Cold calling is typically cold, and I mean really, really cold.

Let’s imagine that the typical cold call is as frigid as the North Pole in the dead of winter. It takes time and effort to warm up a prospect even to the winter climate of Toronto.

One way to quickly thaw the iciness of cold calling is through effective  follow-up. Since sales follow-ups populate the SQL (sales qualified lead) pipeline, it’s important to have an intentional approach that maximizes the value from these leads over time. Here are some proven ways to do this:

1.)  Cut sales follow-up timelines in half. If a prospect gives a very specific date and time to follow-up in the near future, say less than two weeks, honor that timeline. Otherwise, take the timeline the prospect provides and cut it in half. For example, if a prospect suggests checking back in six months, schedule a follow-up task in three months.

2.)  Get ahead of budget cycles. Many prospects suggest that an SDR follow-up with them during their budget cycle. It’s very difficult to influence a prospect to add something to their budget proposal when they are in the midst of the cycle. When the prospect shares the budget cycle, be sure to follow-up at least three months in advance of the start of that cycle.

3.)  Help determine the follow-up timeline. SDRs can have a say in the follow-up timeline decision as long as they establish themselves as a trusted resource. Be willing to push back and make sure there is a justifiable reason to push off the discussion.

4.)  Explain why other executives don’t wait to have a discussion. The most powerful way to push back on follow-up timelines is to explain why other executives choose to meet earlier. For example, “Thank you for sharing more about your budget cycle. I have been speaking with other executives in your industry, and while they share a similar timeline for their budget cycle, they want to get a head start on evaluating solutions so they have all the information they need to present their budget plan at the end of Q3.”

Follow these tips and you can shed that heavy down winter parka. If sales follow-ups are maximized correctly, you might only need a light jacket for your next call.

Happy calling. Smart Prospecting!  

This post was originally published by Jenny Vance