Telemarketing Software Featured Article

Speed-to-Lead Is Not a Myth

March 15, 2018
By Paula Bernier - Executive Editor, TMC

Sales reps that move on hot leads within an hour of their being identified are at least seven times more likely to have a positive outcome.

This is according to studies by VanillaSoft and the Telfer School of Management, which is part of the University of Ottawa. Those studies assessed more than 50 million anonymous call records, including more than 25 million sales leads and around 2.5 million web leads.

These studies showed that 38 percent of efforts within the first hour led to engagement success. Engagement success dropped down to 8 percent within 24 hours and to 5 percent beyond 24 hours.

This all goes to show that so-called speed-to-lead really matters. That’s because prospects tend to respond better when you reach them while their interest is at its peak, says David Hood, CEO of VanillaSoft.

And customers and prospects are expressing their interest whenever they

• fill out a form on your website for a piece of content,

• sign up to attend one of your webinars, or

• respond to one of your email blasts.

Yet studies indicate more than one-third of new sales inquiries are never contacted. And the average time for a sales representative to follow-up on a new lead is more than 61 hours.

Perhaps that’s because sales reps are spending the majority of their time on other pursuits. They spend just 35 percent of their time selling. That means 65 percent of their time is not dedicated to lead follow-up.

“These outcomes appear fairly definitive and confirm that the importance of speed-to-lead is not a myth,” says Hood. “It’s real. It’s essential. However, there were some well-established myths the study does appear to debunk, particularly the widely reported claim that you need to respond within five minutes for the highest success rate. The original study that made this claim focused on approximately 100,000 web leads, which is only 4 percent of the data that Telfer used.

“According to Telfer’s analysis, if you respond within five minutes you only achieve an 18 percent rate of positive outcomes. The data actually seems to indicate that the initial sales engagement cadence should happen between 10 to 60 minutes of the lead being submitted by the prospect. At this point it is hard to know why, but it could possibly be attributed to human psychology: people don’t want to feel pursued or stalked. When vendors respond too quickly perhaps they are effectively scaring prospects away.”

Edited by Mandi Nowitz

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