To adapt to the digital revolution, marketing and sales teams must work closer than ever before to first attract and then convert leads into sales. We’re now seeing an expanded, more complex, and often longer sales funnel. At the core, customer’s needs remain unchanged. However in a world of unprecedented choice and the shift to personalisation and 1:1 marketing, consumers wield more control and are demanding their needs be met. Businesses who thrive are the ones who are not merely reacting, but are coming up with inventive and memorable ways to delight new leads entering the sales funnel.
You may assume that you’re already catering to and satisfying their needs with your front-line response. We’re sure it has its merits, but can you say with confidence that you are doing it better than your competitors? Based on statistics, the chances are that you’re not. Response speed is crucial in the ratio of leads to conversions but most businesses are either unaware or not equipped to execute this to its full potential. Sales guru Chris Smith covers this phenomenon in his book ‘The Conversion Code’, which reveals a rather jaw-dropping statistic:
If a company attempts phone contact within 5 minutes after lead submission, the odds that the lead is contacted are 100 times greater than if it is contacted 30 minutes after submission
It’s rather disheartening then to learn the reality that median response time to new leads by businesses is 3 hours and 8 minutes. Even more alarming is that 47% of businesses don’t respond at all.
Don’t make your customers wait. A deceptively simple concept right? Granted, a 5 minute response time is a tough benchmark to consistently meet. Are you achieving it? If not, imagine if you did. Your conversion rate would skyrocket and likely place you above and beyond your competition. Furthermore, are you sure that there aren’t any leads slipping through the cracks altogether? We’ve encountered clients who are genuinely surprised to find that after finally following up that lead- in some cases leaving it until 48 hours- the prospect has already gone elsewhere to secure the product/service. First impressions count, and the business that notices the lead in real-time and responds immediately, will either nab the sale right off the bat or else leave a positive brand impression that stays with the consumer.
Okay, so you may have a dedicated sales team poised to respond to incoming leads straight away, but have you thought about delays beyond their control? Systems play an important role in the delivery of website data to a designated inbox and/or CRM, with technical delays posing a serious stumbling block. Considering the above statistics, a delay in initiating contact, whether it requires a phone call, email or social media post, can make or break a conversion.
A significant number of businesses don’t have a truly integrated approach to nurturing leads at that crucial first stage of entering the funnel and risk losing them altogether. It could be the result of inter-department shortcomings, or the consequence of an outsourced marketing function from an agency too far removed from your product/service sales funnel.
Timeliness in responding to new leads is just one facet of a supercharged lead generation funnel, but stick to this strategy like glue and you will be well on your way to an abundance of qualified leads. Whilst you revel in the newfound customer love, just make sure you remember to abide by the 5 minute rule to keep them in your funnel and clinch those sales!