How many sales follow ups are too many? Answers here!

People always tell you not to follow up on a call too many times for fear of antagonising a lead. The problem is, no-one ever tells you when to stop – so how are you supposed to know how many sales follow ups are too many? 

Don’t be discouraged

Around 44% of salespeople give up on a prospect after one call. It’s likely that a lot of people take the initial contact as signifying it’s a lost cause. The thing is, you can never tell that from the first discussion. Think of anyone you’re really close to right now, or even someone you just mildly like. How did you feel about them when you first met? Use this to determine how many leads you can realistically qualify if you’re struggling.

Where do you begin?

According to the ‘Lead Response Management Study’, the best days to make initial contact are Wednesday and Thursday. In terms of getting in touch, the response on these days was 49.7% higher than on the worst day, Tuesday. Additionally, the percentage of leads qualifying on these days was 29.9% higher.

Whilst obviously you can’t wait all week to make contact – this is your job, after all – it’s good to know which days you are likely to receive a better response on. There are still anomalies, but perhaps it might be effective to organise your work around this, planning to make follow up calls on Wednesdays and Thursdays.

If this is something you’d like to focus on, you might also want to read our 3 best times to make a sales call during the day.

When should you call?

The same research found that the longer the sales team delayed contacting a prospect, the more the percent of qualifying leads dropped. For every tier of time (i.e. 0-5 minutes, 5-10 minutes, 10-30 minutes, 30-60minutes etc.), the percentage dropped by about 4.3%. Not only this, but the close rate of these deals dropped by 2%, as well! Clearly, the faster you call the more likely you are to see the results you want. It is possible to move too quickly, and you don’t want to scare the client away with your overly eager attitude. At the same time, it’s best not to wait too long before contacting a lead in light of this evidence.

But you still haven’t told me how many times to follow up!

Now that we’ve established the initial statistics, we can move onto the reason you’re here. A number of different studies have been carried out that suggest a steady drop in callers giving up on a client between one call and four. The numbers suggest that whilst 44% give up after the first call, half that amount give up after two rejections, 14% after three and 12% after four.

Technically, this would suggest that 92% of salespeople give up after four calls altogether. That means that at this point, you only have the remaining 8% to contend with. This shouldn’t act as a definitive answer, but the statistics seem quite supportive of the fact that five should be about the number of sales follow ups you aim for in your lead nurturing process.

Use this best practice to help you build your B2B lead machine.

For any managers out there, why not use this blog to build an over-performing sales team with the help of this guide!


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