Speed Matters: It's Now or Never
How to radically improve your lead response time

You already know that you should be calling new leads quickly.

What you likely don't know is exactly how your current speed to call time is affecting your bottom line.

Today's lesson explains how to:

  1. Get crystal clarity on how quickly your team is responding.
  2. Call in seconds instead of minutes.

Outline For Today's Lesson

  1. Infographic: Why Speed Matters
  2. Start tracking your speed to call
  3. Automate calls to new leads
  4. Automate lead distribution
  5. Call leads on weekends and off hours

Estimated Time: This lesson should take approximately 9 minutes.

Let's start with some data on the impact of speed to call before transitioning to how to respond way faster than your competitors.

Speed matters. Now what are we going to do about it?


1. Start Tracking Your Speed To Call

There are two thorny problems that drive poor lead response times.

  1. Most companies don't actually know how quickly they respond.
  2. Most companies think they respond faster than they really do.

Tracking your ACTUAL response time is the starting point of being able to improve it. When seconds matter, guesstimates simply won't do.

There are two ways that you can get this information.

The first is to manually record the exact time each lead arrives, and the time that you responded. This method is about as practical as charging your cell phone with a hand crank every time you need to call a prospect.

The second option is to employ a CRM or lead management system that automatically records your outbound calls and emails. I'll be digging into the mechanics of setting this up in the next lesson, but for now, let's look at an example of what you can do with this data.

This is incredibly powerful information that adds a ton of depth and accuracy to diagnosing what's really going on in your sales process.

Takeaway The first step to improvement is understanding your actual baseline call response time.


2. Automate Calls to New Leads

Imagine getting a phone call every time you get a new lead. The voice on the other end of the call reads off information about the lead and gives you the option to press 1 to call the lead immediately, press 2 to pass the lead off to someone else on your team or keep listening to hear more details about the prospect.

Call notifications allow you to connect with prospects in seconds; this is one of the best ways to maintain a sub 60 second call response time.

Smaller companies use this technology to level the playing field when competing against larger companies that have multiple agents available to take each lead. Several lead management systems offer this feature, including Marketo, InsideSales, and of course LeadSimple. You can control the days and hours when call notifications are generated as well as what lead information is read off on the call.

Takeaway Automating the initial call to new leads makes it stupid simple to consistently call in under 60 seconds.


3. Automate Lead Distribution

Automated distribution methods improve the percentage of leads called in less than five minutes by 91%.

Are you still distributing leads manually to your team? Stop wasting time and slowing down the follow up process by automating lead distribution.

The type of lead distribution method you choose (round robin, top producer, shark tank, etc.) can significantly impact response times and overall lead conversion. No matter what lead distribution method you use, focus on making sure your leads are automatically being delivered to the person responsible for making initial contact without any lag time in between.

Find a lead management system you like and set up automatic lead distribution ASAP.

Takeaway Automated lead distribution is the fastest way to get the right lead to the right person and it only takes a few minutes to setup. Do it today.


4. Call Leads on Weekends and "Off Hours"

Lead provider Quinstreet found that weekend mortgage leads close 20% better than weekday leads, despite the fact that lead buyers respond 71% slower on weekends. - The Value of Weekend Leads Unveiled, Quinstreet / Velocify 2013

Leads that come in on the weekend are often neglected until Monday for no reason other than it's considered "off hours" by most offices.

These leads are arguably more motivated because they have the availability to discuss, meet and make a decision about what to do with their rental property over the weekend.

These leads are also less aggressively pursued over the weekend because most management companies don't respond quickly, if at all, over the weekend.

This creates a window of opportunity for management companies that are willing to take advantage by having at least one person on call to field weekend leads.

Takeaway When a prospect is ready to talk, you should be ready to respond. Weekends are a sweet spot for responding to leads because most companies consider it off hours.


Tell us what you think in the comments!

Up next: Battle Tested Followup Tactics


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