When your marketing efforts start to pay off, delivering a boatload of quality leads, it’s exciting. You want to celebrate. But the game’s not over. Your sale is not won yet. You’re just at the starting gate of your demand generation process.
The bare bone fact is: Leads do nothing for your organization’s bottom line unless you can convert them to sales. And the quality of the lead alone does not predict how likely it is to convert. The magic is in the lead nurturing: how you treat a lead after you receive it.
This brings us to the study conducted by Velocify. They looked at data from 3.5 million leads from 400 companies and discovered the formula to maximize conversions. While they note there are differences between businesses and what works for each of them, the overall findings are
- Email and Phone Are Better Together
A horse and carriage, bacon and eggs, and kings and queens. Some things just go better together. While email and phone may not roll off the tip of your tongue, it’s time to add this pair to the list.
Reaching out to leads with email and phone enables you to realize the full potential of lead nurturing and increase sales conversion rates.
- Rapid Response Yields Rewards
Although the finding that fast response time is essential to boost lead conversion rates is not new, Velocify’s study certainly adds corroborating evidence. Their data showed that if you try to call a contact within 60 seconds of them becoming a lead, you can boost conversion rates by almost 400 percent. After all, you’re more likely to reach them and if you do, engage them. That’s because if they’ve just downloaded a white paper or signed up for a demo, your product or the problem it solves is top of mind. By calling to chat about it, you’re addressing their most pressing interest at that moment. You’re not interrupting them from another train of thought or project.
- Frequency’s Your Friend
You don’t want to squander your reps’ time by having them make unnecessary calls, pestering those who were good enough to give you their contact information. You do, however, want to take a Goldilocks approach, making “just the right” number of calls.
What’s that magic number? Six.
If you’re calling two or three times, you may think that’s plenty. However, consider this. The study showed that 81 percent of converted leads are contacted by the third call attempt. Ninety-three percent are reached by the six call attempt. Three more call attempts raise conversion rates by almost 15%. If you sell a complex, high-value product or service, you’ll likely find that making the additional effort delivers a positive ROI. After that, however, there is a diminishing return on further call attempts.
- The Right Timing Breeds Results
Ideally, you’re making the first call immediately, but if at first you don’t reach the individual, you should try, try, try again. So when should you make those six follow-up attempts? You should make the first three attempts to connect on the phone on day one, making call two within the hour and call three within two hours. Wait until day five for the fourth call, day 14 for the fifth call and day 15 for the sixth call.
But you have to do more than call. Remember the first revelation — email and phone are better together than apart. So why is email so important and where does it fit into the nurturing plan?
Interestingly, you’re 16 percent more likely to reach someone by phone if you’ve previously emailed them. Perhaps the individual is screening their calls with caller ID. Because you’ve emailed them, they are more liable to recognize your name, understand the value of talking with you and pick up the phone. The study also showed that sending five emails during the first month after you captured a lead can substantially increase your conversion rates. If, however, you send more emails that month, your results will decline, bringing us right back to the importance of the Goldilocks approach and getting it “just right.”
The bottom line is that you have the greatest chance of warming up leads and converting them within the first month of receiving them. All it takes is a well-planned email and telemarketing strategy, and the right timing, tools and people to implement it.Digital & Social Articles on Business 2 Community