Converting a prospect doesn't end a relationship—it begins a new one

If you spend enough time working in sales operations, it can be natural to think of closing as your team's sole end point. After all, until you've converted a prospect, little matters beyond getting that signature down.

But @@the work of a good sales team is not finished with signing.@@ Because the prospect-turned-client's relationship with your company will continue after closing in a new phase, how smoothly you arrange that transition to the new phase is essential. It's the difference between a one-time client and a repeat client.

There are simple and effective steps a sales team can take to make sure that the relationship is an enduring one. Keep the following tips in mind to help keep every prospect happy.

sales operation timetable

1. Give the client a clear timetable.

As in any relationship, it is absolutely essential that you and the client are on the same page—in this case, this means the prospect must know the process and timetable by which you will proceed. What day can your client next expect to hear something from you? What service will be delivered first? When do you expect to finish?

Even if all this information is spelled out in your initial proposal, essential information bears repeating in order to be sure there is no confusion or miscommunication. If nothing else, the client will likely find it helpful to have important information in one place.

And even if your answers to some of those questions are vague, just their being in place will give a client satisfaction in knowing that you are taking their needs seriously.

Remember: this is partially an automated process. In sales operations, effective relationship management is a mix of QRM software and the human touch.

2. Check in with them.

This point is also about making sure the information channels between you and the prospect are kept nice and open, with updates flowing both to and from the client.

As the sales rep who made the deal, you will have the strongest relationship with the client and must drive—and participate in—communications accordingly. A three-minute call to ask the client if they're satisfied or if they have any concerns can make all the difference. Hopefully they don't have any and they'll just be pleased that you care. And if they do have any, you can help arrange a fix.

Either way, a quick call can keep your client happy and strengthen the relationship—and that means they're more likely to be your client again in the future.

sales operations thank you note

3. Send a thank you.

This is probably one of those pieces of good advice your mother always tried to teach you but that always slips your mind, like keeping your elbows off the table. But she's right that sending a thank you note is important to keeping your relationships going.

Of course it hardly matters what you say, so don't worry about what card you pick or agonize over the words. The thank you card is just a symbolic gesture: it is your way of saying you appreciate your client taking a chance on you. Send it in the mail so that your client will have a little something in hand to remind them of you.

In the end, all these steps are about maintaining the good relationship you began to build while closing the sale—the key, as to all relationships, is good and frequent communication.

We hope you enjoyed this post. If you'd like to learn more about this topic or see IQX for yourself with a free demo, contact us.