How to Follow Up With Leads in 2018

It is easy to forget the best practices that result in a productive follow-up conversation. With the new year upon us, I wanted to share tips on best practices around following up on leads.

Here is a quick reminder of the four key follow-up tips for your lead development reps (LDRs):

Tip 1: Lead with Content
Lead the call with new research/content around a need revealed through the demand generation process. As an example, if you ran an Activate Lead Advance program, where the prospect self identified a pain point around “Optimizing Enterprise Mobile Security,” begin the call with newer research or content you would like to share that addresses this need even further. If you are lacking content, it could be as simple as a helpful, practical blog.

Activate finds that quality of conversation (and conversion) is higher when companies continually reach out with new content in each interaction. Lead the conversation with the specific pain point—and content—as much as possible. For example, your call might start like this, “I am checking to see if I can share latest research/content on optimizing mobile security…”

Tip 2: Avoid referencing specific actions as a conversation starter
Many leads get turned off when there is no context for a conversation, or if information is inaccurate when an LDR says he or she is following up on an asset download. Not only does that sound a little creepy, but if the information is inaccurate, or occurred more than 24-48 hours ago, a legitimate lead might say, “I don’t know what you are talking about.” This conversation does not end well.

Instead, take the intelligence that the lead has given you and consider this approach, especially if you don’t have content to share from tip #1 above: “I am checking in to understand your data center management approach and would like to share an optimization strategy used by your peers…”

Tip 3: Craft irresistible subject lines that demand an open
Email engagement is created and destroyed with a subject line. Many LDRs follow up with leads via email. In order to create engaging, productive conversations, lead with subject lines that are direct and carry a practical, educational tone, along with urgency. Sounds like a lot, right? It’s actually quite simple. Here is an example of a strong subject line that will deliver opens, clicks and a great follow up conversation: “2018 Mobile Security Tips Revealed.”

Tip 4: Call the clicker
When people take sufficient action, like a click to your communication, call them. If the lead is receptive to have a demo or open to a deeper discussion with an expert, always be specific: “What is a good time to discuss your data warehousing challenges? Say next Monday at 9:00 a.m. Eastern Time?”

Activate’s advanced demand generation programs (like Lead Advance, Tech Score, and Waterfall) deliver leads that identify a specific, unmet need or a pain point so you can have a richer conversation that begins with the lead’s expressed pinpoint. These leads will convert for you if you follow the best practices mentioned above.

I hope you find these tips helpful in the new year as you reach out to your leads.

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Imran Suleman

VP Marketing Strategy at Activate. Imran Suleman is an award winning marketing strategist who has helped companies of various sizes, with diverse digital goals, grow their businesses through innovative web and offline marketing, content strategy, conversion friendly design and engaging, educational copy. Imran has held leadership positions around customer and audience engagement, marketing strategy, and performance marketing with several organizations.

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