Just imagine, you invested a hefty budget in marketing, hired more than enough sales reps and leaving no stone unturned to turn your website visitors into prospering clients. But what if those 1000s of inbound leads are not entertained at the right time? What if the lead response time is exceeding the predefined norm of 5 minutes waiting time and overall sabotaging your brand image?
Did you know that a study conducted by the Harvard Business Review stated, if your sales team waits more than 5 minutes to follow up with an inbound lead, the chances of their conversion went down to 10x.
Now you know the reason for your low conversion rate despite having plenty of leads in your sales funnel. Knowing the cause is not sufficient unless you act with a feasible resolution to close more sales.
Referring to the popular article of Dave Elkington and James Olroyd that got published in Harvard Business Review, the researchers conducted a study on 2000 US companies and discussed the main cause of business failure, or success when it comes to the ideal lead response time.
Lead Response Management Study proved that companies who contacted leads within an hour were seven times more likely to qualify the lead*, than the companies who decided to contact the customers just an hour later and sixty times more (60x !!!) than the companies who waited 24 hours or longer. With so much involvement in marketing efforts and hefty budgets in generating online leads, it seems really shocking to know the negligence and delay that some companies had in their lead response time. [Source: LeadResponseManagement.com]
* have an actual conversation about selling the product with the customer
4 Best Practices to improve your sales follow-up process
In the event if you feel that slow lead reaction time is one reason behind your low transformation rates, here are some prescribed procedures for lead response management to improve your lead reaction time.
- Answer at the earliest opportunity
When the food industry is following an implicit standard with regard to the time taken in food delivery, why B2B takes customers on a light note when it comes to lead response time? It is pretty obvious nobody has the time in the world to wait for your response when there are plenty of competitors available in the second glance. In the world of immediate response available at social media, inquiries/leads have the patience of 5-10 minutes to wait for your response/call back/email revert, else your odds to qualify them definitely decline.
- Align Sales and Marketing Teams
Align your sales and marketing team on the same page for better lead generation initiatives and cooperation between the two. Talking about the lead response time, it is essential to have a substantial amount of qualified leads in the funnel of the sales team to follow and create sales activities with them. For this, marketers should work one day ahead to generate more and more MQLs to move leads down the funnel. Studies revealed that the misalignment between these two teams results in a minimum 10% revenue loss and a considerable backlog when the teams don’t share the same workspace.
- Best time to contact the lead
Leads turn cold faster than tea. Make sure you have hot leads and only ice tea! Optimize the lead response time with immediate effect and unveil the best day & time to connect with prospects:
Best day to follow-up the leads
Well, every day is a good day to start off your business, however, studies believe that Wednesday & Thursday are the best days to be in touch with your prospects.
Right day to qualify the leads
referring to the study, the best day to qualify the leads is Thursday which proved 19.1% more effective than Tuesday.
Ideally, it should be sooner, the better. However, you must contact the lead between 8 to 9 am in the morning and 4 to 5 pm to make the most out of your conversation.
- Try not to Give Up Too Soon
Regardless of whether you are stuck under-water, or completely bed-ridden, don’t give up too soon. Try not to surrender too early, as 80% of your sales require a minimum of FIVE follow-up endeavors.
It is noticed that almost 44% of sales reps surrender after the FIRST negative interaction that they experienced with the prospects. However, just 8% of them are steady enough to catch up until they convert the lead into the client.