How Efficient is Your Company’s Lead Management?
It’s fair to say that without sales, there would be no business. In order to stay in business you must continuously ring that cash register to keep your business afloat. This is no secret . However, the finer nuances of the processes leading up to that sale are not always common knowledge for many businesses. Read on as Adster Creative sheds some light on the leads management part of the sales process.
Sales need to come from somewhere, and that source will be entirely dependent on the type of business. But for the purpose of this blog, we are going to use companies that rely on getting new leads every month to generate new business as the example. After all, generating leads is what Adster Creative does best….so why wouldn’t we use that as an example 😉
There are really only a few avenues that leads can come from, the main ones being: referrals/word of mouth, digital marketing, email marketing, networking, traditional advertising, cold calling, and purchasing qualified lists. There are obviously more than this, but for the sake of efficiency, we’ll stop here
So when your company gets those brand new, shiny, fresh and tasty leads, it is now your job to reach out and attempt to wow that customer. All in hopes that you can make a good enough impression to hopefully make a new sale in the near future.
One of the most overlooked parts of any sales system is how the leads are actually handled when they come in.
There was a study done at MIT that showed the best practices for lead response management. This study spanned the course of three years, covering 15,000 leads with 100,000 call attempts. It was broken down into 4 main categories:
- Best days to make contact
- Best times to make contact
- Response time
The best days to make contact
The study found that the best days to qualify leads are Wednesdays and Thursdays. When we use the term ‘qualification’, we are referring to the stage in the lead nurturing process where the lead is willing to enter the sales process of the company. They saw a difference of 49% increase when calling leads on a Thursday versus calling them on a Tuesday.
The best times to make contact
The best times to contact leads was between 4:00-5:00 pm. In this category they saw 164% increase when calling between 4-5 as opposed to 1-2. That is quite the shift for only a few hours difference.
In this part of the study, they came to the conclusion that you should make at least 6 call attempts to try and reach a lead. After the 6th call, they saw a 90% chance of making contact versus 50% after the second call attempt. They also found that most reps give up on leads too soon. About only 3-4% of reps will actually get to the 6th call.
Now this one really caught our eye. The study suggested that the best response time is within 5 minutes of getting a call or contact form submission. From 5 minutes to 10 minutes the odds of qualifying goes down by 400%. WOWZA! Some of you might be thinking that the difference between 10 minutes and 5 minutes is nothing. But 400% is a big shift.
The reason we wanted to bring this study to your attention is because we sometimes hear questions and concerns from business owners who will say things like, “I’m getting leads, but the leads are no good”.
So the question to ask is, are the leads really that bad? Or… could there possibly be some slight holes in the sales process of certain businesses? Yes, on occasion a lead can be less than optimal. However, we have seen it common practice for businesses not to respond to a lead within 24-48 hours, let alone within 5 minutes. So another question to ask would be, what would happen to more of those leads if the company followed up a little quicker? Or perhaps followed up on better days, or better times? And finally, what if they were persistent enough to follow up on the 6th call?
Now we are smart enough to understand that not all leads are going to be golden, and we understand that it’s not always realistic to respond to leads right away, but when we have data to support best practices in the lead follow up process, there is definitely room for improvement in most sales systems. As many of you already know, sales is essentially a numbers game. So if you can keep these stats top of mind and work to increase the numbers in a favorable way, you can definitely make more sales long term.
For more great blogs on all things digital marketing, check out the other blogs at Adster Creative.