Persistence Webinar: How many potential leads are lost due to insufficient lead follow-up?
Last week, we held our second webinar in the series that explored the 4Ps of sales effectiveness – Promptness, Persistence, Personalization, and Performance. Derek Grant, VP of Commercial Sales at Salesloft, and Erroin Martin, VP of Sales at Conversica, discussed “Persistence: How many potential leads are lost due to insufficient follow-up?”
In the audience poll, most people said their sales reps follow up five to eight times per lead, with some brave souls actually admitting that they had no idea. Whether your organization’s number is zero or eight (or somewhere in between), the truth of the matter is that it’s not enough.
What do researchers in the field have to say about the optimal number of touches?
- Inside Sales says that 80% of sales happens after the fifth contact attempt.
- According to the Bridge Group, it takes seven touches to turn a suspect into a prospect. For enterprise-level accounts, that number jumps to 11.
- TOPO states the right number of touches is 15, regardless if it’s inbound or outbound sales.
Whichever study you subscribe to, the point is clear – sales reps need to be persistent in their follow-up. Unfortunately, this is easier said than done. Three main culprits impede sales reps from realizing their potential for polite persistence:
Volume of leads
The number of leads generated on a daily basis is a lot to go through for most organizations. More often than not, salespeople will go after a new lead rather than pursue an existing lead they’ve already tried to contact.
There’s never enough time in the workday to do what you need to get done, but when it comes to lead follow-up, time can be a huge enemy. It takes time to make a sale. If your sales reps need to close deals by the end of the month, they won’t be getting back to those leads at the top or even middle of the funnel.
Salespeople are like squirrels (let me just state for the record that these are not my words) and sometimes lack the focus to stay on path. I do think this holds true for most people, not just for those in sales. Did you know that it takes an average of 23 minutes to get back on task after a distraction? Sorry, I digress.
So, how do you combat the lack of persistence in lead follow-up?
Establish a process. Provide a roadmap so your sales reps know exactly how they’re supposed to follow up with each lead. Agree that more follow-up is better and plan out how to achieve that. There’s an implication of poor customer experience when a lead doesn’t get a call back after indicating interest.
Hold your salespeople accountable. According to Derek, “At Salesloft, I meet with marketing every week and they hold me accountable. I don’t get to go in there and say, ‘Yeah, we chose not follow up with these leads.’” It’s critical that once you establish a process, that you own it with your marketing counterpart or VP of Sales – and stick to it.
Leverage technology to help you adhere to that SLA. Conversational AI platforms like Conversica work every lead and ensure that you deliver on a consistent, lead follow-up process. The functional benefit of implementing this type of technology is that it frees up your salespeople to focus on higher-value leads.
Want to learn more about conversational AI? Book a demo to see if Conversica would be a good fit for your organization.
Also, be sure to check out the webinar to get more tips and tricks for persistence in lead follow-up:
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