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Sales is a race to the top, and in recent years it’s become a speed race. Lead response times are crucial to sales success, and the best salespeople know you need to get to a lead within 5 minutes of their first contact. After that, the chances of contacting and qualifying them drop significantly. InsideSales.com Labs has tested the response times and persistency for almost 200 companies, and we’ve scored their replies. Below we have a list of top 10 companies with the best lead response scores.

lead response top 10 companies based on lead response score

Auditing Lead Response in 2018

Our research, the Response Audit 2018 (preliminary data), looks at how companies respond to inbound leads and measures how fast and how persistent their outreach is after the first touch. Our study basically meant we entered fictitious leads into each company’s systems to see when they responded and how.

Now, we know that not all leads are created equal, so for the purpose of this research we only looked at high-priority inbound leads which signal intent to purchase, such as demo, contact forms or pricing requests. This is usually a buyer which is further along in his journey to purchase, so there’s absolutely no reason why sales reps wouldn’t get to it with lightning fast speed.

James Hardie – 3.48 minutes response time with 7 responses total

Dynamic Signal – 8.20 minutes response time with 14 responses total

Conversica – 8.59 minutes response time with 8 responses total

LinkedIn – 9.03 minutes response time with 5 responses total

Automatic Data Processing (ADP) – 12 minutes lead response time with 8 responses total

The Site Edge – 7.53 minutes lead response time with 2 responses total

KPA – 19.37 minutes lead response time with 6 responses total

SafeRack – 19.07 minutes lead response time with 5 responses total

Ivanti – 25 minutes lead response time with 11 responses total

Costello – 19.42 minutes lead response time with 4 responses total

The Best Companies Respond to Leads in <30 Minutes

There’s some good news here, and a pattern that emerged: the companies which were ranked as top 10 in our lead response audit report all responded in under 30 minutes to our ‘secret shoppers.’

There’s this fear among salespeople that responding to a prospect quickly is considered weird, awkward, intrusive even. Nothing further from the truth. Most customers will just be amazed and delighted when their needs are met as soon as possible.

These were some kick-ass results: James Hardie, a leader in industrial building materials, had a response time of under 4 minutes, while the next two companies, Dynamic Signal and Conversica, both responded in about 8 minutes to our contact attempts.

WOW! These are some great response times, and we congratulate the winners for showing incredible speed and persistency. The top 10 was announced today at the AA-ISP (American Association of Inside Sales Professionals) Digital Leadership Summit by InsideSales.com President of Growth, Suaad Sait.

We’ll be sending trophies and our recognition to these 10 leaders of inside sales response soon. All the companies participant in our study will also receive a copy of their results, compared to the rest of the contenders.

There’s a Catch

A word of caution before you compare your sales team’s results to the ones above or try to replicate them in your company. As usual, I advise anyone to look closely at their sales model, environment and types and volume of leads they get, before jumping to conclusions.

Some companies get a high volume of inbound leads and choose to prioritize only high-scoring leads based on their systems, others might get a small number of them and choose to respond quickly to all leads. Some companies operate in transactional sales, others in relational– response times, just as any other metrics, will always be dependent on business specifics.

Using smart systems that allow you to prioritize the best leads, automate admin tasks and minimize time wasters will always be the key towards freeing up sales rep time and getting to your hottest leads quickly.

Want to know more about lead response best practices? Read our original study with MIT researcher Dr. James Oldroyd.

best practices in lead response management