As salespeople, we’ve all had the importance of follow-up drilled into us. I’m sure many of us have even had the sad occasion to miss out on opportunities because of poor follow up. Now, thanks to Benchmark Research Group, we have numbers for just how big of an impact timely follow-up has.
Using the CRM industry as a case study, Benchmark Research Group examined the sales response times from five CRM providers including PipelineDeals, SalesForce, and Insightly to gain a sense of how quickly sales teams are following up on inbound sales opportunities and the effect that had on their ability to close business.
The results were startling, with every company except for PipelineDeals taking more than two days to follow up on inbound leads. To be clear, these leads are people who called in looking to start a trial or schedule a demo.
According to Benchmark Research Group, delaying by even a few days can have a dire impact on salespeople’s ability to close since they are playing catch up from right out of the gate. Ultimately delaying by three days or even as much as seven can produce a drop in the close rate between 50x and 1000x.
These numbers are huge and drive home the importance of having systems in place across the company to help speed the transfer of leads to the sales team. As we move towards a world where customers expect increasingly fast response times, aligning the sales team with departments such as customer care, customer success, and marketing is becoming a strategic advantage.
Of course, even more important than moving fast when you’re trying to get clients in the door is keeping up the level of attention once they become customers. What many buyers fear, and sadly what they’re all two likely to experience, is a drop in attention as soon as the get on board. This oversite is a quick way to lose customer trust and is entirely preventable.
Many companies view customer care as an expense with no real upside to it. This is a mistake. Using ourselves as an example, PipelineDeals strives to make our response to active customers as fast or even faster than we’re able to respond to new potential buyers.
This effort has led to many benefits, for us, but especially for our customers, who know they can rely on us to support their sales operations. While the emphasis here is on doing right by the customers, focusing on responding to customer requests as quickly as possible has a direct payoff from a sales perspective as well.
It shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone that clients who are well cared for and have their needs met promptly renew at a substantially higher rate than those that don’t. Furthermore, customers who get support can experience the value of a product to a much greater degree than those that are left on their own. The fuller experience, in turn, drives up-sell and cross-sell opportunities down the road.
We’re proud to be recognized by the Benchmark Research Group for our focus on rapid sales response. But the truth is, for us at PipelineDeals, it’s only half the equation. What we attempt to do, and what we hope that our software helps other companies do, is take care of the customer, from the first introduction to conclusion. This core belief is the bedrock of customer-centric thinking.