Not to be dramatic, but your lead speed is the difference between winning and losing a deal.
Many B2B sales team calls and brainstorms relate to pipeline growth.
Did you acquire enough customers this month? What are your projections next month? Are your leads receiving enough outreach? Your end-of-month KPIs and revenue often rely on answering these questions.
Unfortunately, organizations often forget about lead response time in the sea of worrying about future growth. You can’t necessarily blame your sales team, either. After all, they’re building their book of business, number of actual leads in the pipeline, and revenue generated per month.
However, lead response time does matter if you want to focus on long-term growth.
The faster you’re able to respond to your leads, the more likely you can send them further down your sales funnel to convert.
When it comes to lead response time, time is money.
In fact, you’re 21 times more likely to qualify your lead with a fast response time than waiting 30+ minutes. You have a short window, and if you wait too long, you could miss out on once-eager prospects forever.
Before looking at lead response time stats, let’s look at how you can optimize your speed to lead time.
You’re 21x more likely to qualify your lead with a fast response time than waiting 30+ minutes.
What is Lead Response Time?
Why You Need a Fast Lead Response Time
- Makes your communication a key differentiator from competitors
- Creates a customer-first approach that focuses on your lead’s needs
- Convert leads 391% faster in closed deals
How to Calculate Lead Response Time
- Time/date of new lead - time/date of follow-up response = # time passed to respond
- Sum of (#) time passed to respond for all leads / (#) contacts = average time passed to respond
- Average time (number of minutes/hours/date) it takes sales to follow up
- Number of follow-ups attempted per lead – it’s unlikely that your team will reach the prospect at the first attempt!
- Average number of follow up attempts it takes to convert
- Average sales cycle length (number of days/weeks/months)
- Number of demos and meetings scheduled
Is the Five-Minute Lead Response Rule Actually True?
How many times have you filled out a form and the confirmation response was, “Thanks! We’ll get back to you shortly.” What exactly does ‘shortly’ mean? By sending qualified leads away immediately after they show interest, you’re pushing them towards the competition.
On average, it takes B2B sales teams 42 hours to respond to a new lead and 38% of those leads never reply back. It typically takes 4.3 days of back-and-forth communication before the first meeting even happens. Meaning, you have more chances of getting ghosted by your new opportunities the longer you wait.
Studies show that businesses who respond to leads in five minutes or less are 100x more likely to connect and convert opportunities.
Businesses who respond to leads in five minutes or less are 100x more likely to convert opportunities.
Industry Benchmarks for Speed to Lead Response Times
- Healthcare: 2 hours and 5 minutes
- Telecommunications: 16 minutes
- Small Companies (1-300 employees): 48 minutes
- Medium Companies (301-2500 employees): 1 hour and 38 minutes
- Large companies (2501+ employees): 1 hour and 28 minutes
How to Increase Lead Speed in the Sales Funnel
Invest in Automated Technology
- Zero seconds: A lead visits your website and fills out a form
- 3 seconds later: The lead selects whether they’d like to schedule a call or talk now
- 1 second later: The lead chooses to talk now
- 6 seconds later: The lead is assigned to a rep and receives a call
Create a Strong Sales Cadence
- Attempts: Analyze data to learn how many outreaches your reps currently complete per lead.
- Channels: Understand where your leads are most active and their communication preference (email vs. phone, chatbot vs. text, etc.)
- Duration: Determine how many times reps should contact each lead before marking them uninterested – this will vary depending on your sales cycle length!
- Spacing: Space your activities out to give leads time to consider your brand, which should typically range between one to four days.
- Messaging: Write impactful, personalized content based on the lead’s user behavior or demographics.
Provide a Self-Service Option
Use a Chatbot
- Set up a chatbot trigger to greet your lead once they have been on your site for a set amount of time to initiate the conversation
- Give your chatbot a personality that matches your brand image, but you’ll also need to set expectations so your user knows they’re not speaking with a human rep
- Make sure your chatbot includes real value to the user, like a FAQ guide or video
- Ask your user qualifying questions so you’re able to score and assign leads to the right rep
- Include the next step, such as scheduling a demo or call, to set expectations for your lead response time
Build a Community Around Your Brand
Sixty-seven percent of questions can be answered by your current customers
- After five minutes pass, the odds of connecting and qualifying with the lead drop 80%.
- Fifty-five percent of companies take longer than five days to respond to a new lead and 12% don’t conduct any sort of outreach.
- Fifty percent of leads will work with the organization that contacts them first.
- Organizations that contact a lead within the first hour are seven times more likely to qualify the prospect than an organization that responds in two hours.
- Responding to leads within the first minute increases conversions by 391%.
- Sending emails at the right time can improve conversions by 53%.
- The average lead response time for website leads is 17 hours.
- Mobile devices drive 45% of web leads.
- Ninety percent of leads go inactive after 30 days.
- You have a better chance of connecting with a lead on Wednesdays and Thursdays.
- Slow lead response time increases customer churn by 15%.
- Thirty percent of your prospects will go to a competitor if you don’t respond quickly enough.
Prioritizing Lead Response Time in Your Organization
Bottom line: If you want to qualify and convert leads, you need to contact them as quickly as possible. However, it’s still important to remember that once the lead is in your pipeline, the war is not won. You still need to nurture leads with the right content, messaging, and cadence to lock in the deal.
To get started, analyze your sales team’s current practices. How many leads do they contact a day? How long are they taking to respond? How many times do they continue to reach out? All of this insight will give you an idea of where you currently stand and what main gaps exist in your organization.
From there, you’ll want to invest in the right technology that automates the process and ensures your sales team isn’t wasting time trying to scrub contact lists. Instead, technology platforms will quickly qualify, score, assign, and even reach out to the lead in minutes.
Looking for a way to increase your lead response time? Request a demo.