Did your sales email or call go unanswered?
Oh, cool! It just got real. It’s not uncommon for sales emails or calls to go unanswered. Most sales professionals and marketers know this, and a lot of sales statistics back it up. So, no reason to tremble.
According to a study by InsideSales, 80% of sales require 5 follow-ups or more to close. Yet 48% of salespeople never even make a single follow up attempt, and 44% of those who do, give up after just one follow-up.
That’s about half of sales reps/sales teams and marketers walking out of deals and closure they could’ve bagged for their business by simply following up a few times. And according to Invesp, 60% of customers say no four times before saying yes. The same is true for sales calls.
This goes to highlight the importance of persistence and dedication when it comes to following up with your sales leads. The marketers who said the fortune is in the follow-up couldn’t be more right.
In this article, we will discuss the most important sales figures about follow-up to help you understand its current state and the different trends surrounding it.
Buyer behavior about sales follow-up
Considering buyer behavior when conducting sales follow-up allows you to understand your customers’ or leads’ needs, preferences, and decision-making process, and this can help you tailor the follow-up approach and increase the likelihood of making a sale.
Here is what statistics say about buyer behavior when it comes to sales follow-up.
60% of customers say no four times before saying yes (InvespCro)
Persistence in following up is an important aspect of it. Many customers will need multiple interactions before they are ready to make a purchase. So, it is important for you to be persistent and not give up too soon. You could be one touch away from scoring the sale.
35-50% of sales go to the vendor that responds first (InvespCro)
This statistics calls you up to be more responsive in dealing with prospects. As a sales rep, a quick response time demonstrates that you are proactive, attentive and professional and being the first to respond can give you a significant advantage in closing a sale.
This is especially important in today's fast-paced business world, where customers have high expectations for quick and efficient service. Therefore, you should prioritize following-up and responding to customer inquiries and requests in a timely manner.
57% of people said they would be encouraged to make a purchase from a salesperson who doesn’t try to apply pressure or hassle them when following up (InvespCro)
Non-pushy, non-harassing follow-up approaches are more effective in encouraging customers to make a purchase.
That’s because high-pressure sales tactics can be off-putting and may make customers feel uncomfortable or resentful, which can negatively impact the sales process.
On the other hand, a more relaxed and non-intrusive follow-up approach can make customers feel more at ease and comfortable with you, and it can help you increase the likelihood of making a sale.
42% of people would be encouraged to make a purchase if the sales rep called back at an agreed-upon, specified time (InvespCro)
You should always be mindful and respectful of the customer's time and preferences in your sales follow-up, be it through a call or by way of email.
Whatever the channel, this stat shows that people appreciate when salespeople follow through on their commitments and keep to an agreed-upon schedule.
You can use this to build trust and demonstrate that you are reliable and dependable. It’ll help you win more customers, gain their trust, and score sales.
A typical market has only 3% of people actively buying at any given time. 56% are not ready, 40% are poised to begin (Vorsight)
Not all customers will be ready to purchase at the same time. It comes down to understanding the customer's buying journey and working on your sales funnel accordingly because it means that different customers will be at different stages of the buying process.
So, before sending random follow-up emails, you might need to take the time to understand where the customer is in the buying journey and to tailor the follow-up accordingly.
12% of buyers like a company to try as many times as it takes to get a hold of them (InvespCro)
This could possibly mean two things.
That some buyers will appreciate a more persistent follow-up approach from you.
That some buyers may not purchase until after multiple interactions with the salesperson.
So, sometimes, persistence and dedication in your follow-up approach can be the best way to go.
75% of online buyers say they hope to receive 2-4 phone calls before a company gives up (InvespCro)
Customers expect a certain level of follow-up on sales. And you should not give up too soon in your follow-up efforts. People in general, and especially interested prospects, expect a consistent follow-up and communication. So, they may not want you to give up on them too quickly.
You need to understand those expectations and maintain a consistent follow-up approach, even if the customer does not make a purchase or answer right away. This will help build a long-term relationship with them and they are ready to buy, they will think of you.
Follow up frequency (follow-up cadence)
Maintaining a good follow-up frequency in sales will help you stay top of mind and maintain a relationship with prospects. It will also help you address any concerns or objections prospects may have, while making sure they are still interested in making a purchase.
Here are the stats you need to know about sales follow-up cadence.
Typically, high-growth companies have 16 touchpoints with prospects every two to four weeks (ZoomInfo)
High-growth organizations are making multiple attempts to reach out to their prospects and maintain a consistent level of communication over a relatively short period of time.
This can help increase sales likelihood and demonstrates that the company is interested in their business and is willing to put in the effort to maintain a relationship.
So, this statistic from ZoomInfo suggests that a high volume of touchpoints, or interactions with a prospect, can be beneficial for sales success. It’s basically a representation of a consistent and persistent follow-up approach.
