Sales follow-ups are open opportunities for future sales. So, when a prospect asks a rep to follow up with them at a later time it is keeping the door open to still convert them into a customer - as long as it doesn’t fall through the cracks.
But, when your sales reps are handling multiple prospects and customers, making frequent visits and phone calls, and sending dozens of follow-up emails, successfully keeping track of sales follow-ups can almost feel like an art form to be mastered. Especially when 80% of prospects require five or more follow-ups after the first meeting in order to close the deal, according to a Brevet study.
Effectively managing sales follow-ups is one trait that sets top-tier sales teams apart from the rest.
So, you may be wondering how to organize sales notes and follow-ups more effectively. One thing is certain, if your reps are trying to manually track follow-ups with just pen and paper, or even less, just trying to by memory, it can cost your team significant time and lost revenue. Doing almost any type of sales admin work manually is usually going to prove to be inefficient.
Plus, if your reps are trying to track follow-ups this way, it will significantly increase the chance that things get lost in the shuffle and important communications get missed, resulting in new business being lost.
When follow-ups are missed, prospects can start to feel forgotten, question if your product or service is really the solution they need, or even begin to think that your business doesn’t have it together after all.
To successfully increase sales revenue, it is clear that reps need to be able to stay on top of follow-ups. Your reps need to be part of the percentage of sales professionals that are effectively making those multiple follow-ups that are needed to close deals.
Why Your Team Should Handle Follow-Ups Effectively
If you want your team to be successful and they do not have a standard and centralized method of performing and tracking follow-ups, it’s time to implement one. To take that a step further, it’s important to note that one of the quickest ways to increase the efficiency, effectiveness, and accuracy of a process is to automate it.
So, to optimize your reps’ follow-up efforts, you need to give your team a tool or system that allows them to not only do those follow-ups effectively but also manage and track them. This will enable your reps to stay on top of important follow-ups and have everything in one centralized system.
Arming your team with an effective way to initiate and track their sales communications will keep things consistent. And consistency is what allows reps to successfully build prospect relations through follow-ups, driving in more closed deals.
Benefits of Using a Centralized System for Follow-Ups
There are many other additional benefits of keeping everything follow-up related in one system across your team, including:
Increased Visibility - A centralized system will provide your team with much-needed organization and visibility. Reps will be able to easily see prior and upcoming follow-ups and other sales activities and stay on top of everything more effectively.
Increased Accountability - With increased visibility comes increased accountability. A centralized system that houses the follow-up activity for all your reps will increase not only self-accountability but their accountability to the rest of the team and management. Increased accountability will inherently lead to an increase in reps meeting sales performance expectations.
Increased Focus From Better Structure - With a structured approach, your reps will be able to more clearly track and differentiate leads from opportunities. This allows them to focus their efforts where and when it matters most.
More Complete Customer and Prospect Records - With a place to add in and keep track of follow-up history, notes, and future follow-up needs by individual customers or prospects, your reps will always have a more complete picture of each contact in the system.
Helps to Streamline Processes - A centralized system for follow-ups will help streamline sales processes revolving around customer communication and make it more productive. Reps will be able to more effectively guide prospects through the sales funnel.
Increased Ability to Stay on a Regular Follow-Up Cadence - When your reps can more easily track and manage follow-ups, it will be much easier to effectively stay on top of a regular follow-up and sales cadence to close more deals. This will significantly decrease the chance of prospects falling through the cracks and important follow-ups missed.
Keeps Everyone on the Same Page - A structured system with set follow-up cadences ensures everyone on the team is aware of what should be happening when and how often. It will also make the onboarding of new reps even easier because everything they need to know is already in one place.
Increased Insight - You and your reps will have increased insight into what is working in your follow-up efforts and what is not, allowing you to perfect the process. Reps will know exactly when specific types of follow-ups will work best, what types of content will be the most effective to include, and keep track of the best ways to engage certain prospects and customers.
