4 minute read
May 24, 2019

Why You Should Improve Lead Response Time First

Your low conversion rate could just be a symptom of slow lead response. Here's how to find out...

Are your conversion rates not where they need to be? Getting plenty of leads in the pipeline but your sales team isn’t closing them?

Before doing anything else, take a look at your lead response times. How quickly you respond to new incoming leads can result in a 1,000% change in your conversion rate immediately.

According to a study conducted in 2016 by the Harvard Business Review, if your sales team waits more than 5 minutes to follow up with an incoming online lead their chances of connecting with that lead went down 10x.

Are you connecting with your leads within 5 minutes?

According to the study, only 4.7% of companies do.

Even worse, most companies don’t even know what their average lead response time actually is. If that’s you, don’t worry, you’re not alone. But there is a step-by-step process you can start to get to the point where you can confidently say you’re hitting that 5 minute limit for every lead.

1. Track your lead response time

The simplest way to start keeping track of your lead response time is right in your CRM. The CRM already knows when the lead was added so simply add another field for the time the lead was first contacted.

When someone on your sales team first calls a new lead have them log the timestamp and add it to the lead’s record. You can then run a report and get a good idea of your response times.

Is this always accurate? No, but its a good start.

Doing the process manually is a good way to ease into the flow but will not give you 100% perfect results.

2. Keep responses under 5 minutes

Once you at least have a rough idea of your lead response time metrics, you’ll see how far you have to go.

If your team is tracking their results, institute a plan to get those response times down below the 5 minute mark. Make sure everyone on your team knows how important it is to respond to new leads in a timely fashion and know that you will be reviewing the results on a weekly basis.

3. Automate the response process

However, if you really want to get 100% accurate metrics and make sure that every single lead is responded to within 5 minutes or even faster, then you have to automate the lead response process.

Callingly is a perfect example of a tool that can help you do just that.

Callingly will integrate with your existing website and CRM and as soon as a new lead comes in it will call your sales team, routing the lead based on territory and schedule.

The first agent that picks up the phone will hear the leads information and can press 1 to immediately call the lead back. If your team is able to pick up the Callingly call on the first attempt, your average lead response time can not only be below 5 minutes, but it can easily trend below 60 seconds.

If you can catch the lead on the phone while they’re still on your website, the response rate increases by over 300%.

4. If you can’t call the lead immediately, message them

Finally, you must realize that your team will never be able to grab every single lead immediately and so you must have a fallback plan.

If it’s the weekend or the middle of the night and none of your agents are on call, or if everyone is simply busy with other customers, then your system should have a way of detecting it and reaching out to let the lead know. A quick SMS letting them know that someone will be in touch with them shortly is enough to start that initial conversation and keep the lead warm.

Callingly, for example, has an option to send a SMS to a lead if no one from your team is able to respond within 15 minutes or if everyone is offline.

Have a plan and execute

Whether you’re planning on using a manual or automated process to track and optimize your lead response time, its important to have a plan, execute on it with buy-in from your entire team and then follow up on your results at least weekly for several months.

Good luck and lets get those response times to under 5 minutes!