By Danielle Whetstone
When it comes to sales, it’s evident that it’s increasingly more challenging to generate leads and convert prospects into customers. When fast-paced, immediate gratification is the norm, how do you break the cycle?
In this blog series, we’re breaking down some of our best tips and tricks to work your leads. Tip #1: Act Immediately!
It sounds obvious, right? If a lead fills out a form requesting additional information, of course you’re jumping at the opportunity to reach out to them as soon as humanly possible, right? However, as a digital marketing agency that has worked with thousands of clients, we constantly hear of leads that are not contacted for several hours, days, and some not at all.
Research tells us that speed to lead – the time it takes to make initial contact with a new lead – is everything. (Well, almost. This is a blog series, so stay tuned for a few more cards up our sleeve). If your lead response time is measured in anything but minutes, you’re likely losing out on high-value leads.
Why The Need for Speed
While technology has brought us remarkable advancement, innovation, and information beyond our wildest dreams, there’s no question it’s come with a cost.
There’s a long-standing theory about how our adoption of technology has led to the demise of our attention span, often likening it to that of a goldfish. However, that theory breaks down when it comes to explaining the entire Netflix series I binge-watched this weekend or the countless hours of YouTube, TikTok, and gaming users are consuming. Clearly, we have the capacity for attention… when it’s something that interests us.
We’re fickle. And why wouldn’t we be? The average digital user easily has access to a smart TV, computer, cell phone, smartwatch, and gaming platform, each device vying for our attention and – let’s be honest – an avenue for marketers like us to sell them something. We don’t just have information and entertainment at our fingertips; we’re inundated with it. Our ability to tune out the noise and weigh what deserves our attention is more akin to a survival technique.
If you’ve managed to capture your lead’s attention and enticed them to fill out a lead form, imagine just how many other sites, videos, ads, and memes your lead has viewed between the time they hit submit and you make first contact. You need to be a first responder.
According to a study by Lead Connect, when it comes to B2B sales, 78% of customers buy from the company that responds to their inquiry first. Of course, stats vary by industry and objective, but the bottom line remains: the faster you are to respond, the more likely you are to convert.
How To Get Faster
Thought speed and agility training were just for the gym? Let’s talk about how you can revamp your processes to be first to your lead and start seeing results.
The current rule of thumb for making contact with a lead is to wait no longer than 5 minutes. Think about it. We’re used to buying, watching, researching whatever we want, whenever we want. If I fill out a lead form asking for more information, my expectations for being contacted fairly immediately are pretty high.
And while we may have lots of new, innovative means for communication, a good ‘ol phone call still seems to rule the day as the most effective way to close a deal. Depending on your industry and service, texting and chat are handy ways to be able to answer common questions and nurture a lead until they’re ready to commit to a more serious phone conversation.
Does that mean you call a prospect at 11:43 pm? Not unless you want to lose that lead for good. This is where automating your communication comes in handy to queue up that initial touchpoint, especially if it’s after hours. Then follow up with a call as soon as you can during regular business hours and if they don’t answer, always leave a voicemail.
We’ve found that a text immediately after a lead submits their information is the perfect introduction. You know they’re on a device, but a text is less intrusive and lets them know that their inquiry has been received and someone will be following up ASAP.
Email still has a place in the mix, though its effectiveness is waning and shouldn’t necessarily be considered a lead touchpoint. If you’re sending out pdfs or other more long-form information, emails work great for this type of communication. If you’ve called and haven’t reached your lead, leave a voicemail that you’re sending them an email with additional information to look through on their own time.
Want to get really granular? Ask your leads how they’d prefer to be contacted on the submission form. Personally, I don’t like talking on the phone and I’ll rarely answer a call from an unknown number. A text, on the other hand, I’ll answer all day long.
Looking for automation tools that will take your lead communication to the next level? At C Squared Social, we’re your full-service marketing agency to help you not only generate leads with killer ads but produce results that matter. Learn how we can help you reimagine marketing.