Five is the magic number: marketing and business development follow-up

You’ve integrated your marketing and business development

Once you have combined your business development with marketing, you should have winning campaigns, but what comes next?

The all-important follow-up.

A study by Brevet reported: 80% of sales require an average of five follow-ups in order to close the deal.  However, 44% of sales people only follow up with a prospect once before giving up. And after four follow-ups, 94% of salespeople have given up. So only 6% of sales professionals get it right, which means there’s loads of potential sales being left on the table.

So why is follow up so hard?  Because it requires a careful balance: it must be of interest, to engage your decision makers and it needs to be frequent enough to keep you front of mind whilst they make their buying decision without bombarding people. But follow-up is vital to ensure your campaigns are generating the most possible business.

A good tip is to plan the follow-up steps when you plan the campaign. One trick we tried with a client was to use their most popular content for follow-up. So we took their best content with the most engagement and tailored it to the campaign audience. By creating 7 different types of follow-up content we could help the business development and sales team deliver great follow-up and more high quality leads without too much extra work.

If you’re following up by email, the subject line can make or break the success of your follow-up. Senior executives and decision makers have hundreds, if not thousands, of emails in their inbox at any one time. Therefore, you need to grab their attention enough to make them want to open your email in the first place.

A generic subject line like “Just checking in” or “follow up” won’t cut it. These are easy to ignore or send straight to the trash folder. Instead, you’ll need to craft something enticing that will make them want to know what you have to say.

Importantly, you need to know when to stop. You can’t keep following up forever. At a certain point, it becomes aggressive, pushy, or just pointless.

So in short: Plan ahead, and make the follow-up part of the KPI’s for sales teams. Then make it easy by automating the follow-ups you can and only using interesting, engaging content.  Then you can reach that top 6 %, delivering a better return for your marketing investment.


Contact the Definition team to talk through how to get your marketing and business development follow-up right.



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