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Quality lead management is critical to the success of sales. Lead management encompasses lead response times, lead procurement, lead quality, and other parameters to narrow the gap between marketing which generates leads and sales which qualifies and close leads. A lot of call centers in the Internet lead business use their internal systems to create, contact and qualify leads. Most of these systems are built purely on the basis of intuition and some experience. The use of scientific studies to the application of lead management response times has been at the most limited.
However, this has not stopped enterprising lead providers and call centers from utilizing their lead data to generate statistically relevant figures and facts. The results of one such statistical study conducted by insidesales.com with Professor Oldroyd, fellow faculty – MIT has helped identify the best day of the week, time of the day and maximum lead response time to contact and qualify leads. The data comprised 3 years, across 6 companies who generated and responded to Internet leads with over hundred thousand call attempts.
Some excerpts from this research will prove to be an eye opener for lead managers and may help them frame better lead management strategies to maximize sales.
Definitions: Contact – First live attempt of speaking to the lead. Qualifying – Setting up an appointment or entering into the sales process by the lead.
1. The best day of the week to contact a lead came across as Thursday with Wednesday a close second. The worst day to make contact turned out to be Tuesday. Similarly Wednesday and Thursday, in that order came up as the best days to qualify a lead, the worst day being Friday. Thursday, overall was the best day if you wanted a contacted lead to qualify.
2. The best time of the day to contact a lead was between 4-6pm with a 114% better chance if calling between 11 and 12 just before lunch. 7-8am in the morning was the worst time to make the first contact, the reason being this was not a standard work hour. The best time to qualify a contacted lead was between 8-9am and 4-5pm, the worst time being 1-2pm after lunch. Overall, 4-5pm was the best time to qualify a contacted lead.
3. The best response time to make contact and qualify a lead proved to be more statistically revealing than the time and day of the week. The significance of response time lies in the fact that the slower your response rate to a Internet lead request, the further you get from qualifying the lead and vice versa. Response time turned out to be the key to contacting and qualifying leads. The odds to contact a lead decreased by 10 times in the initial hour and that of qualifying decreased by 6 times in the initial hour of the lead requesting your services. Additionally, every call made after the 20th hour actually decreased the ability of the agent to convert the contact into a qualification. The study also noticed that the 1st 3 hours sliced into 5 minutes each were most significant to sales. The odds of qualifying a lead dramatically decrease 21 times if the lead was contacted in 30 minutes versus being contacted in 5 minutes.
This data brings forth the link lead management has with time and days of the week to achieve greater success at the sales forefront. If you are a call center looking to maximize yields, it’s important to factor in these results. You can also conduct in house surveys with your lead data on these parameters and emerge with a lead management system customized to your needs.