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What is Speed to Lead? | Expert Guide to Improve it in 4 Easy Ways

The faster you contact your leads, the more likely they are to convert. We discuss the basics of speed to lead and why it matters.

Sayani Deb
November 8, 2022
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The faster you respond to leads, the higher the chances to convert them into customers. Though the ‘5-minute golden window’ is ideal, businesses are 7x more likely to qualify leads when reaching out within an hour. So, now you know why speed to lead is important. When it is about the go-to-market race for your customers, it is your speed to lead that matters the most. It is the only factor that decides whether you win or lose. In simple words, speed wins!Thus, speed to lead is a must-know aspect of sales. The higher your speed to lead, the better the conversion opportunities. So, take a moment and learn about speed to lead, its advantages, and how you can improve.

What is Speed to Lead?

Speed to lead is the period between a business getting an inquiry and responding to it. In other words, it is the time between a lead expressing interest in the business and the sales rep’s first response.Speed to lead is all about the response time taken by the sales reps. Regardless of the communication method, speed to lead only accounts for how fast a sales rep responds to a lead, be it via email, phone, or text.Speed to lead is calculated by adding up the different lead response times and dividing by the total number of incoming leads.

Importance of Speed to Lead

In 2022, consumer attention span has dropped to an average of 8 seconds. Now you know why Instagram and Tik Tok reels are so popular!Coming to lead generation and capturing, you have a short span to contact and engage potential customers. Thus, speed to lead is the need of the hour to maintain a competitive advantage.The first response of a sales rep is always an opportunity to create a lasting impression. So, making the lead wait for too long does not work. Businesses that capture leads through instant conversions across calls, SMS, and emails stay ahead of the competition.Further, when a user makes contact through filling up web forms, they invest their time. Faster responses indicate how much you value their time. If your sales reps do not respond on time, your prospects can switch to other brands easily.  The bottom line is that speed to lead is crucial if you do not want to lose leads. Ensure that the sales reps reach out to the leads within an hour to optimize conversions.

10 Speed to Lead Stats You Should Know

To emphasize the importance of speed to lead, here are a few important statistics that you must know.

  • 5 minutes is the ideal time frame to respond to a lead
  • 78% of consumers purchase from a business that responds to their query first
  • Sales reps are 21 times more effective when they contact leads within five minutes of the lead’s first contact compared to calling them after 30 minutes.
  • Leads are 10 times less likely to respond if sales reps take more than five minutes to contact
  • Businesses responding to leads within one-minute experience a 391% increase in lead conversions.
  • The odds of qualifying a lead reduce by 80% after five minutes.
  • 17 hours is the average response time on web leads
  • Timing the calls and emails right boosts conversions by 49% and 53% respectively.
  • The average B2B business lead response time is 42 hours only
  • 27% of the leads get contacted due to slow lead response time

How to Improve Speed to Lead in 4 Easy Ways

If your sales reps lose leads due to slow response, it’s high time you improve the speed to lead. Speed to lead tools can help sales reps to respond faster. However, you must ensure investing at the right speed to lead the platform. Here are four easy ways that can help you improve your speed to lead.

Route leads by territory or geography :

If you have leads from different time zones, it alone can impact your sales rep’s response time. For instance, say a lead requests for a demo at 11 am EST, it may take some time for your sales reps on the west coast to respond. Similarly, if you are a business based in India and a lead comes in from the US, your sales reps may not respond to them for several hours. So, assign leads to sales reps who work in the same time zone as the leads. Though it is not a sure-fire way to improve speed to lead, it can help your sales reps to respond fast. Different lead distribution solutions can help you route leads by geography or territory. Check out the ten best lead distribution software here.

The route leads based on sales reps’ expertise:

Try to evaluate the strengths and areas of expertise of your sales reps. A sales rep may be experienced in converting specific types of leads – a particular job position, industry, company size, etc. So, you can route similar leads to specific sales reps to increase the possibility of conversion. Such insights into your sales reps’ skills can boost your overall conversion rate.

Identify the information that makes sales reps neglect specific leads :

Before your sales reps reach out to the leads, they must have basic knowledge and information. However, adding not-so-necessary lead information may cause the sales reps to focus on specific leads and neglect others completely.For instance, the info about the lead’s last performed activity is not essential for sales reps before they contact the lead. But providing this extra info may cause the sales reps to favor certain prospects and ignore the others. Though it is absolutely normal for sales reps to cherry-pick leads, providing additional information may result in losing valuable leads.Hence, to improve the speed to lead, sales and marketing can test the Marketing Qualified Lead (MQL) categories to be sent to the sales reps. Further, you can identify the categories that result in low conversions and eliminate them from the priority list.

Intelligent routing using AI chatbots and lead distribution tools:

Checking for new leads manually is a tedious task. And your sales reps do not have sufficient time to do it. Here, an enterprise chatbot can manage the job. An enterprise chatbot can automatically route the leads to the right sales reps, provide relevant information, and enable sales reps to respond faster.

Advantages of Improving Speed to Lead

The numbers stated above clearly indicate that speed to lead is the key factor in driving conversions. Hence, improving speed to lead can directly impact your sales. Here, we have listed a few benefits of improving speed to lead.

Increased chance of first contact:

When a lead contacts a business, they have multiple options to choose from. So, if you improve your speed to lead, you will have a better chance of reaching out to the lead before any other competing brand.  This allows your sales reps to have a direct conversation with the lead and possibly seal the deal before anyone approaches.Once you build trust and relationships with potential customers, they are less likely to go through the same process with other company sales reps. So, the prospect may stick to the brand they connected to first.

Provides on-demand service:

Improving your speed to lead will provide your sales reps the opportunity to provide service on demand to the prospects. When a lead seems interested in a product or service, they are certainly trying to fulfill a need at the moment. Hence, this is the perfect time for the sales reps to get in touch with the lead. A fast-moving sales rep can appear to be providing services on-demand to the potential buyer. Similarly, a quick phone call can capture the lead in the ideal mind frame favorable to ensure a successful sale.

Increased Customer Availability:

When a lead contacts a business, they are likely to be available for a conversation about the product or service. So, improving speed to lead helps your sales reps to contact the lead when it is warm. Reaching out to the lead within 5 minutes of them contacting you is the best. But your reps can try and reach them within an hour to ensure the lead’s availability. The longer the wait for the prospect, the higher the possibility of them losing interest in your product or service.Thus, speed to lead ensures that the potential buyer is instantly engaged when they are highly likely to be available.

Build customer confidence:

Speed to lead ensures that your sales reps reach out to the lead as quickly as possible.Getting in touch with the prospect instantly demonstrates that you value and recognize the effort of the prospect. It indicates how important the prospect is for your business. Also, it shows that you are eager to provide your services to the prospect.Thus, as your speed to lead improves, you can strike instant conversations with potential buyers. As a result, you can build a strong relationship with the customer to build their confidence in your brand.

Build your Speed to Lead with RevenueHero

Speed to lead is a must for businesses to capture leads and boost conversions. And to help you with the entire process, investing in a good speed to lead tool is the best option. RevenueHero is one such sales acceleration platform that can skyrocket your conversions. The platform ensures real-time lead routing and assigns the leads to the right sales reps. Your sales reps can also schedule, qualify, and route incoming leads from web forms. Further, using RevenueHero you can set up lead qualification workflows to assign only the best leads to your sales reps.

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