How To Determine The Best Response Time Per Lead

Target-And-ArrowSomeone fills out a form on a company Web site to download a white paper, enter a contest, or leave contact information to inquire about products and services. How fast should reps respond to the online lead?

A study from Leads360 analyzed several strategies and determined that speed to call is the No. 1 driver of lead conversions. The Leads360 study suggests that the act of placing a phone call to a new prospect within a minute of generating a lead can increase the likelihood of a conversion by nearly 400% because a rapid response time builds confidence and rapport with the buyer.

Each minute that a company rep waits greatly reduced the chances of converting the potential customer. Waiting two minutes, the likelihood drops to 160%; 3 minutes, 98%; 30 minutes, 62%; 60 minutes, 36%; 5 hours, 24%; and 24 hours, 17%.

Although half of the leads are never called a second time, more than half of all prospects that convert are reached sometime after the first call, according to the study. Some 93% of all converted leads are reached by the sixth call, meaning that only 7% of all leads that eventually convert are reached for the first time after seven or more calls. The study reveals that leads requiring seven or more calls to achieve initial content are 45% less likely to convert than those that are contacted in six or fewer calls.

The study also found that timing also has a major impact on conversions. While reps should make the first call almost instantaneously, Leads360 compared conversion rates for contacted leads to determine when they should make subsequent calls. The findings suggest that prospects contacted on a second call attempt made between 30 minutes and 60 minutes after the lead was generated had a higher rate of conversion.

When it comes to emails, prospects receiving emails have a 16% higher chance to be contacted by phone, yet 59% participating in the study did not receive one email. Using the same method for phone calls, Leads360 found the optimal number of email messages to increase conversions during the first month of a consumer's lifetime is five. When a prospect is sent more than five emails messages prior to content, the probably of conversion drops considerably, about 36% lower than the conversion rate for leads that were reached after having received one to five messages.

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