How is your B2B Lead Generation Response Time?

Remember that old saying the early bird gets the worm? It applies in a lot of places but no where more than in B2B marketing. I can be a bit tyrannical about making sure that our B2B and B2C leads get a quick followup but there is reasoning to my madness.

Harvard Business School did an audit of 2,241 companies and measured how quickly they responded to a lead that comes in. Their findings were very interesting showing that 37% of companies responded to a lead within the first hour but that the average response time was a staggering 30 – 42 days.

30-42 days just makes me think why answer at all? As a Manager but also a consumer if I had to wait 3 days for a response I would go elsewhere, much less 30-42 days.

At our company we try very hard to followup with every lead within 24 hours and according to Harvard Business School 16% of the companies they audited were in the same category as we are.

The question that I get and that many others ask is whether an hour or a day really makes a difference in the outcome of the lead. In a word…. Yes!

Why do you want to followup with Leads Quickly?

In a separate study Harvard Business School did a study of 1.2million sales leads and noted that leads that received a response within 1 hour of their inquiry were seven times more likely to do business with that company.

Companies that wait 24 hours were 60 times LESS likely to qualify the lead. The companies that wait 30 to 42 days to respond to a lead? In my humble opinion they might as well have given their marketing budget to their competitor as a birthday gift.

As a small company it is impossible for us to respond to every lead within an hour and at times even 24 hours is a struggle but every day we strive to do better. This short window for success is why managing and prioritizing leads is so critical especially when 24 hours makes the difference between success and failure.

The next time you get a lead from a business partner and you are wondering do I finish this quote or jump on a quick 15 minute call to ‘qualify this lead’ the answer is jump on a call and qualify that lead. If you are short on time send an email or have your support team get in touch and get the ball rolling.

The early bird quite literally gets the worm when it comes to lead generation and thanks to inexpensive customer tools like PODIO and more advanced services like Contactually there is really zero excuse for not handling leads quickly.

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