Access to free, frequently updated information—whenever we want it—has changed the role of sales people. Now they have to step into a sales process where they have no control over the information flows. Relationships still matter and many sales people will be able to avoid being rushed around, but many will discover that speed to response defines their success.
To hold onto their consultative selling role, assuming they want it, they will have to become information servers. The marketing manager curates an exhibition of information offerings, and the sales person helps the prospect find the bite that's right.
KISSmetrics blog: How NOT to Lose SaaS Sales, 2013-Aug-20, by Khuram Hussain
Let’s discuss a study reported in an article in the Harvard Business Review titled “The Short Shelf Life of Online Sales Leads.”
In a study conducted by David Elkington, CEO of InsideSales.com, and James B Oldroyd, assistant professor at SKK Graduate School of Business at Sungkyunkwan University, it was found that most companies don’t respond fast enough to online sales leads and that responding faster leads to increased sales.
Out of 2,241 U.S. companies audited for the study, 37% responded to leads within an hour, 16% within 24 hours, 24% took longer than 24 hours, and 23% of companies never responded at all. For the companies that responded within 30 days, the average response time was 42 hours.
Here’s where it gets really interesting. In another study that evaluated 1.25 million sales leads, it was found that companies which contacted people within an hour were sixty times more likely to qualify leads than companies that took 24 hours or more. Yes, that’s right, sixty times more likely.