I went to three sales meetings today.

Not that I’m a particularly accomplished sales person. Our polished Commercial Director Steve is better dressed and packs a far superior pitch than my rusty patter, I was head chaperone ready to chime in with all the well-timed anecdotes that our esteemed Finance, Digital Marketing and Outsourcing prospects could shake a 400 GSM Matt Laminate business card at.

It was ridiculously worth it, every time we meet a prospective client I steal a glimpse into their unique sales strategy, from domestic start-ups to FTSE 100 multi-nationals, we see the exact structures, processes and disciplines they have developed to support the introduction of their stuff to their market. The digital, virtual and human apparatus steadily mechanising the selling of their wares.

So today’s opportunity for a Ryan Welmans nugget of actual factual wisdom came in relation to the prospecting follow-up process… Steve was on form and meticulous as usual and the conversation soon turned to whether a salesperson should follow up with a prospect if they don’t receive a response from an initial introductory email… is it worth it… or can diligence do damage?

It’s a simple question with a surprisingly not-so-simple answer, which amusingly depends to some extent whether you’re you, us, or someone else entirely, not to mention the size of your market and your target profiles. For the next 3 minutes let’s assume you’re you, Head of a B2B sales function.

Congrats on the role by the way – we’ve got some great intel for you.

To set the scene here, SoPro prospects for many diverse businesses, in addition to our social and passive engagement activities, we run a minimum of two email engagements for every prospect engaged for our clients.

So we are reasonably well placed to take a view.

We still prefer an objective stance on matters statistic and to support our insight series, Monika and the legendary SoPro ops team took a few minutes out from the daily routine of sunning themselves to electro-Jazz on the office balcony to collate a sample of 25,000 recent prospect engagements, covering all clients, industries and company sizes, globally.

Here’s what the actual factual stats had to say about our chaser emails.

We shit you not. Our jaws hit the flaw when we read those stats.  Let me use italics to emphasise.

On average 54% of SoPro campaign responses, globally are generated from second contact.

It gets even more interesting…

The effect is far more pronounced across certain industries and company sizes.

As a matter of course we segment campaign performance by industry, by company size and by other metrics, this shows our clients which market segments are more or less receptive to their proposition and means we can usually double or triple campaign performance in months two and three, simply by closing the under-performing segments and focusing on the responsive areas of a market.

Admittedly, open rates decreased on average for 2nd contact, but once opened we see (on average) a 91% increase in response rates from chasers vs initial contact.

91% – let that sink in.

Response rates more than doubled across the top 20 industries and Plastics, Semi-Conductors, Events Services and Venture Cap demonstrated above 400% increase in response rates from first to second contact.

And let’s have a look at that breakdown by company size…

With the facts in play, a simple follow-up evidently makes a lot of sense and objectively represents more than half of the productive output from a well managed prospecting campaign.

But does it make practical sense – is it even doable?

With the best will in the world, even a superhuman salesperson would struggle to identify, research and make say 50 quality engagements in a given day, let alone every day. Consistently.

Add to that the notion of maintaining all responses in a CRM and systematically chasing every non-responder… and you’re entering fantasy land. The answer is No. It is not practical at all.

You’ll need a SoPro campaign for that. Jet fuel for your business.

That’s it for now. I’m off to prospect a Plastics manufacturer with 1-10 staff. Twice.

Check our blog for more insights.