How long does it take your B2B company's sales team to respond to new sales leads? Time is of the essence when selling products or services to new sales leads. The sooner you respond to them, the greater your chance of landing a sale.
A study conducted by Lead Connect found that over three-fourths of all prospects buy from the first B2B company that responds to their inquiry. If you wait too long to respond to new leads, they may choose a competitor's product or service. Even if your B2B company has a slow lead response time, though, there are steps you can take to speed it up. But first you'll need to identify the cause of your B2B company's slow response time.
#1) Marketing and Sales Misalignment
Unless your B2B company's marketing and sales teams are aligned, you can expect a slow lead response time. Leads are often qualified by marketers, but it's sales reps who ultimately respond to leads. If your B2B company secures a new lead, for instance, a marketer may check to see if he or she fits your B2B company's buyer profile. Assuming the lead is a good match for your B2B company, the marketer will "qualify" the lead. The marketer will then pass the newly qualified lead down to a sales rep.
A lack of alignment between your B2B company's marketing and sales teams will inevitably result in a slower lead response time. It will take marketers longer to qualify the leads, and sales reps won't get these qualified leads in a timely manner. The end result is a slower lead response time.
#2) Clogged Sales Pipeline
A clogged sales pipeline is a common cause of a slow lead response time. All B2B companies have a sales pipeline. It represents their sales process, beginning with the prospecting stage and ending with the closing or retention stage.
As your B2B company secures leads and moves them through its sales process, its sales pipeline will remain fluid. A clogged sales pipeline, on the other hand, indicates that prospects are getting stuck in a particular stage of your B2B company's sales process. Maybe they are getting stuck in the prospecting stage, or perhaps they are getting stuck in the lead qualification stage. With a clogged sales pipeline, it may take sales reps longer to respond to new leads.
#3) Bad Data
Something as simple as bad data can cause a slow lead response time. According to ZoomInfo, over half of B2B companies say bad data is their biggest challenge.
Sales reps need data to respond to new leads. Data consists of information about new leads, such as their names, phone numbers, email addresses, job titles and the businesses for which they work. Bad data, of course, is inaccurate. You may call or email a new lead, but with bad data, you won't reach the lead.
#4) Outdated Response Methods
Using outdated response methods may result in a slow lead response time. The secret to converting new leads into buyers is responding to them as soon as possible. Leads typically consist of business owners and other high-level, C-suite executives. If they are exploring B2B vendors or suppliers, it's usually because they need a solution to solve a problem within their own business. Using an outdated response method means it will take you longer to contact new leads, in which case they may seek a solution from a competitor.
What are outdated response methods exactly? Direct mail is an example of an outdated response method. You can still send leads marketing- and sales-related material via direct mail, but you should combine it with other response methods. It may take several days or longer for a piece of direct mail to reach a lead. And during that time, the lead may purchase a product or service from one of your B2B company's competitors.
#5) Not Using a Lead Notification System
If your B2B company isn't using a lead notification system, it may take sales reps longer to respond to new leads. A lead notification system is designed to notify B2B companies when they acquire new leads. Maybe your B2B company has a lead form on its website, or perhaps it has a lead form on its LinkedIn Company Page. With some type of lead notification system, you'll know exactly when your B2B company acquires new leads.
A lead notification system is an invaluable tool for B2B companies. It allows them to respond to leads more quickly. If you're struggling with a slow lead response time, you should consider using a lead notification system.
#6) Manually Calling Leads
Another common cause of a slow response time is manually calling leads. It's not uncommon for sales reps to make up to 100 calls per day. There's nothing wrong with calling new leads to pitch a product or service or otherwise move them through your B2B company's sales process. Rather than manually calling them, though, you may want to use an autodialer.
An autodialer can help your B2B company achieve a faster lead response time. It's a piece of software that, as the name suggests, dials phone numbers automatically. You'll still have to talk after a prospect picks up his or her phone. But with an autodialer, you won't have to manually call the prospect. The autodialer software will do it for you.
#7) Partnering with the Wrong Prospecting Service
Not all prospecting services are created equal. If you are within a specific industry like industrial, generalists will not produce the quality or quantity of leads you want and need for your sales pipeline. They need to be more specific in nature. If you didn't know, Salesleads offers Prospecting Services that are industry specific while working closely with the sales team. One cannot be successful without the other. Take a look at SalesLeads' Prospecting Services and notice for yourself the difference. Then give us a call.