MaRS Library Following up a B2B technology sales call
Due to the complexity of the business-to-business (B2B) sales process and the technology being sold, technology sales processes usually involve a number of sales calls. This drawn-out sales process means that a lot of preparation is required between sales calls. As a result, entrepreneurs should define and outline the activities that follow every sales call to make the sales process more effective and efficient.
Note: In B2B technology sales, the ability to deliver on follow-up activities sets good salespeople apart from the rest. Countless sales opportunities are lost because salespeople do not properly follow up sales calls.
After a sales call, work through the list below to ensure that you maximize on your sales opportunities:
1. Plan the sales call follow-up
- Make a list of actions you agreed to do during the sales call.
- From this list, establish what you can do yourself with little effort (such as providing product information) and what will require more work.
- Determine when you can expect to complete the work-intensive activities.
2. Send a follow-up email
- Thank the person(s) you met for their time.
- Provide all information that was required immediately.
- Outline when you will send additional information. Managing expectations is essential, so do not over-promise and under-deliver. Be realistic with your estimate.
- Include any information about the buying process that the client provided to you. This tells the client, “This is what you told me about how you do business,” which enables the client to correct any errors.
3. Manage the remaining follow-up work
- Get buy-in from colleagues who you need to help deliver any work-intensive activities. Ensure that they understand the deadlines involved.
- Give yourself time to review your colleagues’ contributions before passing them on to the client. Some colleagues may not have experience with customer-facing work; you might have to ensure that their material is properly presented so that it reflects well on you and your company.
- If any follow-up work takes longer than originally estimated, notify the client and provide an updated timeline.
4. Update your stakeholder management chart
- Enter new stakeholders identified during the sales call. (For more information, read the article Preparing for a sales call.)
- Update existing stakeholders in the stakeholder management chart.
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