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The Proven Way to Convert Leads to Sales

Are you looking for a better way to convert leads into sales? Very often, it comes down to one simple formula: Respond to the customer quickly. Today, prospective customers have so much information at their fingertips online that by the time they contact your business, they’re often ready to buy (or very close). In fact, many customers will buy from whichever company responds to their inquiries the fastest. In other words, if you snooze, you lose.

Unfortunately, reports a Velocify study, most businesses are falling far short of the response times that would make the sale. Here’s some of the bad news that Velocify uncovered:

  • A mere 3 percent of leads receive a call back within one minute.
  • Over half of leads get no voicemails whatsoever; only 12 percent get two or more voicemails.
  • Just 8 percent of leads receive between five and seven return calls.
  • More than one-fourth of leads never receive an email response at all.

As these statistics reveal, companies are basically throwing away interested leads. Here’s what the study identified as “best practices” when responding to leads:

  • Speed is of the essence. The faster you return a call or an email, the more likely the lead is to convert. Leads that receive a call back within one minute are over twice as likely to convert; leads that receive a call back within 30 minutes are 1.72 times more likely to convert. Develop a system for following up on leads, using technology to help. For example, forwarding calls to sales reps’ smartphones can enable them to respond immediately. If you’re concerned that salespeople may not follow up in a timely fashion, assign responsibility to an administrative assistant to provide initial follow-up.
  • Be persistent. Don’t give up if your first attempt to contact a lead is fruitless. Making between five and seven calls to unresponsive leads gets the best results. When it comes to email, four to six emails is the ideal number needed to convert. Use CRM tools to track when emails are sent and trigger reminders to send follow-ups.
  • Use voicemail. Yes, it still works: Leads that received two voicemails in response to missed calls are 34 percent more likely to convert then leads that get none. If your salespeople think using the phone is old-fashioned or their phone skills have gotten rusty, provide some training to get them back up to speed.