Before we kick things off this week, I owe a (sort of) apology to the sales team forwarded last week’s blog by their boss. It seems he took my edict to “make the call” to heart. I haven’t spoken to him this week, but I’m pretty confident his guys are looking at a nicely progressed sales funnel after a week of follow-ups.

Anyway… another thing we touched on last week was the unreliability of internet stats. This one’s straight from the HBR – I think we can give it some credence.

Given last week’s subject this may surprise you, but it still shocks me 50% of companies take over 24 hours to follow up an online lead. Or, even worse, they don’t bother. That’s just heartbreaking… given the investment and effort to attract a customer to your site in the first place, you’re better off standing in the street setting fire to cash.

Think about it for a moment. A potential customer has asked you for more information, they have a problem they believe you can solve. They’ve gone to the effort of finding you and reaching out for help. And yet fully 25% of companies don’t even bother to “return the call”.

Unsurprisingly, successful companies follow up and follow up quickly.

  • Customers who were responded to within an hour were SEVEN times more likely to qualify as a lead
  • Customers who were responded to even an hour later were more than SIXTY times more likely to qualify as leads than those who had to wait 24 hours or more for a response

Online response

Check this for a live example. I have been working for a client comparing marketing automation offers from Hubspot to Marketo. Part of that meant downloading Hubspot’s ‘State of Inbound Marketing’ report. An hour later, I had a rep on the phone to me. So far, so good… the sizzle came when I realised he’d spent that hour checking me out on LinkedIn, visiting my site, understanding my business, and tailoring a pitch outlining the ways Hubspot may be able to help me. That was seriously impressive…. he had me at hello!

Key Takeaways

  • Here’s the biggie – which category of company do you fall into?
  • Have you set your processes to quickly respond to customers or are you twiddling thumbs watching them wither and die?
  • For a 7x improvement in sales qualification, do you think it’s worth looking at?


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