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Lead response management is the bread and butter of inside sales professionals today — and sometimes that of field sales reps as well. To get lead response right, you need to be fast, and you need to be persistent. Last week, InsideSales.com recognized the top 10 companies with the best lead response: these companies respond in about 12 minutes with about two follow-up replies. This week, we spoke to them to try and find out how they do it…

We’ve had leaders from Dynamic Sygnal, Conversica and Ivanti give us the scoop on how to respond to leads efficiently. What was really interesting is that all of their replies were unanimously about the technology they use for lowering lead response times. Read it and learn…

Real Time Email Notifications – Nicolette Mullenix, Dynamic Signal

The first step towards timely lead response is an efficient real time notifications system, told us Nicolette Mullenix, from Dynamic Signal, the company which was number two on our list, with a response time of 8.20 minutes with 14 responses total.

“We have real time email notifications for demo request / contact us that go directly the SDR, all SDR management for that segment, and myself as well as the operations team. SDRs and management are on every single one and we set expectations that as soon as they come in we need to contact that person immediately,” said Nicolette, sales development director at Dynamic Signal.

An effective marketing strategy also filters non-target personas, to make sure marketing efforts go only to the segments which are the right fit, added Nicolette.

“We’re also marketing toward the largest end of the market and filter out companies that are too small so we only get a curated list,” she added.

Notification Systems and AI Assistants for Follow-up – Addison Lee, Conversica

Addison Lee, Director of Sales Development at Conversica, told us that they measure lead follow-up using 4P’s – Promptness, Persistence, Personalization, and Performance.

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“Promptness is one of the most influential factors to get a positive response yet one of the hardest to achieve,” said Addison Lee, quoting Conversica research that shows only 13% of companies respond within 5 minutes of a lead coming in.

Efficient lead routing and an effective notification system alerting reps about notable activity are a great start, added Addison, but ensuring consistent <5 minute follow-up requires automation– while being mindful of personalization.

“We are using AI assistants (Rachael and Stephanie) that leverage marketing automation and CRM information to provide human-like personalized follow-up consistently within 5 minutes of leads coming inbound. This alleviates the burden of to-the-minute time sensitive follow up off our SDR team and allows them to focus on strategic ABM efforts while cherry-picking hot leads from non-target accounts that have responded positively to the AI assistant,” said Addison.

Lead Response Technology – Steve Eror, Ivanti

Number 9 on our list, Ivanti, had a 25 minutes lead response time with 11 responses total. We spoke to them to ask what’s their secret, and the answer was, once again, related to the technology they use to correctly route leads and alert sales development reps of hot leads.

“Responding to leads quickly and effectively is my teams top priority. Everything we do, the cadences that we’ve put in place and the technology we use is in there to ensure that we respond both quickly and to the depth necessary to penetrate our leads,“ said Steve Eror, Sales Development Manager at Ivanti.

How Fast Should You Respond to Leads?

Bear in mind, the best practices for lead response management say you should respond to leads in under 5 minutes. This is because an incoming lead has a really short shelf life. After 5 minutes of the lead coming in, your chances of engaging in conversation and qualifying a lead drop dramatically.

That’s not to say that a lead response time of 12 minutes on average is a bad time. The companies which were ranked as top 10 in our lead response audit report all responded in under 30 minutes.

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We performed 180 response audits on companies members of the AA-ISP (American Association of Inside Sales Professionals), and the average response time for all the participants was 39.79 hours, with a persistency of 2.39 responses (follow-ups).

As always, we advise caution in interpreting the results of these top 10 companies and comparing to your own results. How you respond to leads will always be dependent on business specifics, go-to-market strategy and your sales model.

Some companies get a huge influx of leads every day and will try to select only the best candidates for a lead response. Others get only a handful of high quality leads that they need to treat with priority.

How Fast Are You Responding to Leads? Take the Response Audit!

If you want to know how our company or sales reps are doing at lead response, you can just enter your information and take the Response Audit here. It takes literally no effort on your part and you’ll get your results in about 10 days.

To learn how your inbound/outbound lead strategy should differ, watch my webinar here.

 

response audit - no more leads slipping through the cracks