Striking While the Iron is Hot

When it comes to converting leads, there’s no more important factor than simple speed. Leads almost always close with the first company that contacts them. And speed to contact isn’t just about getting to a lead first, leads are 22 times more likely to convert when they’re contacted in the first five minutes after inquiring about a service. However, traditional concepts of office hours lead many companies to fail to fully capitalize on this. A new Leads360 study reveals that leads received and contacted immediately outside of traditional office hours and on the Saturdays are much more likely to close than those received and responded to between nine AM and five PM on weekdays. In order to maximize ROI, sales organizations should staff their sales teams not only during normal business hours, but also have the capabilities to receive and respond to leads outside of normal business hours as well.

One thing remains perfectly clear: the best way to close leads is to contact them as soon as possible. However, the degree to which this is true clearly isn’t getting through to many sales teams. The data collected by this most recent Leads360 study clearly indicates that structuring your sales team’s hours around the traditional business day, whether for matter of convenience to the staff or simply because a lack of information indicating a change was necessary, is letting some of the strongest leads slip through your fingers. The data collected indicated that leads received and responded to outside of classic business hours closed at a rate 11% higher than those during business hours. The simple reality is that many people spend their time shopping for goods and services during non-business hours. These potential customers are actually more receptive to being contacted than those making their inquiries during business hours. What’s more, this extends to the weekends as well. While the volume of leads received on Saturdays is lower, those leads, when contacted immediately, close at a rate 10% higher than leads received on the weekdays.

The study commissioned by Leads360 indicates that leads received between five and six o’clock in he morning have a 49% increase in chance of lead conversion. This immediately drops off at six, and the data indicates that the worst leads are those received between nine and ten in the morning, closing at 24% lower than average. Starting at noon, though, the numbers start to steadily improve as the afternoon moves on. The best time to call, though, is shown to be after most customers have finished dinner. Starting at 8pm, leads close 42% more often. This trend continues as the night moves on, with leads received between nine and ten closing 82% more often, those received between ten and 11 closing 79% more often, and those received after 11pm seeing a staggering improvement of 94% in conversion rate. The data reveals a simple trend: those people shopping for services later in the evening are much more likely to close if they’re immediately responded to.

This study indicates a pretty clear fix for struggling sales teams. While traditional business hours might be more convenient for some, it’s much more efficient and cost-effective to staff a sales team based on lead volume and those hours of best lead conversion. Making the call right away on leads received after business hours and on Saturdays will significantly increase your ROI and allow your team to see better results for the same level of effort. It’s a simple fix that can immediately benefit the bottom line of any sales team.

Author's Bio: 

Joel Anderson is a business expert who lives and writes in Los Angeles, CA. He writes on issues surrounding sales and lead management for Leads360. Find out more at www.leads360.com