Have you ever stopped to think about how the response rate of your sales team could affect the health of your business? You probably know that maintaining a professional website and providing the best customer experience can help you convert more leads, but it may surprise you to learn that your firm’s speed (or lack thereof) to respond to potential clients is a crucial factor in your long-term conversion success.
When customers can get the same service or experience they need from more than one place, there’s no real incentive for them to choose any particular company, including yours. Rapid lead response time is the best way to meet your customers where they are and convert them before their busy lives force them to move on.
Continue reading to learn more about the importance of contacting your leads as quickly as possible and what you can do to improve your speed to lead.
The Importance of Lead Response Time
Lead response time is a measure of how quickly your firm can respond to leads that initiate contact with you via phone, email, or your website. It seems obvious to say that companies with faster lead response times enjoy dramatically better sales metrics. However, research suggests that many businesses fail to respond to their leads promptly and may be losing out on significant revenue as a result.
According to frequently cited research published by the Harvard Business Review, which surveyed the behavior of 2,241 U.S. companies with online advertising campaigns:
- Only 37 percent of surveyed companies responded to their leads within one hour, and only 16 percent responded to their leads within one to 24 hours.
- 24 percent of companies took more than 24 hours to respond to their leads, and 23 percent of companies failed to respond to their leads at all.
- Among companies that responded to their leads within 30 days of initial contact, the average lead response time was 42 hours.
- Companies that attempted to respond to their leads within an hour of initial contact were almost seven times more likely to have a “meaningful conversation with a key decision-maker” at the company than those that tried to respond just one hour later.
- The companies that responded to leads within an hour were more than 60 times as likely to have meaningful conversations with key decision-makers as companies that waited 24 hours or more.
Other studies evaluating the lead response times of B2B companies have indicated that your odds of making meaningful contact with a lead begin to diminish after just five minutes. According to research also published in Harvard Business Review, your likelihood of making contact with a lead decreases tenfold after those first critical five minutes.
In a 2018 survey of 512 B2B companies, marketing agency Drift found that 90 percent of companies didn’t respond within five minutes, and, even worse, 58 percent never responded at all. All of the companies with the fastest response times were found to use live chat features on their websites.
Strategies for Conversion Success
So, you know that a rapid lead response time is crucial for the success of your business, but what’s the best way to take your online marketing strategy to the next level? The following strategies can help you evaluate your current lead response framework and set your company up for success:
- Evaluate your sales team’s current lead response time - If it’s currently taking your team hours or days to follow up with inbound sales contacts, chances are you’re losing out on a lot of potentially valuable leads. If you aren’t sure what your lead response time is to begin with, now is the time to start paying more attention to this quietly critical metric.
- Establish a five-minute response time as part of your core strategy - Make sure your sales and marketing teams are synced up and know the importance of a five-minute lead response time limit. Consider hiring or designating a dedicated sales development representative whose primary role is to respond to leads.
- Make the shift to conversational marketing on your website - Conversational marketing is a game-changer that involves real-time, direct contact with qualified buyers directly through your website. This approach can drastically reduce your lead response time and result in lucrative instant conversions.
- Give your team the right tools for the job - Swift lead response times can be difficult or impossible if your team doesn’t have the proper tools for the job. Live chat messages, instant demos, and automated email responses should be key pieces of your sales strategy if you want the most bang for your advertising buck.
Tools That Can Decrease Your Lead Response Time
There are countless tools and software bundles available that promise to reduce your lead response time and boost sales efficiency, but it’s not always easy to tell which services have the features you need at a price you can afford. Here are some of the features you should look out for if you’re looking to add digital tools or software to your bag of marketing tricks:
- Reporting tools - If you’re not already tracking your lead response time and other important marketing and sales metrics, now’s the time. Client Chat Live offers automated monthly reports to help you track and analyze the online data that matters most.
- Live chat features - When you upgrade your site with Client Chat Live, you’ll have access to professional operators 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Customized chat designs and scripts can help you respond to prospective customers proactively and avoid missing crucial inbound contacts.
- Instant contact tools - Real-time conversion software will ensure that qualified chat leads are connected directly to your sales team. Client Chat Live can link potential clients to you directly by passing chats along to your office phone system with just a few clicks.
- CRM integration - Don’t let your team get bogged down in the administrative tedium of managing spreadsheets full of contact data. With Client Chat Live’s CRM integration tools, you can have your clients’ contact details and other information automatically uploaded directly to your CRM system.
How Client Chat Live Can Help
At Client Chat Live, we can help your business find more, better-quality clients by optimizing your website with our state-of-the-art live chat software. Our 24-hour service and extensive customization options can help improve your team’s lead response time and ensure you don’t lose out on valuable sales. Contact us now for a free quote and a chance to preview how Client Chat Live could look on your firm’s website.