Based on the 2007 Lead Response Management Study by InsideSales.com, salespeople have a 164 percent greater chance of qualifying a lead based on when the salesperson calls them. Therefore, it’s important salespeople and executives know when the best time is to follow up with a lead. Here are some guidelines for salespeople to increase their odds of contacting a lead and closing a sale.
Follow Up Quickly
Because the odds of contacting a lead decrease by more than 10 times in the first hour, and the odds of qualifying a lead in five minutes versus 10 minutes decrease four times, it’s important salespeople quickly follow up with leads. According to the Lead Response study, the immediacy of response has a stronger effect on contact and qualification ratios than any other factor the study measured. There are many potential reasons why. For example, when a lead is submitted through the web, the lead is most likely at their computer and near their phone. Therefore, if a salesperson calls immediately, the lead is more likely to answer. Also, many people search the internet because they want or need items now. If a salesperson waits to respond, the person may no longer be interested in the product or service or may have secured it from a competitor.
Be Able to Respond Quickly
The sales manager should distribute leads based on set criteria so salespeople can handle and close more deals. The manager should also remind salespeople because web leads are in all stages of the purchasing process, the sooner a salesperson calls the lead, the sooner they work together in closing the sale.
Reward Salespeople’s Behavior
Because salespeople’s behavior impacts response time and closed sales, proper behavior needs to be rewarded. Define what specific behaviors lead to the proper response time, how those behaviors will be measured and how salespeople will be paid for exhibiting those behaviors. For example, proper behavior may mean the salesperson understands the lead’s wants and needs and provides the right solutions. Measuring proper behavior may include completing a specific number of account plans that clearly show key sales metrics by a set date. Rewarding proper behavior may include choosing the three most desired behaviors and setting incentive amounts for each.
Hire Type-A Personalities
You may find quality candidates by asking for referrals from sales managers or advertising on niche job boards. You can reach out to those candidates through social media, email or a phone call to begin the recruitment process. When interviewing candidates, look for those with strong communication skills, a competitive nature, the ability to understand and fill customers’ needs, and coachability.
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Follow these guidelines to improve response time when following up with leads. For help with all your back office support needs, contact USA Staffing Services!