Lucas Hamon Sep 29, 2020 9:36:00 AM 9 min read

The Competitive Advantage of Lead Response Time and Inbound

Improve sales response time with better, creepier sales tools

I was writing a blog post today about the value of lead response time when a cold prospect came to life out of the blue, and my point was proven - live.

As you may know, lead response time can create quite a competitive advantage, especially for those engaging in lead generation marketing or "inbound lead generation" (what's that?). Studies show that you're 21 times as likely to engage in meaningful contact with a  prospect when you catch them within 5 minutes of engaging with your content. (original source - which has been proven over and over again...)

Here's a perfect example of how and why that works.


The setup:

In January of this year, I went through an exploratory process with an accounting firm looking to increase its client base. We identified a strong use case and put together a detailed proposal that fit their benchmarks and goals. Unfortunately, it wasn't the right time. They simply did not have the budget.

Our plan was to reconvene exactly one year later when they had money set aside, and it was in my calendar to follow up in January.

Now, I've always been a big advocate of integrating sales and marketing tech to achieve a quick lead response time... Many lead generation companies only focus on generating leads... whereas we have always been focused on the sale, and lead gen is just a step (or mile.. or ten) in the marathon of business growth.

Inbound leads (new to inbound?) already give you a competitive advantage - 

  • They've given your business permission to sell and market to them
  • They give you a TON of insight into their interests
  • With the right programming, they alert you of their engagement

The last point there is worth repeating. They alert you of their engagement... which means that your salespeople have opportunities to seize those moments...

The 4-minute sales response time:

Today, I started getting notifications that the Managing Partner, my main point of contact, was opening and clicking the email I sent 10 months ago, which contained our proposal.

This is how I KNEW it was time to reconnect:

Sales response time starts with live alerts

As you can see from the alert pop-up, my interest was immediately piqued based on the subject line. So, I clicked on my Hubspot Sales Chrome extension and saw that there was a single view that I should explore.

Being that it was past 7 pm in my prospect's timezone, I felt that it may have been a little pushy to call, so I whipped up an email, and within 4 minutes, it was out the door. Remember, the key is to make contact within 5, so I had a WHOLE minute to spare!

This is what I said:

Your sales response should be within 5 minutes

The new message pop-up arrived 7 minutes later. By the way, check out that panel to the right showing information about the prospect. This is through a Hubspot/Gmail integration. Any time I input this prospect's email address, this information shows up, so I don't have to dig for it IN Hubspot.

We have important data summarized, including points gathered through our exploratory calls as well as a score based on how they have interacted with our content (website, offers, emails, etc).

THIS is how they responded:

People LOVE it when you read their minds

Now, I wouldn't necessarily recommend exposing your level of big-brotherness if you're not selling the kind of services Orange Pegs sells, but for what we do, it was the perfect pitch. And the answer to his question was right in front of me... to the right.

Notice how his last movement prior to this one was in April? I couldn't have timed it better if I planned it... which I did.

Compare Hubspot to Marketo

CONCLUSION:

When you're dealing with inbound leads, you have a very small window of opportunity to make contact when they are highly engaged, and more likely to respond. You should be giving your sales teams every competitive advantage you can. Lead response time is among the easiest advantages you can provide, yet, it tends to be the most overlooked.

Learn how we help small to medium-sized businesses generate opportunities, and seize the best ones when they are the most engaged by visiting our Lead Generation Services page:

b2b inbound lead generation services by Orange Pegs

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Lucas Hamon

Over 10 years of B2B sales experience in staffing, software, consulting, & tax advisory. Today, as CEO, Lucas obsesses over inbound, helping businesses grow! Husband. Father. Beachgoer. Wearer of plunging v-necks.

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