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Speed To Lead – Putting The Customer Back Into CRM

For a number of years I worked for a company that produced hundreds of inbound leads per week. Usually this is a great problem to have. Most sales teams suffer from a lack of inbound leads. My problem was a lack of time to effectively respond to them. I was but one person at the top of the funnel with numerous job responsibilities. When and if I was actually able to reach a lead they were understandably unhappy or worse, they had already selected another provider. A study by MIT indicated when leads are contacted within the first five minutes they convert 22 times more. I don’t even want to think about the lost revenue from all those leads I didn’t reach within the first five days let alone the first five minutes. If you are tasked with an outbound lead response campaign in your contact center, this statistic should be at top of mind. In a study conducted by Harvard Business Review, only 37% of online generated leads were responded to within the first hour. A staggering 23% were never responded to at all. How does this happen and what can be done? Many companies have lost sight of the value of the customer. They become so focused on the daily grind of the operation they stop focusing on what produces revenue – The Customer. One of the most effective ways to address this is to put an automated system in place to make lead response instantaneous. Don’t let those leads sit and get stale. Get someone on the phone talking with the lead right away. Implementing a Lead Management CRM will not only permit you to automate the dialing process it will also place those leads into a nurturing campaign. Now you can continue to have meaningful interaction with customers long after that first inquiry. Think about how much money is invested in generating an inbound inquiry. Now consider your current lead response time and conversion rate. Honestly assess how many inbound inquiries are being reached in the first five minutes and within the first hour. Determine how many of your leads are never responded to. Look into your current lead management system (if you have one) and chart your follow-up marketing campaigns and their effectiveness. How do you feel about your results? If you aren’t jumping up and down with joy while running to the bank, it is time to talk to a consultant about improving your current situation.

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