Studies show that in 2020, companies will spend roughly $4.6 billion on B2B digital advertising to generate leads. They will use a variety of marketing techniques, optimize their calls to action, and write persuasive copy to get buyers to notice them. Ultimately, all this marketing will lead potential buyers back to their B2B website for the lead generation, qualification and nurturing process.
Once the organization passes leads to Sales, what happens from there? If leads don’t receive a quick response, the chances of closing the sale diminish significantly.
Importance of Fast Lead Response Time
A sales lead is only as good as the subsequent follow-up. A 2011 study published in the Harvard Business Review revealed that companies that don’t respond to sales leads within five minutes risk losing them. Forever.
What is the average lead response time, then? A whopping 61 hours! And that’s only taking into consideration the companies that contact their leads. As it turns out, 47% of businesses don’t respond to their sales leads at all!
Other studies show that decreasing response time helps fill the sales pipeline with opportunities, and from 50% to 78% of buyers purchase from the vendor that responds to their inquiry first. Being the first to qualify a lead increases the odds of progressing that lead in the pipeline 21 times when the lead response is five minutes as opposed to 30 minutes. All the more reason to do whatever it takes to be the first company to your leads.
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Fast Response to Buyers is Good Business
Now put yourself in the shoes of your sales lead. You’re a small business owner searching for a CRM. You’ve done your research, and you’ve found a few products that meet your needs. So, you reach out through their website to let them know you’re interested in learning more. And then not much happens.
You had your credit card ready, and you were prepared to make the purchase and get back to business, but only one company responded within those first few minutes while you were focused on this purchase. You’re impressed, but you had hoped to compare a few products before purchasing, so you decide to wait a while longer.
After a few days, a couple of others got back to you, but by that point, something else was on fire, and you were no longer as excited about your new purchase. Worse, nearly half the companies you reached out to never responded at all. Now it’s been a week, and you need to make this purchase and move on with running your business. Which vendor will earn your business?
Using CPQ with Guided Selling to Move Buyers Forward
Why aren’t sales reps faster at moving deals forward? Perhaps there are gaps in their sales process, a disconnect between Marketing and Sales, or no standardized way to respond to leads with the content and pricing they need to make a decision.
According to InsideSales, standardizing sales responsiveness can help increase your bottom line. And how can you standardize the responsiveness of your sales team? By implementing a Configure-Price-Quote (CPQ) solution which uses guided selling and integrates with their CRM for a smooth sales workflow. A CPQ is used to respond to contacts at the Opportunity stage of the sales funnel, and provides the interested buyer with a configured price quote.
Learn more: What is CPQ?
CPQ is designed to automate the product configuration, pricing, and quote generation functions. Streamlining this process and reducing administrative tasks helps sales teams focus on connecting with buyers and providing personalized quotes that win business.
As demonstrated in the example above, prospects want to move the buying process forward without having to chase the salesperson. Responsiveness at every step of the buyer journey is paramount. A guided selling playbook helps sales teams using a CPQ solution to send out custom quotes in minutes, increasing those chances of qualifying the lead by 21 times!
Rather than requiring salespeople to navigate complex configuration formulas, continuously updated spreadsheets, clunky SKU bundles, and lengthy price lists to help the customer, they can simply use the CPQ solution. Within minutes they can generate a professional quote, significantly improving conversion rates and profitability.
When the amount of time it takes to grab a cup of coffee can mean the difference between closing a sale or losing the lead forever, reducing lead response time is unquestionably critical to the sales process. Implementing a CPQ solution to help salespeople generate professional proposals within minutes is an investment that will pay for itself many times over.
Searching for ways to streamline your Sales Operations so your team can accelerate your lead response time? Click below to download our Sales Operations 2020 Guide to learn how sales technology is helping sales teams close more deals, faster.