GlossarySpeed to Lead

What is Speed to Lead?

Speed to lead is a measure of lead response time in the sales process. When a potential customer fills out a form, makes a demo request, or initiates contact with your company in another way, how fast is your response time? The longer it takes to respond to inbound leads, the less likely it is that your business will connect with them and convert them into paying customers.

Why is speed to lead so important?

If you’re not meeting or exceeding your speed to lead benchmark, then you’re losing out on potential business and revenue. Speed to lead matters for the following reasons:

Customer experience

Faster lead response times improve the customer experience. If a prospect has to wait hours to hear back from one of your sales reps, the message is loud and clear: “We don’t value your business.” Bad customer experience causes churn and revenue loss because dissatisfied customers turn to other companies to meet their needs.

Quality of leads

Potential customers that have taken the time to reach out to you are likely to be very excited about your solution to their problems. The longer your sales team waits to respond, the more likely it is that the lead will lose interest.

Maximizing your marketing buck

It doesn’t make sense to spend a lot of money on marketing then lose out on potential customers because of poor lead response times. Great speed-to-lead response time ensures that your time and money spent on marketing is rewarded with quick sales.

What are best practices for response times?

Should they be within 5 minutes, or is 24 hours more reasonable? Response time will vary across businesses. However, in most industries you should aim for response times of less than an hour. Look at industry benchmarks to get a sense of how your company compares.

How to improve your speed to lead

There are several ways to improve your speed to lead.

Use a Sales Engagement Platform

A sales engagement platform can enroll your leads into a sales cadence to improve your speed to lead time and engage with inbound prospects in minutes.

Hire more sales reps

Increasing the size of your sales team can definitely improve your speed to lead. However, it’s not scalable and can be very costly.

Incorporate lead response times into your sales compensation plan

This keeps reps accountable for their time and ensures they respond and connect with as many leads as possible.

Use automation

Can you automate steps in your sales funnel? If you’re struggling to provide quick responses, it might be time to invest in chatbots or virtual assistants that can help you respond to leads.

Train customer acquisition skills

Sales teams need training to stay on top of their lead response times. They should know when to respond, when leads are ready to progress through the sales funnel, and how much time they have before leads fall off.

Route leads

Channel the right leads to the right sales reps. Use technology to work out which team members are available to follow up with leads so that your ideal customers don’t fall through the cracks.

Sales engagement platforms help streamline lead follow up. Book time with our sales team to learn about Conquer Cadence, the only sales engagement platform truly native to Salesforce.