Have you ever wondered how email, phone, voicemail, and other forms of communication can be used together in the sales process for the best results? Or thought to yourself, if my prospective buyer doesn’t pick up the phone, should I leave a voicemail, send an email, or try back in an hour or two?
We set out to find the answer to these questions and many more in a recent study, 'The Ultimate Guide to Inquiry Response.' Millions of interactions were analysed in regards to lead engagement across channels, providing a holistic view of the best strategy for conducting sales outreach through calls, emails, and voicemail messages.
While the findings of the study can be useful for anyone in the sales industry, they will be most helpful for sales leaders who are looking to improve their contact and conversion rates. Specifically, the report showcases how teams can transform their businesses and turn them into high-performing organisations by following a few best practices, delivering the ideal contact strategy to convert leads through various methods.
The study also showed that the majority of companies fail to utilise the best sales practices when following up with leads. This means there’s plenty of room for improvement for sales organisations, no matter what channels they’re using to communicate with leads.
A snapshot of the study findings includes:
- PHONE - Conversion rates more than doubled when calling a lead within one minute, yet only three percent of leads actually received a call within one minute.
- EMAIL - For the best ROI, sending between four and six emails to an unresponsive lead is ideal, though only seven percent of leads were sent that number of emails.
- VOICEMAIL - Two voicemails on six missed calls is ideal.
Now let’s analyse each channel a little further:
Did you know that the average sales team responds to inbound leads within 48 hours? Sounds reasonable, right?
What if I told you that leads are 1.7 times more likely to convert if called back within 30 minutes, and 2.14 times more likely to convert if called back within one minute? We have come to find through past studies that the optimal number of call attempts to unresponsive leads is six. This study, however, reveals that only eight percent of leads actually received between five and seven calls.
It should come as no surprise that in our virtual world, email responses are more common (and faster) than phone responses. The study found that the best way to use email to attempt contacting leads before moving them into a nurture status is to send four to six emails. That being said, how many sales organisations consistently send that number of pre-contact emails? Unfortunately, the study shows that an alarming 28 percent of leads were never even responded to via email.
Does voicemail still matter?
Our study found that voicemail messages remain as a very effective method for outreach. In fact, leads were 34% more likely to convert when they received two voicemail messages on six missed calls compared to leads who did not receive any messages at all.
How many leads were actually left two messages? According to the study, only 12% met this mark, and nearly half of the prospects never received a message.
While many sales teams may think their approach is working, there is an apparent gap between the current approach and the tried and true best practices. For teams looking to drastically improve conversion rates, this study is a clear tool for implementing the best processes for the best results. By bridging this gap, sales representatives across all channels will be delivering better results than ever.
As you prepare your sales strategy for 2016, tune into our Elevate virtual summit, where I'll be speaking. Register here!
By Nick Hedges, CEO of Velocify. Velocify products transform and accelerate sales performance, they also help sales reps connect with more prospects, so they can spend their time doing what they do best – closing deals! More on-demand virtual learning experiences are available here. The Ultimate Guide to Inquiry Response.