Many Businesses Make a Poor First Impression with Online Prospects, Velocify Study Finds

lead generation

Speed, Persistence, and Quality Sorely Lacking when it comes to Inbound Lead Response

Velocify, the leading sales acceleration platform, today announced the results of its newest study titled, “Sales Lead Response: The Ugly Truth Behind Call, Voicemail, and Email Practices.” The study reveals that most sales teams are not making the most of their inbound sales opportunity.

“It was eye opening to find out how many sales reps are limiting their own sales efforts,” said Velocify CEO and President, Nick Hedges. “The results of this study show many companies are throwing money away by not responding appropriately or at all to high-value leads. The first impression you give a potential buyer is so important. Over time, poor lead response can be devastating to an organization’s bottom line and its ability to compete and grow.”

Effective follow-up needs to be timely, appropriately persistent, and the message itself needs to add value for the recipient. To assess effectiveness, the study analyzed lead response tactics, including communication channel, timing, frequency, and quality of the message in comparison to established best practices. Velocify research has found that these four communication factors have the greatest impact on lead progression, and ultimately conversion to a sale.

Message Quality is Critical to Maximize Lead Response
Velocify scored sales reps’ voicemail and email messages against five effective characteristics. Voicemails were graded on context; clarity; length; personalization; and tone, and emails on clarity; context; personalization; length; and clear Call to Action (CTA).

The study uncovered significant room for improvement in communication quality, and ample opportunity for sales reps to hone their skills, and improve templates and scripts to be more successful.  A full 82 percent of voicemails and 92 percent of emails that were assessed needed improvement. The most pervasive issues behind the low ratings were:

  • More than half of voicemails were lacking good tone. The wrong tone can give the impression that the rep lacks enthusiasm for the product or their job. Plus, if the voicemail sounds like the rep is reading from a script, it will give the impression of poor training and lack of product knowledge.
  • Half of all emails received lacked a clear CTA. Most had too many CTAs but some failed to include even one CTA.
  • Thirty-nine percent of emails lacked the prospect’s name. With so many automation options available today, sales reps need to be sure to include the personal touch of addressing prospects by name in the body of their outreach emails.

Communication Speed and Appropriate Persistence Drives Results
According to the study, most sales reps were too slow to follow-up and not persistent enough. Maintaining a consistent and disciplined follow-up process is just as important as the quality of your message. Consider that:

  • More than 33% of leads didn’t even receive a call.
  • Only 7% of prospects received a call within the recommended best practice of one minute.
  • 85% of leads didn’t receive the optimal number of voicemails.

Similarly, most email follow-up was too quick, too slow, or not frequent enough:

  • 35% of leads received an email in less than one minute, the recommended best practice is to wait 20 minutes before sending an email so it doesn’t feel like an automated, impersonal email to the prospect.
  • Only 5% of leads received the optimal number of emails.

By fine tuning communication timing and frequency, plus putting more emphasis on persuasive and proven messaging, companies can improve their initial impact on inbound sales leads. In fact, many customers are optimizing the value of their leads with Velocify.

“Velocify demonstrates a deep and unique understanding of the fundamentals of lead conversion and the science which goes into it,” said Joseph Semrani, AVP at M&T Bank.  “With an infinite number of phone, email, and SMS cadences available in Velocify, we can test and adapt our contact strategy to optimize for conversion.”

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