Dreamforce is one of the most anticipated events of the year. As Salesforce’s annual convention, it is the time of year when people gather together to gain knowledge, share ideas, and see all of the newest features that will be released in Salesforce.
Every year, in conjunction with Dreamforce, XANT releases its Annual Lead Response Report, based on ResponseAudits of companies attending the show. This report shows companies how they measure up to lead response best practices — and the rest of the industry.
Let’s take a look at a few of the key lessons we’ve learned from past studies ahead of this year’s Annual Lead Response Report.
In the Lead Response Management Study in 2007, several factors within the sales process were found to be crucial to boosting your sales output.
For example, the research revealed that responding to a web-generated lead within 5 minutes compared to 10 minutes can increase contact rates up to 900%.
Calling your leads 6 to 12 times turns out to be the magic number in order to contact and qualify your leads with maximum success.
These findings, along with many others, have been established as the best practices for contacting leads and are seen as the standard for the industry.
For further best practices, go here to see recent reports.
2. Past results
The Lead Response Report’s sample is taken from a list of Dreamforce attendees.
Here are the sample sizes for the past three years:
Of the intended sample, 32.5% of companies could not be audited due to the absence or malfunction of a working web form.
As the sample group has expanded, a higher percentage of companies have not responded to leads. This troubling statistic has jumped from 30% (’12) to 47% (’14).
Of all of the companies we audited in 2012, only 15 companies employed best practices and responded within 5 minutes, which is equivalent to .4%. In 2013 and 2014, the percentages climbed to 1.29% and .8%, respectively.
The median first call times for 2012, 2013 and 2014 have dropped from 4 hours (2012 and 2013) to 3 hours (2014). For our purposes, the median first call times represent the most accurate form of measurement because they are not influenced by outliers.
Of the companies that had a lead generated through a web form, 44%, (’12), 40% (’13) and 47% (’14) did not respond. The median number of calls for each successfully generated lead is 1 call, regardless of the year of the selected studies.
For the companies that did respond to a lead in 2012, email accounted for 67% of contact attempts. In 2013 and 2014, the numbers were similar (65%, 70%).
Other contact with web-generated leads included phone calls. Of the phone calls that were made, 34.2% (’12), 65% (’13), and 53.3% (’14) left voicemails.
XANT research has consistently shown that the industry as a whole has struggled with immediacy. The average percentage of companies that actually contact a lead by phone call within 5 minutes over these three years is less than 1%. While this is disappointing, the median call time has improved. During the past three years, an hour has been shaved off the time it takes to contact a lead.
Persistency has remained fairly constant over the past three years. On the average, 43% of companies do not respond to leads. This translates into millions of dollars in missed selling opportunities. The median number of call attempts is only 1, which is far from the optimal range of 6 to 12 calls.
The response type has remained fairly constant over the past few years, with improvement seen in the number of phone calls accompanied by voicemails. While emails are a useful way to respond to leads, XANT research has found that phone responses lead to greater success.
3. Check your own results
Do you know what your company’s average response times are? Comparing yourself to the industry and to best practices is critical to knowing where you need to improve. If you requested your company’s individual ResponseAudit Report for 2014, review it and look for places to improve.
If you would like to sign up for a ResponseAudit Report, go here.
Are you going to Dreamforce 2015? We hope to see you there.