Sales Teams Taking Longer to Respond to Inbound Leads [New Research]
XANT has been performing ResponseAudits for more than seven years to determine how quickly and persistently sales reps respond to inbound web leads.
In our latest research this year, we submitted leads to 4,723 companies’ web forms and tracked calls, voicemails and emails. This study gave us valuable insights into the industry’s lead follow-up practices and performance.
Here are a few of the highlights:
On average, companies took 38.35 hours to respond to leads
A day and a half is not an immediate response, but 38.35 hours was the average response time for the 4,723 companies we audited. The average from a similar set of audits last year was 36.26 hours, so the average response time has gotten slower by 5.77%.
The best practice is to respond to leads within 5 minutes and only 7.7% of leads received a response in this time frame.
It’s important for companies to make lead response time a priority. Aligning systems, processes and people to ensure your inbound leads are contacted within five minutes is key.
28.4% of first email responses were automated
This year, we dug deeper into the email responses to see the effect of automated emails. 28.4% of first email responses were automated. Once we removed those automated emails, we saw that 55.0% of leads received no personalized email, and, of the leads that did receive an email, over half of them (53.9%) only received one.
Personalization trumps automation. It’s tempting to have marketing create templates so sales doesn’t have to worry about responding to leads, but customers can smell an automated email from a mile away. Send personalized emails and watch your results improve.
Half of companies never attempted to contact leads, 77% never called
Of the 4,723 leads submitted, 50.0% never received any personalized response of any kind, and 77.17% of leads were never called.
Inbound leads convert 8x better than cold lists. Don’t ignore your inbound leads. Reps often subjectively determine lead quality, leads get lost in the abyss of a CRM, or marketing never turns leads over to sales.
These are all real problems that are negatively affecting lead follow-up. Make lead follow-up a priority and you’ll experience better contact and conversion rates.
Bringing it all together
By calling leads within five minutes, making personalized emails a priority, and not ignoring your leads, you’ll contact more prospects and convert more sales.
If you’re not doing these things, the good news is that lots of other companies aren’t either, so you can get ahead by aligning your systems, processes and people to put these best practices in action.