunately revealed how unhealthy some sales pipelines have become.
Signs Your Sales Pipeline is in Trouble
If you’ve failed to pay attention to consistently building your sales pipeline over the last few years, it is probably showing now:
- Not enough leads in the top of your sales pipeline (top of funnel)
- Not enough prospects flowing through your pipeline (deals in progress)
- Little or nothing dropping out of the bottom of your sales pipeline (sales)
No matter where a sale is in your pipeline, there is one thing guaranteed to help your sales breakthrough. Following up.
Following up to Grow Your Sales Revenue
We know that follow up is powerful, that it works, that we should be doing it. If following up is so good for our sales, why don’t more salespeople do it?
It’s far easier to deal with ‘warm leads’ from your website than it is to engage with totally cold prospects and build relationships that flourish into your ideal clients.
Even in a nearly empty pipeline there’s potential business.
When a sale stalls, do not fall into the trap of waiting for the customer to take the initiative.
This is the waiting place where many businesses currently find themselves. Playing a waiting game with the customer.
- Waiting for Covid to go
- Waiting for the vaccine
- Waiting for the election
Here’s the deal – if you’re waiting for that perfect set of external circumstances to magically fix your sales, you could be waiting for a long time.
The great news is that with a bit of hard work and some sales discipline, you can start to turn things around and bring your sales pipeline back into full health.
Ready to take action? Excellent. It’s time to follow up.
Five Ways to Follow up Without Being a Pest
One – Boldly take action
If you take action, you’ll be ahead of most of your competitors who are waiting for the ‘perfect’ moment, post-Covid, to follow up.
Taking action shows your potential client that you are exactly the type of proactive, courageous supplier they would like to have on their side in a crisis (like Covid!).
Two – Stay on the right side of the Pest / Professional continuum
All your actions will either fall into the Pest bucket, or the Professional bucket. Obviously, you want them to fall into the Professional bucket.
- Ensure you are adding value in your follow up.
- Keep up with industry changes so that your conversations stay relevant
- Space your follow up just right – too frequent and you could annoy your potential client, too far apart and they might forget who you are
- Always aim to develop that ‘trusted advisor’ relationship
Three – Employ a multi-touch, multi-channel approach
Using different methods to follow up is a great way to ensure you are staying on the Professional side of the continuum.
Don’t just email – you will be relying on your potential client’s initiative to do the job you need to do for your business.
Combine all/some of the following to create your ideal follow up:
- Social Selling
Four – Listen more than you talk
This is critical. Especially if you are selling high-ticket products/services where you’ll likely have a longer sales cycle. Which means your potential clients’ needs could easily change during your follow up – especially in a post-Covid economy.
Ask open-ended questions about how your potential client is planning to solve their problems. This will help you craft a solution that truly resonates with them, increasing the likelihood of sales.
Five – Use your CRM
Make sure you record all client interactions in your CRM – your Customer Relationship Management system. Key benefits of using a CRM include
- Spotting patterns you can leverage to help grow your sales
- Accurate records from everyone at your company, giving you more recent, relevant customer data
- Insights into how long your sales process really takes, and what it really looks like
- Never miss a follow up because you ‘forgot’ – use tasks to stay on track
Are you feeling better about following up now?
Even if you’re not yet feeling excited – act anyway! Your feelings will follow your actions, which will also help you move those prospects further down your sales pipeline towards confirmed sales.
Let’s talk about a strategic approach to growing sales for your business.