When is the Right Time for Lead Follow-up?

Lead Qualification ‌• April 8, 2015

Do you know what your prospect’s Moment of Interest is? From a seller’s perspective, we would like to believe that it is when the buyer wants to engage. But maybe they just want to unilaterally engage with digital content. According to SiriusDecisions, 67 percent of the buyer’s journey is now done digitally. Recent research from The Corporate Executive Board (CEB) suggests that B2B buyers on average reach out and engage a sales representative after they are 57% through their buying journey. But does that mean that B2B sellers shouldn’t reach out to B2B buyers earlier?

After processing over 4 million B2B marketing sourced inquiries, our execution best practices and research show that B2B sellers are better served (as measured by positive sales cycle outcomes) by engaging with B2B buyers much earlier in their buying journey.   It isn’t just our research; there are plenty of other sources of data that are suggesting similar things. As an example, research that was conducted by Insidesales.com, reveals that the odds of connecting with a lead via a telephone call are 100 times more likely to occur if the lead is called within 5 minutes of them having a digital engagement. Further, their same research suggests that the odds of qualifying that same lead into some high-quality next sales step if called within 5 minutes goes up by 21 times versus calling 30 minutes after the contact’s digital engagement. Think of how much work you are creating for yourself and your team when you follow up with leads well beyond their Moments of Interest. It literally can take 100 times the effort to connect with a prospect if you are not employing some form of engagement at the prospect’s moment of interest as defined by their engagement with digital content.

So, back to the main question, how do you know the right Moments of Interest to follow up and engage with a B2B lead? Here are a few insights that we’ve learned over the years:

  • Not every lead that engages with your digital content should receive an immediate follow up call. Are they in your addressable market? If they are, is the person/title interacting with your content someone who is likely to be involved in the evaluation or decision process?
  • Are multiple people from an account engaging with the content you are serving up? If they are, these leads should probably be followed up with immediately, as there is a good chance that some initiative is underway in that account.
  • Has the contact engaged with multiple pieces of your available content? When contacts are highly active in searching for information, it usually indicates they are on a mission that is pre-ordained. These multi-hit contacts usually deserve immediate follow up.

It might not be prudent to invest in following up with every lead on every digital engagement. Today’s marketing automation systems offer lots of capability to track, score, and provide real-time alerts when leads are active with digital content.

You should also be careful about how you follow up with people when you have identified a high-priority Moment of Interest. You don’t want to sound like a stalker. At OppSource, we take a “concierge” approach. As an example, we sound more “Ritz Carlton”, than “McDonalds Drive Through”. You might say that you are simply following up to make sure they were able to successfully download/access the content. This concierge approach often takes the “salesy” feeling out of the follow up call and affords you an opportunity to ask open-ended questions that really matter. Like asking the contact what caused them to be interested in your content.

Employing a Moment of Interest follow up strategy and using these simple best practices will yield a much higher connect rate, and in turn, it will yield a much higher conversion rate into sales-ready opportunities.

If you would like to know more about the OppSource best practices on Moment of Interest, you can download our white paper here.

Sam McCue
Inbound Marketing guru, avid fisherman, and all-around backcountry enthusiast.

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