What Is Speed to Contact?

Daniel Threlfall

Speed to contact, quite simply, is like speed to lead on steroids. 

Rather than allowing leads to book a meeting in a few minutes or in the near future, speed to contact focuses on letting them do so instantly. 

Here’s everything you need to know about speed to contact and how Chili Piper’s game-changing Instant Inbound feature can take your business to a whole new level. 

Goodbye Speed to Lead, Hello Speed to Contact

You’ve likely already seen data like this that talks about how contacts made from first dials are dramatically higher when reps call within five minutes

But as the response time lengthens, the number of contacts made from first dials quickly drops.

In fact, waiting just 10 minutes decreases the odds of qualifying by a staggering 400%! 

Any longer than that with a response time of 15 minutes or more, and you’re pretty much dead in the water. 

Numbers don’t lie, and by looking at this data, it’s clear that being lightning fast to respond to leads is massively important.

But here’s the thing. 

Up until recently, companies that responded within five minutes were usually in fairly good shape and able to effectively close a sizable chunk of their deals

As the competition grows fiercer, however, and more brands are catching up, being “pretty fast” just isn’t fast enough. 

Today, you need a framework that allows you to zip past the competition and schedule that inbound meeting. 

Here’s a quote I love from Brock Andony of Vendasta that puts things into perspective.

“78% of customers buy from the company that responds to their inquiry first. That’s how severe the organizational consequences can be of taking a few extra minutes to make a cup of Joe before getting to those leads.”

Now, we’re officially at the point where there’s the need for instant.

And that’s where speed to contact comes in. 

What is Speed to Contact?

Speed to contact is the amount of time it takes to turn an inbound lead into a qualified meeting.

Different from speed to lead, which is how long it takes for a lead who’s shown interest in your business to receive a response from a sales rep, speed to contact deals with promptly having an actual meeting while eliminating any friction along the way. 

In other words, a lead can go from “raising their hand” to speaking with a rep.

This is massively important because it gives you the opportunity to close a deal right then and there.

Rather than merely making contact and scheduling a meeting for later, you can pounce on sizzling hot leads instantly. 

They can go from browsing your site to filling out a form to getting a demo — 1,2,3.

Speed to contact is basically the final frontier of lead outreach, and the brands that use it effectively will always have a leg up on the competition.

And the number one tool that’s leading the speed to contact revolution is Chili Piper’s Instant Inbound Feature

How Instant Inbound Works

It’s simple. 

Connect Chili Piper with any web form you use to convert leads into meetings.

This could be from your demo page, gated content forms, or any other type of landing page you use. 

Chili Piper will grab the information entered into the web form and use it to instantly qualify and distribute leads to the appropriate rep in real-time. 

That way you don’t have to deal with the burdensome task of manually qualifying leads or the drama of lead distribution. 

This is vital because as Sales Content Strategist at RingDNA, Zack Cronin, puts it, “Lead response is more than just a quick response time. Leads need to be contacted in the right order, through the right channel, and with the right message.”

Chili Piper takes care of everything for you and does the following:

  • Allows you to capitalize on leads when they’re red hot
  • Arms your reps with key information so they know how to approach leads and what specific information to discuss
  • Frees up a lot of your reps’ time so they can concentrate on what’s most important — selling.

And here’s where it really gets interesting. 

Leads have the option of speaking with a rep right away.

Chili Piper’s Instant Inbound feature integrates with Twilio, which gives you the ability to instantly route live calls to the right rep the second the submit a webform. 

This means you don’t have to worry about calling leads because they’ll call you!

As for video, Chili Piper also integrates with major video conferencing platforms like Zoom, GoToMeeting, and Webex, which allows your reps to launch instant video interactions as soon as they fill out a webform. 

So just like that, a lead can go from exploring your site to filling out a form to having a conversation with a rep. 

Never mind accelerating your speed to lead where you respond quickly to inbound leads

Chili Piper’s Instant Inbound creates a framework that allows you to respond instantly, putting your reps in touch with scorching hot leads that want to talk in real-time. 

Here’s an Example

Say a lead is browsing the Chili Piper website. 

They learn about the features, benefits, integrations, pricing, and so on. 

They also watch case studies like this one featuring Apollo, who used Chili Piper to increase revenue by 300%.

Their interest is piqued and they suspect that it could be just the ticket for streamlining their scheduling.

So, they go to the “Get a demo” page to schedule a demo with one of our reps. 

Now, let’s say that they really love what they’ve seen and are mega hyped about Chili Piper. 

So much so that they don’t want to merely schedule a meeting a few days later and are in the zone to talk with a rep right away. 

After filling out the webform and clicking “Book a Demo,” they would have the option of either speaking with a rep over the phone or launching a video call. 

