Last year, a study from Leads360 (now Velocify) found that speed-to-call is the single largest driver of lead conversion, with the headline result being that a phone call to a new prospect within a minute of lead generation improves conversion rates by 391% compared to later times making the first call. Now new data from Software Advice supports the importance of calling leads quickly, finding that qualification rates fall with each passing second.
The researchers analyzed B2B buyer behavior online by examining traffic and conversion data from more than 6 million unique visitors to its website who were looking for business software information. The results indicate that after a buyer converted on the site, calling the lead within 5 seconds resulted in a qualification rate 30% higher than average. That rate then dropped with each proceeding time interval, down to 12% above-average for leads called within 31 seconds to 1 minute.
The analysis was extended to minute intervals – where the results were similarly linear. The qualification rate was 10% above-average for calls made between 1-2 minutes after conversion, turning negative (5% below-average) in the 6-10 minute post-conversion interval.
The results confirm what buyers themselves suggest. In a survey released earlier this year, Velocify and PossibleNOW found that among respondents who had made a business inquiry online, 72% believed that the first company to call had an advantage over the competition.
Software Advice cautions that not all leads should get a quick call. For example, while those who complete a contact form inquiring about a price quote or product demo should be called rapidly, those who completed a form to access some material or content should be nurtured rather than called.
- Unsurprisingly, conversion and qualification rates tend to be higher during the week than on the weekend. Wednesday was the peak day for conversion rates (4% above-average), while Tuesday through Thursday were best for qualification rates (each at 4% above-average).
- Conversion rates are best during working hours, but are higher (12% below-average) during the pre-work hours than the post-work hours (26% below-average). Even so, conversion rates were actually above-average from 9PM through 11PM CST.
- During work hours, conversion rates proved highest at 4PM (21% above-average).
- While conversion rates tended to be higher during the afternoon hours, the opposite was true for qualification rates, which were highest from 9AM through 11AM.
About the Data: The Software Advice report analyzes website traffic and conversion data from January 1, 2008 through August 31, 2013. Unique visitor data was pulled from Google Analytics. Traffic was limited to unique visitors in the United States, and it was limited to commercial landing pages. The resaerchers also excluded international conversions from the data to limit analysis to domestic buyers. Duplicate conversions were removed to avoid artificially inflating conversion rates from buyers converting on the site multiple times for the same product or information. Finally, the report focuses on buyers that came to the Software Advice website in search of information on business software (i.e. B2B software buyers).