Is your company Handling leads effectively?

handling-leads-effiectively

With the advent of Internet, the growth and requirement of leads for any business has increased rapidly.  More and more companies are investing thousands of dollars on generating leads for their business. People are doing all sort of activities like email marketing, micro sites, ppc, cold calls, seo, viral campaigns, social media activities in search of ways to generate more and more leads for their business.

But, when it comes to efficient leads handling, they go nuts.  Most companies does not have good idea about how to handle the leads.  Are you confident that your company is effectively handling leads? Think Again and Think Hard.  A research by Harvard business review shows that most companies are not responding fast enough and thus they are losing their leads and opportunities.

Research shows that financial, automobiles, health care, softwares, educational and many professional companies  have increasingly turned towards Internet in order to generate leads. Infact, corporate budget of online advertising aimed at generating leads has already increased  from $12.5 billion in 2005 to $22.7 billion in 2009, and it’s still growing strongly. Online services that offer customers a simple way to get quotes from multiple companies and then selling leads are growing, no matter its B2C or B2B segment.

Sites which generated top leads:  According to leadcouncil, sites which generated top leads were insureme.com,netquote.com,

insure.com in insurance sector, and dealix.com and autousa.com in automotive segment and lendingtree, bills.com in lending sectors. Although the leads were generated in huge numbers, there was serious problem in replying to the leads.

Leads response time

Moreover, research indicates that many firms are too slow to follow up on these leads.  In a research which was done on 2,241 U.S. companies, measuring how long each took to respond to a web-generated test lead. The results were quite shocking.  37% of companies replied to their leads within an hour, and 16% replied within 24 hours, 24% took more than 24 hours— and 23% of the companies never replied at all. The average response time, among companies that responded within 30 days, was 42 hours.  We thank Harvard Business Research for providing above data.

These results are especially shocking because another research shows that online leads go cold very soon.  Research shows that conversion rate were nearly seven times better to qualify the lead if the companies contacted their leads within one hour and it is almost more than 60 times better when compared to companies who waited more than 24 hours to contact their leads.

The real crucial question  is why aren’t companies replying to leads  at Internet speed when they are investing huge money in generating leads. Why? Reasons include the delayed fetching of  leads from CRM softwares and databases, sales guys are focused on generating their own leads rather than reacting quickly to customer-driven signs of interest, improper  management and distribution of sales leads among sales agents based on location and fairness.

Although this gives us a glimpse at what is wrong in the system and also hints some ways to correct it. It’s upto individual companies to outline the problems exist in their sales process life-cycle and get it corrected ASAP to squeeze in all the opportunities for their companies. Feel free to comment with your suggestions :)

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