In 2007, a groundbreaking lead response study by insidesales.com went viral and caught the attention of many in the business world. A lot of information in that study can be applied to the manufacturing industry, and I’ll explain why.
Call Sooner, Not Later
David Ekington, CEO of Insidesales.com, notes:
“The most dramatic finding from the 2007 study has to do with immediacy, which is the time it takes to respond to an inbound, marketing-generated lead. The study revealed that the odds of making contact with a new lead are extremely high if you call within the first five minutes of submission. The odds drop off dramatically by the first 30 minutes. Specifically, a rep is 100 times less likely to make contact if the first call is made 30 minutes after submission. The odds of making contact drop by 3,000 times if the first call is made 5 hours after lead submission.”
(The original study can be downloaded from the Research Papers section of their website)
The main takeaway from the study is that leads have a very short shelf life. Basically, seconds count when responding to marketing leads because you don’t get a second chance with them. With the accessibility of the Internet and the increasing competition in virtually every industry, consumers can easily fulfill their need elsewhere if your business is not quick on the draw.
What This Means for Manufacturers
This relates to manufacturers because when a customer comes across an “out of stock” sign at a retail outlet then they can quickly choose a different brand or not buy anything at all. This results in a lost customer and lost revenue. It also hurts your brand because that customer may remember that they couldn’t count on finding your product before, so the next time they’re shopping they’ll avoid it.
Correctly Valuing Customers
A busy company needs to be nimble enough to respond to leads quickly. Everyone who contacts you should feel instantly valued. The only way to do this is by having an efficient lead response system in place and automating the lead management process, usually by software. It’s the same with a warehouse. Inventory management software and lean processes are essential to prevent stockouts.
Both of these scenarios emphasize the importance of velocity in meeting the demand of customers. How quickly can you react to opportunities? With revenue and customer acquisition on the line, it’s important to have the right answer to that question.
Insidesales.com provides lead management software solutions to a variety of businesses, and they created one of the first studies on the best practices of lead response and lead management. There have since been 100,000+ downloads of the study since it debuted, and it is now known as the “Industry Lead Response Study.”