Why Sales Reps Aren’t Following Up — and How to Fix It.

Only 2% of sales occur from a first conversation, this makes follow-up arguably the most important part of selling. Follow-up is the combination of persistence, tenacity, creativity and ability to provide value with your prospect.

Because all of this is required for good follow-up, most reps decide not to do it. We set out to figure out why.

In a recently conducted survey, reps were asked how they follow-up, here were the results:

  • Persistently with a series of planned activities: 17.9%
  • I would do it but I am too busy with other things: 14.9%
  • It’s a hit and miss process: 32.8%
  • I feel like am bothering people so I tend not to do it: 34.3%

These numbers seemed to match the general consensus of only 25% of reps following-up after the first touch.

So here are the major reasons for reps missing follow-up:

  1. Fear — They don’t want to bother the prospect.
  2. Time — They don’t have the time because they don’t have an efficient process in place.
  3. Organization — Their process is unorganized and they can’t keep track of everyone that needs follow-up.

The solution


The easiest way to reduce fear is for the rep to feel he is providing real value to the prospect. If you were calling someone who had just won $10,000, you wouldn’t have any fear in reaching out, in fact, you would likely be excited about it. If they didn’t get back to you, you would happily call them back. This same mindset and excitement needs to exist for the product you are selling.

If people are doing business with you, it means that they would rather have the product you are offering than the money you are asking for it. That’s the value that you create for people. Once you can wrap your head around the fact that it’s the prospect that has more to lose than you, follow-up becomes easier and the fear subsides.


I believe that time and organization are one in the same in terms of the solution. You don’t have time because you are unorganized and you aren’t organized because you don’t have the time to be.

The first option is to go old-school and write down all your prospects in a journal and tally every time you follow-up. This is time consuming but effective for giving you a visual.

The other option is to use tasks within your CRM. This is the most popular option but flawed as it is binary and takes even more of your time.

That’s why we created Torch. With Torch, you just scan your entire inbox and get a full list of prospects that need follow-up, no time or organization required. It’s free on the Chrome Web Store or visit: Sales-Torch.com