Lead Response Time – Don’t Take Days to Follow Up!

No matter what industry you’re in, people encountering your brand for the first time are rarely in the right mindset to make a big ticket purchase from you. Especially online, they need to build up to the decision by checking out your credentials and comparing their options.

lead-response-time-3Now, imagine your customer has been through that process, overcome doubts and objections with your help, and is on the way to make the buy that changes both your lives. On getting there, what does your customer find?

A sign that says: “Out to lunch: Back in three days.”

In the real world, your prospects’ disappointments aren’t usually this dramatic. Still, if you’re not ready to react quickly to a prospect who demonstrates interest in what you have to offer, you might as well be asking them to come back later.

That frustration can sabotage – even end – a relationship.

Lead Response Time is Crucial – for B2C and B2B Alike

lead-response-time-2Persuading prospects is an uphill journey. When they express interest by submitting a form on your website, they are at the top of the hill. They are waiting for you to help them slide down – if they turn back and walk away, getting them to the top again will be even harder.

To put it another way: Prospects are hottest when they express their readiness to you.

It’s practically a cliché that B2C prospects will get bored and look elsewhere fast, but it’s just as true in B2B. Studies have shown B2B decision-makers did 91% more purchase research on mobile devices over the last two years as other priorities competed for their time.

In a recent survey, an amazing 24% of companies took over 24 hours to respond to a Web lead—almost as many, 23%, never responded! Sure, some leads might have been poor fits. For the most part, though, these firms are leaving money on the table.

How can you keep your company from falling into the same trap?

lead-response-time-5Three Ways to Make Lead Response Faster

Make Prospects Pre-Qualify

Pepper your sales funnel with opportunities for prospects to provide the information your sales and marketing teams need. This will mean less time spent researching whether a prospect is a good fit.

Use Proactive Collaboration Management

Instead of letting leads’ information funnel into a central email that’s a secondary priority for everyone, use collaboration software and encourage team members to speak up so everyone knows who’s handling a prospect.

Measure Lead Response as a KPI

Simply measuring something helps improve it. Once everyone on your team understands lead response time is a major driver of success, you’ll be likely to see marked improvements and more initiative.