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Glossario Apparound

This section contains a collection of terms related to the digitization of sales processes, the latest innovations in technology and marketing, each accompanied by an explanation of the meaning or other observations.

Marketing follow-up: why it is important and how to do it right

Follow-up processes are as crucial as the entire sales process, yet they are often underestimated. Well-structured follow-up actions, tailored to the potential client, can sway a prospect's decision towards us rather than towards the competition.

Structuring a follow-up process is simpler than one might think; it requires good organizational skills and consistency in following some simple rules and utilizing all the tools available in the digital world.

But let's break it down. First and foremost, let's understand the concept behind a follow-up action.

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What does follow-up mean?

Follow-up, in the broadest sense, is the process of completing an activity. So, when it comes to marketing, follow-up means implementing all necessary activities and utilizing all available means to convert a prospect into a customer.

If the sale, as often happens, isn't closed at the time of the offer, it means the potential customer isn't yet convinced that our product or service can meet their needs. That's why this moment is crucial; during this phase, it's essential to do everything possible to convince the prospect that our solution will solve their problem, thus preventing them from turning elsewhere and seeking alternatives from our competitors.

Regular follow-ups are equally important even after acquiring the lead. This gives the customer the opportunity to be heard. Regularly asking "what they want / what they expect" is an excellent way to connect with them, establishing continuous communication with the goal of retaining customers over time.

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How to follow up?

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Let's focus on the phase immediately following the offer, which is also the most crucial.

According to a study conducted by Brevet Group, 80% of sales require 5 follow-up calls, yet 44% of salespeople give up after one follow-up call. This translates to a significant number of missed opportunities!

There are several variables to consider. Firstly, it's essential to understand where the lead stands in the sales funnel, know their weaknesses, and have understood their real needs during negotiations. Here are some best practices to effectively follow up with leads and successfully conclude more deals:

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1. Choose the most suitable communication channel

As we all know, the most common channels are email and phone. Both have their pros and cons. Emails are more immediate than a phone call and give the potential customer the chance to reflect on what you've written. However, if the email's subject isn't carefully chosen, the message can get lost in the deluge of emails we all receive daily. A phone call certainly grabs more attention and ensures a more human approach. However, you must ensure there's someone willing to listen on the other end and that it's a good time for them to give you their full attention.

There are also other communication channels, less conventional but equally effective depending on the circumstances. Text messages and social media are even more direct and engaging. For example, a LinkedIn message to a prospect who is already in our network can be very fruitful. Of course, this doesn't mean bombarding the prospect from every available channel. Each person has their preferred communication channel, and unless specified by the prospect, it will take several attempts to find the right method

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2. Personalize the communication

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Always remember not to sound like a bot. Regardless of the channel you're using, remember to tailor your content (email, message, or call) based on what you've learned from the prospect during previous conversations. You should refer to them, their company, the needs that emerged during negotiations, addressing their pain points towards the solution. In short, make them feel important!

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3. Segment your leads

To make it easier to personalize communication, you need a good Lead Management strategy and understand how ready or not our contacts are to make a purchase. A good starting point could be to divide prospects into 3 categories: Cold, Warm, and Hot, and move them from one group to another as you feel their interest and propensity to purchase increase.

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4. Always provide them with valuable content

Remember that communication should revolve around them, not your company. The prospect isn't interested in whether a new service has been launched or if the product has been further developed. To truly attract them, you need to make the potential customer perceive what your company, product, or service can do for them, how it can solve a problem, improve a process, or increase business. Always focus on adding value: blogs, infographics, statistics, success stories, and testimonials from existing customers are all excellent options. Leads won't become customers after one interaction, so focus on nurturing leads or "warming them up," especially if they're still "cold" leads. Trying to convince them to convert immediately could be the wrong choice. You need to take small steps and gradually warm them up.

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5. Schedule and keep track of communications

Create your personal follow-up program, scheduling emails, calls, and messages. Never forget scheduled phone appointments, and above all, jot down everything the prospect tells you, from business-related information to more personal details. Even the most irrelevant details are information that can be useful in subsequent contact and can make the potential customer feel your attention towards them.

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6. Know when to let go

Clutching onto lost causes can waste valuable time. Always assess your prospect's BANT (Business, Authority, Need, and Timing). If they're still far too distant from making a purchase, don't insist and don't waste your energy. Letting go of a potential customer is never pleasant, but it can save you time that you can dedicate elsewhere, focusing on warmer prospects. However, this doesn't mean discarding their information. Create another list where you "park" leads that are too cold to contact again later if circumstances change.

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Benefits of commercial follow up

In conclusion, here's why it's so important to follow up with actions:

  • Builds trust

  • Addresses problems early

  • Increases sales

  • Retains customers

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Follow-up in marketing refers to the strategy of staying in touch with potential customers after an initial meeting, interaction, or purchase. The goal is to build a lasting relationship by providing relevant information and targeted offers to encourage further interactions or sales.

Follow-up is crucial because it helps to convert leads into customers and keep existing customers engaged and loyal. It strengthens brand awareness, enhances customer satisfaction, and increases the likelihood of repeat sales by leveraging the relationship built over time.

Effective methods include personalized emails, phone calls, social media messages, sending regular newsletters, and offering exclusive deals. The choice of method depends on the preferences of the target audience and the stage of the customer journey they are in.

The frequency of follow-up depends on the type of product or service offered and the stage of the customer lifecycle. It's essential to strike a balance between maintaining meaningful contact and avoiding being intrusive. Listening to customer feedback can help calibrate this frequency.

The effectiveness of marketing follow-up can be measured through email open and click rates, sales conversion rate, increase in average order value, and customer feedback. Analytics tools and customer satisfaction surveys are crucial for gathering this data.

Both have their place in marketing. Automatic follow-up saves time and resources for mass actions, but personalized follow-up is more effective in building deep and meaningful relationships with customers. A combination of both is often the best strategy.

To improve follow-up, it's important to listen carefully to customer feedback, segment the audience to send more targeted messages, test different approaches and timings, and stay updated on digital marketing trends to leverage new tools and platforms.