Creating a Bookkeeping Automated Follow-up Process
Creating a Bookkeeping Automated Follow-up Process
In our last episode, we discussed the power of sales follow-ups and how they can help grow your Bookkeeping Business. In this episode, we discuss how to create your Automated Sales Follow-Ups and what they will look like.
Automating may not necessarily mean a fully automated process. It also includes semi-automating tasks, which still provide savings in the labour component of the process.
With Sales Automation, followup emails are sent automatically, you receive reminders about appointments and other tasks, and your entire team has visibility into the state of affairs. You can recall the status of each lead without digging through notes, see how much potential revenue is in the pipeline, and make changes to the process based on data, not your gut.
Here we break it down into 6 simple steps to implement in your Bookkeeping Business which will help you increase productivity and efficiency.
1. Firstly, start fresh.
Both with your thinking and approach. The past is past and you need to start fresh without judgment to create a Sales Experience for your customers that’s unique to your Bookkeeping Business.
2. Create your sales experience
This is crucial for first impressions of new clients, setting them up for lifetime value, and squashing the seeds of churn before they can take root.
This initial sales experience will set the tone for the rest of the working relationship, and when done correctly can lead to greatly improved retention, as well as a higher degree of general client satisfaction.
- Break down your sales experience process to better understand your client’s needs, and making sure they are satisfied along the process. You can’t get by anymore on trying to remember things in your head, or sending out personal emails to every lead or client you have gained in the past three months or six months or several years. Breakdown the actual process from start to finish and from lead to a sale.
- Prepare your sales process – With automation, you can identify the ways in which leads enter your pipeline—and, more importantly, track whether they ultimately become clients. Only with that information can you conclusively determine whether your sales and marketing efforts are working and make adjustments accordingly. Automating follow-up tasks and creating a sales process will help your Bookkeeping Business set a strong foundation upon which, to build the future working relationship with new clients and even existing clients. Remember: Lack of a followup process means you will lose business.
- Identify what tasks you would like to be automated – Establish what you want achieve from these followups – is it to increase referrals, create trust, strengthen your relationship with the lead, create testimonials and reviews, collect feedback, establish you as an authority in bookkeeping, increase Social Media following, reduce client support communication, increase engagement, educate on Industry or identify and assign ‘hot leads’.
You don’t have to send a templated follow-up to every new prospect necessarily – you still want to customize it for their needs and issues. It’s not just followup for the new prospects alone. Incorporating your existing clients into your followup process is extremely powerful because your clients’ needs change too. Even though they’re a client of yours, their needs don’t stay exactly the same. Make sure you’re changing with them, and that you’re available to provide what they need at the time they need it.
A few quick suggestions for setting up goals for lead followups for prospects can be to a) establish a value proposition or b) position you as a solution to their problem.
Goals for client followups can be to a) motivate them to increase their service package, b)collect reviews and testimonials, c) measure customer satisfaction, or d) encourage word of mouth referrals.
3. Establish Automations Platforms to use
The ideal scenario is that you have a proper CRM such as Infusionsoft or Hubspot. When you have that level of capability, your automated follow up can be extremely powerful.
Particularly, talk to the Savvy team if you are not sure of what works best for your Bookkeeping Business. Our team at Savvy can help you, so you can have the content written and the followup sequences organised and it all ticks over beautifully.
But if you don’t, you can still automate your follow-up with something as simple as Mailchimp or Active Campaign. You may even be using it already. The design is clean and simple, you can segment your database, and best of all there are automated followup sequences built into the system.
4. Map out the Followup process
Incorporating automation with a personal touch is the key. We want all of those processes to just happen, but that personal touch is still really important. Map it all out so you can personalise where required.
a. To map out your followup process – firstly determine the start point of these followups – what is the trigger? Establish whether it is a New Opportunity i.e. if you get a contact as a new lead as a result of an action they took, like completing a webform.
b. What happens next: Contacting – After being alerted to the new opportunity, you move the lead into the next stage. In this stage, the lead can receive a series of automated emails that help the sales experience followup. The lead remains in this stage until contact is made.
c. What happens in the middle – Engaging – The lead is moved into this stage when you successfully make contact with them.
d. What happens at the end – Qualifying & Prospecting – The lead and you are talking about your business' offerings. Here, you can send automated emails that help educate the lead or automated requests for information needed to evaluate them as a prospective client. Once the lead has been qualified as a prospective client – then you can set up the email automation in full.
