Companies misjudging lead response times

Companies are wasting sales leads because their teams aren't responding to online contacts as quickly as they think, new research shows.

Published by sales automation and analytics provider InsideSales.com, the report reveals that companies often grossly underestimate response times and overestimate response attempts. The study is based on InsideSales.com's ResponseAudit, a standardized and automated research tool that tests how quickly and persistently companies are contacting online leads.

After collecting response data for more than 700 members of the American Association of Inside Sales Professionals (AA-ISP), InsideSales.com asked the companies to evaluate their perceived sales response performance. The results show a significant disparity between reality and how companies think they respond to leads.

Key findings from the study include:

  • When asked how many attempts their sales teams make to contact a lead, companies most often estimated "more than five," but in reality the most common number of attempts was zero.
  • Nearly 25 percent of companies surveyed thought they were responding to leads within five minutes, when in actuality only 5 percent responded that quickly.
  • More than 90 percent of companies surveyed believed that their first response to sales leads was done by phone, when in reality 67 percent of companies make their first contact through email.

"There is a term in social psychology called 'illusory superiority,' which is the tendency to overestimate positive qualities and abilities,” says Ken Krogue, president of InsideSales.com. With this research study we've found that illusory superiority is in full effect when it comes to sales lead responses.

"The companies we surveyed typically had lofty perceptions of how they were responding to leads, but the hard truth is that reality falls far below those perceptions,” he adds. “This has the distinct potential to be devastating to an organization's bottom line and can be a major hindrance to growth."

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