Lead response time is the measurement of how quick a business responds to a lead that initiated contact. The length of time to respond to a lead might vary due to certain factors like the skill or availability of lead response representatives, geographic or time-based factors, and lead tracking tools a company might have at their disposal.
Warm and Cold Leads: The Importance of Following Up Fast
A famous Harvard Business Reviews study highlighted that out of 2,241 U.S. companies they measured, 24% took more than 24 hours to respond to lead-initiated contact, with 23% of the companies never responding at all.
These are alarming numbers that businesses should guard against, especially because a similar paper written and published by LeadResponseManagement.org along with MIT professor James Oldroyd discovered that the chance of qualifying a lead drops to 10% after the first hour. Worse, no leads were qualified past the 10-hour mark. This basically means that postponing the pursuit of a lead for the next day will most likely result to the lead going “cold”.
From the same paper as well, it’s been found that people are “warmest” to qualify around 4 to 5 o’clock in the afternoon, which registers a 164% increase compared to following up on leads right after their lunchbreak (1 to 2 o’clock).
The above numbers reveal one startling but obvious fact: lead response time is almost as important as pitching the sale itself. The more qualified leads a business can produce, the better and richer their selection of prospects is, and the higher their chance of converting.
The Importance of Reaching Out ASAP
It’s been found that their agents give up on following up on their leads after 1.3 attempts on average. This is an alarming number: not only does this constitute bad lead enrichment, it also quashes the viability of a lead because of a single phone call.
As noted by a 2014 Lead Response Report, while rapid lead response is a necessity so that a company does not lose money, it also noted that a fast response alone is not enough. Persistence and content presentation of lead response reps are also factors.
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