3 Lead Generation Strategies – When to Call… When Not to Call

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Founder of Selling Power Magazine

Gerhard Gschwandtner – Founder of Selling Power Magazine

A friend of mine, Gerhard Gschwandtner, the founder and owner of Selling Power Magazine, just took some time and wrote a post on his blog about when is the best time to call back on leads.

The post he wrote came from our landmark research study conducted with Dr. James Oldroyd of MIT that was originally presented in October of 2007 at the MarketingSherpa B2B Demand Summit 2007 in both Boston and San Francisco.  This study was the genesis for the new industry called Lead Response Management; a subset of Lead Management that focuses on responding immediately, continually, consistently, and optimally to increase contact and qualification rates of web-based leads.  The interesting information involves the incredible changes in your ability to reach people by calling on the best day of the week, time of the day and most importantly, calling back immediately; as in 5 minutes!

BEST DAY OF WEEK TO CALL

To quickly summarize Dr. Oldroyds research: Tuesday is the worst day to call, while Thursday is best.  In fact, if you call on Thursday you have a 49.7 percent higher chance of reaching a prospect than on Thursday.  Monday and Friday are almost as bad, but Wednesday is nearly as good as Thursday.

BEST TIME OF DAY TO CALL

The next stage of the research was focussing on the best time of day to call.  Early in the morning (8am to 10am) and late in the day (4pm to 6pm) are much more productive than calling between 10am and 4pm.  By calling at 8am your chances of making contact go up 164% versus calling at the worst time of the day, which is from 1pm to 2pm.

IMMEDIATE RESPONSE HAS THE BIGGEST IMPACT

Day of week and time of day make noticeable impact on contact rates, but calling back within 5 minutes versus even waiting 30 minutes increased the odds of making contact BY 100 TIMES.  And possibly more important, the ability to qualify or set an appointment also went up BY 21 TIMES.

In summary… Call back NOW!

This information has changed the lead response management strategies that companies have put in place.  It has become clear that in an internet age people want information now; they don’t want to wait.  Their attention spans are shortening, so you had better reach out to them immediately.  Don’t let a lead sit in an inbox for even half an hour; that is a big problem when most sales reps don’t even attempt a first phone call for 24 to 48 hours and only make 4-5 attempts to reach a lead.  If the average contact rate is 10% (which our research among 450 clients shows it to be) then that means only 45% of all leads ever get contacted!

When we learned this internally at XANT, we immediately designed our dialer and lead management CRM technology to capture the lead on a website, look up which rep should get the lead, dial the rep, get them on the phone, and start dialing the lead… all in 8-10 seconds on average.  We couldn’t get our own reps to be able to do it by hand fast enough by just asking them (or even mandating) to call the leads back fast enough.  The best they could seem to do was about 30 minutes, which missed the whole window of opportunity.  So our phone dialer software was the key ingredient that launched a new industry that is getting the likes of Gerhard and Selling Power Magazine, the premier media provider for solutions for sales management to recognize it as a key ingredient in the Sales 2.0 initiative.

Author: Ken Krogue |
Summary of Ken Krogue’s Forbes articles

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