“Sorry About the Rant” — Lead Generation and Lead Response

If by some serendipitous circumstance you were allowed to hang out at the XANT offices for day, you’d discover pretty quickly that we are passionate about the power of immediate lead response.

We help businesses get better sales intelligence, and effectively manage their sales and lead generation processes in a lot of ways. But we focus a lot of our efforts on immediate lead response for one simple reason:

It’s the #1 way to increase Web-generated leads’ contact and qualifying rates–and thus lead to more productive sales pipelines.

And the other reason we’re so zealous about it is that 65-70% of the business world frankly, well, sucks at it. (see our research with Dr. James Oldroyd, SKKU, Dreamforce ’08, Omniture Summit, and AA-ISP for proof).

In summary:

The aggregate data between the Dreamforce ’08, Dreamforce ’10, Omniture Summit, and AA-ISP Boston research studies shows that approximately 40 percent of all companies NEVER RESPOND A SINGLE TIME to a Web generated lead of any kind. Not “Follows up slowly and ineffectively.” Simply doesn’t do it at all.

Average response time for a first contact attempt OF ANY KIND (phone or email) for a Web-generated lead: 43 hours (when the LRM research shows that for Web leads, contacting a lead by phone within 5 minutes gives a 300 times increase in the probability of making contact).

Only 7.5 – 10 percent of companies EVER MAKE AN ACTUAL PHONE CALL to a Web-generated lead (the rest only use email).

Only 3 percent of companies call first, then send email, which is proven to be more effective than sending email, then calling.

Average number of contact attempts before a rep gives up on a lead? 1.7. Yet Dr. Oldroyd’s research at SKKU shows that barely 45% of contacts happen on the first two calls, and that to ensure 95% lead contact effectiveness, 12 contact attempts is the minimum. In other words, the average sales organization is throwing away half their leads as “uncontactable” simply because enough “touches” aren’t being made.

So what does it all mean? The bottom line?

Bad lead response and lead management isn’t a “problem.” It’s a business disaster of apocalyptic proportions.

Business are killing, annihilating the effectiveness of their marketing and prospecting efforts–and the vast majority of them don’t even know they’re doing it.

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