Calling a prospect back within 5 minutes increases your chance of a successful contact 100 times. According to research, this lead is 21 times more likely to enter the sales pipeline.
Failing to call a lead back for an hour dramatically reduces your chances of engaging them in a conversation that could result in a sale.
It didn’t seem long ago when a few hours, or even days could elapse between a form request, an inbound call or an email until a sales rep would call the prospect back. But, buyer behaviors have changed and they expect an experience comparable to when they shop online. Buyers have more control.
Buyers already know what they want, or think they do. They’ve done their homework and read online reviews. Effectively, these leads have already pre-qualified themselves. Now they’re making contact to find out more. Your role, either as a sales manager, sales executive, or on a marketing team sending leads through to sales, is to respond as quickly as possible. Otherwise, as the data shows, you’re chances of converting a warm lead to a sale decreases by the minute.
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Here are our top six reasons to call a prospect back as soon as you can:
#1: Don’t risk loss of interest. Buyers in a hurry don’t want to wait – they’re only going to engage with sales agents that show they can provide the solution a client needs. If you can’t call someone back, it makes the company look uninterested in working with new clients. Harvard Business Review (HBR) studied 1.25 million inbound sales leads received by 29 B2C and 13 B2B companies in America.
HBR found that those who called a lead within an hour were “seven times as likely to qualify the lead as those that tried to contact the customer even an hour later—and more than 60 times as likely as companies that waited 24 hours or longer.”
#2: Appear professional and engaged. Those that wait to call back, even a few hours, seem unprofessional and uninterested. Calling back immediately shows you are on the ball, that you have a team dedicated to delivering what you promise. It sets the relationship off on the right foot.
#3: Demonstrate customer service skills. Long after a deal is concluded, buyers need to know they can work with a supplier. They need to get a sense whether yours is a company that will provide the sort of service they need, which starts with that first phone call. For a buyer, that first call could represent hours or weeks of research, budgetary decisions and months or longer of having a problem that requires a solution.
Calling someone back as soon as possible, or providing an instant live demo for someone on your website, is the most effective way to engage a potential client before your competitors.
#4: Serious buyers want serious suppliers. When a sales agent or business owner calls a prospect back, it shows they’re serious. Potential clients appreciate this, especially if they take the same approach to new inbound leads. It reflects well on your company culture, values and work ethic.
#5: Can you afford to miss opportunities? One call is all it takes. One call could establish a firm and prosperous relationship. One call could result in multiple referrals and more than one new client. Don’t miss an opportunity that is waiting for you to call them back. When it comes to sales, those who are proactive and efficient catch the opportunities. Never trust that they will even answer your call if you don’t call them back right away.
#6: Are you going to hit target? As an InsideSales study found, sales teams that make more effort are more successful. That might sound obvious, but those who only focus on hitting minimum KPI targets don’t close as many deals as those who make more calls, send more emails, and meet with more potential leads. So whenever an inbound lead comes in, grab the opportunity straight away.
Not calling those leads back quickly could mean your sales team misses a monthly or quarterly target, ultimately putting your revenue at risk. Don’t delay: Call those prospects back.