The Map My Customers Weekly Scorecard feature updates leaders on their team’s sales performance in their inbox. Every Monday, leaders receive a weekly email with their teams’ key sales stats. The Scorecard can be customized to see activities completed, companies added, pipeline created, and more. The Team Leaderboard shows who is the MVP and who needs more coaching.
Lightens the Load On Your Reps - The last thing your reps need are more admin tasks to try and remember and manage. The main thing they want to be doing is focusing on selling. If you have a centralized system to track and manage follow-ups and other activities, they’ll have less inefficient admin work they have to try and stay on top of.
Utilizing a tool that can not only centralize things but also automate much of your reps’ follow-ups and the management of them will amplify these benefits even more. Thus, enabling your team to increase both its productivity and profitability.
How to Keep Track of Sales Follow-Ups
The goal of any system you and your team use to track follow-ups is to make it easy to see follow-up history and when the next follow-ups are due. There are a variety of ways to do this.
It’s important to note that the specific types of activities that your team performs will determine what method of activity tracking will be most beneficial for your team. Inside sales teams will need an effective way to track calls, emails, virtual meetings, etc. But, outside sales teams will need an easy way to track in-person sales meetings and other field activities as well. Larger companies may also need a way to coordinate sales activity tracking with marketing activity.
One option in tracking follow-ups and activities is to use Excel spreadsheets. Reps can use it to track sales activities, customer notes and the result of follow-ups, and when follow-ups are due next. Keep in mind that spreadsheets will be better than trying to use just pen and paper or sticky notes, but they will still require quite a bit of manual entry. It’s also advantageous that if reps will be tracking things using a spreadsheet they are also using an electronic calendar that can alert them of when follow-ups and other activities are due.
A variety of options in sales software also provide a great system for tracking and managing activities, including follow-ups. Most importantly, these tools bring in a valuable level of automation that will help eliminate much of the manual data entry and optimize your team’s productivity and effectiveness.
The best-case scenario is for your reps to have a centralized system or app that automates follow-up cadences and activity tracking, also making it easy to quickly input/update customer and prospect information. These types of platforms can often bring email automation, automated field activity tracking, and other valuable features into the mix. Your reps will be able to move processes through the sales funnel without things getting lost along the way.
Software to Automate Sales Follow-Ups
Some examples of software options include:
Best for inside sales teams focused on calls and emails.
A good option in sales software for inside sales teams, Outreach can automate much of the sales follow-up process and increase effectiveness. This platform can also offer valuable insight into your team’s sales communications and answer the question of how to keep track of sales call follow-ups.
Best for outside sales teams focused on field sales activities and follow-ups.
This purpose-built outside sales platform is the perfect solution for field sales reps, providing mobile-friendly activity and follow-up tracking and management (and much more). With the built-in Smart Planner, reps can utilize an easy-to-use and intuitive calendar that enables them to manage scheduled activities. It will also recommend activities that should be added to that day, like if a particular contact is going over cadence on that day.
Best for sales teams who are looking to coordinate activity tracking with marketing.
This CRM platform can help bring together sales activity tracking with corresponding marketing activity. With Hubspot, your reps will have access to all customer and prospect data and history in one centralized location.
Take the time to pinpoint what type of sales software and automation fits your team best. This should be based on the types of sales activities they perform each day and the lead management features they may need.
Unlock Successful Sales Follow-Up Efforts Today
Not all prospects are going to close on the first contact. Sales follow-ups help keep lines of communication open and active for future opportunities. But, if your team does not have an effective and centralized way to stay on top of sales follow-ups and other activities, your reps could be letting revenue slip through their fingers.
Automating your team’s sales follow-up processes will help elevate prospect engagement and customer relationships, unlocking the high-level sales success you are looking for from your reps. More effective follow-ups equal more deals closed.
Start effectively tracking and automating your team’s sales follow-ups today!