A Harvard study found:
“Companies who respond to leads within an hour are 700% more likely to have a conversation with a decision-maker”
“Only 37% of companies respond within an hour”
So over 60% of companies are missing the most powerful way to increase conversion.
This seems obvious, so why are most companies unable to respond in under an hour?
There are two primary reasons:
- What gets measured gets done
Most companies have silo’ed phone and CRM systems that don’t communicate. As a result there is no way to measure lead response accurately. Salespeople are usually in the middle of something when leads arrive. There is no ticking clock. They don’t intuitively make the connection between fast response and 700% higher conversion. “How much difference could a few extra minutes make?”
- Traditional hours don’t work anymore
Traditional business hours are some variation of 9-5 Monday to Friday. These days, leads arrive any time. If everyone goes home at 6pm on Friday and you get a lead at 6:01, it will take at least 50 hours to respond.
- Sales teams aren’t built for lead response
Lead response is one of the first things to get dropped when things get busy. By definition leads are the most uncertain part of the sales pipeline, so reps gravitate to known quantities (i.e. people further down the pipeline). That’s not necessarily a bad thing, but unless lead response is someone’s primary responsibility, chances are it will suffer.
How to respond in under an hour:
- Integrate your current phone and CRM system
A tool like Callinize allows you to connect your current CRM and phone systems in minutes. It starts working in the background and shows you real-time information about lead response. Callinize leveraged the RingCentral Developer Program to build the Callinize for RingCentral app, bringing communications data in CRM to build better relationships, make more calls and ultimately closed more deals.
- Measure lead response purposefully
Now that you are able to track lead response, make it a key metric. Analyse and correct lead response issues in real-time and build lead response into your training and coaching programs.
- Optimize your team for fast lead response
Sometimes it’s as simple as making sure you have enough people available to respond to leads. If your leads are coming in after business hours, change your business hours. If leads are coming in on the weekends, make sure someone’s there on the weekends. If leads are coming in when your sales force is too busy to respond, hire lead response reps whose sole job is to respond and qualify leads.
Leads are expensive, make them count. Cloud-based solutions make it much easier, but they need to be integrated.
Originally published Jun 25, 2015, updated Sep 03, 2020