The majority of sales and marketing professionals will discard a lead after 3-5 attempts to make contact, according to a recent report [download page] from Ascend2 and Verse.io. The study looks at the intricacies of respondents’ preferences for lead conversion efforts, including channels used and the time it takes to make first contact.
The deep dive into lead conversion is based on a survey of more than 250 marketing and sales professionals at various levels of seniority. Respondents indicated that when it comes to following up with leads, traditional channels still lead the way with the largest share (37%) claiming email is their most-used channel to follow up with inbound leads and about an equal share saying the same for phone calls (36%).
Less commonly used channels include social media, by around 1 in 8 (12%) respondents, text/SMS (6%), and live chat (7%). The report does note that this low use of text/SMS doesn’t chime with the fact that 89% of consumers prefer to communicate with businesses via SMS, highlighting a potential missed opportunity.
Regarding following up with leads, the study found the most common follow-up sequence to be: phone call – email – phone call. A plurality (43%) use a phone call for their first follow-up, with 4 in 10 using email for their second follow-up and 28% returning to a phone call for their third follow-up.
Notably, it’s this third follow-up for which respondents start to turn to text/SMS (21%), social media (7%) and live chat (11%).
As sales and marketing professionals are all too aware, the timing of making contact with a lead is crucial. However, the report found that not all respondents tend to make first contact in too timely a manner, with fewer than half indicating that their average time to attempt the first contact is either 5 minutes or less (17%) or 30 minutes or less (28%).
Around 1 in 5 (21%) make their first contact attempt only within one business day, with 6% making it within two business days and an equal share taking more than two business days to make first contact.
After this first contact, respondents shared their preference for how many attempts are made. According to respondents, most companies (71%) are making 3-5 attempts to contact a lead before discarding it. Broken down day-by-day, pluralities of respondents keep it to one contact attempt per day for the first three days post-acquisition (49% day of; 45% one day after; 42% two days after).
Before discarding leads, the majority (55%) of organizations hold on to them for up to one month, while 1 in 5 don’t systematically discard leads.
Read more about lead conversion in the full report here.
About the Data: Findings are based on a survey of 277 marketing and sales professionals.