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This is a post for all of you out there generating warm leads from your outbound channel (or any channel). By introducing sales persistence to your strategy, you will start seeing the results that you have always been promised but until now have remained unobtainable.

The start of the outbound process couldn’t be going better for you. You’ve put together a stellar outbound campaign because of which you have gotten a lot of interest. But now things aren’t looking as rosy as they had before. Customers have been reaching out to you with enthusiastic responses to your messages but then will go cold all of a sudden.

It is a bit dispiriting and half the time you forget to keep contacting the leads you haven’t heard from in a while. All of this raises the question: is it you or is it them?

How can I make sure I’m not dropping the ball with my warm leads?

No matter how many warm leads you have, they are no good if you can’t get them to meet with you. What you need is a framework to tackle this issue head on.

If you remember from our explanation of the outbound equation, persistence rate is one of the most vital metrics you need to track. Sales persistence measures a number of warm leads you are able to land a sales meeting with. So why is it that important?

It comes probably comes as no surprise that your outbound efforts are wasted if your prospects don’t agree to meet with you. The more meetings you get, the better the ROI from your outbound channel and the more revenue you get. To help you, we will share with you the same rules that we established in our own sales team:

sales persistence

The 8 Growbots rules of sales persistence

  1. Reply to every message

    (excluding really negative ones. You don’t want to make them angrier.) Even the shortest answer is a win. After all, all you want to do is to start a conversation with your prospect.

  2. Never stop sending follow-ups

    because you don’t know how many it will take to convert somebody who has shown interest before. Sometimes it takes 6-7 follow-ups to set up a meeting with a person who was initially very interested.

  3. Make hay while the sun shines.

    Once you get a message, reply ASAP (preferably call immediately), while the prospect is still new and interested. If you wait a few hours or days, they might forget you exist. The odds of qualifying a lead drops 6 times if you respond more than an hour after receiving the lead.

  4. Your follow-ups should be frequent in the beginning

    (a reply to an email, a break for 1-2 days and a follow-up, 2-3 days and another follow-up and so on), but with time, they should become less frequent. Pay more attention to and follow up more frequently with your more invested leads.

  5. Don’t bury your reply in a long list of follow-ups.
    1. If a lead doesn’t reply to 2-3 follow-ups, write another follow-up as a reply to his positive message, not as a reply to your 3rd follow-up.
    2. If you do it this way, he sees his positive response right below your first follow-up, not a long series of follow-ups he didn’t answer.

    Take note: If one of the follow-ups you sent was an extensive answer to a question, send a new follow-up as a reply to this message (the follow-up with that answer).

  6. If a lead has any questions or doubts, you have to address each of them, clearly and completely.

    This needs to be done even if some of your answers are negative. A negative answer is simply an opportunity for you to persuade your lead that this is not a disqualifying concern.

  7. If you addressed a doubt and the lead does not reply, this means you haven’t actually resolved their doubt.

    In the next follow-ups, you need to address it again, this time even more thoroughly.

  8. Save all the replies.

    Save the ones that actually managed to convert the prospect as well as the ones that addressed a doubt successfully. With these, you will know how to address the same kind of situation in the future.

It’s even easier than you think

You probably just read those rules and now are thinking that you have to follow up 6 to 7 times with each lead and provide very thorough responses to each question you get. It may sound like a lot to do but it doesn’t have to be. Sales persistence can be automated just like every other part of the outbound sales process.

There are a few tricks that you can use to streamline sales persistence. They will help you send all of the messages you need to send and answer all the questions that need to be answered, without making a huge time commitment to do so.

  1. Email acceleration

    Remember how I said that you should save your replies to common objections and questions? Particularly if you encounter a question that nobody else has had to answer before, put some thought into your response. The longer you do outbound, the more valuable these replies will become. You are building a knowledge base of reply templates that anyone from your sales team can have an access to. The next time same question comes up, you’ll already have the answer that you can send out, without having to create a new one from scratch.

    If you put these templates into an email acceleration tool like Cirrus Insight or Mixmax, you can access them right in your inbox! All of a sudden, answering questions thoroughly stops being a time-consuming task. These templates will also help newer members of your team start answering objections from day one without needing an extensive onboarding process. Here is an example of one of ours:

      1. Do you work with any marketing agencies?
      2. Of course {!Contact.FirstName}, here is a case study concerning one of our best clients. It’s Peter from Uhuru Network, he runs a marketing agency 🙂
      3. Also, you can have a look at our G2Crowd profile, reviews from 4 different marketing companies are listed there. Let me know if you need more info! Here’s our calendar: www.calendly.com/growbotsus/demo – you can pick a convenient day and time for a quick demo right away. Cheers,

     

  2. Follow-up automation

    You often have to follow up 6 to 7 times before you get a response from somebody who was initially interested. That sounds like quite a chore to do manually. Luckily, there are automation tools that automate the whole flow of your follow-up responses in your Gmail. We currently use vocus.io but rebump.cc and followup.cc are also good options. And it isn’t just us. Automation tools are a hallmark of top performing businesses.

  3. CRM

    Automating your follow-ups still comes across as personal, if it is done right, but some people prefer to do some things manually. Those people can harness the power of the CRM they are already using. Most will allow you to keep email templates in their systems. You can also set up reminders for yourself to follow up with your customers in case they don’t respond to you. Just a word of caution, it is a bit more difficult to do all of these tasks manually and it’s nearly impossible to remember to complete all of the manual activities that you want to be done.

How good can I get at sales persistence?

We are able to set up meetings with 45% of the customers who were interested in hearing more about us. That number does vary a bit depending on the industry and your sales process and you will never be able to convert 100% of your warm leads. As with most things in life, timing gets in the way (the customer shows interest now but the problem you solve isn’t going to be a priority for him for another six months). That said, better sales persistence will drive your revenues:

  1. The more leads you convert to meetings, the more you can sell to, the more revenue you will get.
  2. To maximize sales persistence, try doing 2 things:
    1. Follow 8 Growbots rules of sales persistence
    2. Make sure your process is time-efficient and bulletproof by using tools to make sure that leads don’t fall through the cracks.

So, after reading this and our previous article, you should be able to bump your two key conversion rates up to a decent level, boosting your revenues. Now it’s time to reap the benefits of your outbound equation. Use your greater understanding of the different stages of your revenue pipeline to increase the volume of your campaigns. You can do this by finding out which metric improvements will have the biggest impact on the revenue you generate.

To make it easy, we have created an outbound calculator to help you. Now keep reading here to learn how to scale your outbound volume using automation.

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Chris Zawisza

Chris Zawisza

Head of Demand Generation @ Growbots - laser-focused on the growth of Growbots’ customer base. Always eager to brainstorm and explore new ideas.

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