Trending This Week: How’s Your Lead Response Time?

May 4, 2018

Pardon the cliché, but clichés about being busy are a dime a dozen. Time is money. There aren’t enough hours in the day. Use your time wisely. The list goes on.

While using clichés is rarely the best move, clichés exist because they are true. Productivity is critical to success, which is why there are so many clichés about it.

In selling, productivity is imperative. Finding leads can be thankless work, and it’s always in your best interest to find better ways to connect with prospects. Lead response time is a big part of the equation. Wait too long to engage with a lead, and you are more likely to lose out on a sale.

This week’s trending topics include a look at lead response times of B2B companies. You’ll also learn about B2B sales in the digital economy, how to revive a dead lead, how to create the perfect case study, and more.

Here’s What Sales Professionals Are Reading and Sharing This Week:

The Drift Lead Response Report: Why Every Minute Matters for Sales Teams in 2018

Drift recently conducted a study on the lead response times of B2B companies. This research was a follow-up to a study they conducted in 2017 which showed that B2B companies took, on average, 42 hours to respond to a lead. Based on a 2011 Harvard Business Review (HBR) study, they also tested how many companies responded to leads in under 5 minutes, which the HBR study showed is how quickly you should respond to a prospect. The Drift 2017 study showed only 7% of companies lived up to that expectation.

Were the 2018 results better? Here are some jarring numbers:

  • 58% of companies didn’t respond to their inquiry at all
  • 90% of companies didn’t respond in under five minutes
  • Only 15% of companies had live chat on their website

The full blog post goes into more detail about these results and some of the key takeaways, but one takeaway is crystal clear: respond to interested prospects quickly.

Rethinking B2B Sales in the Digital Economy

Joe Logan of Graphic Controls writes in Forbes about the importance of using the digital economy in B2B sales. He touches on four key points:

  • Sales, marketing, and tech executives need to evangelize digital engagement
  • Walk in the shoes of your customers
  • Don’t get fooled by an occasional “analog” win
  • Do not remain committed to outdated engagement tactics

In each of these areas, Logan writes about the importance of engaging with customers and leads online. He pushes sales professionals, especially those who have been in the industry for a long time, to get away from selling the old-fashioned way (phone and face-to-face) and start engaging online.

How to Revive Dead Sales Leads

There comes a point when a salesperson needs to stop chasing a prospect. You won’t be able to close every deal, after all. However, you should be careful not to abandon a prospect too soon, as TenFold cautions. In a recent blog post, they included five ways to revive a sale:

  1. Leverage your content
  2. Highlight new features
  3. Make it about them
  4. Find new connections
  5. Get out of your rut

Each of these present a different opportunity to engage with prospects that have cooled. The post serves as a good reminder to always add value, and that sometimes re-engaging a prospect is as simple as connecting with them in a way you hadn’t thought of before.

How to Construct the Perfect Case Study for B2B Sales

Ben Sardella at Outbound Works looks at just how valuable a good case study can be, and walks through the process for creating the perfect one. He offers an overview of the basics, including how to choose the right customer, how to collect information, and how to compile it all into a compelling customer story.

The post includes examples and actionable advice on how to build your own case study. It’s a great look into why a good case study balances storytelling with real-world examples of success.

Marketo’s Chief Growth Officer Tells Us What She’s Learned in Over 50 Quarters in Software Sales

Who are the best people to turn to for sales advice? The ones with the most experience. That’s why we return to Drift’s blog for their interview with Jill Rowley from Marketo.

Rowley has built an impressive career, having worked for companies like Oracle, Salesforce, and Eloqua. The post focuses on Rowley’s career in B2B software sales, but it is a great look into how a successful sales executive climbed the ladder and achieved success in her field.

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