Speed matters when it comes to following up with leads
. In fact, studies show that companies that try to contact potential customers within an hour of receiving queries are nearly seven times as likely to have meaningful conversations with key decision makers as firms that try to contact prospects even one hour later.
90 percent lead conversion
According to studies conducted by the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University, lead conversion
diminishes exponentially with every hour between interest and follow up. And the highest conversion rates are achieved within the very first hour (as high as 90 percent), while the lowest conversion rates after 24 hours (as low as 5 percent).
Lead conversion in this study was defined as confirmation of interest and qualification.
Don't wait to call
Further research indicates that many firms are too slow to follow up on these leads. Of 2,241 U.S. companies audited, the study measured how long each sales team took to respond to a Web-generated test lead.
Although 37 percent responded to their lead within an hour, and 16 percent took up to
24 hours to respond, 24 percent took more than 24 hours — and 23 percent of the companies never responded at all. The average response time was 42 hours.
Fast response = more sales
These results are especially shocking given how quickly online leads go cold — a phenomenon that was explored in a separate study, which involved 1.25 million sales leads received by 29 B2C and 13 B2B
companies in the U.S.’
Firms that tried to contact potential customers within an hour of receiving a query were nearly seven times as likely to qualify the lead
(which was defined as having a meaningful conversation with a key decision maker) as those that tried to contact the customer even just one hour later … and more than 60 times as likely as companies that waited 24 hours or longer.