Slow and Steady No Longer Wins the Race

Mar 15

Today’s post was prompted after I read the following article was written by Jay Arthur.

The March 2011 HBR reports that sales could benefit from cutting response times. Companies spent $22.7 billion generating online sales leads in 2009. Companies that followed up within the hour were seven times more likely to qualify the lead than companies that followed up after an hour and 60 times more likely than companies that waited 24 hours.

How are most companies doing?

• 23 percent never responded at all
• 24 percent took more than 24 hours
• 16 percent responded in 1-24 hours
• 37 percent within the hour

In other words, two-thirds of companies are throwing away their investment (that’s $14.6 billion) by waiting too long to respond.

I can say from personal experience that these numbers are not unrealistic. I have contacted many companies about a potential purchase and been dismayed how long it took for most of them to respond and flabbergasted that many of them didn’t ever respond.

In today’s rapid-fire business world, speed in your response time is critical. You no longer enjoy the freedom of waiting a day or more to respond to a new prospect.

As a sales professional, if you are serious about increasing your sales, you need to respond faster than your competition does. That means making every effort to contact new prospects within 24 hours and preferably in the same working day.

You might be saying, “Yeah but most of the online leads my company generates are low value.” That’s a completely different issue that needs to be addressed with your marketing department. However, in the meantime, you are missing out on potential sales opportunities by not following up with new online leads quickly. Can you afford to miss any opportunity to increase your sales?