The optimal number of email messages is five and the optimal number of call attempts is six (Marketing Donut and Inc)
It can also be beneficial to have a moderate number of touches with your prospects. Too many touches can be overwhelming and may lead to the recipient unsubscribing, blocking your phone number or marking your emails as spam.
On the other hand, too few touches may not be enough to maintain the customer's interest. Five or six touches is the perfect balance, it is enough to maintain contact and interest, but not too many to be seen as aggressive or annoying. Plus, other studies show that 95% of all converted leads are reached by the sixth call attempt.
The ideal sales cadence based on replies is six touches within three weeks with follow-ups spaced out three or four days apart (Yesware)
This stat pretty much corroborates the one above it. What you should put your mind on here is that spacing out your follow-up touches at regular intervals can be a great idea.
So, basically, you should make multiple attempts to reach out over a relatively short period of time, but also space out the follow-up interactions to maintain a balance between persistence and respect for the prospect's time and preferences.
Doing so allows you to maintain a consistent communication level while also giving your prospect time to consider their options.
Sales follow-up statistics about consistency and persistence
Consistency and persistence are important in sales follow-up. Many of your customers will need several touches with you before making their minds up about your product or service. Some just won’t be ready at the time.
Maintaining persistence and consistency in your follow-ups helps you maintain the relationship and reassures the prospects that you are a reliable, dependable business partner.
Here are the main sales follow-up statistics you need to consider about follow-up persistence and consistency and what they teach us.
48% of salespeople never even make a single follow up attempt (Invesp)
This statistic indicates that many salespeople are not following up with customers as much as they should and it can be detrimental to the sales process.
Follow-up interactions are mandatory to address concerns or objections your customer may have, and to make sure they are still interested in making a purchase while keeping the conversation on.
70% of salespeople stop at one email. Yet if you send more emails, you’ve got a 25% chance to hear back (Invesp)
You should not give up too soon when following up on sales, even if you do not receive a response after the first email. Sending multiple emails increases your chances of hearing back from the customer, and thus increasing the chances of making a sale.
You can also refer to the user behavior stats and focus on the right follow-up balance (between 5 and 6 touches).
50% of sales happen after the fifth touch (InsideSales)
This aligns with most stats about the buyer’s behavior and the follow up cadence. Persistence and consistency should be part of your follow-up mentality.
That’s because it takes multiple interactions with a customer before a sale is made. So, always make sure you see it through with the prospects so you don’t give up one touch too soon.
The average sales rep only makes 2 attempts to reach a prospect (HubSpot)
This stat by HubSpot also indicates that the average sales rep is not following up or being persistent with their follow up as much as they should.
This basically means that they are leaving deals on the table. You need to be more aware about and shoot for an outreach and follow persistence that’s balanced.
92% of salespeople give up after no sales on the 4th call. (NuGrowth Solutions)
We discussed earlier that 60% of customers say no four times before saying yes. So, it makes sense that a lot of marketers want to give up after being ghosted on the 4th call.
But it has also been proven that 50% of sales are scored after 5 touches. So, these salespeople also might call it quits a while too soon.
Reaching a prospect takes on average eight attempts. In 2007, this average was 3.68 (HubSpot)
It’s getting more and more difficult to reach out to customers over time. This could be explained by many reasons such as a fierce competition, lots of distractions and options for the prospects, and more.
Anyway, the stat calls you to be more persistent in your follow up efforts today, given that it has a lot more attempts than it did in the past.
Sales follow-up statistics about follow-up timing
Timing your follow-ups based on data allows you to reach out to your prospects at the most optimal time and it boosts your chances of getting your email or call engaged with and ensures you get a positive outcome.
Here is what data says about sales follow-up timing.
The odds of reaching a lead decrease by 10 times after the first hour of contact. After the first day, the odds decrease by 400 times (Insidesales.com)
This statistic indicates that timing is crucial in the follow-up process, as the chances of reaching a lead decreases significantly as time goes on.
It implies that you should act quickly and follow up with leads as soon as possible. It means that you need to be responsive and available to customers — because waiting too long to follow up can decrease the chances of success.
Following up with web leads within 5 minutes makes you 9 times more likely to engage with them (Invesp)
The more time you let go by before following up with your prospects the less chance you have in closing them. This statistic joins the one above in that you need to act quickly and engage with leads quickly.
Salespeople who contacted prospects within an hour of receiving a query were 60 times as likely to qualify the lead as those who waited 24 hours or longer to contact the prospect (Invesp)
Here again, you need to act quickly and follow up with prospects as soon as you receive a query, in order to increase the chances of qualifying the lead and making a sale.
On average, you get a 25% email reply rate if you follow up within 24 hours of the initial outreach (Yesware)
Follow up within 24 hours of the initial outreach, in order to increase the chances of getting a reply and making a sale. Doing so lets you reach out to your prospects while they still remember you and are potentially interested in hearing more.
