Sales Follow Up: It can make or break closing a deal

So your marketing efforts have positioned your company well and attracted interest from potential customers. As you pass those leads over to sales, are you confident that your team has the product knowledge necessary and is well versed in best practices for that follow up? It is intuitive, and our research confirms, actions taken by vendors in their sales follow up can greatly impact the likelihood of purchase.

Our annual Customer Engagement survey shows that knowledgeable follow up is the number one factor that influences the likelihood of a sale. In fact, 84% indicate that speaking with a knowledgeable vendor representative increases their likelihood to purchase and nearly half said it makes them “much more” likely to purchase. Likewise, 83% report that speaking with a representative lacking knowledge about the solution will make them less likely to purchase the solution with 54% saying it would make them “much less” likely to purchase. To highlight just how important this is, consider this: being contacted by a vendor representative lacking knowledge about the solution has a more negative effect on purchase likelihood than not being contacted at all!

When following up with potential IT buyers who have downloaded information related to a specific enterprise technology solution, it is critical that the vendor representative be knowledgeable about the product and able to promptly answer questions. The ability to answer questions is an important point here – when people are researching a product/technology area, they are in all probability looking at multiple solutions. The ability to provide them information quickly may be what gets your product evaluated ahead of the competition. Lagging in this area allows other vendors to get on the shortlist – perhaps ahead of you.

Knowledge leads to speed. Partnering with your sales leadership on training and tools and helping to architect the sales conversations to the right level within organizations will be key to success.

Source: 2014 IDG Enterprise Customer Engagement Research


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