The time it takes to respond to a lead can make all the difference in sales. Once a lead conveys their interest, a quick reply will help maintain their attention. Any delay in response time can cause hesitation and lack of interest before you’ve really even begun.

Most businesses let their leads sit in either voicemail or inboxes. But letting your leads sit there without responding quickly really impacts your ability to close their deals.

The time it takes to act upon a lead with a prospective client can also be called “speed to lead” and is a measure of the amount of time passed between when a potential lead first contacts your company and when you follow up with them. Unfortunately, many businesses are not even close to where they could be in this aspect.

The average response time is 42 hours, which is almost 2 whole days. During this time, it is easy for the competition to work their way in and start a relationship with your potential client or even steal them away completely. Therefore, the content of your follow-up does not matter if you have already lost too much time.

Unfortunately, some reports show that 58% of leads never even get a response at all. By speeding up your response time, you will be able to contact more leads within the window that they are most likely to engage. With this article, we’ll show you just how important speed to lead is in the sales industry and give you some tips on enhancing your process.

The Perfect Speed To Lead

Ideally, the maximum amount of time that should pass before following up with a lead is only 30 minutes. However, studies show that you are 10 times more likely to reach potential clients by calling them within those first 5 minutes, rather than waiting 25 minutes or more.

Additional studies have noted that businesses who respond in an hour or less are much more likely to have a more worthwhile dialogue with leads than if they wait longer than that. But unfortunately, only about a third of businesses can follow up within that time frame.

The response time is about 17 hours on average for internet prospects, meaning many companies are wasting countless opportunities. In addition, with email, the chances of selling are slimmer than those over the phone, so speed in getting back to the lead needs to be even quicker.

Immediate welcome emails, for instance, are expected by over 70% of those who sign up for a newsletter. The web will continue to be a massive influence on daily life, with many things being instantly at the tips of our fingers. Because of this, many potential leads may come to anticipate instant responses.

5 Reasons For Faster Speed To Lead

As if you needed even more reasons to shoot for a 5-minute or less response time, here are 5 more that demonstrate exactly why your timing is so important.

1. Quick Responses Get Majority Of Sales

Up to 50% of sales go to businesses that respond to leads the fastest. The initial exchange between you and a client sets an expectation of greatness, and if you’re not beating out the competition yet, this is how to do it. A 2-3 minute delay could cost you a fortune if you miss out on a high-paying client.

 If you fail to respond on time, roughly a third of buyers will go straight to knocking on a competitor’s door, and their money goes straight into someone else’s pockets.

2. Waiting Half An Hour Decreases Chances Over 20 Times

Nobody wants to sit around for 30 minutes for a phone call that may or may not come. Studies have shown that a response time of 15 minutes or less seriously increases the chance of a genuine conversation. Any more than a half-hour, and your likelihood of making a sale decreases significantly. Just over the 15-minute mark sees a 10% decrease, and continues to decline as time passes.

3. 75% Of Businesses Don’t Call At All

Many businesses are taking the shortcut of an automated email without even picking up the phone at all. However, we’ve already shown that email interaction is less effective than phone conversations, so being part of the 25% that actually returns a phone call can really make you stand out and significantly increase your chance of a sale.

4. The Majority Of Clients Buy Based On Personal Experience

When a prospective client is trying to choose, many make their choice based on their first impression of the company. Having a quick speed to lead time shows the potential client that you’re readily available and ready to help.

If a lead believes that they are not your priority, or you do not have time for them initially, they may factor that into their decision and think you won’t be able to meet their needs.

5. Slow Response Time Increases Customer Turnover

By failing to respond within the expected timeframe, customer turnover increases up to 15%. This means less clientele passing through the sales channel and a significant loss in business.

Improving Your Response Time

In sales, the rule is simple. The business that reacts the quickest will almost always be the one to get the sale. Using tools like CRMs, live agents, and automated responders will help you enhance your speed to lead capabilities significantly, putting you at the top for both customer service and sales.

By keeping track of the company lead production data, you can consistently make adjustments as needed to ensure you’re the fastest in the business. The majority of customers will be drawn toward those who will get them support the fastest, so being able to upgrade your ability to reply quickly and constantly is key to your company’s success.

In conclusion, hiring a sales lead answering service pays for itself, as being about to make a quick first impression makes you much more likely to close the deals.