Sales x Min read

How to follow up with leads

Summary

You have a list of companies who have visited your website. But how do you entice those people through the stages of your sales funnel? We’ve broken down the process into five steps.

Fresh leads are at your fingertips, ready to be turned into sales thanks to a lead generation software or marketing campaigns. So it’s go time! But how do you strategically follow-up with leads without coming off too strong or neglecting to nurture some?

We’re going to walk you through the aspects to consider and the channels you can use to effectively go after leads and increase your odds of turning them into customers.

Step 1: Match your communication to your lead’s needs

Let’s start with the basics. Each lead that visits your website will require a different approach and messaging depending on their stage in the sales funnel. For example, some leads may have visited your site multiple times, browsed your blog section and your pricing page. These companies are piping hot and will need less nurturing. You might approach them and ask to book a meeting or demo straight away. Other leads may have only looked at your features page and then closed the tab. Those people will require more nurturing and should be approached accordingly.

So before rushing to contact every single lead that visits your website, use our automatic lead scoring system to create a plan of approach for cold, warm and hot leads.

Step 2: Understand that timing matters

When you reach out to leads is also an important aspect to consider. If you wait two weeks to answer an inbound request, you can be sure you missed out on that sale. However, calling someone who is currently browsing your website is also questionable.

Timing is of the essence. In fact, it’s an easy way of turning existing leads into more sales without paying more for advertising and other strategies.

So a good rule of thumb is to initiate contact within 12 to 24 hours. This shows care and attention while also beating your competitors to the punch.

When contacting leads, it’s also good to vary the times you reach out.

If someone has a recurring meeting every Wednesday at 13h, you’ll never be able to reach them by calling at the exact same time over and over again.”

Beau Gielesen
Beau Gielesen Sales Development Representative

Step 3: Decide on communication channels

The two primary communication channels that most of us think of are phone and email. However, don’t limit yourself to two options only. LinkedIn InMails and paid campaigns are other ways of connecting with your audience, building relationships, and staying top of mind. So don’t hesitate to mix and match channels for optimum results.

But it’s worth noting that there is no such thing as the best way to contact a person or the best mode of communication per stage of the sales funnel. Everyone has a preferred communication channel. Some prospects prefer a direct chat over the phone. Others will find email better for business communication. You’ll need to adjust your tactics to fit the person you’re reaching out to.

Email

When in doubt, start by emailing a lead. Why? Because it doesn’t force someone to answer immediately and gives the person time to become familiar with you and your proposition in their own time. It’s a way of casually kickstarting a conversation. So whatever the occasion, don’t hesitate to send someone a personalised cold email tailored to their pain point or website interaction. An email is also a perfect reason to follow up with a call.

Need help writing a cold email? Check out the eight templates our sales experts have compiled to help you win.

Phone

Cold calling is not dead. In fact, it’s the most effective way of initiating contact, second only to referrals. Cold calling allows you to engage with a lead, qualify them and move them further down the sales funnel. It’s a means of establishing a personal connection and enables you to learn a lot more about a person in a meaningful and personal manner. For example, by chatting over the phone, you’re able to gauge someone’s level of interest or further understand their needs and expectations.

If you’re feeling nervous about picking up the phone and calling potential customers, check out our complete cold calling guide.

LinkedIn

Linkedin is a great way to find, connect, and engage with prospective buyers in a more authentic manner. The platform enables natural lead nurturing because you can connect with key decision-makers, interact with their content and get to know these individuals on a more personal level. As you build up relationships with these people, you can provide them with relevant content, invite them to events or demonstrate how your product or service will help them with their current challenge.

Using Leadinfo, you can see the LinkedIn accounts of your website visitors. So it’s easy to connect and send them a personal message. And if you’re looking for inspiration for your next InMail, check out our 10 LinkedIn InMail templates.

Paid campaigns

To stay top of mind without directly contacting leads, use retargeting campaigns. Either via Google Ads, LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter or Instagram, it’s another way of reaching out to people without demanding their time.

With your Leadinfo data at your fingertips, which you can export in two clicks, create paid campaign plans that reflect the stages of your sales funnel. Doing this ensures you’ll show people different messages, content, and call to action that resonates with them.

Want to craft the perfect retargeting campaign? We’ve got you covered. We’ve broken down the process and show you which content resonates best per stage of the sales funnel.

Step 4: Personalise your message

No matter the communication channel, be sure to tailor your message to the reader. No need to hyper-personalise every single email you send out. You can just segment your Leadinfo audience data based on sector, job title and position within the sales funnel. By further dividing up your leads, your conversations will resonate ten times more with prospects.

Step 5: Create a follow-up sequence to nurture leads

Leads require nurturing and, especially in the B2B world, this means multiple points of contact across different touchpoints. So once you know which mediums you want to use to keep in touch, create a general follow-up sequence which aims to keep you top of mind without becoming a nuisance. This will speed up your sales team’s workflow as they will know when and how to follow up with leads.

When creating this communication flow, build in the amount of time you want to wait between each interaction. As you want to give leads enough time to respond but not enough time to consider a different solution. So waiting for a minimum of 24 hours between each follow-up is recommended. But you can stretch this up to five days, depending on what stage your lead is at.

Best practices to close more deals

Lead prospecting is all about remaining in front of your clients without getting on their bad side. Your goal shouldn’t be to convince them to buy; rather you want to be top of mind and present for when they are ready to buy. To achieve this, use a variety of well-timed ways to start conversations, follow up and engage with people to convert them into repeat customers.

View of the Leadinfo office in Rotterdam
Sales

How to build a sales pipeline that closes deals

What is a sales pipeline? And how do you build one that ensures you bring in more revenue? Our sales experts break down the process into 4 steps.
Read more
Lead generation

How to set up a winning lead generation strategy

Lead gen is every marketer’s top priority. We’ve put together a roadmap so you can build your own winning lead gen strategy.
Read more
Pascal, a Leadinfo employee looking happy
Lead generation

Account-Based Marketing Basics - Everything B2B’s need to know

Despite the hype, many brands struggle to define and implement ABM. It's more than just a sales tactic. So let's go over the basics.  
Read more