5. Create the plan & Customise the stages of automation
Depending on the needs of your business, the planning stage might involve something like an in-person meeting, an appointment —all of which can be executed with the help of automation. We have discussed this in our previous podcast and blog on how to set-up bookings and followup emails via your website.
6. Learn from Analytics
You can start using useful email and CRM metrics to help you understand customer insights. You can gauge the number of clicks leading to your Bookkeeping Business website or the unsubscribe rates, and exactly which client or lead has decided to unsubscribe.
These metrics also provide insights if they have shared your email with another person and much other useful information to measure the success of each of these follow-ups. This analytics and insights can help you build your unique sales experience and even further customize the sales followup process. Talk to the Savvy team if you need help with this. We also have several Masterclasses and Courses designed around these specific topics.
What Does an Automated Follow-up Look Like?
Every sales process begins with a large pool of prospects, which increasingly narrows as you approach the bottom of the funnel. It’s a fact of business that many leads won’t result in sales.
But if you’re routinely generating leads and rarely closing deals, your sales process might be to blame. When you track each stage of the process in an automated sales pipeline, you can identify the stages at which you’re losing the most leads—which helps you determine where to make changes.
When a lead comes in through what we call a ‘Sales Funnel’ from your website your goal should be to: nurture the relationship, educate them on the benefits of your service and nudge them to work with you.
A sale isn’t always a black-or-white situation. The automated pipeline helps you understand the many gray areas in between “Yes, I’m ready to buy” and “No, I’m not interested.” To nurture clients, its usually done in 3 -5 emails – trust us, this what we do at Savvy and it works!
These follow up emails are much more like marketing emails to allow your potential clients to build trust and convert themselves into clients without you having to do all the manual work. By automating activities in each of these stages, you ensure the sales process plays out the same way every time and ensure visibility into each stage. It is a win-win for everyone. The customer feels more comfortable getting the information they need and your work is Automated – saving you time and money.
How does the SALES Automated follow-up look?
As we’ve mentioned before an ideal SALES Automated Followup is a five-part process and looks like the below:
- First follow-up
- Second follow-up – Gentle reminder 2 to 3 days afterward.
- Third follow-up – Can be done with a link to a blog post or a lead magnet ideally after 3 to 4 days after the second follow-up.
- Fourth follow-up: Another blog, editorial, or video link benefits the client after 3 to 4 days after the third follow-up.
- Fifth follow-up – Closing email 4 to 5 days after the fourth. After this leave it open for them to contact you and always include a booking link and a value-added resource.
How does Client RETENTION Automated Follow-up look?
Customer retention is critical to gauge how good you are at satisfying your existing customers. Statistics show that 80% of your Bookkeeping Business’s future revenue will come from just 20% of your existing customers.
Ideally, a client retention follow-up process is a 3 part process and looks like the below:
- First follow-up – Check-in email. Asking if they need any other information, mention any offers, etc.
- Second follow-up – Strengthening connection. This could be done by sending and engaging them via Social Media links, with comments like “we’d love to keep up to date with you and your business”. This can be done approximately 1 week after the first followup.
- Third follow-up – Asking for referrals/reviews (via sending Facebook/Google Business Listing). This can be done 2 weeks after the second follow-up.
As a final bonus win, you might not have to followup at all if your prospect is ready to go ahead at the very first stage. If there is hesitation, or they have more questions, you can either answer those questions via further followups or arrange another meeting to give them time to think.
Remember that it never fails for someone to say “I’m not sure yet” (or even, “No thank you”), because you can then bundle them into your ongoing marketing, and it will be a win eventually.
It could take months or even years for them to come back round to you – but when they do come, they’re ready to do business and they will absolutely be your ideal client.
The one thing you can’t automate though is the client relationship. The bookkeeping industry is based on trust and the personal relationship is how our clients measure and value us. Anything that doesn’t come into the trust equation is open to automation. If we can free up time that is not valued by the client then we have more time to do the things they do value!
Using automation software in your sales process ensures that every lead is accounted for, that contact information and notes are readily available, and that you always know what you need to do next to move the deal along. With that information, you can more accurately make revenue forecasts and process changes that result in noticeable business improvements.
You don’t need automation to close a deal. But when you use it, you can close more deals, more consistently and more efficiently—allowing your Bookkeeping Business to grow and succeed.
In the next episode, we will go into detail about how you can create Follow-up sequences, Automated Emails, and Email Templates to streamline your sales process.
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If you’d like help with your goals you can book a free initial consultation with me (Angie), or email us at if you’re interested in a mentoring session to get you on track and focused.
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Check out the previous 3 episodes to get yourself up-to-date with the automation series:
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