The 5 Minute Rule to More Sales

Posted by: Conrad Wilson DipM, MSc, MBA
Category: Uncategorized

B2B enterprises unknowingly lose millions perhaps billions of pounds in sales each year because they are far too slow to call their prospects.

A shocking study featured in the Harvard Business Review called ‘The Short Life of Online Sales Leads’ (2011) discovered some stunning facts.

Led by Dr James Oldroyd, who was then a fellow at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the study worked with the sales technology company to analyse three years of cold-calling data, including 15,000 leads and more than 100,000 call attempts.

  • It turns out that the best time to call is within 5 minutes of that person making a web enquiry. 
  • You are 21 times more likely to qualify a lead and move the opportunity forward if you call within 5 minutes than if you wait for 30 minutes.

Why is the five minutes’ response time so important?

  • You know that your prospects are still probably by their computer, tablet or phone.
  • You are still at the top of your prospect’s mind. Do you remember any of the websites that you were surfing nearly two days ago? Probably not, and neither would your customers.

How many calls should you attempt?

The same study found that your salespeople must make 9 to 10 dials to get the conversation. The average rate is a shocking 1.3 dials.

Salespeople shut down leads too early, leaving money on the table. This is another competitive advantage you must add into your sales process. Most establishments give up far too early. Do not make this mistake. Make 9 to 10 dials before giving up.

Delay is Death – But Your Salespeople Will Be Sceptical

I find that salespeople are hesitant to call right away because they are afraid that they would be seen as big brother. There could be some truth to this, but trust me, the benefits to your business will outweigh the hesitancy of their approach.

Now consider the scenario when you wait 24 hours to call a prospect. What if that same prospect was filling out enquiry forms with multiple competitors?

  • The first company to call your prospect is most likely to get the deal, so calling within five minutes of the customer clicking ‘submit’ is in your best interest.
  • If it is not possible, then try to do the majority of your calls within 1 hour from sign-up. If this is not doable, then try every hour for 12 hours.
  • After 24 hours, it becomes touch-and-go. There is an old rule: ‘delay is death’.

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Author: Conrad Wilson DipM, MSc, MBA