If there is one expression that applies well to lead management it’s this: You have to strike while the iron is hot! Studies show that not contacting a prospect within 5 minutes of their request is 10 times less likely to generate business! Why are many companies, still neglecting this stage, this famous last mile after putting so much effort into generating leads?
Generating leads is good, contacting them is better!
Today, when we search for a product or a solution, our first reflex is to go on the Internet. Vendors have understood this and are fighting hard to appear in the first search results to maximize their chances of attracting users to their sites: according to a Chitika study, the first search result on Google receives 33% of traffic against 18% for the second! And 91.5% of the traffic generated for a given search is linked to the first 10 results (first page).
Imagine that I want to invest in real estate. I go on a search engine and type “real estate investment.” Several results are proposed to me and as you’ve just seen, there’s a good chance I’ll click on the first result. After consulting this first site, I realize the company seems to perfectly meet my needs! And because the site is well constructed, there is a clearly visible call-to-action that encourages me to learn more, so I make a request for information straight away.
But then, 10 minutes pass, then 30 minutes, then an hour, half a day, a day, even two days pass and I still have no news! While this site has invested a lot of resources in natural and paid SEO to appear in the first results of search engines, they are much less responsive and weren’t the first to call me back. And yet, according to an insidesales.com study, 35% to 50% of prospects turn to the first seller to answer them!
The numbers are even more telling when you look at the prospect’s interest in your company: a prospect who is contacted more than 5 minutes after his request has a much smaller chance of being converted!
These numbers may seem huge but they aren’t surprising. Let’s go back to my request for information on real estate investment :
Scenario 1: the provider calls me back right away. This is perfect; since I was looking for information, I am 100% available to discuss it. I am willing to share information with the seller and go further if the offer is interesting and meets my expectations. Why wait for a second company to call me back if this one meets my criteria? Moreover, responsiveness is a guarantee of confidence in a purchasing act; we expect the same responsiveness for customer follow-up.
Scenario 2: No one calls me back and I move on to another topic. There is a 50/50 chance that when I am called back, I will no longer be as available to discuss the subject. Most of the time, you get called back when you’re at work and there’s nothing more annoying than being disrupted when you’re focused on something else! And in the meantime, I was also able to make requests for information on other sites that may have shown more responsiveness!
Why such a lack of reactivity? And what are the consequences?
Lack of available human resources:
The moment when your prospects are available generally corresponds to the moment when the whole of your target is available. If your business works, your sales representatives will be on appointment during these famous time slots and therefore, not available to contact new incoming leads. As a result, they call back later and it’s too late.
Lack of tools:
While the CRM market has exploded, it is not uncommon for some companies to process their leads by hand.
Example: when a lead fills out a form, you receive an email. Receive several emails at the same time and you can miss the lead. The time it takes to cross-check the information (its coordinates, where the demo request comes from…) you have exceeded 5 minutes and your lead is getting dangerously cold.
Missed opportunities and exploding costs
According to various studies, nearly 30% of leads are not contacted by sales representatives due to a lack of responsiveness. With lead costs of from tens to hundreds of euros, there is money thrown out the window…
… and sales conversions that are lost.
Speed up the response time: Are there solutions?
There are several solutions available to you to remedy this situation.
A team of telemarketers
Several companies choose to use call centers or recruit telemarketers internally. Because these people are dedicated to lead conversion, they are more responsive and can qualify incoming leads to pass onto sales representatives.
But imagine if you had a peak of 1000 leads all at once and didn’t anticipate it. Will operators be able to respond in less than 5 minutes? Humans are great, but in terms of responsiveness, it’s hard to beat machines.
Automating appointment taking with prospects
A number of companies offer solutions to arrange appointments automatically with prospects at the time of their request. This helps “secure” the prospect while they’re still warm!
Julie Desk is one of those solutions! For example, if you make a request for information on our website, you will automatically receive an email from the member of our team to whom we wish to allocate your request. Julie will be copied on the email so that she can take over and offer slots to the prospect to discuss their expectations regarding our solution.
Regardless of the date and time when the request for information is made, an exchange is initiated in the lead management process. This is a considerable time saving tool for sales people who spend more time preparing their appointments rather than scheduling them. But it also has a huge impact on our lead generation process, and as I’m in charge of marketing, I know what I’m talking about: our unreachable rates have gone from 50% to 20%!
“Since this process was put in place, I have significantly improved my conversation rates. Julie is in charge of organizing telephone exchanges as quickly as possible with the new leads that we generate and follows up with them if they don’t reply. My qualification appointments are automatically added to my calendar. When leads don’t answer right away, I also follow up myself, in addition to those made by Julie, which allows me to double my call attempts and ultimately increase my chances of exchanging with prospects.” Thibault Husson – Sales Representative at Julie Desk.
What about you, can you have a conversation with all the leads you generate? Don’t hesitate to share your experience with us!