Lead generation is a key focus for many marketers, but what comes after the leads are generated is often overlooked.
Once leads are generated, they must be distributed and followed up on time. If this isn't done, leads will quickly go cold, and opportunity will be lost. So, how quickly should you call a lead?
In this article, we'll walk you through the strategies to call a lead quickly and improve your response time. But first, let's discuss where leads come from.
Where do leads come from?
No two leads are alike. Just as every person is unique, so too are the leads that come into a business. Each of them will have its circumstances, needs, and wants. This means that each lead will require a different approach when it comes to follow-up and conversion.
So, getting to know your leads and where they came from is essential. Here are the most common lead sources:
- Word of mouth: One of the most powerful lead generation tools is also one of the oldest and most effective. When satisfied customers tell their friends and family about your product or service, it can generate new leads for your business.
- Referrals: These can be another great source of potential clients. If you have a satisfied customer base, they may be willing to refer new business your way.
- Online directories: Online directories (such as Yelp, Angie's List, and HomeAdvisor) can be a great way to reach your target audience since these platforms allow customers to find your business and read reviews from other clients.
- Social media: By creating and maintaining a solid social media presence, you can build relationships with possible leads and keep them up-to-date on what's happening with your business.
- Content marketing: Creating and distributing high-quality content (such as blog posts, eBooks, and infographics) can also bring new customers. You can earn their trust and persuade them to do business with you by providing valuable information.
- Paid advertising: By paying for ads and using tools like Google AdWords and Facebook Ads, you can reach a larger audience than you would through organic means.
- Trade shows and events: These events provide an opportunity to meet potential clients face-to-face and build relationships.
- Cold calling: You can reach out to your potential customers directly, introduce them to your product or service, and persuade them to do business with you.
There's a higher chance that your leads came from one of these sources, and the next step you need to take is to respond to them.
How quickly should you call a lead?
As we all know, lead follow-up is one of the most critical steps in the sales process - it's your chance to turn a potential customer into an actual paying customer.
That's why when it comes to leads, timing is everything. According to research, approximately 50% of sales go to the vendor that responds first. What does it mean?
This means that your response time can either make or break a sale.
Another study showed a 391% improvement in lead conversion rate when responding in the first minute. On the other hand, responding to a lead after an hour only has a 36% lead conversion rate. If you answer 5 hours later, your conversion rate is 24%, and when you respond after 1 day, there is only a 17% chance of conversion rate.
This shows that the sooner you respond to a lead, the greater your chances of converting that lead into a paying customer. So if you're not responding to your leads quickly, you're missing out on many potential businesses.
How to improve your response time?
The average person only has an attention span of eight seconds. That means you have to make a good impression and provide value quickly when trying to generate leads. Here are three ways you can improve your response time:
Make a series of pre-written follow-up messages
If you're managing a team, keeping everyone on the same page is essential. It means having consistent scripts and messaging that everyone can use.
Doing this will help you determine what works and why it works. For example, if you have a template message that you send out to prospects, you'll be able to track how many people respond and what kinds of responses you're getting.
Get to know your leads
If you're not trying to get to know your target audience, you're missing out on a valuable opportunity. You can better understand your leads' needs and pain points by getting to know them, as this will allow you to sell your product or service more effectively.
Additionally, getting to know your prospects makes them feel valued and appreciated. They'll be more likely to do business with you if they feel like you care about them as a person.
Use a lead management system
A lead management system can help you keep track of your leads and their contact information. This way, you can easily follow up with them and ensure that you are responding to their inquiries on time.
Furthermore, it can also help you automate your sales process. You can automatically send follow-up emails or even reach out to leads through social media by setting up rules and triggers. It can help you save a lot of time and ensure you are always staying in touch with your leads.
Most businesses leave money on the table by not correctly nurturing their target audience. According to a survey by MarketingSherpa, 79% of leads never convert into a sale because they are not properly nurtured. That's why, aside from getting leads, you should nurture them properly and watch your response time to close a lead successfully.