• Beth Hurst

How To Close Leads: Expert Statistics

Updated: Jun 21, 2018

The question that marketers are always asking themselves, is when is the optimum time to follow up on leads. Some might consider acquiring the leads in the first place to be the hard part, but it’s actually what you do with them that counts. You’ve got all the information at your fingertips, and need to use it in a helpful way.

Timing is everything

HBP tracked over 1.25 million sales leads that were received by both B2B and B2C companies to study the role that timing took in contacting leads. They found that leads contacted within one hour of making a query were seven times more likely to be qualified (as in the conversation was meaningful with someone able to make decisions).

Another survey that used data from further found that every minute counts when following up on leads. The odds of calling and successfully being able to contact a lead decrease by over 10 times in the first hour. Further, the odds of qualifying a lead when you call after 5 minutes versus 30 minutes drop 21 times. Even just waiting 10 minutes instead of 5 means you are 4 times less likely to have a meaningful, positive call!

Another surprising fact is that after 20 hours, every additional call made seems to hurt the sales person’s chance at qualifying a lead.

Ok so when should I call?

So we’ve established that the quicker you call the better. There are other factors to consider. The same survey also looked at whether the day of the week or the exact time of the call had any major effect. They found that Wednesday and Thursday were the best days to call, with Thursday being 49.7% better day to call than Tuesday. When it comes to qualifying leads, Friday was the least successful day, at 24.9% worse than Wednesday.

Not only does day make an impact, but so does the time of day that contact is attempted. The end of the day (from 4pm-6pm) is a huge 114% better than calling to make contact in the 11am-12pm window before lunchtime. Almost oppositely, 8am-9am is 164% better when qualifying a lead than calling just after lunch (1pm-2pm.)

So what does all of this mean?

In a perfect world, a lead comes through to you at 8:01am on a Wednesday, and by 8:06am they have been contacted, qualified, and a conversion is looking likely. Sadly we do not live in that perfect world, but there are a few lessons we can learn from these studies.

1. The need for speed

The quicker you contact the lead the better chance you have, so put in place an action plan to get there as fast as possible.

2. Be prepared

Have a strategy so you can act quickly, with the best possible approach that almost guarantees your success.

3. Think about your follow up times

If you have the chance to call again, think about when that person is most likely to answer so you don’t waste your (and your sales team’s) time.

4. If at first you don’t succeed.

Try then try again. But not too many times! Every call past the 20 hour mark harms your chances, so know when to move on, then start again.

According to Zogby Analytics, “60% of buyers said they would begin to question a company’s attentiveness if they did not hear back from the company within 24 hours after submitting an online firm.”

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