Lead Follow Up Best Practices
The very best practice of following up with SaaS leads is sending emails. Phone calls and voicemails come after. A well-optimized email can be very effective in creating leads and engage them in the process. Voicemails are used as a follow-up to emails. Voicemails usually refer to the content of emails. Phone calls are helpful to close the deal by understanding and knowing the leads.
There are not many resources that show how much exactly each method is successful, but there are many resources and case studies analyzing sales processes of SaaS. A recent study was conducted which analyzes the sales sequences of 281 top SaaS companies, in partnership with PersistIQ, a sales emailing tool. In the study, 3 companies drew attention with success of their sales sequences, which are Salesforce, New Relic, and Intacct. The sales sequences of all these 3 companies begin with an automated email. Analyzing these companies' sales processes, it can be seen that voicemails are considered a follow-up to emails, referring to the email content and the most important goal of a salesperson is to have a phone call with the lead. Emails are important for a first touchpoint with the lead and the phone calls are important to close the deal.
According to the same study, companies send one email per day during the cycle. On the other hand, the average marketing drip campaign is 3 emails long. 74% of companies don’t use voicemails and 9% of companies use webinars as a sales tactic. Companies use webinars to educate and show leads why they need the product and teach them how to use it. On the other hand, webinars can get a good engagement rate.
A real-case study which was conducted in 2014, proves how effective a rightly structured email can be. The study is older than two years, but it is the most recent one and a reliable source. 522 leads were reached via emails and the process which had begun with 522 emails turned into a revenue of $4,386,000. Most SaaS companies send emails as their first action because making reference to an email is a better reason to call.
If you have a free trial that people can sign up for, calling them within 5 minutes after they registered, highly increases the chance of reaching the lead. The chance of turning the lead into a paying customer is 21 times higher. Phone calls are also a good way to understand and know the leads better.
Generating leads is only the first step. Leads go through a process before they make buying decisions. Companies should qualify leads by engaging them on critical points. Email drip campaigns are a proven method to do that. Email drip campaigns can be used to engage leads with new content, promotions, and special offers.
Emails used to reach leads should be optimized, meaning they should have "human" addresses, they should be activity-based and they should be sent a lot. It is very hard to close the deal on the first call. You should follow up relentlessly and keep calling or emailing until you get a clear "yes" or "no".
Social B2B platforms provide great opportunities to generate leads. In order to achieve lead generation through such platforms like Linkedin or referral forums, one should focus on engaging people on these platforms on a daily basis. Blogs are another way for lead generation. An SEO-optimized post can be very effective on your business blog. Moreover, as another form of SEO, you can specify target words for your business and reach people who search for those words, through PPC ads.
To sum it up, emails are very important as the first point of touch. The leads are mostly generated through emails. Voicemails are used in the process, as a follow-up tool. Phone calls are usually used to close the deal and turn the lead into a customer. Emails are also used in the sales process to engage the lead. Good structured and optimized emails are proven to be very useful.