Sales is a tough gig. You have to convince a prospect to do business with you and your company when they have so many options available to them already. But, every sales department agrees on one thing: the sales process isn’t going away.
Here’s how to optimize and maximize lead-gen and conversions using three core principles: speed, process, and persistence.
According to Leads360’s analysis, speed is the most important aspect of lead conversion. Its analysis of more than 25 million data points shows that conversion rates are 391 percent higher when the lead is called with a minute of their inquiry.
If you wait 2 minutes, conversion rates are only 120 percent higher, and 3 minutes in, those conversion rates are only 98 percent higher.
If you contact prospects in under 30 minutes, you’ll convert 62 percent better, and 36 percent better in under an hour.
In other words, delay is the death of a sale. The old adage proves true.
These new findings are similar to previous MIT lead response research, but they place more emphasis on the speed-to-call. The data also shows that the advantage is less significant after the first two minutes.
So, if you’re looking for the best advantage, contact prospects within 2 minutes of them filling out a form, landing on your webpage, or calling into your call center.
Even when customers “price shop,” there’s a sense of loyalty that often drives them back to the original vendor, so being first counts.
By providing customers with good education and responsive customer service, some companies are able to create a strong social or psychological bond with prospects. This bond overcomes enticements from other brands.
Just because speed-to-call counts in the conversion process doesn’t mean that the process for calling doesn’t matter. Many companies work on converting the top 3 to 5 percent of high-quality leads that respond to a flyer, fill out a web form, or call into a call center.
However, these same companies are still missing the 95 to 97 percent of the customers that don’t get converted immediately.
If a lead is qualified, but not ready to commit to a sale, then a nurturing program is needed to help the prospect through the sales process. If a salesperson can’t overcome objections quickly, then they might lose interest in the prospect and fail to follow up later.
This leaves a lot of money on the table – yet it’s almost unavoidable with manual lead management systems.
Automated lead management software, on the other hand, sweeps up lost sales and recycles them into the sales funnel, allowing salesmen to continually “drip” on prospects over time.
This constant contact with prospects eliminates a lot of the manual work involved in sales, allowing salesmen to even out the lead generation process, keeping them busy, and keeping sales totals up.
The final piece of the puzzle is persistence. Leads360 found that making two calls instead of one increased the chances of connecting with a lead by up to 87 percent.
Unfortunately, up to 50 percent of leads are never contacted more than once. Research also shows that contacting a lead 6 times optimizes the contact rate, but only 60 percent of salespeople made less than six contact attempts.
Conversion rates are also improved through persistence. The more times a prospect is contacted via phone or email, the more likely they are to convert, with 3 calls during the first day, once on day 3, another call on day 4, and a 6th call on day 11 or day 12 being the optimal call interval.
Donald Christopher is an experienced software consultant. He is keen to share his useful insights relating to many software issues and challenges. You can find his thoughts on a number of B2B websites.