Top-Shelf Tip No. 253:

"Either you follow up or you fold up."

Bernard Kelvin Clive

How To Make The Best Follow-Up Sales Calls

When you work in sales, it's always helpful to know when to reach out to prospects. What's the best day to call them? What time should you call them? When you know this information, you can better plan your week and maximize each call you make. You end up being a more efficient, successful sales professional.

As we prepare to kick off a brand-new year, Meg Prater, managing editor of the HubSpot Blog, encourages salespeople to learn how to make the perfect follow-up sales call. We share her guidance in this issue of Promotional Consultant Today.

Best day of the week to call leads: According to Prater, Wednesdays and Thursdays are the best days to qualify leads. She says that the Lead Response Management Study revealed a 49 percent difference between leads qualified (meaning they agreed to enter the sales process) on Thursdays and those that qualified on Tuesdays. What's more, she says, is that a 2017 CallHippo survey looked at 24 weeks of data across thousands of companies and found Wednesdays and Thursdays are still the best days to call prospects.

Best time of day to call leads: Aim to pick up the phone between 8 and 10 am and between 4 and 5 pm in the prospect's local time zone. Skip making calls between 11 am and 2:30 pm in the local time zone. Prater says that a 2018 PhoneBurner study revealed that the most productive time to cold call prospects is 10 am in the prospect's time zone. Of those salespeople surveyed during this time, 15.53 percent had their calls answered—three percent better than the second-best hour, 2 pm, which saw a 15.01 percent success rate.

Best response time for connecting with leads: Prater says that the best response time for following up with leads is within 10 minutes. The Lead Management Study saw a whopping 400 percent decrease in the odds of qualifying leads when reps waited 10 minutes or more to follow up. And the rate of success continued to decrease the longer reps went before following up. The best time to call new leads was within five minutes of their first trigger event.

Tips For The Perfect Follow-Up Sales Call

Equipped with the latest data, here's what sales professionals should do to maximize their impact.

Make multiple phone calls. According to Prater, sales reps should make at least six follow-up calls to leads before moving on. By making more call attempts, sales reps experienced up to a 70 percent increase in contact rates. Prater says that a 2018 Bridge Group Inc. SDR Metrics Report found most reps make an average of 45 dials per day—a number that's hovered around 50 for the last decade.

Make a good impression from the start. Sales reps should use active, friendly and engaging language to interest leads within the first five minutes of connecting on a follow-up call. Once connected, Prater says sales professionals only have five seconds to earn five minutes of their prospect's time.

Even if you don't particularly enjoy prospecting calls, they're still one of the most important parts of the job. In the year ahead, commit to making better follow-up sales calls by following the guidance above.

Compiled by Audrey Sellers

Source: Meg Prater is managing editor of the HubSpot Blog.

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