Lead generation is an important aspect of every business’s marketing strategy. If your business is like most and using inbound marketing as a primary source to gain leads, then you likely have an increased number of leads.

In fact, you may have more leads than you can keep up with, which poses a new problem.

You’re right back where you started – empty-handed. Systematically following up on your leads is critical to continued success. What hinders organizations from a decent or good follow-up?

Here are four reasons sales departments sometimes have lukewarm lead responses.

4 Stumbling Blocks to Better Lead Follow-Up

1. No follow-up plan in place

Okay, so I’ll be the first one to say it. Do you have a follow-up plan in place when you get a response from your lead? You’re probably saying of course I do and you know what you do but is it enough to secure the lead?

Let’s be honest with each other – everyone has sent out a bunch of emails or some sort of advertisement that they don’t believe is gonna capture more than 10% of the total people they send them out too. I would like to start off with this very simple advice, make a plan but more importantly have confidence in the plan. 

Some of these follow up plans don’t need to be some complicated crazy sales pitch to reel these leads in. Perfect example, you send out a beautiful newsletter talking about your amazing deals for this month. You expect to get 5% respondents from it, you just say hey as soon as we get that 5% we can send them to our website. 

This is a bad follow up plan. One, it’s bad because if you get 20% response now your overwhelmed and you have to much to lose. Two, you lose credibility because someone responds and you basically brush them off because the plan you have is inefficient. Finally, three, half those people that respond don’t want to go an extra step just to get more info.

I’ll tell you what works and is simple. Using the same example from above, you get a 20% response. The simple follow up plan is to call them to answer any questions and set up an appointment. Sounds easy right. It is because it is easy. The key is to have a solid follow-up plan that you have confidence in.

2. The wrong type of follow up (or wrong time)

So let’s get a little deeper into how a follow-up can go wrong or be timed wrong. 

Once again I like to keep things simple. The risk of a follow-up going wrong is always there.  You’re most definitely asking yourself “what the hell does he mean by that”. 

Let me ask you one question. Have you ever met two of the same people? You haven’t, everyone is unique both personalities and wants.

Some people mistakenly think that as long as they do follow up, then everything will be fine. Having a once size fits all follow-up can lead to you losing potential business. Are the leads sales-ready?

Consider this, you have two people in your lead funnel, one is just looking for information while the other is ready to become a client/customer.  Are you going to talk to them the same way? I hope not. They will require different strategies or follow-up time-frames.

It’s not about the sprint, it is about being the best you can be for every person you get in contact with, so when it comes to follow-up time you are ready to do whatever it takes to make that person a customer/client (even if it takes a little while).

3. Giving up too soon

I understand this more than you know. 

I am not saying I give up ever, but I can relate with that feeling of just wanting to give up and start from a different angle. The biggest thing I want you to understand is that there is a major difference in modifying something versus giving up on something. 

Okay so your follow-up plan didn’t work out and you’re not getting the leads you expected. Here is the thing though, modifying some aspects to your plan can not only show your personality but flex the diversity of what you are trying to represent.

Again, let’s keep this as simple as possible. You send out a bunch of emails and get 0 responses. Modify the subject line to something more catchy. Change the wording in your content to express yourself for who you are and not a sells pitch. Instead of waiting for them to respond, give them a call and see if there is anything you can help them with. 

Never give up, always diversify and be confident to show-off who you are. At the end of the day you are a professional and what sets you apart from others is you win right.

4. Lackluster performance

Once you make contact with your lead, then what happens next is critical. If the sales delivery is dull, people will be bored. If it’s too pushy, the lead may be turned off. 

Salespeople need a selling strategy that captivates the lead once they make contact. 

Converting leads requires more than just giving them your best pitch. 

Other important factors include:

  • Understanding the concerns and needs of your lead (through developing buyer personas).
  • Add value to the phone call by providing helpful information.
  • Listen to what the lead is saying.
  • Follow up with a thank you when you convert the lead.

Well, I hope that these four simple tips to help with your lead follow-up really make sense and show that you can be simple and productive. 

Please don’t hesitate to contact me or anyone at ThinkFlame. We love to help as much as possible. Coming up with different strategies to help your business grow is what we do. 

Originally published Oct 22, 2018, updated October 11, 2019

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