TIME WASTER #6 of 15: Improperly Timed Response to Lead Inquiries
Every day we find another company that spends tens of thousands of dollars to create a fancy website, spends thousands of dollars each month with Google, Yahoo, or MSN to drive clicks and contracts with a web-analytics company such as Omniture, Webtrends, or Visual Sciences to analyze and improve the conversion on their website only to let a lead sit for 48-72 hours before calling them back!
Laura Ramos, of Forrester Research, studied how effectively companies respond to their leads and wrote an article entitled “How Mature is B2B Lead Management?” (November 2006). In her study, only 10% of sales departments respond to leads within 24 hours and 41% respond to leads in one to three days. Nearly half of the sales departments she studied had yet to standardize how to route and respond to leads within the organization.
Hot leads cool off quickly. Our best clients know their key action is to call them back immediately. Response time should be measured in seconds and minutes, not hours and days.
WAIT! Our latest research is starting to show that with some lead offers it is actually better to wait a specific period of time before you call back. We show the results can vary significantly.
Best Practice: Respond immediately to leads that are requesting demonstrations, pricing, or have immediate questions. Other forms of lead offers should be tested to find the optimal time to respond for the highest conversion and qualification ratios. Automate lead qualification and routing to eliminate delays in entering your lead information into your system and getting them to the right sales rep.
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