Companies are potentially missing out on vast swathes of new business due to the fact they are painfully slow in responding to potential leads, with 85% of firms failing to follow up an inbound enquiry within the first four days.
That is the damning conclusion of a new report by InsideSales.com, a cloud-based sales acceleration company, which showed that response times have actually slowed considerably in the past 12 months.
The average response time in 2016 was 31 hours and 37 minutes, up from 24 hours and 13 minutes in 2015, while 85% of businesses had not made any attempted telephone contact at all within the four-day timeframe.
The companies audited spanned a number of vertical markets, including financial services, consumer goods and B2B technology.
InsideSales.com EMEA vice-president and general manager Martin Moran said: “With the current economic uncertainty surrounding Britain’s position in the European Union, and consistent problems with lagging productivity in the UK, it’s certainly worrying that businesses aren’t responding to inbound leads.
“Online sales leads have a very short shelf life – and businesses are spending more and more money on online marketing, but they don’t have the sales processes or technologies in place to convert those leads. By taking too long to attempt initial contact or by never attempting to contact a new lead, much of this investment is lost,” said
Research shows that companies have very little time to respond to a sales lead before it goes “cold”. The odds of making a successful contact with a lead are a 100 times greater when a contact attempt happens in the first five minutes, compared to 30 minutes after the lead was submitted.
Moran continued: “Speed is of the essence when it comes to following up leads, in every single industry, and telephone is the most successful form of contact. It’s vital that businesses look to communicate with the right prospects at the right time, in order to maximise sales.”
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