In a study conducted at Ad Tech ASEAN last month, Singapore-based startup Lucep found that businesses in the region are massively out of sync with their customers' expectations when it comes to responding to leads online.
The survey found that while 68 per cent of companies questioned want to respond in less than an hour, only 3 per cent actually do. Meanwhile, 87 per cent of companies are not responding as quickly as they would like, and fewer than 2 per cent of companies respond to sales leads in under five minutes.
The findings call for marketing and sales teams to work more closely, said Zal Dastur, co-founder at Lucep. "There is no point in marketing teams running amazing campaigns that drive people to your website and create leads for the business if the sales team is not acting on the leads or calling them back at all,” he added.
A report published by Harvard Business Review underscored the importance of responsiveness, finding that sales teams that respond within an hour are nearly seven times as likely to qualify a lead.
“Leaving an online lead for as little as 30 minutes means that your chances of closing a deal drop by 21 times,” said Dastur.
The most surprising thing about the survey, Dastur said, was that most people knew that they should be responding quicker, but they just were not doing it. "We had thought a lot of education would have to go into explaining how leaving a lead even for 30 or 60 minutes can have such a massive impact on the ability to close the lead,” he said.
The challenge with online leads, Dastur explains, lies in the fact that they have a very short lifespan. They are considered fragile because people can find other companies quickly and easily.
“The first person to respond to a lead is actually 70 per cent more likely to close that lead," Dastur said. "You need to be there before they have a chance to look at a competitors' website."