Follow Up is Dead
Long live follow up!!
Well where to start with this one…
Have you worked in sales?
Have you ever tried to earn commission through selling products or services?
You have, then read on, this maybe of interest to you…
Ok, you know how it works, you speak to a potential client, you take their details, they show interest and then decide to think about it.
A short while after your boss is on your back to “follow up” on the client and “close” down the sale, right?
Well, that’s how it used to work!
Don’t even get me started on how to avoid the whole process above through having decent sales training!
Anyway, back to reality…….
By now you have “generated” 20 clients on your “follow up” list and you are struggling to know how to re approach them with that killer close that will make you salesperson of the year, right?
You see the world is changing, I have just described a “linear”* sales model, catering for a “linear” shopping experience.
The reality is the world is no longer “linear”, the internet, social media and mobile technologies have changed all that.
Now the shopping experience is 24/7 in any channel and at any time any where in the world!
Customers are at different stages of the buying cycle, and may want to jump in at any point, rather than starting at the beginning of your sales process.
So how does that affect “follow up”?
Well, it’s no longer the last thing in a sales process that needs to be done before the quote is taken off the system.
“Follow up” is now a series of complex conversations that take place on the phone, in person, on the web, through social media in no particular order and at any time.
Are your staff ready to meet the new challenges in following up?
Can they all serve across multiple channels, are they able to conduct conversations by phone, webchat, email, social media and face to face?
Their verbal and non verbal language and conversation skills now must be part of their whole sales persona and at a high level. Gone are the luxuries of specialist teams by channel.
Managers now struggle to see what the sales team are doing. It used to be easy to monitor activity by how many calls they were making or how many customers they were seeing on the road. They may now be having an online chat with someone through a web interface, giving someone a nudge via text or email. Or sending a client a tweet with valuable information to support their strategic thinking, that forms part of the whole sales experience.
How do you manage that sea change?
Long live the new follow up.
*Linear – A function that can be graphically represented as a straight line. In a linear sales model follow up always comes at the end of an interaction.