Here today, gone tomorrow, or so the saying goes. This is especially true when it comes to lead generation. Prospects aren’t waiting for companies to respond to inquiries or to engage them, if one business doesn’t take the initiative, consumers may go to the competitor instead.
In that regard, the clock is always ticking and businesses need timely lead conversion. Companies intuitively understand that response time is crucial to bolstering close rates. Delayed responses and unproductive callback attempts will lead to worse qualification and lower close rates – this is a fact that isn’t up for debate.
A study conducted by the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University quantifies the importance of responding to leads in a timely fashion. The odds of successful reengagement drop 10-fold after the first hour. Within that initial hour, the odds of contacting a prospect drop 100 times between five minutes and 30 minutes. Additionally, contacting a lead after a significant time lapse can do more harm than good, and sometimes it may be better to wait for them to reengage.
“Immediacy of response far overshadows both time of day and day of week in its effect on contact and qualification ratios,” the report notes. “Waiting too long and continuing to push for contact unsuccessfully actually hurts your ability to ever make contact and qualify a lead.”
Where Marketing Automation Fits
Companies know the importance of response time and the lack of follow-up isn’t often due to poor prioritization. Instead, it’s ultimately the ability of the salesperson to engage the prospect in a relevant fashion. They can tell the lead is interested, but they may not be able to create relevant marketing collateral that responds to the needs of these prospects.
Marketing automation can help improve this by expediting response times. Rather than having to wait for new collateral to be created, salespeople can make their own materials in a matter of clicks, using only pre-approved and brand-created assets. This will expedite the speed of marketing cycle and help companies better engage interested prospects.
About the Author: Mike Brown is the CEO of Fision which he founded in 2008. He was formerly the Senior Vice President of Operation for Lifetime Fitness, where he was responsible for total club sales and operations for 70 locations. Mike also served in the US Navy as Navy Diver.