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InsideSales ResearchSales teams are clearly still struggling to respond quickly to website leads. InsideSales.com Labs’ latest research shows sales leaders are trying to address this problem by relying on automated emails.

While autoresponder emails go out much more quickly — they were sent 6,165% faster on average than personalized emails in our latest ResponseAudit study — they are much less effective than personalized emails and telephone follow-up.

The groundbreaking research we conducted several years ago in conjunction with Dr. James Oldroyd — published in the Harvard Business Review — revealed that you are 100 times more likely to contact a lead and 21 times more likely to qualify it if you call within 5 minutes than if you wait 30 minutes.

Immediate response remains elusive

Our newest study makes it clear that many sales organizations see the need for immediate response but can’t figure out how to execute on it with existing staff and resources.

They’re hoping auto-generated emails will create an illusion of immediacy that will buy their sales reps more time to respond.

It’s an interesting theory. The problem is, it’s producing awful follow-up emails like this:

Thank you for the inquiry you submitted to Company ABC. This is an automated response to confirm that we have received your message.

Whilst we do our best to answer as soon as possible, depending on the nature of your inquiry, it could take a number of days for a Company ABC expert to respond to your message.

Seriously? If immediate response is the goal, emails like that are completely useless.

It basically tells the customer that this company does not make it a priority to follow up quickly. Their experts are too busy to respond right away — when the customer wants to talk.

A common sales challenge

Many sales teams struggle to respond quickly to leads. In 2016, InsideSales Labs conducted a ResponseAudit study of 4,723 companies and the results were fascinating.

A ResponseAudit is like a secret shopper program for website leads. We enter a lead on your website and track how fast your sales reps respond and how persistent they are.

The average response time for autoresponse emails was 46 minutes and 11 seconds while the average response time for personalized emails was 48 hours and 2 minutes, making personalized emails 6,165% slower than autoresponders.  

Can you really afford to wait two full days before a rep follows up on your sales leads?

The research indicates that’s a costly mistake.

See the full ResponseAudit Report.

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