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Want to Make the Sale? Don’t Wait Another Minute

December 26th, 2012 ::

By Rieva Lesonsky

Could your small business manage to make a phone call to a new lead within one minute after it’s generated? If you can, you’ll increase your chances of making the sale by almost 400 percent, according to a report from Leads360.

Leads360 analyzed some 3.5 million leads in 400 companies to see what best practices most increased conversion rates. Calling within the first minute had the most dramatic impact, but here are some other things that helped:

If you can’t reach the prospect with your first call, a second call within 30 to 60 minutes after the lead generation had the next highest conversion rate.

But if the second call doesn’t go through, don’t give up. The study found the best tactic for optimizing conversion was calling leads up to six times. Some 93 percent of all leads that buy are contacted in six or fewer calls.

Reaching out via email also helps: Leads360 found there was a 16 percent higher chance of actually reaching a prospect by phone if they received an email first. However, some 59 percent of prospects in the study didn’t receive an email. It’s not because the businesses didn’t know their emails: 40 percent of those who had an email address on file with the company never received an email.

However, there’s a fine line between the optimal number of emails and too many emails. Within the first month of prospect lifetime, the optimal number of emails to send was five. The conversion rate for leads that received more than five email messages in that time was 36 percent lower than the conversion rate for leads that were contacted after getting one to five emails.

Wondering how your team can possibly follow up this quickly? Download the free whitepaper fromLeads360Then check out Zero-Time Selling: 10 Essential Steps to Accelerate Every Company’s Sales, by Andy Paul. It’s a great, practical guide to turning your sales team into a rapid-response machine. Paul lays out specific steps you can take to get your salespeople responding to leads almost instantly. I highly recommend it to help you optimize your sales.

Image by Flickr user julianlimjl (Creative Commons)

The views expressed here are the author's alone and not those of Network Solutions or its partners.

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