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Turn Leads into Revenue: The Value of Increasing “Speed to Lead”

The problem: Your leads are not converting to revenue. The solution may be as simple as lowering the time it takes for you to get in touch! 

Are you having difficulty turning inbound leads into customers? Is your frustration growing due to the lack of conversions? The key to success might be as easy as quickly responding to inbound requests.

What is “Speed to Lead?”

Speed to lead is the average time it takes your company to reply to a qualified inbound lead prospect from the moment they get in touch with you, usually by a demo request or contact form.

Why is Speed to Lead important?

In a perfect, rational world, the vendor with the best solution will win a sale. As anyone who has worked in sales can attest though, we do not live in that world. In our highly irrational world, there’s numerous reasons why speed to lead can improve business results.

1. Become the authority

Buyers make their decisions based on a number of criteria, many of which are not rational. Case in point: Typically, the first solution a lead speaks to becomes the standard by which they compare all later solutions. According to Vendasta, 78% of B2B customers purchase from the vendor that responds to them first. And xoombi confirms that responding within the first minute of an inquiry increases lead conversions by 391%.

2. Give sales an edge

All of this adds up to quick wins when you respond quickly enough to be the first solution a lead receives. For your sales team, it may be just the right amount of wind in their sails when working with a lead. There are many things sellers cannot control later in the sales process, but sales teams can easily optimize their speed to lead time and put their best foot forward at the beginning of every inbound sales cycle. 

3. Increase conversions

Inbound leads are often your best customers or, at the very least, the easiest to convert. Properly executed inbound marketing is 10x more effective at lead conversion than outbound market, according to invesp. To leverage this momentum, give them a game plan that optimizes revenue by emphasizing speed to lead.   

How do you improve speed to lead?

The key to improving your speed to lead lies in carefully defining your lead routing rules and leveraging technology so your humans don’t burn out.

1. Define lead routing rules

In order to ensure that someone from your team follows up with a lead in a timely manner, you first need to define who should be assigned which leads. Lead routing should enable the prospect to reach the right person at your company. For some less mature organizations, this will just mean that each rep should receive an equal number of leads.

As an organization matures, there are a variety of factors for assigning leads from industry to company size that can be used to optimize reps’ strengths and increase the likelihood of a lead converting. When optimizing speed to lead, you will also want to factor in time zone as reps will not be able to respond at all hours of the day and a rep in a similar time zone will be more likely to find overlapping time to book a meeting

2. Leverage technologies

Once you’ve defined how leads will be routed, you can begin to leverage technology to facilitate speed to lead. This is where your tech stack can be optimized to do a lot of the work for your team!

3. Leverage your CRM

As a starting point, you can utilize automation in your CRM to assign leads and alert reps of new responses. Within HubSpot  and Salesforce, you can use workflows or flows, respectively to round robin leads between users and teams, as well as send alerts when a new inquiry comes in. 

The alerts about new leads can be sent via email, but if your team leverages faster forms of communication such as Slack or text, you may want to consider using them to increase the likelihood that a rep sees an inquiry quickly.

4. Leverage templates and call scripts

Sales enablement has a role to play with facilitating speed to lead so that reps know how to respond either by email or on the phone to inbound inquiries. 

We recommend creating email templates and call scripts that reps can easily leverage for different inbound inquiries and their lead’s needs. This will allow reps to move quickly without spending time on duplicative work. 

5. Leverage meeting links

As a next step, you can consider making booking meetings instantaneous for qualified leads. After a qualified lead submits an inquiry, you can direct them to a team or user’s calendar to book a meeting instantly. 

Utilizing technologies such as Chilipiper will allow you to go a step further and route leads to specific rep’s calendars based on the inquiry and data in your CRM.

Use your Speed to Lead strategy responsibly!

A quick warning: Don’t go too fast. 

Your response will only resonate with the buyer if you have taken the time to understand why the customer is getting in touch and how you can help them. Review their form submission for any details about why they are reaching out. Additionally, you can review their website activity to understand what attracted their attention on your website. Even more so, listen to the prospect when you get on the phone and take careful notes that you can follow up on later in the process.

Ready to Convert Faster with Speed to Lead Optimization?

Vetrus Solutions can equip with you the processes and tech stack to optimize your leads conversion rates. If you'd like to discuss how you can increase your speed to lead or any other RevOps solutions, let’s chat.