New Study: Is Your Sales Process Sabotaging Company Success?
Posted by Merrin Muxlow on September 29, 2009 in Business News, Internet Marketing, Marketing, Sales 2.0 [ 1 Comment ]
Think your sales department is doing all it can to convert credit card processing sales leads or VoIP sales leads into paying customers? Think again. When it comes to maximizing lead generation efforts, perceived success rates are much higher than real statistics indicate, according to our recent study.
The study, conducted by Resource Nation in early September of this year, was based on the results of extensive benchmark tests within our network of thousands of local and national vendors. Twelve key metrics were tracked, including sales staff response rates and e-mail effectiveness.
The results were surprising: For example, only one-third of companies follow up with a prospective customer within the first hour of that customer submitting an online request for more information about products or services. A larger percentage (47%) of businesses called potential customers within the second hour. Fourteen percent of the companies did not call the potential customer at all.
A larger number of companies (74%) sent an email to the prospect, indicating that sales teams are increasingly choosing electronic communication over phone calls.
Statistics were dismal for those sales calls where the prospect didn’t pick up the phone: Only 37% of companies made a second follow up call if the potential customer was not reached on the first try, and only 67% of callers left a message for the prospect. Unsurprisingly, the study found a direct correlation between the speed and method of the initial follow up contact and a company’s conversion rates. Companies with faster response times and those that used multiple follow up methods (calls, emails, and phone messages) were more successful, on average, in converting sales leads into actual customer purchases.
So what can you do to make sure your sales team is making the most of purchased leads, pay-per-click lead information, or other methods of accessing sales prospects? The lesson here is that implementing a follow-up system doesn’t work unless results are tracked- you need to monitor information consistently based on actual efforts. “So many of our new customers think they have a great sales process and fast response times,” said one lead Sales Analyst. “Many of our customers were very surprised when we shared the actual data with them.”
In short, you can’t depend on procedure alone to maximize success rates in converting sales leads- the hard numbers tell the real story.