Long lead response times are a guaranteed way to lose consumers and revenue. Statistics show that if you make a lead wait for more than 5 minutes, you drastically reduce your chances of qualifying them and generating a sale. In addition, research suggests that the company that reacts fastest receives a disproportionate share of sales. Because of this, effective lead response management is crucial and may be a game-changer in your industry. But what is the optimal timeframe to contact inbound leads? Continue reading because we’ve consulted experts behind successful ConvertMore click-to-call software and found out the answer for you.
Data that proves there’s an optimal timeframe to contact inbound leads
Many studies have shown a direct link between lead response times and various measures of business performance, demonstrating the vitality of keeping tabs on this aspect of your inbound marketing strategy. After all, the data you get from it should help convert visitors to leads more efficiently.
Massive volumes of marketing data on lead response times were analyzed, and here are just some of the findings that prove how essential is to contact inbound leads in an optimal timeframe:
- Responding to a lead within 5 minutes of them contacting you, gives you a 9 times greater chance of qualifying that lead. Lead qualification odds decline by 400% for every 10 minutes a lead spends waiting.
- If you hit the ground running and make contact with leads within the first minute, you can almost quadruple your conversion rate.
- Be the first one that reaches the lead and roughly 78% of them will choose to buy from you instead of your competitors.
- If you wait more than 30 days before contacting a lead again, 90% of them won’t answer at all.
- Customer attrition rates can rise by as much as 15% due to prolonged response times.
Given these numbers, one might assume that every company had reaction times of just a few minutes, but this is far from the case. In a study done by Harward Business Review, 23% of businesses didn’t respond at all and 24% took more than 24 hours to do so which isn’t something to be proud of.
What is the optimal timeframe to contact inbound leads?
When determining how quickly to respond to a lead, the five-minute rule is a solid rule of thumb to stick to. As you may have guessed, however, most businesses haven’t yet dropped their metrics to the point where they average 5 minutes or less to respond to a lead.
So, 5 minutes is more of a target to shoot at than a feasible long-term objective. However, if you’re searching for a more manageable target, you should know that the best lead response time varies widely by industry, product, company size, and target market.
HubSpot data shows that whereas telecommunications companies often respond to leads within 16 minutes, healthcare providers typically respond to them after more than 2 hours. While huge firms may take nearly twice as long to respond, small businesses often do it in under 50 minutes.
What is your lead response time?
In light of this new information, you can see how quickly responding to leads can boost revenue and bring in more money. That’s why it’s important to always be on track with your performance and know what your average lead response time is. By regularly tracking your lead response time, you’ll easily notice if there are any areas for improvement.
Calculating your lead response time is very simple. In fact, you just need two pieces of information:
- The time when a lead gets in touch with your company. For example, submitting a contact form on your website.
- The time when your team finally makes contact with the lead.
Simply subtract the former from the latter and you’ll find out your lead response time (LRT). Although this statistic allows you to examine each lead time independently, the average lead response time (ALRT), which is produced by summing all LRTs and dividing by the total number of leads, is typically more illuminating.
How to improve your optimal timeframe to contact inbound leads?
Now that you’ve found your lead response time, you might feel that there’s room to improve it. Even if you don’t think you can reduce it down to 5 minutes, there are many ways to shorten it significantly and offer your business an edge. Here are a few tips to get you started:
Keep track of the right metrics
As we already mentioned, it’s crucial to monitor and assess your team’s performance to discover areas of improvement. Make sure to keep track of your average lead response time, average lead response time by the agent, the average number of follow-ups attempted per lead, and the average length of your sales cycle.
Create a standardized approach to responding to leads
Implementing a standardized procedure for handling leads will improve efficiency and reliability. If you have a high lead response time because your incoming call center is understaffed, this feature makes expanding your personnel simpler. So when a new lead comes in, there should be a clear and distinct set of instructions outlining exactly what needs to be done, as well as the who, what, when, and where of it.
Make the most of technology
Because it handles the initial contact with prospects and even pre-qualifies them before passing them on to your sales agents, a lead engagement software combined with a strong CRM application can be a terrific addition to your team. In this manner, just the most promising leads will be provided to your team, saving everyone’s time and boosting your conversion rates for incoming calls.
Take advantage of the auto-dialer
In order to free up salespeople’s time to focus on closing deals rather than performing mundane duties, you can put them to use with an auto-dialer. This is a software tool that automates calling and leaving voicemails. Autodialers allow sales representatives to save time by making calls automatically to pre-populated contact lists. An auto-dialer, in conjunction with a good CRM, can greatly reduce the amount of time spent on follow-up calls.
Consider hiring a third party
In order to focus your resources and team on achieving the greatest lead response time possible, you can outsource the entire inbound lead response process by selecting one of the various call center service solutions. Remote companies, for instance, may find it more convenient to have a third party handle all aspects of their physical letter delivery so that they may focus on other forms of digital communication.
The bottom line
Cutting down on the time it takes to respond to leads is crucial, since it can be a goldmine of revenue for your company. Your business’ customer churn rate will go down and your success in connecting with, qualifying, and closing inbound leads will improve if your response times are shorter. While decreasing your lead response time is an excellent starting point, it is not sufficient.
If you want to boost conversion rates, you must also make sure your responses are helpful and pertinent. By implementing the advice in this piece, your company or inbound call center will get closer to an optimal timeframe to contact inbound leads, increasing the value of the responses you receive. There’s no way to lose by giving them a try, so don’t wait any longer.
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