The start of a new year is an exciting time for most of us. Not only do we have the opportunity to say goodbye to the previous year, it’s a great time to start on fresh ideas and goals for the coming year. And, with costs per lead increasing ~15% across the board in the next few months, perhaps improving your lead process made the cut for your 2023 focus.
Improving processes is no small feat, but to make this mountain a little easier to climb, we’re going to focus on one very common issue with many lead processes – the speed. Your speed to lead, or the average time it takes for you to respond to a qualified prospect once they become an inbound lead, has a direct impact on the success of your lead process. After all, who in this day and age wants to wait for the information they’re looking for right now?
What's Your Speed to Lead?
First, it’s important to know what your current speed to lead is. As far as calculations go, this is a fairly easy one. Speed to lead is simply the amount of time it takes from when a lead submits their information via contact form, info request, demo request, etc., to when someone from your company reaches out. Luckily, the type of outreach isn’t a huge concern either so take all texts, phone calls or emails into account.
Once you have that number, it’s time to compare it to some cold, hard data. According to Chili Piper:
- The average B2B business’s speed to lead is 42 hours
- Responding within five minutes is 21x more effective than responding after just 30 minutes
- Responding within the first minute increases lead conversions by 391%
The cherry on top is that 78% of B2B customers purchase from the vendor that responds first. Can you believe some of those numbers?! Though they may seem daunting, if your speed to lead doesn’t fall into any of the categories listed above, there’s still a lot you can do.
Where's the Mud?
Do you know if or where your leads are getting stuck in initial outreach? Is your sales team swamped and unable to respond to leads in a timely manner? Or, is this part of the lead process done manually via a spreadsheet or lead board? Whatever the reason, it’s important to uncover and identify why your speed to lead isn’t where you need it to be if you don’t want to be in the same spot next year.
Once you know what the issue is, or at least when it’s occurring, you can start looking at solutions such as updating a step or steps in your tried and true process or optimizing technology to move things along.
What Can Technology Do For You?
We’ve talked about how automation can greatly enhance the speed and efficiency of your processes. Not only does it free employees up to do other tasks, it can do wonders for reducing speed to lead.
One of DIGIDECK’s most popular features is its ability to automate custom presentations at the drop of a hat. In less than one minute, leads that submit their information via a web form receive a beautifully-branded presentation full of the information they’re looking for. Even if sales can’t reach out immediately, leads at least have information to review in preparation for that eventual call or meeting.
There’s also a lot to be said about optimizing calendaring applications to allow leads to schedule meetings. In “How to be Seen on the Small Screen”, we talk about the importance of seeming available 24/7. A calendaring app is just one way to keep things moving, even during non-working hours.
Test and Measure
As with any new approach, it’s important to test and measure how your changes are affecting your lead process. Use your starting speed to lead calculation as a baseline to how successful the changes you’ve made are (or aren’t). Measure monthly for a good 6-9 months to ensure you have an adequate amount of data.