This means they could go from here…

…to here, instantly.

There’s no waiting around a few hours or a few days, and with zero delay, the lead is having a direct conversation with the correct rep so they can learn the ins and outs of the product, have their questions answered, learn the unique value proposition, and ultimately hear the offer. 

This is the ultimate win-win because this A) makes for an amazing customer experience right out of the gate (just imagine how delighted a lead will be when they don’t have to wait around to speak with a salesperson) and B) allows a rep to make their pitch with no delay. 

Talk about striking while the iron is hot! 

Other Perks of Using Instant Inbound

There are some other notable features that make Instant Inbound ideal for taking your speed to contact to new heights. 

One is that it has flexible call rules, which allow you to easily make adjustments to your inbound meeting distribution. 

Say for instance, a rep is temporarily unavailable because they’re on vacation.

With Chili Piper, you can easily configure your own rules to account for that and a lead could be sent to another rep instead. 

Or, say no one available at the moment. 

You can set up Chili Piper to display a message like this, letting a lead know that a rep will contact them as soon as possible, or they can schedule a meeting at a time that works for them. 

Speaking with a rep immediately is obviously ideal, but this is a helpful feature to have when that just isn’t possible. 

Another sweet perk is that new contacts are automatically added to Salesforce each time meetings come through one of your webforms. 

That way your reps don’t have to deal with meticulously creating them from scratch, and key information will appear in your Salesforce database. 

Besides that, Chili Piper makes it a breeze to track your KPIs such as the number of meetings held and lead distribution to gain a bird’s eye view on what’s happening with your speed to contact and make consistent improvements. 

Speed to Contact: The Future of Inbound Sales

Speed to lead has played an instrumental role in improving the sales process and has helped a ton of companies significantly shorten the length of time it takes for them to receive an inquiry, question, or booking request and respond. 

And there’s no doubt that calling a lead within five minutes can have a big impact. 

In fact, speed to lead statistics show that calling within five minutes is 21x more effective than calling after 30 minutes. 

But faster is always better, and we’re now at a point where taking five minutes is considered sluggish by many brands. 

That’s why there’s been a push to become even quicker, and research has found that responding to a lead within one minute improves conversion rates by an average of 391%

But you know what’s even better than that?


That’s what puts your brand in the upper echelon and leaves you positioned to create a killer customer experience and be a lean mean, lead converting machine. 

And just think of the long-term implications.

After receiving this level of attention, it naturally sets the stage for higher customer satisfaction and loyalty, which Carly Stec of HubSpot points out can lower churn. 

This tends to make them feel more valued and not like they’re just another number that you’ll get around to responding to whenever you get a chance.

In some cases it can even lead to customer referrals — something that’s insanely helpful. 

After all, customers that are referred are four times more likely to buy, and “referred customers have a 37% higher customer retention rate.”

In turn, this can spark a positive cycle and make your brand a leader within your industry. 

Speed to contact is the next stage in the evolution of sales outreach and no doubt the future of inbound sales.

Speed to Contact FAQs

What is speed to contact?

It’s the length of time it takes to turn an inbound lead into a qualified meeting where a rep has a conversation with a lead.

What makes speed to contact different from speed to lead?

Speed to lead is how long it takes a rep to respond to a someone who’s expressed interest in your business. 

It doesn’t, however, involve an actual meeting. 

Speed to contact, on the other hand, is how long it takes to have a discussion with a lead either through phone or video. 

Why is speed to contact superior to speed to lead?

Speed to contact focuses on the end goal, which is connecting reps with qualified leads so they can give a pitch, offer a demo, etc. 

As a result, this puts you in a position to close deals faster. 

What is a specific tool that allows you to instantly turn inbound leads into qualified meetings?

Chili Piper.

The Instant Inbound feature allows your reps to turn qualified leads into meetings right away. 

Becoming Faster Than Fast

Speed to lead is a major asset for helping businesses become more efficient and follow up with leads more quickly. 

And given that the average lead response time is 42 hours, brands that focus on speed to lead have a decided advantage over many of their competitors. 

But it’s limited in the sense that it doesn’t result in an actual meeting where a rep has the opportunity to close a deal right then and there. 

Speed to contact marks the next step in the evolution of the sales process and zeroes in on not just responding to a prospect and qualifying them as a lead, but having a legit conversation.

So, rather than waiting minutes, reps can instantaneously have meetings with leads.

It’s click to call to close. 

Learn more about how you can use Chili Piper to instantly schedule meetings with inbound leads. 

Did you know that you can now use Chili Piper completely free?

To try out the absolutely free product, sign up here.

About the author
Daniel Threlfall

I help SaaS and online businesses drive viral organic website traffic to double their organic traffic and revenue in 6-12 months.

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