How To Start & Grow Your Business

How To Improve or Grow Your Sales through Follow Up Techniques

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  • Hummy's

    1Use CRM and keep track of all contacts made. 2Don't worry about being a pest; people get busy. 3Most sales are made after the 5th contact!
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Sales Techniques

Female Call Center Operator wearing headset / two people in background Photo Credit: RomanShyshak

Besides impulse buys or basic needs purchases, the sales process is typically somewhat lengthy and spanned out over the course of multiple steps. Following up can be the most important aspect to the sales cycle, especially for expensive purchases where “value” really needs to be emphasized.

Did You Know? According to the National Sales Executive Association via About Money:

  • 2% of sales are made on the 1st contact
  • 3% of sales are made on the 2nd contact
  • 5% of sales are made on the 3rd contact
  • 10% of sales are made on the 4th contact
  • 80% of sales are made on the 5th-12th contact

Also, an estimated whopping 48% never follow up, 25% only follow up twice & 12% follow up more than 3 times. Therefore, the remaining 15% of persistent folks who follow up are getting all of the small business gold!

Additionally, following up is even more important in helping validate your credibility and eagerness for small business or startup.

We’ve put together a list of 4 of the most valuable advice tidbits to help you improve your follow up to close even more deals through your persistent efforts:

1. Use a CRM system

This is our number one piece of advice for ensuring that follow up communication delivers you with immediate sales results. CRMs (Customer Relationship Management applications) make it easier to let no lead fall between the cracks by keeping track of all of your opportunities in the pipeline. To have the most sales irons in the fire, you need to be actively and methodically building your customer base at all times.

To be maximize the most out of your CRM system, you should have leads organized into well thought out groups or classifications. This will help you sort through prospects or customers who may bring you the most business. Your CRM also acts as your information warehouse for all customer information including customer goals, orders and billing info.

 2. Timing is Key

You must always remember that people make their purchase decision when they are ready – not when you are ready for them to. You must always make sure both you and your company come to mind when they decide that they are ready. Though it may seem like you are pestering or bothering folks, in many cases, your efforts are appreciated.

3. Get your Sales & Marketing efforts in sync with one another

For larger corporations, there is almost always a gap (and somewhat of a rivalry) between sales and marketing efforts; one department’s sole purpose is to get sales leads and the other’s is to close the sales.

The critical activity is warming the leads that have already been brought in but are not low hanging fruit. To do this, you should be sending relevant, valuable industry information to all prospects regularly.

Ping your contacts in a different manner other than asking them if they have made a decision yet but providing them with information that makes their decision easier. Also, log all communications with your prospect in a CRM to keep track of progress with each lead, knowing where they all stand at all times.

 4. Follow up with Variety

To better maximize your sales efforts, reach your customers through an approach that incorporates direct mail, phone, email, marketing places and other techniques to change things up. Every sales lead has a preferred method of communication so make sure you are suiting their preferences. Using an alternative or innovated method such an invitation to a webinar. Meeting for a casual coffee or happy hour cocktail might be a great gesture.

With all of these techniques combined, the most important thing to remember is never give up. Remember in an aggressive sales world, it’s the relentless efforts that get the gold along with the 80% of sales from the 5th-12th contact.

To find out more information about the best follow up approaches, check out: or

About the Author

From the Editor's Desk

This article was written by a bizHUMM Staff Writer. We aim to provide practical tips that help solve your burning small business questions. If you have any suggestions or ideas for articles, please email them to: