One of the most frustrating aspects of marketing is when companies are not ready to receive the leads we create. Worse than that are companies that refuse to pursue leads directly and depend on automation to close the deal. Sure, in the world of AI, email marketing, and predictive analytics, it is great to maximize these tools. But, becoming solely dependent on them is a mistake.
Whatever happened to calling a lead?
Depending on Automation
In the digital age, businesses have started to rely heavily on automation. While it offers substantial benefits in terms of efficiency and scalability, too much dependence on automation can lead to losing a personal touch in dealing with potential customers. When a lead submits a request, they most likely seek a human resource, which a quick phone call can provide. Waiting for an automated email response to learn more about the potential customer or to a meeting could potentially lose you a lead.
Time is of the Essence When Making a Phone Call
According to Hubspot and Salesforce research, the first five minutes following a lead’s submission is the “golden period” to establish a connection and maximize conversion rates.
- Response Within 5 Minutes: Leads contacted by phone within five minutes of submitting a form are 100x more likely to connect and 21x more likely to qualify than if contacted 30 minutes later. In addition, conversion rates can jump more than eight times if a lead is reached within the first 5 minutes compared to waiting between 5 minutes and 24 hours.
- Response Within 30 Minutes: Calling a lead after 30 minutes is 21x less effective than responding sooner.
- Response Within 1 Hour: Companies that respond within an hour are almost 7x more likely to have meaningful conversations with decision-makers than those who take longer.
- Response After 1 Day: Even reaching out within one hour of a query or form submission makes a company 7x more likely to qualify the lead than those trying to contact the customer even an hour later. The likelihood diminishes drastically for companies that wait 24 hours or longer to reach out.
The Importance of Calling within Five Minutes
The effectiveness of calling a lead within five minutes leverages the principle of immediate engagement. According to Google, 35% to 50% of sales are won by the vendor that responds first. Also, remember that the person submitting the request has also probably contacted two to three of your competitors. When a potential lead submits a request or is interested in your company, their attention is focused on your products or services. This part of their day is the prime time when their curiosity is piqued, questions are fresh, and they are more receptive to communication. As time passes, the lead’s focus can shift to other daily concerns, like bills, work tasks, or their children. Their initial interest may gradually fade.
By reaching within the first five minutes, your company can capitalize on this window of concentrated attention, providing immediate answers and building a connection. This swift response positions your company as a resource or even an attentive guide in the lead’s mind, increasing the chances of a successful conversion.
Call Hesitancy and the First Five Minutes
I occasionally get blowback from people responding to leads within the golden period, “I don’t want them to think I am stalking them” or “Our price points are very high, so the five-minute response time doesn’t apply to my company.” Most of our clients have price points over $500,000 at Power Marketing. They will tell you it’s more about becoming a resource for the client than your pricing.
‘If you are reluctant to call because you are worried about being perceived as rude, find someone to make the call. In 10 years of following this process, I’ve yet to have a negative response to calling in the first five minutes. The most common response is, “Wow. That was fast.”
It also helps to have an initial statement memorized when the person answers the phone (and they almost always answer the phone). Such as “Hi, this is Scott with Power Marketing. I was in the office and saw your request come in and wanted to reach out. Is it a good time to talk?”
Are You Institutionally Ready
Interestingly, a lack of understanding or preparedness to respond to leads promptly and effectively hinders many companies from setting up an effective marketing plan. These companies must be more institutionally ready, as they fail to grasp the significance of responding swiftly and effectively to leads. They often underestimate the value of the ‘human touch’ in their response, resulting in missed opportunities and potential revenue loss.
Implementing a documented strategy that combines the efficiency of automation and the personal touch of human interaction can significantly increase your lead conversion rates.