Speed to Lead

Speed to lead is the length of time it takes for a company representative to respond to a lead. This performance metric is useful for analyzing the effectiveness of the sales team because it directly affects conversion rates. Potential customers are more likely to make a purchase when a member of the sales team contacts them sooner rather than later.

The ideal speed to lead time depends on several factors, including the type of product or service offered and the customer’s level of interest. For this reason, companies must analyze available data and consider the variables influencing their customers’ purchasing decisions. One of the first pieces of data to look at is how long it takes the sales team to contact leads and the resulting conversion rates.

Why Companies Should Track Speed to Lead
When potential customers browse a website, they’re looking for information about what the company offers and how it compares to the competitors. They may complete a contact form, subscribe to an email list or follow social media accounts. All of these actions indicate an interest in purchasing. The first company that contacts them is most likely to get the sale.

Companies that fail to understand or monitor speed to lead leave sales to chance. They don’t know how quickly they should reach out to potential customers, nor do they establish guidelines for their representatives to follow. Even worse, they may ignore valuable support tools like automation software. This can boost productivity and provide useful information for monitoring the team’s success, training new employees and projecting sales for the upcoming quarter.

How to Improve Speed to Lead
Improving speed to lead numbers starts with a system that makes it easy for the sales team to contact leads. Consider customer relationship management software with an auto dial feature that lets the representatives call leads with the click of a button. Intelligent call routing directs callers to available agents instead of voicemail that may not be checked for hours.

None of this works without accurate information about and from the lead. Companies must provide a well-designed website that’s easy for visitors to navigate. It’s also helpful to vet the questions on forms to ensure that they don’t require too much time to complete and ask for the most useful information.

Lead Contact Policies
Software and website design don’t automatically improve speed to lead numbers. They have to be combined with specific guidelines for employees to follow. Take, for example, a company that learns the ideal wait time for contacting new leads is five minutes after the customer completes an online form, but two minutes after a lead visits the website for a second time.

Another important lead contact policy to consider is the way calls are routed internally. Ideally, leads should actually speak to a person instead of being sent to voicemail or email. The sales manager can share this information with the rest of the sales team through an email or corporate handbook and follow up with individual team members about their specific performance.

Contacting Leads
Any potential customer who shows interest in a company’s product or service is a lead. They may show this interest by visiting the company’s website, completing an online form on the landing page, requesting additional information or responding to an ad placed on a website, television or radio commercial, flier, sign, mailing or newspaper.

When analyzing the existing data, sales managers should note the source of the lead. They may discover that the ideal speed to lead time changes depending on the the source. For example, a customer who requests additional information may be willing to wait up to one day for a phone call, but website visitors may respond better to more immediate contact like an online chat feature.

Automated Systems Boost Speed to Lead
Automated systems streamline processes for collecting contact information from leads and communicating with them. Shaving even a few seconds off the time the sales team spends on labor intensive tasks adds up to significant time savings over the course of the week. This gives them more time for speaking to leads so they can convert them to sales.

A lead-to-call automation suite provides an assortment of tools that save time and improve speed to lead. Features like automated call distribution and interactive voice response menus route calls based on information detected from or provided by the caller. Instant dialing and intelligent abandonment ensure that sales representatives can quickly connect and reconnect with leads.

Caller Ready’s Lead-to-Call Automation suite is an advanced speed to lead automation platform that connects leads to representatives more efficiently and effectively. Its range of tools includes integrated SMS and email messaging, intelligent routing and lead qualification that work together to generate more qualified leads and put them in touch with a company representative.