Has it ever occurred to you why some businesses possess the ability to convert leads into customers quickly while others find it difficult to make it? The key lies in their speed to lead, a critical factor that decides the success of sales campaigns. Let us have a look at this concept in detail and understand its role in sales campaigns.
What is Speed to Lead?
Speed to lead is the amount of time it takes for the sales personnel to respond to an inbound lead, irrespective of the communication channel they use. In other words, it accounts for how quickly you respond to a lead be it by email, phone, text, etc. It is necessary to track and optimize this metric, as it impacts the success of your sales campaigns directly. Slow responses result in missed opportunities while hasty responses create credibility and trust with potential clients. While speed to lead may look like a straightforward metric, it is only the tip of the iceberg.
Why Speed to Lead Counts?
Are you aware that around 78% of the customers prefer to purchase from the company that obliges them first? This indicates how critical is your speed to lead time for the success of your business. Hence improving your speed to lead and optimizing your lead response management is crucial to reach out to inbound leads faster and improve conversions.
According to a HubSpot study on speed to lead that targeted three customer relationship domains such as sales, marketing, and support:
- About two-thirds of customers look forward to a response within 10 minutes of the inquiry.
- Almost 82% of the buyers rate an instant response as very important or important when they pose a sales or marketing question.
- This number leaps to 90% for customer service queries.
- Immediate implies 10 minutes or less.
- Companies spent 10% of their valuable time integrating disconnected systems to make sure they answer buyer inquiries promptly.
Common Challenges Concerning Insufficient Speed to Lead
The sales cycle and processes vary from team to team. However, quite often, they face similar challenges with respect to lead response time.
If some of these issues sound familiar, improper speed to lead may be the reason:
- Deficit in opportunities
An error-prone and ineffective lead response system may lead to losing potential buyers and opportunities. If your process is unpredictable or inconsistent, then you are likely to lose business in the long run.
- Unscalable for growth
One of the key aspects of scaling sales teams and revenue flows is confirming that your strategies are duplicable and sustainable. Manual and tiresome processes may not be able to withstand the test of time.
- Varying lead assignments
Assigning new leads manually to the right sales rep is not only laborious but also prone to error. This may lead to leads getting allocated to the wrong reps, causing frustration for your team.
10 Strategies to Improve Your Speed to Lead
Three important pillars are key to responding to leads swiftly: tactics, technology, and teamwork. Below are 10 techniques to utilize these pillars to up your lead response time.
1. Promote real-time options
Before you reach out to leads, you must ensure that your leads have a way to approach you in real-time. Your listings, social media profiles, and website need to offer sufficient options for direct engagement. Some of the best methods to directly engage with leads include live chat, tap-to-text or tap-to-call options, Facebook Messenger, etc.
2. Optimize your site for lead capture
This is another great strategy. In addition to the direct engagement methods mentioned above, your site should be enhanced with lead capture forms. Further, you can also use static sidebars, banners, and popups.
Try out different types of lead magnets and offers on your website:
- Home page, services page, pricing page: ‘Learn More’, ‘Get a Quote/Estimate’, ‘Get a Consultation’.
- Contact us page: ‘Learn More’, ‘Get More Info’.
- About us page: ‘Contact us’.
- Blog/resource pages: ‘Download eBook’, ‘Download Whitepaper’ ‘Subscribe to Our Newsletter’.
3. Organize your ads appropriately
One effectual paid method to generate leads is to run ads using live messaging features including Google Local Services Ads and Facebook Click-to-Messenger Ads. But ensure that you schedule these ads only when you are available to answer their texts and calls. This ensures that you respond to them quickly without wasting your budget.
4. Have a CRM in place
Even if you can reach out to a prospective lead quickly, it will not help if you do not have some background information. Additionally, if you have lots of inbound leads and though you respond instantly, they may not revert right away. In this scenario, you may need their information handy even if they respond after a few days.
This is where a CRM database becomes relevant where you can monitor the contact information and business engagement history of all your contacts, prospects, customers, and leads. CRMs enable personalized communication with your contacts which results in increased appointments, upsells, and sales.
5. Make use of texting
Text is regarded as the chosen method of communication for customers these days. We will explain this with the help of some statistics:
- 90% of marketing text messages are read within a time span of three minutes.
- 97% of people choose to ignore phone calls from unidentified numbers.
- 90% of people want to have text conversations with businesses.
- 90% of marketing text messages are read within three minutes.
- Americans check their phones 96 times a day on an average, or once every 10 minutes.
- Most consumers (58%) state that texting is the best way to reach out to them.
- The texting response rate is 45% as compared to email (8%).
6. Schedule alerts
Whether you use an automation platform or just plain text or email, ensure that you put up notifications on your desktop, mobile, and other devices to get alerts when a lead comes in.
7. Automate your outreach
One of the biggest barriers that come in the way of following up with leads is bandwidth. When you have a huge volume of inbound leads, it can be difficult to follow up with each of them. However, if you improve your outreach by automating emails, text messages, voicemails, etc., you can set up this on autopilot mode. This enables you to maintain the speed to lead while freeing up sufficient time to engage with prospective leads.
8. Initiate lead scoring and routing
This is another strong reason to have a CRM. Lead scoring enables you to allocate point values for actions performed by leads. According to their score, you can differentiate leads as qualified for sales or marketing. This allows the sales reps to track the important ones when there is an abundance of leads. Similarly, you can direct leads to certain reps based on certain criteria. This guarantees that no leads fall between the cracks, and you are leveraging your team strength properly to maximize your speed to lead.
9. Set up a speed to lead team
Teams that are involved in sales and higher engagement have three major participants.
- Marketing/sales manager: A marketing/sales manager creates a campaign strategy corresponding to every lead source, trains speed to lead owners and ensures that close rate benchmarks are achieved.
- Speed to lead owner: Responsible for engaging and qualifying leads and scheduling appointments (inside rep, administrative assistant, marketing associate, call center rep, etc.).
- Field/sales rep: Manages the appointments scheduled by speed to lead owners.
10. Establish goals and KPIs
Last but not the least, you need to quantify something if you want to improve it. Collect baseline metrics such as response rate, response time, appointment set rate by rep, campaign, etc., and set goals and KPIs to improve those metrics that hit high each month.
Augmenting your speed to lead is essential to drive sales conversions and achieve overall success in your business. By understanding the significance of speed to lead and employing the right strategies to improve it, you can boost your performance and promote business growth.
As an experienced Salesforce solutions provider, we can help you achieve your goals quickly and efficiently. If you have any questions, feel free to contact us right now.