Using Salesforce.com For Sales Follow-Up

Much of the sales processes which leverage Salesforce.com are focused on the outbound activities of salespeople.  The logging of outbound activities is typically related to a formula for outbound selling methodologies.

In today’s world, prospects are set up to say, “No,” when they feel interrupted and annoyed.  Your sales process may be focused on the wrong metric – activities.  Number of calls, emails or mailers translates to a ratio, typically a rather low ratio of conversions or appointments.

An Effective Salesforce Process

In our Salesforce.com consulting engagements, the ratios for converting Leads can be greatly improved with a change in sales process.  The goal revolves around building trust through delivering value as opposed to interrupting enough people to pressure them into a meeting.  Two simple tools can help increase your effectiveness.

Salesforce.com Nurturing Emails

The Salesforce.com email template functionality is a powerful way to store personalized and ready templates.  Set up a sales follow-up folder.  Within this folder, do the following:

  1. Identify one Lead you are going to follow up with
  2. Create a first email template personally for this Lead to be used.  Number it with a “1.”  Set a task for the next email in a week.
  3. A week later, send a second relevant email with valuable information to educate the prospect.  Number it with a “2.”
  4. Repeate this for 7 emails to create a library.

You will have a methodical way to bring value which now allows you to nurture Leads personally with a much more leveraged way for delivering content.  Of course, the success of this will be determined based on your valuable content or lack thereof.

Salesforce.com Open Email Reports

Your Leads are giving you digital signals of their interest and value perception.  In today’s economy, buyers are largely self-service in their buying process.  They educate themselves and use the internet to grow comfortable with a brand or an offering.  In so doing, their digital footprints need to be part of your feedback loop to help you gauge readiness.

In you can generate a report which you can monitor in real-time or set up a Workflow rule to alert you of activities.  When a Lead opens an email, you should know this.  Any recent emails opened need to be part of your Dashboard.  This helps you to take extra actions.   You are top of mind to the Lead and a relevant next step would be well-timed based on the action.  Examples could be:

  • A phone call
  • An email with a next relevant article
  • Connecting with a comment via social media
  • Insertion into a nurturing campaign

Salesforce.com does have intrinsic tools for measuring Open rates.  More advanced and integrated systems exist for further information on your Leads which would allow you to have a comprehensive and automated inbound marketing process.  These include:

  • Specific site visits
  • Clicked urls
  • Lead scoring
  • Nurturing campaigns and decision trees
  • Automated list opt-ins
  • Page visit time

Salesforce.com Consulting Best Practice

There are an array of inbound marketing metrics which help to determine your reaction as a salesperson within the sales process.  To get started, take advantage of the features within Salesforce.com and adopt the mindset of an effective salesperson who is value focused and real-time in driving relevant next steps for your buyer.  In so doing, you will learn the process for follow-up and conversion which matches how your Leads move through their buying process.

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