Best Practices For Following Up With Prospects
You’re generating leads… awesome!
We need to encourage our prospects to take the next step – and that’s done with lead nurturing.
There are a lot of things that happen during a B2B buying cycle, and there are many ways to follow-up with prospects (see Gartner’s illustration below).
The top 3 things you need to remember are:
- Use a Multi-Channel Approach
- Stay Top of Mind Throughout Buying Cycle
- Continue to Offer Value
Read on to accelerate your sales cycle!
The biggest challenge of courting professional buyers is timing.
The average B2B sales cycle is 6-12 months!
And at any one time, only 3% of people in your market are active buyers.
Why is that?
- It’s a big investment.
- Your prospects are doing their research.
- They need to get sign-off from others in the company.
- Other things are grabbing their attention.
- Company budgets and spending are seasonal.
- They’re locked into an existing contract.
And at the same time, your prospects themselves are:
- On-the-go (probably on mobile)
- Largely unfamiliar with you.
This is especially true for higher level, B2B decision makers.
Lead Nurturing Strategy
They say it takes 7-12 touchpoints to make a decision.
B2B and higher price point sales are on the higher end.
But, what people don’t consider, is that in today’s busy world, most touchpoints go unnoticed.
This is due to competing notifications, spam filters, and missed calls.
So, we shoot for double to triple of that, 21-36 touchpoints… and we want to extend this over a financial quarter, 3 months, to mitigate timing fluctuations.
Therefore, our goal is at least: 30 touchpoints over 3 months.
The required touchpoints combined with the lengthy sales cycle of the average B2B purchase means our goal is to be top of mind for our prospects until they are ready to make a buying decision.
We use our lead nurturing to help guide them through that decision making process by addressing their questions, concerns, and getting them excited for our product or service.
Lead Nurturing Tactics:
That’s at least 10 touches per month. How do you hit that?
We recommend the following cadences:
Start Upon Opt-In
- 1 Hour:
- Send confirmation messages via email and text message within an hour of opt-in.
- 1 Day:
- Send a reminder email the day after.
- Call your leads within 24 hours. After they’ve had a chance to consume your content and while your insights are still fresh in their mind.
- Keep calling until you make contact. This can take several attempts. Getting someone on the phone is the most difficult, but the most valuable.
- Connect with them on LinkedIn. This puts a name and a face to your business.
- 1 Week:
- Send follow-up messages via email and LinkedIn. Provide more value, such as other leads magnets and case studies.
- Emails: 1 per week = 4 per month
- Retargeting Ads**: 2 per week = 8 per month
- Phone Calls/SMS: 1 per month
- LinkedIn Messages: 2 per month
- Social Media Posts: 2 per week = 8 per month
**Retargeting ads can’t be started until you have a matched audience size of at least 100 people on Facebook. That’s usually a lead list size of at least 200 people. On LinkedIn, you must have 300 matched. Once you do, retargeting ads are very effective!
People are on-the-go and quickly forget what they’ve signed up for. These fast touches will cement familiarity between your prospect, your brand, and your offer.
Pro Tip: Lower The Barrier To Entry With A Tripwire
Warning! – after the lead, don’t go straight for the kill.
The best funnels insert stepping stones along the way to becoming a customer.
After the initial lead is generated… your prospect knows a little bit about you. They may now recognize your name and logo, and vaguely understand what you do.
Instead of pitching your core offer and asking them to buy, what is the smallest investment of time or money that your prospect can make that turns them into a customer?
We call this your Tripwire Offer.
(Also known as a direct call-to-action, Direct CTA)
Common Tripwires are:
- Free Consultation
- Free Strategy Call
- Free Demo
- 14-Day Free Trial
- Free + Shipping Offer
- $1 First Month Offer
Keep in mind, your prospect initially signed up to receive your lead magnet. You’re now pitching them a different offer that they weren’t expecting.
Therefore, it needs to be very appealing.
- Value: Make it clear how much value they’ll receive.
- Special deal: How much will they save by signing up now.
- Social proof: Add testimonials and results.
- Scarcity: Why should they sign-up now? Add time/quantity however appropriate.
Secondly, you interrupted them with an advertisement to get here. They may be on mobile, on the go, and in the middle of their busy day.
So your tripwire must also be easy to sign-up for.
Congrats on having new leads come in. Keep in mind, this relationship is fresh, and like any relationship, it needs to be nurtured to grow into a long and fruitful partnership.