Why am I talking about the Lead Response Times? Because I have been there and done that. I ran a business and now I am promoting my books and other written materials in my website. I have a website that I also run for publishing my messages across my fans and subscribers. I came to understand that replying promptly to your leads or messages has a great impact on building your brand, trust and loyalty.
Is Response Time Really Important?
There is a HBR study that says that online leads that are left for more than 1 hour without replying become stale. Read it here - https://hbr.org/2011/03/the-short-life-of-online-sales-leads
HBR study says that the sales reps are likely to have meaningful conversations seven times more if they reply within the first hour. One of the best aspects a probable customer will likely to remember is a meaningful conversation and that helps when it happens with the first hour of contact.
How to Increase the Responsiveness?
The first step is to identify and collect all the incoming leads into a single place which can then be picked up by the sales agents. This is where the lead response management system will come in handy. There are multitude of software that help you achieve this. But ideally pick something that is less costly and easy to use. If you want, I can review a few of them since I have used many of these in own experiences.
The second step is to create a workflow by which you can assign these leads into specific groups of agents. This is usually done by way of matching the skills of the agents with the query that has come in.
There are couple of terms that you should be aware of:
- Lead Created Time - the date and time a contact filled out a webform and submitted it
- First Attempt Time - the time at which the sales agent tries to connect with the contact
- First Contact Time - the time at which the sales agent makes a successful connect with the contact
- First Qualification Time - the time at which the contact becomes qualified
By keeping a note of these metrics in your system, you can identify if you are building for a team of professionals who are helping to make that first contact within the first hour.
Don't let the Leads go Cold
The trick is to maintain that customer interest and keep it going as soon as possible. I think most companies are not doing that as of now.