These Are The Best Times to Follow Up on Leads for Sales Lead Management
- Gwen Moran
- 3 Min Read
Sometimes, sales lead management can feel like a full-time job. Gathering, organizing, and following up on leads is essential to maximizing your results and meeting your goals. But how do you ensure that you’re reaching prospects at exactly the right time?
The people who are reaching out to you—whether it’s through a direct inquiry, a visit to a sales booth, or by responding to a lead generation initiative—have a need that you can likely fill, says sales expert and trainer Chris Lytle, founder of Instant Sales Training and author of 23 Shockingly Simple Sales Ideas. “One of the things we want to do as salespeople is solve problems,” he says. So, first shift your mindset into being a solution-provider instead of a salesperson, advises Inc.com. Then, use these tips to follow-up and manage your sales leads most effectively.
If someone made an inquiry, they have a need. A 2017 survey by Drift Lead Response found that more than half of companies didn’t follow up within five business days. In that span of time, you’re at risk of losing the business to a competitor. You may not know their buying cycle, but reach out to your lead quickly to assess the situation and get the information into your sales lead management system. Of course, be sure you’re contacting the right person and making the right impression with your message, advises Entrepreneur magazine.
A 2017 report from InsideSales.com found that achieving the right follow-up cadence in your sales lead management can boost results by up to 110%. Respondents preferred email as a first follow-up (32%) and phoning as the next most popular follow-up method (6%). In-person contact is another method prefered by some companies and, in those situations, don’t forget that food can be a sales tool, too.Respondents preferred email as a first follow-up (32%) and phoning as the next most popular follow-up method (6%). Click To Tweet
The survey found that the median time gap between the first and second outreach is just shy of 17 hours. By the time seven unanswered contacts have been made, the gap has expanded to about six to seven days. This indicates that salespeople slow down the frequency of their outreach as their attempts to get in touch go unanswered. The reason is, if the prospect isn’t responding, they’re less likely to be a qualified lead.
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InsideSales.com also found that Wednesdays and Thursdays are the best days to make contact with and qualify a lead. By “making contact”, they mean simply reaching out to communicate, while “qualifying a lead” involves asking questions and getting answers to determine whether they’re a good prospect to buy the company’s products or services. Survey results demonstrated that Monday is a poor day for contacting and qualifying. Thursday was a nearly 50% better day to contact a lead versus the worst day (Tuesday). Friday was the worst day to call and quantify a lead (Wednesday yields roughly 25% better results.) which could be an indication that prospects are focused more on wrapping up the week than talking to a new business contact.
When it comes to time of day, 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. is the best time to call to make contact with a lead—114% better than the hour before lunch—11 a.m. to noon. At the end of the day, contacts are more likely to be at their desks finishing what needs to get done, rather than tied up in meetings.4 p.m. to 6 p.m. is the best time to call to make contact with a lead Click To Tweet
For qualifying a lead, respondents had the best success between 8 a.m. and 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. and 5 p.m. Calling during the earlier hour was 164% more effective than calling between 1 p.m. and 2 p.m. At the beginning of the day, people are just settling in and possibly less likely to feel the pressure of all the tasks they need to get done- leaving them more likely to answer the phone.
Every industry has its specific characteristics and customer needs so be sure to experiment with your own timing and methods of follow up and adapt your program to what works best for you and your line of business.
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