Several years ago InsideSale.com did an important study about the best way to contact web leads. We all know how it works: someone signs up on our website – maybe for a free trial, a white paper, etc. – and we get (hopefully) a notification that we have a new lead. "New lead!" you think. "Great... just another person I won't be able to reach." And because you're busy, probably working on other more important things, you put it off for a few minutes, then give them a call. "Besides," you say to yourself, "waiting 15 minutes can't hurt anything."
Or can it?
15 minutes later you call, and sure enough, nobody answers the phone. The lead moves into your drip campaign, and you move on with your day.
Contacting Fresh Leads
But according to research and the new "science of selling," this typical storyline can be flipped on its head. What if you could stop missing 95% of your leads, and instead start contacting 95% of them?
The InsideSales.com study looked into this very question and realized it all came down to one thing: how quickly you reach out to your new leads. According to the study, if you contact a lead within 5 minutes of it coming in, you have a 95% chance of reaching them.
This is due to two very basic but overlooked principles:
1) If they just signed up on your site, they are probably at their desk.
2) If they just signed up, they are likely in the mood to answer the phone. (The act of signing up on your site is an exploratory one, meaning that they probably aren't deep into a task that requires all their attention.)
We have been using this approach at CONSENSUS™, and have seen the fruits of it. Earlier this week someone blogged about our beta product, and suddenly we had leads flowing into our site. We reached out immediately, and were able to reach and schedule appointments with 100% of them. It was a great experience.
Contacting Cold Leads
This works great for contacting new leads, but what about cold leads that you're having a hard time reaching? Is it possible to use these same principles to reach them as well?
Yes! Several tools can help, but I'll highlight CONSENSUS™ here because ... hey, that's our product. A few days I ago I sent our CONSENSUS demo to two cold leads – people who signed up a few days ago on our site but we were unable to reach. Today, while working, I got email notifications telling me they had begun watching our demo. Just like a web conversion, I knew two things immediately:
1) They're at their desk right now
2) They're thinking about my product right now
So I reached out to them immediately, and guess what? I contacted them both and set follow-up appointments. Tools like CONSENSUS help you restart the 5-minute timer with cold leads, treating them just like they're fresh leads all over again. You can give them something compelling to do, then get notified right when they do it, so you know they're at their desk and ready to talk!
There's a lot of exciting things going on in the science of selling right now, ways to automate processes and improve best practices – all based on actual numbers and data.
What other tools have you found to be effective to move things forward in the sales process?