Inside Sales: Two Hidden Metrics of Prospecting That are Hurting Your Sales

Most of the common marketing and sales and metrics—click-throughs, impressions, sales cycle, revenue per deal—don’t really need an explanation. But there are two metrics where a lot of companies we’ve worked with have holes in their sales process.

  • Response time to first contact on Web leads:
  • How soon after a new Web lead comes in does a sales rep make the first contact attempt, and how long after it came in did they actually make contact? Every single piece of data we’ve ever researched shows that for Web-generated leads, immediate response is crucial.

    The highest opportunity to contact new Web leads is within the first five minutes. If you can’t make contact within five minutes, you then have approximately 20 hours (1 day) to contact that lead before you start hurting your chances of doing so. Our research shows that after 20 hours, every attempt you make at that point actually hurts your ability to make contact and qualify the lead.

    Considering that most companies respond to a new Web lead between 39 and 44 hours after it was generated, they’re already blowing a significant portion of their ability to contact and qualify their inquiries.

  • Dials per lead:
  • How many times was a lead actually called before it was “thrown away”? Our statistics show that most sales organizations call a lead an average of 1.7 times before it gets tossed, either into the garbage bin, or into a long-term “drip” campaign.

    The bottom line—this isn’t enough. When you’ve got 20 hours to reach a lead before you’re tangibly hurting your chances to do so, you’ve got to call a minimum of four times the first day, and somewhere between five to eight call attempts the first day isn’t out of the question.

    If you aren’t tracking this, or don’t have the dialer software to manage this metric, I can almost guarantee that you are throwing away leads and marketing dollars.


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