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What Is Speed to Lead and Why Does It Matter?

What Is Speed to Lead and Why Does It Matter?

Leads contacted within 5 minutes are 21 times more likely to be qualified as leads contacted within 30 minutes. In other words, you can’t afford to ignore speed to lead.

We hear a lot about how customer experience is the differentiating factor between brands. The problem is that most brands are doing it wrong.

Instead of trying to delight customers with fancy websites and Herculean customer service efforts, it’s all about making their lives easier.

One of the most obvious ways to do this is to respond to them quickly when they inquire about your product or service. 

If you’re nodding your head in agreement, then you’ll want to know more about speed to lead, why it matters, and how to improve it.

What Is Speed to Lead?

Speed to lead is the total amount of time between when a lead gets in touch and you respond. If leads fill out a form on your website and you respond–on average–seven hours later with a phone call, your speed to lead is seven hours.

Speed to lead is calculated by adding up all of the different lead response times and dividing by the total number of leads you received.

Why Speed to Lead Matters

You go to a bar and wait at the counter to make an order. Only no one is around to help you. Ten minutes later, you give up and go to another bar across the street.

The same thing happens when someone reaches out to you. The longer you leave them waiting, the more likely they are to take their business elsewhere.

This isn’t anecdotal. Statistics show that:

  • A lead conversion is 391% more likely to happen if a sales person responds within a minute
  • 78% of customers buy from the first responder

While it’s not exciting as using AI-powered sales coaching or a new sales automation tool, responding to leads instantly can do wonders for your conversion rate.

How to Improve Speed to Lead

There are a few things you can do to help your sales reps improve the time it takes them to respond to inbound leads. 

But instead of overloading you with a bunch of tips, we’re going to focus on just one: text your leads.

Here’s How to Use SMS to Improve Response Times

A typical inside sales process looks like this: someone fills out a form, Facebook lead ad, or sends an email and a salesperson immediately calls the lead.

The problem with that is only 7% to 6% of calls are answered. In comparison, 90% of text messages will be read within three minutes. 

Choose a Phone Number

The first step is to sign up for a 14-day free trial and choose a phone number. We set up every account with a complimentary toll-free number that can send and receive messages.

Alternatively, you can text-enable an existing landline or VoIP number. If you don’t want to use your current number, you can instantly get a new 10-digit number with your area code, just for texting.

Decide How to Start Text Conversations

The second step with text lead generation is to figure out if you want to add a phone number field to your forms or add a Click-to-Text button to your website. The latter works like this:

Commonly used for SMS customer service and sales, when someone clicks on the button, the SMS app on their cellphone launches with a pre-written message that you set.

Since a majority of traffic is now from mobile devices, it makes it seamless for your customers to get in touch.

Craft Your Follow Up Strategy

The final step is to decide whether you want to send an automated text message from a form letting them know you’ll reach out or manage conversations through our SMS inbox

Importantly, for speed to lead, you can use the filter function to filter by longest wait and reply to those messages first.

If you’re looking for inspiration on what to say, we recommend checking out these 110 text message templates for sales as well as 

The Wrap on Speed to Lead

In a world where only 27% of leads ever get contacted, you might think your sales team following up is enough. 

But, if you want to take your inbound sales to the next level, you need to focus on improving your lead response time.

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