Follow-up: A Key In Outsourced Sales

Many of our clients come to us looking for outsourced sales management after a failed inside sales campaign – they are disillusioned with the sales process, mystified by the hiring of sales personnel and totally underwhelmed by what they thought was their sales management team. Fear not, you are not alone! Today – we’re going to focus on one area that almost all of our outsourced sales clients neglected in sales efforts past – and that is the magic of follow-up. One thing we at Acquirent drill into our outsourced sales representatives is the importance of this critical step. Poor follow up has been the cause of many lost accounts. Here are some tips to make sure you don’t get dropped and end up in the void:

1. Return calls and emails promptly. Nowadays there is no excuse to not call a prospect back or return an email within 24 hours at the very LATEST (90 minutes is ideal). Voicemail and email make this so easy. Do not procrastinate getting back to people – I assure you, you’re competitors won’t. Reply or call back as soon as humanly possible.

2. If you’re late, call. Life happens, meetings run overtime and children get sick – sometimes you might be late for a meeting or a call, people, in general, are understanding of this…IF you call. Everyone has a cell phone these days, use it and be very apologetic. It wouldn’t hurt to send a follow-up apology after the meeting as well (which leads us to #4…).

3. Post meeting or call follow-up email. Directly following a call and/or meeting I get right on drafting a brief email re-capping what was discussed and answering any questions or issues that might have been raised during the meeting. This should be sent anywhere between 1-24 hours after a meeting has taken place.

4. Set a time for another call, and show up. If there is one thing we’ve learned in our tenure as an outsourced sales company, it is that you cannot count on business coming to you. Same goes for meetings. It is not up to your prospect to set up a follow-up call, it is up to you. Once you have made your pitch, give them some time to consider your offer and set up a day and time when you will call to follow up. And make sure you show!

5. Send reminders for appointments/meetings. These are as important for you as well as the clients. Remember, you selling them your service isn’t as important to them as it is to you, and it might not be there priority. Set meeting reminders or send a reminder 24 hours prior to make sure you don’t catch them by surprise. This will also show them how organized and professional you are, remember – you’re always selling yourself.

6. Say “thank you”. In our experience conducting professional outsourced sales, we have learned that there is some serious power in proper etiquette, and a little “thank you” goes a long way. It need no be sent by snail mail (the business world often moves too fast for that anyway) – but a well-crafted “thank you” email might just put you ahead of your competition.

Whether you are in outsourced sales or building your own sales force, remember these golden rules of follow up and make sure you don’t get caught twiddling your thumbs when you should be dialing the phone!

Happy Selling!