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The Ultimate Guide to Follow-Up on Leads In 7 Steps

lead follow up strategy

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You must be aware that most leads take time to convert, and following-up on them regularly can make it happen. However, studies show that only a fraction of generated leads are followed up on

Thus, you need to craft well-defined strategies to help in effective lead follow-up and closure. So, now the important question here is, "How to follow up on sales leads?"

Fortunately, developing sales lead follow-up strategies is quite simple. This article will provide a comprehensive guide with 7 proven steps you can apply. 

7 Steps for Creating An Effective Lead Follow-Up Strategy 

You need to build a proper plan to follow up on leads to perfect your strategy. Here are 7 steps that can make it happen:

1. Build A Prospect Directory

To have an organized lead-follow-up strategy, start with creating the prospect directory. Also, doing so can be a valuable resource for identifying your potential customers or leads. Here are the steps to build a prospect list:

1. Define Your Target Audience: Determine your ideal customers' specific characteristics and criteria. Consider factors such as:
  • Industry
  • Company size
  • Geographic location
  • Job titles and other relevant demographic or firmographic information.
2. Research Industry Directories: These directories can provide a good starting point for finding prospects. Look for:
  • Industry-specific directories
  • Trade associations
  • Professional organizations with lists or directories of businesses or individuals within your target audience. 

3. Use The Linkedin Search: Find businesses or individuals that match your target audience. Use specific keywords related to your industry and location to narrow down the search results. Explore company websites and other social media profiles to gather contact information.

4. Utilize Lead Generation Tools: There are various lead generation tools available that can help you find and collect contact information for prospects. These tools often use web scraping techniques to extract data from websites and directories. Examples of such tools include Hunter, ZoomInfo, and LinkedIn Sales Navigator.

As you gather prospect information, it's crucial to maintain a well-organized and up-to-date directory. Use customer relationship management (CRM) software or spreadsheets to store and manage prospect details. Regularly update and validate the information to ensure accuracy.

2. Segment Your Prospects 

Segmenting prospects based on their responses and level of interest is crucial for effective lead nurturing and personalized marketing campaigns. 

In fact, segmentation makes organizations understand the prospect's challenges and concerns 60% better

Here are steps to segment prospects based on their responses and level of interest:

1. Define Segmentation Criteria: Determine the criteria you will use to segment prospects based on their responses and level of interest. Besides demographic or firmographic information, these criteria can include factors such as: 
  • Engagement level
  • Specific actions taken by prospects

2. Establish Response Tracking Mechanisms: Implement tracking mechanisms to monitor and record prospect responses. It can include using: 
Marketing automation software & CRM systems like HubSpot, Mailchimp, etc. 
And dedicated lead management tools like Pipedrive, Zoho, etc.

You can track prospect interactions such as:
  • Email Opens
  • Clicks
  • Website Visits
  • Form Submissions 
  • Social Media Engagement

3. Set Thresholds/lead Scoring: Establish thresholds or sales lead scoring systems to gauge the level of interest and lead’s compatibility with your offering to prioritize prospects. 

Assign point values or rankings to:
  • Different interactions or actions
  • Industry type 
  • Job position etc. 

Here is a sample of the lead scoring table:

Lead Scoring Criteria  Score
Job Title   
Executive Level (C-Suite) 10
Managerial Level 8
Non-Managerial Level 5
Target Industry 10
Related Industry 7
Non-Related Industry 0
4. Create Response-based Segments: Create segments based on the prospect's level of interest and engagement using the collected data. Common segments can include: 
  • Hot leads
  • Warm leads
  • Cold leads
Additionally, you can segment prospects based on different stages of the buyer's journey:
  • Awareness
  • Consideration
  • Decision

Customize the segment names based on your business's specific terminology.

