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Why You Should Use a Speed to Lead Tool

Image of Pam Georgiana
Pam Georgiana

Our average attention span has declined in the last twenty years, from 12 seconds in 2000 to 8 seconds in 2022, thanks in part to technology. Of course, we can lament the loss of our attention as humans, but as sales professionals using tech to build a business, we better get on board. 

The time it takes for your sales team to respond to a lead's inquiry is critical. Best practices recommend that you respond in under 5 minutes, but ideally in fewer than 60 seconds. If you take too long, the prospect could go cold or move on to your competitor. Or worse, your competitor beats you to the punch and responds before you. Either way, you've lost a sale and a potential loyal customer.   That's why speed to lead matters.

Speed to lead is sometimes called rapid lead response. This metric is valuable because it directly affects both connection and conversion rates, significantly impacting your bottom line. If you fail to understand or monitor speed to lead, you’re likely letting deals slip through the cracks. 

Automation and efficiency-focused tools like Calldrip’s sales enablement software can boost your team’s productivity and make it easier for you to achieve speed-to-lead goals.

Next, you’ll learn four benefits of speed to lead tools, so you can learn why rapid lead response is so important for 2023.

4 Benefits of Speed to Lead Tool

Generally, the faster your team responds to a lead inquiry, the better. But other factors of the customer response function are also important, such as using the customer's preferred device. An automated lead response system like Calldrip can assist your team in more ways than just rapid response. Let's look at a complete list of benefits. 

1.  A speed to lead tool uses automation to enable you to connect faster.

While automation is key to speed, human interaction will always be necessary to create a positive experience. Every sale starts with a conversation, and customer service is essential to any sales relationship. 

Studies show that 73% of consumers say their experience with a company is an important factor in their purchasing decisions. In a recent report, 43% of respondants said they would pay up to 16% more for greater convenience, such as communicating via their preferred channel. Around 42% would pay more for a friendly, welcoming interaction. These data points show that few businesses actually manage to make a positive customer experience, so if you can do so, you’ll stand out from the crowd. 

2.  Connecting within a few minutes boosts close rates.

Our attention span may be measured in seconds, but studies show businesses have about five minutes to return a lead inquiry. A 2021 research study reviewed 5.7 million inbound leads at more than 400 companies. It found that conversion rates were 8 times higher for inquiries returned in the first 5 minutes compared to inquiries returned between 5 minutes and 24 hours.  

Industry experts now recommend that you target near-instant response times, which makes the right speed-to-lead tool even more valuable.

3.  Be the first to connect before the competition.

In the study mentioned above, only 0.1% of inbound leads were contacted within that initial 5-minute time frame. In fact, 57.1% of the calls weren't returned until after more than a week! That is a lot of lost sales! The simple act of returning a sales inquiry can set your company apart from all of your competitors. 

Depending on your business, it’s entirely possible that converting just one more deal each month could pay for the cost of your speed to lead tool. How’s that for ROI? 

4.  Make the most of your marketing spend.

An automated speed to lead tool is an investment in your company's future. Your average cost per lead depends on your industry and the marketing channels you deploy, but most tech companies are paying over $200 per customer. Optimize your marketing spend and put your best foot forward to win loyal customers with the right rapid response tool. If you're spending money on generating leads, you also need to invest in closing them.

4 Tips for Successful Speed to Lead Initiative

1.  Begin tracking speed to lead in your organization.

You can only improve your conversion rates when you know how you are doing in terms of speed to lead. If you’re just getting started, try measuring your team's performance without a tool and use it as your benchmark. Measure each salesperson's speed to lead, and average it out over your sales team's overall metric. Once you have that baseline, use an automated tool and other strategies to improve it. 

2. Efficient automation

Make your response efforts more productive with automated efficiency. A speed to lead tool will not only respond to leads faster, but it will also use the best communication channel for the job. For example, if a lead sends in a webform via your website, the Calldrip system will trigger a phone call or text from your sales team to the lead's cell number in the form. Or, if a lead clicks on a "Call Now" CTA in an ad, the dedicated phone number will route to the appropriate salesperson's phone. Automation is your key to rapid response. 

3.  Connect on multiple channels

As we’ve noted, speed to lead is crucial to conversion, but so is the customer experience. A good speed to lead tool will empower you to communicate with prospects on the channel that’s most convenient for them, be that phone, webchat, email, or text.

The best speed-to-lead tools will also include automation that empowers your team to handle those inquiries not only efficiently, but also effectively. For example, Calldrip includes an automated “whisper” message before the call connects that includes key details like name and product interest. Our software also includes text message automations and Perfect Voicemail to ensure that every conversation is on-brand.

4.  Combine with call tracking and sales coaching to ensure an exceptional quality conversation every time.

A lead-to-call automation suite like Calldrip provides tools that saves your team time and work. And, with our mobile app, your team can be productive on-the-go. Combining tracking features like source tracking and customized lead routing makes successfully connecting with leads easier. Also, sales coaching tools can help your team be more effective in their sales approach.

So, now that you understand the importance of speed to lead and the benefits of using a speed to lead tool in 2023, it's time to take action and start implementing these best practices in your organization.

One effective solution to boost your team's productivity and improve your lead response times is Calldrip's sales enablement software. This powerful tool is specifically designed to help businesses achieve their speed to lead goals, and offers a range of features that make it easy to connect with leads in real-time and streamline your sales process.

Calldrip provides the market's only all-in-one suite of Conversational Sales tools. This conversational sales software blends proven relationship-building techniques with technology to streamline your team's efforts. The system will help your team start the perfect conversation with qualified buyers at the right moment using the right tool to close the deal. Our complete sales response tool includes instant lead-to-call automation via web form, web chat, phone call, and text, conversational analytics, sales coaching, and CRM integration.

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