Lead response management, or LRM, doesn’t have to be a headache thanks to these best practices. Check out how companies are currently faring on their response to leads based on the best practices we’ve laid out in our Lead Response Audit study.
In this article:
- LRM Data for Improved Sales Performance
- Lead Management Best Practices
Mastering LRM to Close Sales | Are Companies Actually Making the Most of the Opportunities in Lead Response?
LRM Data for Improved Sales Performance
Lead response management is not rocket science, but it feels close to it sometimes.
In 2007, XANT tried to make this easier by shedding light on best practices for lead response, and how many touches you need to make a sale.
Our groundbreaking research on inbound leads revealed best practices for responding to marketing generated leads, like how fast you should respond, what’s the best time or day of the week to contact leads — and more importantly, how many times should you attempt to contact prospects before giving up.
Our study was created in collaboration with Dr. James B. Oldroyd, a professor at the Sloan School of Management at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. The topic has led to a Harvard Business Review article, Inc. article, and countless others. It has been downloaded over 80, 000 times, and has initiated the Lead Response Management Industry.
Nine years later, our “Lead Response Audit” study shows exactly how 4,732 companies are responding to leads — and whether they are close to our best practices highlighted in the MIT study.
So, are sales reps following best practices in lead response management? See for yourself.
Lead Management Best Practices
The following is an infographic of the key finding from the analysis. Unsurprisingly, most companies are slow to respond to leads and not persistent in following up. They take over 40 hours to respond to leads (!), and 50 percent of leads don’t receive a response at all.
The need for smart sales systems to increase productivity and efficiency for sales teams is as stringent today as it was nine years ago…
The LRM study focused on one question: how should companies respond to their lead to get the best results?
In order to get the maximum results with the least possible effort, here the best practices to follow for lead response management.
1. Best Days to Make Calls
After examing three years of data, XANT determined that Wednesdays and Thursdays are the best days to call your leads. In fact, the response rate during Thursdays increased by 49% from Tuesday calls.
This is the best time to nurture possible leads who are willing to engage in the sales process.
2. Best Time to Make Contact
The study also revealed that the best time to contact and engage your lead is between 4 PM and 5 PM. There’s a stark 164% difference between a call made in the early afternoon and the late afternoon.
Reps may also try calling their leads at 8 AM for more positive responses. This is the second best time to call for more engaging time with your leads.
3. Response Time
How do we measure response time? It’s the time between when a potential lead fills out an online form and when a sales rep gives that person a call.
Reps who called within five minutes of initial engagement yielded 900% more interest than those who contacted potential customers in 10 minutes.
According to the study, most reps give up calling too soon. Reps drop 30% of potential leads after just a few calls. On the other hand, making contact a few more times may increase lead generation by 70%.
You can build a better relationship with your lead if you make contact at least six times. The chance of making contact increases to 90% on the sixth call!
5. Response Audit
To create a response audit study, XANT generated fictitious accounts to fill out web forms from various companies around to test their LRM.
This study brought to light various startling results:
- Most Common Method of Making Contact — The most common first method of making contact is through email.
- Percentage that Didn’t Receive a Sales Call — Amongst all the forms submitted, 77.71% did not receive a sales call.
- Percentage of Companies That Used Phone Calls as First Response — Only 28.6% of the companies used phone calls as the first response.
Immediacy in Response
Only 4.7% achieved the optimal 5-minute window to call back, with the average response time at an astonishing 44 hours. Meanwhile, 28.4% only sent an auto-response email with no call to action.
Persistency of Lead Response
Half of the leads in this study did not receive any kind of response, whether a call or an email. It’s recommended to touch base 12 times with your leads, but only 9.4% of the leads experienced this. The others only received an average of 4.47 touches.
Application of these LRM best practices may help improve your team’s sales performance. If the sales group already practices these but still lacks in some, then it’s best to work on lead engagement and response.
How well is your team’s lead response? Are potential customers being engaged with consistently? Share your LRM methods and practices in the comments section below.
- The Inbound vs. Outbound Process for Lead Response – What You Need to Know
- XANT Reveals the Fastest Dreamforce Lead Response Times Ever
- Is CRM Dead?
You can see the highlights from our original MIT study here.
Editor’s Note: This post was originally published on April 28, 2012, and has been updated for quality and relevance.