3. Pick The Right Follow-Up Channels

To reach out to prospective clients, there are plenty of channels like email, phone calls, social media platforms, or a combination. Identifying the right channel will ensure you:
  • Effectively reach prospects
  • Get a quicker response
  • Resolve their queries promptly

Here are some key points to remember when selecting the right channel for sales lead follow-up:

  • Ideal Communication Channel: Use the contact details that prospects provide or use their indicated preference as your primary mode of communication.
  • Type Of Message: Choose the most appropriate channel for the type of message you want to send. For example, email or video call for detailed information and phone or text for brief and urgent messages.
  • Personalization: Use face-to-face/virtual meetings for highly personalized messages, such as business offers or proposals. Use email or phone calls for generic or routine messages.
  • Multi-channel Approach: Combine different suitable channels to ensure your message is always in front of your target prospects. It maximizes your chances of success. 

4. Create A Follow-Up Schedule And Stick To It 

As per Invesp, 80% of the sales require at least 5 follow-up attempts

Thus, with a predefined schedule, you will be better positioned to analyze and segment the leads that can potentially be converted soon. 

It should cover everything right from the frequency to the preferred channel for communication with the prospect. So, ensure to schedule the following tasks as per your follow-up needs:  

  • Email Cadence
  • Call Schedule
  • Follow-up (call/email) Frequency 
  • CRM Workflow Automation

5. Build A Relationship With Prospects

For any business to flourish and grow, a robust base of client relationships is a must. The same strategy works efficiently with leads you are following up. 

Here are a few tips on how to build meaningful relationships with your prospects: 

  • Actively listen and show genuine interest in their needs and challenges.
  • Provide value through personalized and relevant communication.
  • Be responsive and timely in your follow-ups and interactions.
  • Offer helpful resources, such as industry insights or educational content.
  • Foster trust by being transparent and honest in your communication.
  • Nurture relationships by maintaining regular and meaningful contact.
  • Seek to understand their goals and objectives and align your offerings accordingly.
  • Engage with prospects on social media and online platforms to build rapport.
  • Leverage networking opportunities to connect and build relationships in person.
  • Maintain a record of the communication with the lead. In fact,  following up on leads based on the records will improve the chances of conversion.
  • Continuously assess and adapt your approach based on prospect feedback and evolving needs.

6. Plan Follow-Up Calls

If you want to expand your follow-up efforts from emails to phone calls, you must prepare for a proper roadmap.

Here is a quick example of how you can arrange follow-up calls:

  • Day 1: Send an initial email or make the first call to the lead to introduce yourself and your product/service.
  • Day 3: Make a second call or send a follow-up email to see if the lead has any questions or concerns.
  • Day 5: Send a personalized email that addresses the lead's specific needs or pain points.
  • Day 7: Make a third call to discuss any remaining questions or objections. Also, offer a special promotion or incentive to encourage the lead to take action.
  • Day 10: Send a final follow-up email or make a final call to confirm whether the lead is still interested. Plus, offer any last-minute deals or discounts before closing the lead.

7. Know When To Stop Following Up

Not all the leads generated will get converted. Even the top-performing companies have a lead conversion rate benchmark of around 25%, as per Chilipiper. Knowing when to quit pursuing leads and not exhibiting any interest is critical for this reason.
A few scenarios where you should stop following up are as follows:

  • Lack of Response Or Engagement: When the lead consistently shows no response or minimal engagement despite multiple attempts to reach out.
  • Clear Disinterest Or Negative Responses: When the lead explicitly expresses disinterest in your product or service or provides negative feedback that indicates a lack of fit.
  • Lack Of Qualification: If during the follow-up process, you discover that the:
  • Lead does not meet your ideal customer criteria
  • Doesn't have the budget, authority, or timeline to proceed with a potential purchase
  • Rejection Or Clear Indication Of Choosing A Competitor: When the lead explicitly states that they have chosen a competitor or alternative solution.

Rather, it is better to contact leads who have expressed sincere interest in your company.


You must develop an efficient lead follow-up plan to convert prospects into devoted clients. You may greatly improve your odds of success and spur revenue development by combining personalization, prioritization, and automation into your strategy.

Lead generation can be time-consuming and expensive. Therefore, we at Revnew offer effective strategies to help you maximize your efforts. Thanks to our expertise in lead scoring, email marketing, and sales automation, we can help you streamline your lead generation process and obtain appointments with important decision-makers.

Don't let good leads slide through the gaps. To learn more about our services and to begin turning more potential clients into happy customers, get in touch with us today.

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