Constructing Your Lead Follow up Strategy

Constructing Your Lead Follow up Strategy
EXECUTIVE SUMMARY
Recently, a large lead generation company published a series of studies to empower consumer-facing organizations to convert more inquiries. The two major takeaways to date are: (1) calling new inquiries quickly is one of the biggest drivers of lead conversion, and (2) calling inquiries 6 times is the best way to achieve nearly maximum conversion rates, without overtaxing staff. This new study builds upon the previous research by adding a new dimension: conversion rates can be further increased by properly timing contact attempts.

BACKGROUND
Until now, little data has been available about the optimal time one should wait between each call attempt. This has led to suboptimal consumer response strategies where inquiries are contacted haphazardly. Contacting inquiries too slowly, too frequently, or not frequently enough, all result in poor lead conversion rates. The data below represents the findings of this study, which is based on over 20 million consumer inquiries handled by the lead company’s clients.

Day One

 1st Attempt 0-5 Minutes: +194% Chance of Conversion
 2nd Attempt 30 min – 2hrs: +92% Chance of Conversion
 3rd Attempt 2hrs – 4hrs: + 279% Chance of Conversion

Day Three

 4th Call Attempt: +140% Chance of Conversion

Day Four

 5th Call Attempt: +137% Chance of Conversion

Day Eleven & Twelve

 6th Call Attempt: +500% Chance of Conversion

RESULTS
The findings of this study strongly suggest that calling 3 times during the first day, once on day 3, again on day 4, and a 6th and final time on day 11 or 12, is the optimal call attempt strategy. More specifically new inquiries should be called immediately and in 2 subsequent time windows during the first day until contact has been made. If contact has still not been achieved, calling on day 3, 4, and day 11 or 12 will help maximize contact and conversion rates, without requiring additional calls or time investment from agents, besides automated email follow-up.

UNDERSTANDING THE DATA
Digesting the information in this study (and summarized in the accompanying graphic) may be complex, but acting upon the strategy is relatively straightforward with the right automation tools. To further explore the data, read on.

WHAT IS CONSIDERED A CALL ATTEMPT?
Each call attempt is mutually exclusive. This means that the ‘1st Call Attempt’ covers leads that were initially contacted on the 1st call only. Similarly, the ‘2nd Call Attempt’ covers leads that were initially contacted on the 2nd call only. Apply the same logic to all the call attempts mentioned.

HOW SHOULD THE INCREASE IN CONVERSION RATE BE UNDERSTOOD?
The advantage expressed in terms of a percent of “…better chance of conversion” refers to the deference in conversion rates of leads that were contacted in that particular call attempt and in the recommended time window versus any other time window for that call only. For example, for the 4th call attempt, inquiries that were called on day 3 for the 4th time and contacted on that particular call, had a 140% better chance of converting (not necessarily during that call but eventually) compared to other leads that were also called 4 times and contacted at any other time. Most companies do not take a consistent approach to contacting inquiries they receive, and very few have a consumer inquiry response strategy that extends past the first call. Of course every organization is deferent, but they should consider this proposed call strategy as a starting point from which to iterate and test, as this study is based on an aggregate dataset covering thousands of clients and millions of leads. If agents are randomly deciding when to call inquiries, they are not maximizing contact and conversion rates.

KEY INSIGHTS
 Consumer inquiries should receive immediate response (within 5 minutes) to further increase conversion rates.

 Responding to each inquiry by following the 6 call attempt approach will produce nearly the maximum conversion rate while minimizing workload.

 Ensuring that each inquiry receives contact attempts within the time windows specified will result in dramatically increased conversion rates versus making calls at other times.

 Creating a systematic business process for responding to consumer inquiries with speed and consistency is critical for any organization.

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