Best time to send sales emails to prospects are 9 and 11 AM and between 3 and 4 PM (Nerdy Joe)
This stat teaches us that sending emails at the right times of the day can increase the chances of success.
Your prospects are busy professionals who will not be checking their emails at all times. And not sending your emails around the times they could potentially check their inboxes could see your emails lost in a swamp of emails in their inboxes.
You need to be aware of the best times to send emails to your prospects. Doing so will help increase the chances of getting a reply and making a sale.
Tuesday and Thursday sales emails have the highest open rate compared to other weekdays (Nerdy Joe).
We conducted a study on the best days and times to send sales emails and follow up on them. We found that Tuesdays and Thursdays are the best days to send emails if you want the best results.
People are generally busy on Mondays dealing with company duties, setting up their week, having calls, etc. Tuesdays offer you a better chance to catch their attention with non-business emails.
On Thursdays they are already deep in the week, eliminating a good deal of their to-dos and much more likely to read proposals and make decisions. Fridays are no good because people are focused on getting things over with to enjoy their weekend.
The best times to call are Wednesdays and Thursdays from 6:45 to 9AM and 4 to 6PM (ZoomInfo).
As it is for email, making calls at specific times of the day will also increase the likelihood of you getting replies from your prospects.
And according to ZoomInfo, Wednesdays and Thursdays from 6:45 to 9AM and 4 to 6PM are the best time and days to call your prospects.
Sales follow-up statistics about the role of technology in sales follow-up
The use of sales tools such as CRM and automation tools for streamlining the sales follow-up process can also help improve the results you get. Here is what figures say about that.
Companies that use automation for sales follow-up see a 10% increase in sales productivity (Hootsuite)
Data from Hootsuite revealed that the average company sees 10% increase in productivity when they automate follow-ups. This implies that automation can help streamline and optimize the follow-up process, making it more efficient and effective.
Since it is an integral part of the sales process, sending follow-up emails or voicemails can quickly become a repetitive task and a time-consuming one. You can automate it along with other repetitive tasks such as scheduling appointments and tracking customer interactions.
This can help you free up time for salespeople to focus on more important tasks such as building relationships and closing deals, which can then lead to an increase in sales productivity.
Companies that use CRM are 29% more likely to exceed their sales quota (99firms)
Using a CRM (Customer Relationship Management) system can help you exceed your sales quotas easily.
Your CRM system can help you manage customer information, track customer interactions, and analyze customer data.
This will help you better understand your customers’ needs and preferences and tailor your follow-up touches accordingly and increase the chances of making more sales.
Companies that use marketing automation software see a 451% higher chance of qualifying a lead (GrowthMarketingGenie)
Automating these tasks (requiring many follow-ups) will help you accomplish them more effectively — and efficiently reach and engage with potential customers.
Sales follow-up best practices for success
Here are a few ideas on how to improve your sales follow-ups to get more results.
Set follow-up reminders
Especially if you are a big sales team or working for a big company targeting many prospects a day, it can quickly become a pain to remember all your prospects.
Think about not getting a sale because you forgot. Or maybe the customer said they’ll get back to you, but didn’t and you forgot to follow-up.
By setting reminders, you'll ensure that you don't let leads slip through the cracks.
Use data to tailor messages
Data informs you on what the best practices are and how to sell in the ways that work.
Also you can refer to your own data (from your CRM) to learn from the previous touches you have had with customers you or other sales people in your team closed to understand what could possibly be the reason they are silent on you and how to revive them.
By using data to personalize your follow-up messages, you'll increase the chances of the recipient engaging with your message.
Use multiple channels for follow-up
It can also be that the channel you’re using to target your prospects is just not getting their attention at the moment or that they receive many requests on that platform.
By using a variety of channels, such as email, sales call or cold calling, and social selling, you'll increase your chances of reaching the lead and eventually getting a reply from them.
Follow-up with a purpose
Instead of just sending a generic message and asking them to come buy, have a specific goal in mind for each follow-up, such as scheduling a meeting or getting more information about why they are silent (objections and concerns).
It will help you center your follow-up approach around a specific goal and be more meaningful and impactful. It will also help you come up with a clear call to action you can ask your prospects to take.
High performing sales teams always follow up. You need to consider follow-ups as an integral part of your sales process or sales strategy. Data show that only 2% of sales are close with a single touch. Meaning that most, if not all, of your customers will require follow-ups before committing to your business.
You will need follow up to have meaningful conversations with high quality leads. Maintaining a good cadence and being persistent in your follow-ups can also help make difference between whether you close the deal or lose it to your competitors.
Unless the prospects completely disengages or says no, you can still follow-up to maintain the conversation going on until they are ready to buy. You can use these sales follow up stats to prepare your sales training materials and achieve better sales success.
Automation is also an excellent way to approach sales follow-up. By automating sending follow-up emails or scheduling follow-up calls, you get to focus on more important tasks such as building relationships with customers and closing more sales. For cold calls, you can set reminders.