February 21, 2024

6 Strategies to Improve Speed to Lead Conversion Time

6 Strategies to Improve Speed to Lead Conversion Time

Contact centers operate in a fast-paced environment, so time is a limited commodity. Ideally, your agents are constantly busy. Even so, you need to take care of potential leads efficiently. When a potential lead signs up for a demo or requests more information, responding to them quickly is critical to converting them. If you are too slow, you will lose them to a competitor. This response process is called “speed to lead” and is a key call center metric.

What is Speed-to-Lead?

The term “speed to lead” refers to the time between contact from an inbound lead and your response. A prospect becomes a lead when they fill out a contact form or request a free demo. Speed to lead also includes response time to phone, social media, and email inquiries. Once a lead contacts your organization, you should contact them as quickly as possible. Otherwise, you will lose your opportunity to do business.

Why Response Time is Critical

Why is response time so critical? Your lead may be reaching out to multiple companies, including your close competitors. If you do not respond quickly, you will lose your chance to convert the lead. The following stats illustrate how important response time is:

  • 78% of B2B customers buy from the company that first responds to their inquiry.
  • Responses in the first minute improve lead conversions by 391%.
  • The odds of your qualifying a lead drop 80% after the first five minutes.
  • 73% of leads never get a response.
  • The average response time from a B2B is nearly two days.

These figures demonstrate how much business your company may be losing due to poor lead follow-up. You have no room for delay.

6 Strategies to Improve Speed-to-Lead

Since consumers will not wait, improving the response time to your leads is essential. Faster contact can ensure they refrain from doing business with competitors who have shorter speed-to-lead times. The following are some ways to improve speed-to-lead response times.

1. Intelligent Lead Routing

You need to get the lead to the right department and/or salesperson the first time for a better chance of converting them. Now, CRM systems use extensive data to determine where a lead needs to go. Your lead can answer a few quick questions and then be transferred to the appropriate agent. Want to lose a lead? Transfer them multiple times before getting it right.

2. Skilled Agent Routing

When your company gets a lead, the contact may go to the next free agent. Sometimes, this agent is not the person best equipped to provide service. With skilled agent routing, the lead goes to a smaller pool of agents who have more knowledge and experience in certain areas. The lead gets specialized information that is more likely to produce a sale.

3. Omnichannel Solutions

You cannot limit your communication channels to one or two options. Consumers prefer different modes of communication, so you need to give them choices. They should be able to reach out via email, live chat, texts, social media, and phone calls. Make certain you are meeting your leads where they are comfortable or expect to lose out on more sales.

4. Lead Scoring

Some leads are better than others, so you need to take care of them first. You can improve response time by scoring them according to data, lead behavior, and demographics. Agents then prioritize those “quality leads” determined by these scores. This process improves your speed to lead for the most qualified prospects.

5. Monitor KPI for Drop-offs

You can identify conversion problems by monitoring your sales funnel for drop-offs. These are leads that checked out at certain points in your sales process before they completed it. Often, potential customers exit because they grew tired of waiting. You can determine how many leads you lose due to response time by monitoring this KPI and taking steps to correct any issues you find.

6. Predictive Dialing

Ineffective dialing practices can repel many consumers. A predictive dialer can lower your speed to lead through an algorithm that predicts how long a call will take. Advanced software then places multiple calls at once, and immediately connects to an agent when someone answers. This technology lowers your call center’s drop-off rate by quickly connecting leads and your representatives.

Improving Speed to Lead

Consumers have busy lives and little patience. If they are interested in a product or service, they want answers now. Your company will lose many prospective leads if you cannot meet their “need for speed.” Doing so means using best practices and technology to get leads the information they seek before your competitors can.

Your company has limited time to be successful. You will lose most of your leads if you do not respond in the first five minutes, a sobering statistic. The above six strategies will help you meet that goal and ultimately lead to a high rate of sales conversion. Speed to lead is an essential part of completing a sale.

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