If the prospect is "Hot", stay on them. But instead of pushing the sales process forward, take a time out to understand why they are not responding and act accordingly. I am assuming that the rep came to agreement with the prospect on the next step or follow-up process and the prospect has now fallen off the agreed schedule. You can find more details on setting expectations in my sales blog titled "Persistent Follow-Up".
Here are the most common reasons prospects don't respond to a Service-Minded salesperson.
1. The prospects priorities have shifted and they now have more pressing issues. This does not mean they will not pick up where they left off once your offering rises to the top of the list.
2. Their problem has resolved and the pain no longer exists.
3. The rep is working with a non-decision maker (user) and the opportunity was never identified as a priority with "decision makers."
4. The prospect has a hard time with conflict and saying no is hard for them.
5. The problem is with the salesperson and the prospect is trying to ignore them.
Before you come to your own conclusion (which is usually negative), seek to understand directly from the prospect why the delay is happening before pushing your sales process forward. Here are a few suggestions on how to discover the reason behind the delay.
Reasons 1 & 2 - Send a message acknowledging your understanding that they must be swamped or under the gun with other priorities. In the same message ask the prospect if this is still on their list to work on and if yes, how would they like you to follow-up to support them?
Reason 2 - If the pain has gone - drop back to marketing until the pain rises again. This means it does not matter where you were in the sales process, drop out and begin nurturing the prospect again until the pain is back.
Reason 3 - If you are questioning if you are working with a decision maker find out. You might send a message like this. "Hi _____, we seemed to be tracking a few weeks ago but things seemed stalled. Are more people getting involved in this decision or have they shifted any priorities on you?
Reason 4 - Hi ______, it has been awhile since our last meeting and the last thing I want to be is a pest. Let me know if you would like me to continue to follow up or if you have made a decision or are leaning with another solution I have thick skin, just let me know. Either way I will be here to serve if you need me.
Reason 5 - Sales manager needs to get involved and find out if the sales rep is turning people off.
• Most B2B Salespeople market and sell. It is important to be aware when you should be marketing and when you should be selling. A good source for improving your marketing messages is at my sales blog under "Marketing Your Emails through Voicemail".
• Practice Patient-Urgency. Be urgent with the activity you need to perform and be patient with customer decisions.
• Don't be afraid of hearing no or being delayed. Always seek to understand where the prospects mindset is before you make "wrong" assumptions.