Sales Follow-Up Statistics and Process – The Power of Follow-Ups

When it comes to sales, it’s all about the follow-up.

On average, only 2% of sales are made during the first point of contact. That means if you don’t follow up, even with a simple follow-up email, you’re missing out on potentially 98% of your sales.

That’s no small amount.

Unfortunately, due to fear of rejection, a difficult (or no) sales process, or a lack of sales automation, most salespeople never follow-up with prospects. When emails or phone calls are ignored, 44% of salespeople give up after just 1 attempt, and only 8% of salespeople follow-up more than 5 times.

There are a number of sales follow-up statistics that back up the fact that following up with your prospects should be integrated into your sales process, regardless of your sales methodology. Most notable is the fact that, at any given time, only 3% of your market is actively buying. Another 56% are not ready, while 40% are poised to begin.

To learn more about why following up is so important and how to implement it into your sales process, check out the infographic below.

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35 Sales follow-up statistics

If you’re interested in looking at more data about how following up can improve your sales performance, here are some additional statistics.

Sales follow-up productivity statistics

Productivity is essential in developing a powerful sales follow-up process. Here are some statistics to help you find ways to improve your sales team’s productivity.

  1. On average, 42.5% of sales reps take 10 months or longer to become productive enough to contribute to a company’s bottom line. This is after an average of 10 weeks of training and development (source).
  2. Salespeople only spend 34% of their time actually selling (source). The rest of their time is spent as follows:
    • Writing emails – 21%
    • Data entry – 17%
    • Prospecting, researching leads, and finding contact information – 17%
    • Attending internal meetings – 12%
    • Scheduling meetings – 12%
    • Training – 11%
    • Reading industry news and researching sales tips – 11%
  3. Sales development reps average 94.4 activities per day (source). These activities lead to an average of 14.1 conversations, 16.7 opportunities, and 3.7 deals closed, and are broken down as follows:
    • 32.6 emails.
    • 35.9 phone calls.
    • 15.3 voicemails.
    • 7 social media touches.
  4. The best sales onboarding programs help new sales hires become productive 3.4 months sooner, on average, than firms with low-performing programs – a time-to-productivity that’s 37% faster (source).
  5. Firms that use technology effectively were, on average, 57% more effective at sales training and development than ineffective technology users (source).

 

Sales channel follow-up statistics

The sales channel you’re using can influence the success of your follow-ups. Here’s a look into some sales channel follow-up statistics.

Email

  1. Email marketing has a 2x higher ROI than cold calling or trade shows (source).
  2. 33% of recipients open an email because of its subject line (source).
  3. Email usage statistics indicate that 91.5% of outreach emails are ignored. (source).
  4. 64% of workers make spelling or grammar errors in their emails, so it’s important to do a grammar check on them before sending (source).
  5. Including the recipient’s first name in the subject line can boost open rates by 29.3% (source).

Phone calls

  1. 55% of high growth companies stated that cold calling is very much alive (source).
  2. One study showed that telephone outreach out-converted emails by a significant margin – 8.21% vs 0.03% (source).
  3. The average sales development rep makes 52 calls daily (source).
  4. The average response rate for a voicemail is 4.8% (source).
  5. 80% of calls go to voicemail. 90% of first time voicemails are never returned (source).

Texting

  1. Prospects who are sent text messages have a 40% higher conversion rate than those who don’t receive texts (source).
  2. Texts are better used as a follow-up than an initial point of contact. Texting before having had a phone conversation decreases the likelihood of the prospect ever becoming a lead (source).
  3. Texting someone after having made contact leads to a 112.6% higher lead to engagement conversion (source).

Social media

  1. Sales reps who are active on social media get 45% more sales opportunities than those who aren’t (source).
  2. Sales reps that use social media as a sales channel are 51% more likely to hit their sales quota than those who don’t (source).
  3. 98% of sales reps with more than 5,000 LinkedIn connections meet or surpass their quota (source).
  4. 78% of salespeople who use social media perform better than their peers (source).

Multi-channel selling

  1. Sales development reps that leverage 3 or more touchpoints have 28% higher MQL-to-SQL rates than those who just make a phone call or send an email (source).
  2. Sending emails to leads in between phone contact attempts increases your chance of contacting them by 16% (source).

 

Sales follow-up cadence statistics

A well put together cadence makes following-up very easy for sales reps. Here are some data points about sales cadences to help you build one for your business.

  1. On average, high growth organizations report 16 touch points per prospect within a 2-4 week timespan (source).
  2. The most optimal number of follow-up emails to send is 2-3 (source).
  3. 95% of all converted leads are reached by the sixth call attempt (source).
  4. 44% of salespeople give up after one follow-up attempt (source).
  5. 92% of salespeople give up after no sales on the 4th call. 60% of customers say no four times before saying yes (source).
  6. 50% of buyers choose the vendor that responds first (source).

 

Sales follow-up response time statistics

Sometimes, it takes prospects a while to respond to your follow-up efforts. Here’s some data on that.

  1. In a test of 433 companies, only 7% responded in the first five minutes after a form submission. Over 50% didn’t respond within five business days (source).
  2. Those who attempted to reach leads within one hour are 7x times more likely to have meaningful conversations with decision makers than those who waited even 60 minutes (source).
  3. On average, it takes 8 follow-up calls to reach a prospect (source).
  4. 50% of email responses occur within 60 minutes (source).
  5. If the recipient is going to reply to an email, there’s a 90% chance that it will happen within 2 days of the email being sent (source).