Why Companies Waste 71% Of Inbound Leads

The black hole between marketing and sales departments can be bridged, but it takes effort.


What if you realized that you lose 71% of your inbound leads?

Agencies work 24/7 to increase the efficiency of Google Search and Facebook ads, training firms coach your sales team to close 10% more leads. You constantly look for new marketing channels with cheaper clicks. But few people see a black hole between the marketing and sales teams.

Companies simply do not reply to inbound requests fast enough. And it is a huge problem.

According to research from Steve Olenski published on Forbes.com, Harvard Business Review, and Inc, the average waiting time for a call back from a company is 46 hours and 53 minutes. Those statistics from 10,000 small and medium-sized businesses were collected across a 5-year-span. And if a sales rep does not reach a lead, on average of only 0.3 additional attempts are made before switching to a new request.

In most cases, leads receive a call after almost 2 days. If they don't answer (which is not surprising), the potential customer probably will not call again and sales will just lose a potential deal.

When companies do not call back fast enough, only 27% of leads get to talk to sales reps. And the worst part is that from 35% to 64% of leads never get a call at all. At the same time, up-to-date technologies can help get in contact with over 92% of leads. And even impress them. We’ve found a simple way to achieve these results that I’ll share below.

Call-Back Time Affects the Odds

Imagine you walk into an offline boutique for a new pair of shoes, ask a salesperson a question, and he answers he’ll be happy to help you next week. Most likely you will not buy anything, and there is no surprise people act the same way online. In fact, the situation gets even worse due to the huge number of online ads and the constant fight for users’ attention.

The speed of reaction is crucial for closing deals. According to the research above, the odds to call and qualify a lead decrease by over 6 times during the first hour.

But what is even more shocking, is that the odds of contacting a lead if called in 5 minutes are 100 times higher versus 30 minutes. The odds of qualifying a lead if called in 5 minutes are 21 times higher versus 30 minutes.

These figures are too significant not to pay attention to, and we decided to conduct an experiment of our own.

Experiment WIth Immediate Response

At that time, I led marketing campaigns and consulted such brands as Societe Generale Group, VDT Automation, and Bentley and Ferrari dealerships.

We showed the study to several clients of ours and suggested a solution: each time an online request came in, an automated call would be made to an available sales rep and she would be connected with a lead. The whole process took 10 to 15 seconds.

As a result, we decreased the response time from 2 days to just a few seconds and boosted the closing rate by 2x to 3x.

Why does the response time play such a dramatic role? When we call back immediately,

1. We know where a lead is now
If potential clients have just submitted a request, they are most likely still looking at a company’s website and ready to talk. They are not at a meeting or playing with their kids.

2. Leads still remember the company
The average response time is 46 hours. Can you recall what websites you visited 2 days ago?

3. We deliver wow
People are usually impressed with such speed. It builds a strong emotional connection and gains the company credibility from the first second. If you provide quality and timely responses for online requests, you probably do as well for other products and services of yours.

Increasing Landing Page Conversion Rates 

The clients were flabbergasted with the response speed, and we decided to specify this offer right on landing pages and websites. We chose a “25 seconds” caption to guarantee an immediate response. In many cases, the response time was even faster.

We located the call-to-action button in the screen corner to ensure it was always visible for website visitors.

As expected, such a call to action attracted more potential clients from SEO and pay-per-click campaigns.

During our experiment, we conducted A/B testing and had a 10% to 50% increase in the number of leads compared to the absence of such a service on a website.

B2B companies spend anywhere from $40 to $1000 on each marketing-generated lead, while B2C firms typically spend from $2 to $50 for each hot lead. If a CEO understands that a significant part of this sum just disappears between marketing and sales teams, he will not sleep until this problem is solved.

Boost the Sales Funnel

It turns out that in 2019, 10 years since the first Kellogg/MIT study was published, the problem still exists. And despite the common knowledge, it has not become a common practice yet.

The bar of customer service speed is still set pretty low and many businesses do not respond fast enough nor are they persistent enough. This is a great opportunity for your business to achieve competitive success.

Thanks to a guaranteed immediate response, landing pages’ conversions rise, closing rate is 2-3 times higher and clients become truly loyal.

Leadershipgettyimages 1050492736

Read next:

Executives Impart What It Takes to Lead