What if there was a surefire way to beat more than half of your competitors?
Better yet, what if it didn’t involve making any major changes to your product or brand, or a massive overhaul to your website?
There is, and it’s dead simple. Accelerate your lead response time.
A Competitive Snapshot
According to Vendasta, 55% of companies take 5+ days to respond to a lead. Of those 55%, 12% never respond at all.
Talk about letting opportunities slip through your fingers. This lax approach means the majority of companies end up shooting themselves in the foot.
But that’s good news if you’re a brand that focuses on increasing your speed to lead time.
Theoretically, responding to a lead in 4 days or less means you’ll reach out to leads quicker than over half of your competitors. That alone leaves you much better positioned to close more deals.
Being the First to Respond
Beating out 55% of your competitors is a good start and should have a noticeable impact on conversions. But what about the remaining 45%?
To truly be at the top of your industry, you need your response time to be lightning fast — ideally being the first company to respond. After all, a study by Lead Connect found, “78% of customers buy from the company that responds to their inquiry first.”
It’s simple mathematics.
Even the slightest bit of sluggishness can have disastrous consequences, and this is a big reason why brands that are slow to respond have such a hard time gaining traction. If, however, you fine-tune your lead response process so that a sales rep makes contact before any other brands do, you’re instantly in a position to thrive.
The Golden Window
But let’s take it one step further and look at some specific data to better understand the correlation between response time and lead qualification.
A study from Lead Simple found that responding within 5 minutes is the ideal timeframe and can have a dramatic impact on the number of leads you’re able to qualify. This is known as “the golden window.”
Wait 10 minutes, and that number drops significantly by 80%. Wait 15 minutes or longer, and that number continues to decline. This graph really helps put things into perspective.
Although this is easier said than done, these statistics illustrate the impact of accelerating your lead response time. Even if you can reach out within 5 hours, this is still 40% more effective than waiting 24 hours.
Developing a Realistic Formula
At this point, we’ve established the importance of a fast lead response time and that keeping it under 5 minutes is optimal. In a perfect world, your sales team could do this with no sweat, and you’d have someone available around the clock to reach out whenever a lead expresses even the least bit of interest.
But that isn’t always realistic, especially for smaller companies with limited manpower. Fortunately, there are tools available that allow you to contact a lead automatically to schedule a meeting.
One of the best examples is inbound lead conversion and scheduling app, Chili Piper. Whenever a lead initiates a trigger action, like requesting a demo, they can select a meeting time that’s convenient for them.
Chili Piper then routes the lead to the appropriate sales rep based on customizable rules, instantly adding the meeting to their calendar. From there, the rep can reach out later to provide a product demonstration, answer questions, and fully engage the lead.
You can even schedule auto-reminders so a lead remembers the upcoming meeting and has time to prepare, which greatly reduces the odds of a no-show.
Or, if the lead is ready to talk right away and a sales rep is available, you can use Chili Piper to route a live call to the correct rep. It integrates with major video conferencing platforms like Zoom and GoToMeeting, so reps can have video chats as well.
Another option is free online scheduling software, Calendly.
It automates scheduling through your pipeline by instantly sending a scheduling link to a lead when they complete an action, such as filling out a web form. Again, the lead can choose a time that works best for them, while getting key info, like how long the meeting will last, what platform you’ll be using, and so on.
This is done right from within your website, allowing you to automatically route the lead to a qualified sales rep without any friction. That way hot leads aren’t left hanging, and you can quickly get them to where they need to go.
So, even if you don’t have a rep available to have a call right away, you can still schedule a meeting to strike while iron is hot and ensure qualified leads don’t get off the line.
If you’re able to respond to a lead in under 5 days, you’re already ahead of the game and will have the edge on 55% of your competitors. But if you get your lead response time down to 5 minutes or less, you’ll be at the head of the pack.
While it may not always be possible to have a rep on standby at all times, using the right tools allows you to schedule meetings with leads at a time that’s convenient for them. This results in a better overall experience for leads and helps keep your response time to an absolute minimum.
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