The 5 Minute Follow-up Playbook

5 minutes can be the difference between a lost lead or a life long customer.

Research shows that 78% of purchases go towards the fastest responder (Vendasta).

Read on to learn the importance of following up with leads in less than 5 minutes and how to get an edge on your competition by implementing systems for quick replies and more.

finding the right time

Why 5 Minutes?

Indeed, why even leave it that long?

Imagine going fishing and feeling a tug on your line, only to then wait a minute before reeling it in.

That's what it's like leaving new leads hours or even days without a response.

That new lead arriving means your potential buyer has time and attention to spare to create and expression of interest.

Responses within a lightning fast 1 minute range can net 391% more conversions compared to the average time elapsed until first lead contact (ServiceBell).

Leads are at their most engaged the moment they signal their interest.

Their engagement declines steeply every minute after that.

Waiting just a minute longer (2 minutes) more than halves the improvement to 160%.

5 minutes is plenty of time for them to find themselves occupied with something else.

Quick Figures

  • Calling < 5 mins is 21x more effective than calling > 30 mins

  • 78% of purchases go to the fastest responder

  • 55% of companies take 5+ days to respond

  • 90% of consumers rate an "immediate" response as essential

How to Decrease Lead Response Time

Now that you understand how important fast lead response times are, here are some strategies you can implement to respond to your leads almost immediately.

1. Record how quickly you're responding to leads right now

If you currently employ sales reps or any one else who's responsibility is to take and make phone calls, it's important to understand how quickly they're responding to new inquiries.

You may already understand that immediate responses are the common-sense approach to addressing new leads, but your reps may not.

You can use tools such as CRMs or other lead management systems to record outbound emails and calls.

This data can be helpful for identifying slow responders and finding the causes of delays.

2. Combine acquisition and qualification into a single process

Realistically, under a heavy volume of inquiries you or your reps will not be able to provide immediate phone responses to every one.

That's why it's important to qualify leads before they leave their details.

Traditionally this was done through targeted language in your marketing material and on sales calls, but now it's easier than ever to integrate questionnaires on your website that can gather the necessary information to qualify leads.

The types of questions you should include should determine whether the lead is in need of your service, when they want to take action, and whether they are in the position to make a buying decision.

The questions included should follow this general outline:

  • Q1: Which service that we offer are you in need of?:

    • X

    • Y

    • Z

  • Q2: How quickly do you need this service done?:

    • Tomorrow

    • 1 week

    • 2 weeks

    • 1 month

  • Q3: Some form of question which determines whether they can make the decision to purchase, either as a matter of authority or finances (example):

    • What position they hold in their organisation

    • Whether or not they've purchased a similar service

    • What their budget is

Only after filling out a questionnaire should the lead be put in contact with your business.

Ideally you'll have a system to automatically prioritise or disqualify junk/low value leads, which is the subject of the next method...

3. Automate your responses

Automation technology capable of automatic responses to inquiries is not only widely accesible but also easier than ever to set up.

These go far beyond simple 'message received' confirmation emails, being able to personalise the messages to the recipient.

In tandem with a questionnaire, it would be possible send a message with a quote specific to the contact's needs immediately after they submit the form.

It is also possible to dial numbers automatically to connect the lead to a sales rep, saving time on them manually checking whether a new lead has come in and manually dialling.

Returning to the questionnaire + email quote use case, it would be wise to trigger the automatic dial after they have opened the email, as this is a sure sign that the lead is serious about making use of the service.

4. Implement a live chat feature on your website

Many software services offer text based live chat which is already a powerful way for businesses to quickly generate and qualify leads.

An emerging software service that takes this the next level is live video chat.

These services allow website visitors to immediately connect over voice and video to sales or customer service reps.

If you have the resources to implement this kind of system, there is no faster way to connect with leads.

Your Next Steps to Reducing Your Lead Follow-up Time

We hope that you now have a thorough understanding of what it takes to optimise your lead response times.

Here are some quick action steps for you to take:

  • Record your current lead follow-up times

  • Research CRM solutions capable of call and email tracking

  • Research integrating questionnaire forms into your lead acquisition process

  • Research email, SMS and phone automation software

  • Research live chat integrations for your website

And of course, feel free to reach out to us at RH Media.

We're experts at building and implementing these systems for small businesses.

Experience for yourself what we have in place in order to respond to our leads quickly :)



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