The Quick Brown Fox: The Importance Of Prompt Replies
According to research* by InsideSales.com and the MIT Sloan School of Management, the single most important aspect of your lead generation is to prompt replies to inquiries. Once the clock starts ticking after the last “submit” mouse click, you’ve got five minutes.
The odds of contacting a lead if called in 5 minutes versus 30 minutes drop 100 times. The odds of qualifying a lead if called in 5 minutes versus 30 minutes drop 21 times.
This is, of course, easier said than done. I would argue that for B2B it also depends on how the inquiry was generated; a Request for Quote inquiry is looking for immediate feedback, but an individual downloading a whitepaper is probably not looking for a call-back, let alone inside of five minutes.
So assuming it’s a Request for Quote, why is the speed of response so important? The paper goes on to say:
You Know Where They Are: In the B2B market they are at their computer desk, probably right near their phone, the odds of being able to reach them are higher that later when a busy schedule takes over.
Highest Interest or Need: The B2B buyer searches the Internet because they want things now. Interest and need wane quickly. A few days later they often don’t even remember they submitted a lead. The immediacy of response hits the respondent at their highest point of interest or need.
The “Wow” Effect: Fast response times generate “wow, that was fast! You are impressive.” Leads feel that the sales representative must be really on top of things, and that is the kind of person and company they want servicing their account. First impressions continue to have a strong influence on trust and relationships.
So yes, call them fast (the “Quick” part), but sadly 95% of them will not be ready to buy. 95% of these inquiries will need lead management through a sales cycle as they will go very cold in the middle of that cycle. When that cycle starts to come to its conclusion, though, many will return to your site -sometimes months later.
This is an opportunity for some real competitive advantage (the “Fox” part) in your SMB world. If you have Marketing Automation software you can automate keeping in touch with drip nurture campaigns and increase the chances they will eventually return to your website. Even more importantly, if and when they do return and re-engage, you can replicate that same initial speed of contact; this type of software can alert you when the prospect is back on your site and what they are looking at. A prospect who has returned to your website months after an initial inquiry, and is looking at your pricing page is an opportunity indeed.
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About Fred Yee
Fred Yee is the founder and CEO of ActiveConversion, a company that makes online marketing work for industrial companies. Fred was voted as one of the 40 Most Inspiring Leaders in Sales Lead Management in 2017, and his work with ActiveConversion has helped hundreds of businesses succeed online. ActiveConversion is Fred’s third successful company, and he continues to explore the possibilities of technology in industrial sales and marketing.