Your business will thrive with fast lead response times

It really does not matter where you get leads for your business, it’s what you do with those leads that truly counts. The speed of response to inbound leads influences the outcome of your lead conversion metrics. The vast majority of people search for goods and services online and this movement to digital media drives many potential customers and clients to websites.  Businesses that thrive from online leads understand that effective prospect management is the key to success. It all starts with fast responses to your inbound leads.

Want to fail in a big way? Respond slowly!

lead conversionWe’ve all had a negative experience when we reached out to engage with a business by showing our interest and submitting an online form and then wait for it … nothing. Nada, no response other than the impersonal auto-responder email or generic “thank-you” page. Been there too? Feel that pain? It soured your impression of the brand, right? Some studies suggest that up to 65% of all companies will admit that they do not have a solid process in place to handle and nurture those leads. Those that do prevail and thrive.

Lead response times very greatly business to business and by industry verticals. Companies that are largely dependent on leads for the majority of their revenue tend to be more aware of the need to respond to leads quickly. It is not uncommon for most leads to never receive a response or if they do get one, it may come days later after the initial submission. This is not a customer-centric focus that favors your brand.

Lead response times and lead nurturing is a massive problem. Studies indicate that companies that respond to and nurture leads have 47 percent higher profit margins than companies that do not. Prospects place value on quick thorough responses, it’s not always about who has the lowest price for the product or service.

Small businesses, solo owners, and professional service firms often struggle with limited support structure to appropriately handle lead intake and follow-up, but this is where you need to focus your investment. If your marketing efforts successfully drive traffic to you, don’t waste the opportunity to turn prospects into  buyers or clients. Do not miss these opportunities!

Why such a high fail rate?

Excuses are plentiful, too many leads, leads quality is poor, too many other job responsibilities, no good way or process to follow up the leads.  Often it is a lack of knowledge or tools that impact lead follow up. Lacking the proper tools or skills, it becomes difficult to understand how to follow up, what to say, what’s the best communication method (phone, email, text) to employ, or simply what is the next step to take in the process to convert the prospect into a customer or client. Strong measurement in critical areas can immediately help identify areas of opportunity for improvement. What gets measured, gets improved!

Setting the stage to WIN the lead conversion game

Here are few simple steps to follow to prepare your organization to handle leads like a “Boss”:

Start with the data and share some lead response facts:

  • 65 percent of all companies don’t nurture the lead.
  • Average response time for an Internet lead is 44 hours.
  • Only 25 percent of all salespeople make two contact attempts.
  • 80 percent of all lead transactions require five to 12 follow-ups.
  • If you include texting in your response, you increase your conversion rate by 40 percent.

Develop a lead conversion process with specific actions for follow up.

  • Brand your automated response. Make it more than a simple “Thank you” page and email.
  • Send a text with more information than requested.
  • Include a value driven call to immediate action.
  • Don’t give up on the lead, move into drip marketing follow up.

Plan and move forward. It’s easy to maker you brand stand out when so many businesses overlook lead conversation as a way to increase revenue. Develop your follow-up system and make it part of your business process. Nurture your leads and success will follow.