Is Your Sales Lead Response Strategy More James Bond Than Maxwell Smart?

Sales professionals may be under the impression that their lead response efforts are timely and effective, but Velocify analysis of actual calls, voicemails, and emails shows that, for many of them, sales lead response tactics are more likely to be in need of an upgrade. Instead of creating a winning first impression, a full 82% of voicemails and 92% of emails reviewed in a real-world analysis needed improvement.

If we create a highly unscientific continuum of Maxwell Smart at one end of the effectiveness spectrum and James Bond at the other, it’s fair to say that responses were closer to Smart than Bond.

The surprising shortfalls uncovered can lead to missed sales opportunities that, over time, can be devastating to an organization’s bottom line and its ability to compete and grow.

A Winning First Impression

The first impression an organization gives a potential buyer is extremely important – not only how quickly they follow up, but also what they say. Most buyers see it as a leading predictor of a longer-term relationship with the sales rep and company.

Effective follow-up needs to be timely, appropriately persistent, and the message itself needs to add value for the recipient. The Velocify analysis in Sales Lead Response: The Ugly Truth Behind Call, Voicemail, and Email Practices found significant room for improvement in timeliness, persistence, and communication quality.

Though the study examines both email and call driven responses, we’ll focus on calls and voicemail strategies in this post.

Call and Voicemail Cadence: The Mistake of ‘One and Done’

Rather than striking the right communication cadence, our research found some miscalculation about the right number and timing of phone calls and voicemails. One-third of submitted inbound leads didn’t even receive a single call!

sales lead response
It’s important to weave voicemails into your call strategy because missed calls can go unnoticed, and a voicemail is a good way to get a prospect’s attention. However, make sure to strike the right balance because research shows leaving too many voicemails before contact, as many as five or more, can actually be worse than not leaving any voicemails. Almost half of prospects assessed didn’t even receive a voicemail. Of those who did, 40% received only one voicemail and 34% received too many. One prospect even received ten voicemails.

If you are following a six-call strategy, research from the Ultimate Guide to Inquiry Response suggests leaving a voicemail on your second and fourth call attempt. Leaving your first voicemail on your second call has a 31% higher conversion rate than leaving that voicemail on any other call.

The Importance of Quality Control

Voicemail frequency can increase the chance of conversion, but reps need to leave quality messages to maximize callbacks. The analysis evaluated voicemail quality on five basic criteria: context; clarity; length; personalization; and tone.
sales lead response

Only 18% of prospects received “good” voicemails that earned the ranking because they included all five components of a quality voicemail. Almost half (46%) of all voicemails were scored “bad to terrible,” meeting three of the five criteria or fewer. Eight percent of the voicemails received didn’t even meet one of the five criteria.

More Effective Phone Skills, Powered by the Right Tech Tools

Bond always gets his message across and consistently relies on cutting edge technology tools for an unfair advantage. Likewise, the technique and technology options for sales organizations to improve contact strategy and process are abundant. And most are only a few clicks away. To get you started, we’ve included valuable ‘quick fix’ tips in the Sales Lead Response study for each of these call response missed opportunities.

You can avoid being one of those companies inadvertently throwing money away by not responding appropriately and failing to maximize every prospect interaction. Click here to learn more ways that your sales organization can learn the best tools and tricks of the trade and enhance the service you provide prospective customers.


Jorge Jeffery, sales objectivesMeet the Author: Jorge Jeffery joined Velocify in 2011 and is director of research and analytics. Jorge has been instrumental in mining data from more than 1,500 sales teams that leverage Velocify’s solutions today. Insights gleaned help establish best practices for Velocify clients in order to maximize revenue potential.

  • Tim Dunlea

    James, James Bond without a doubt

  • Branden O’Donnell

    It’s a good thing not to be Smart!

Subscribe to our Blog

Delivered by FeedBurner

Connect with us

Velocify is here, there and everywhere! Follow us on your favorite social networking sites.