In a past life, where print was the only option available for our sales executives to sell, we did a pretty good job of measuring their performance. In today’s sales environment with digital products and services in our tool belts, we measure everything. From needs assessments completed, to proposals in the pipeline, to contracts signed, we live and die in the numbers and in the CRM. In my opinion, it works very well and we should’ve been using the same approach much earlier in the game.
But just as important as making sure everything in the sales funnel is as it should be, we need to always remember to follow up after the sale. This used to be as simple as making sure a customer’s print ad was correct (and we definitely still need to do that). In today’s world of print and digital, following up with a customer throughout the campaign is critical to their success and repeat business.
Here are four things you can do today to make following through after the sale much more effective:
- Double checking everything before the campaign is launched is critical to getting starting on the right foot with a client, especially if digital services and targeted display are a part of the package. In most cases, we’re dealing with third-party partners that execute these programs on our behalf so making sure we’re all on the same page in terms of the specifics of a client’s program is paramount. This responsibility could be in the hands of the sales reps or a sales assistant (think client sales/services manager), but I’ve seen cases where simply going over the specifics in the beginning would have saved grief on the back end.
- Make sure the customer knows what to expect once the campaign launches. What options did they choose and what they can expect from each? When can they expect an initial progress report? Clients want results just as soon as they’re available, however, a report 2 days (or even 2 weeks) into a campaign cannot be used to determine the future success of that campaign. The sales reps need to clarify with their client when insightful data will be available for review. Otherwise the client may pull the campaign before it ever has a chance to take off.Lastly, What needs to happen in order for them to determine the campaign was successful?
- Monitoring performance during the campaign is so important. If you didn’t follow step one (double check everything) and even if you did, monitoring the progress of a campaign early on allows for corrections and adjustments that can still deliver the results promised to the client. A campaign looks one way on paper and possibly another when launched. Trust me on this one…no matter how thorough you were in the setup, this one step can prevent problems and ensure a win.
- Reviewing results with your customer and gaining their feedback is the last step. Did the campaign deliver what is was supposed to? Hopefully your pre-work made that possible. What did you learn that could have made it better? What did your customer learn? Lastly, what can you use from this successful effort to build the next one?
Our sales executives are being asked to do more, sell more and know more than ever before. In an earlier post, I’ve written about the importance of making sure we have qualified sales executives in place and follow-through should be a part of every sales effort. This demonstration of being invested in the success of our clients goes a long way and helps to build a relationship for the future.