April 19, 2023

Why Speed to Lead Is Critical for Your Sales Strategy + How to Do It Right

Why Speed to Lead Is Critical for Your Sales Strategy + How to Do It Right | Mixmax

Have you ever tried to catch a fly with a pair of chopsticks? 

It ain’t easy (we haven’t actually tried, but we’re pretty sure), and chances are, you're not going to be very successful. 

But if you've ever seen "The Karate Kid," you know that with the right training and technique, catching a fly with chopsticks is not only possible, but it's also crazy impressive.

In sales, the same principle applies to "speed to lead." If you're not prepared and equipped to respond QUICKLY to potential leads, you're likely to miss out on opportunities and lose potential customers. 

But with the right tools and strategies, you can improve your "chopstick skills" and catch those leads before they fly away move on to your competitor. 

In this post, we'll explore the importance of speed to lead in sales, and how tools like Mixmax's sales engagement can help you improve your response times and increase your success rates.



This blog post emphasizes the importance of speed to lead in sales and how to improve it with the right tools and strategies. It defines speed to lead, discusses the factors that impact it, and highlights the benefits of fast response times.

What we recommend: implementing a lead response plan, using technology to automate follow-up, tracking and analyzing speed-to-lead metrics, and responding quickly with a personal touch.

We also suggest using Mixmax sales engagement as a solution for improving speed to lead.

Ok, on to the meat of it all...

First off, what is speed to lead?

For once, it's as simple as it sounds: Speed to lead is the time it takes for a salesperson to respond to a prospect who’s interested in your business, or the number of minutes between when someone fills out a form on your website and you get back to them. 

It's a pretty important metric for any sales team, as it tells you how quickly you can turn leads into customers—and that matters more than ever before.

What impacts speed to lead?

Like any modern sales technique, your speed to lead is going to be impacted by a lot more than how quickly you can wiggle your fingers on a keyboard.

So, which factors are responsible?

  • The size of your sales team: If you're working with a small sales team, there's only so much they can do on their own—so it's important to optimize their efforts as much as possible. This could mean using sales automation tools (we'll get to that later), and putting together an FAQ page so that they can focus on inquiries that truly matter.
  • The type of product: If you're selling a software solution, it could be much easier to automate some parts of your process compared to selling a physical product. Similarly, if you're selling a product with a billion quirks to cover, it might not be as easy to streamline and may require some solutions to help you along the way.

Why should you care?

This all might seem obvious, but response times are a bigger deal than ever. In fact, you might be underestimating its importance.

In today's digital world, most buyers expect quick responses from businesses they want to work with. A study from the Harvard Business Review found that firms who contacted leads within an hour were almost seven times more likely to qualify them. Compared to those who waited 24 hours or more, this rate shot up to more than 60 times more likely.

These numbers are pretty staggering, but there is a silver line: In the same study, only 37% of companies responded within 24 hours, and 23% never even responded at all.

That means there's room for you to squeeze your way in and outperform more than half the competition. Yay!

Will your leads care?

Yes. YES. Absolutely.

By improving your lead response time stats, you’ll send a clear signal that you’re responsive, attentive, and easy to work with. This will make your leads feel cared for AND it’ll build trust in your brand—both of which are important for long-term sales success.

Tips for improving speed to lead

Whether you're selling on LinkedIn or a B2B marketplace, here are some tips to help boost your speed to lead statistics and start earning wins.

1. Implement a lead response plan

You've put all this work into attracting leads, now it's time to turn them into buyers. To do so, you'll need a clear process for responding to leads.

This doesn’t have to be anything crazy—just make sure there are clear steps in place so that everyone on your team knows what they need to do when a notification (via email or Slack) comes in.

For example:

  • Establish guidelines such as responding within 24 hours, using personalized messaging that adds value, following up at least X times over the course of Y weeks.
  • Assign roles & responsibilities such as assigning inbound leads to one team member and outbound leads to another.

2. Use technology to automate your follow-up

Whether you have a two-person or a multi-national sales team, a little sales automation never hurts (in fact, it’s essential). 

A sales engagement solution like Mixmax can help you track your entire sales pipeline, especially when it comes to maintaining a fast response time through automated follow-up sequences, workflow rules, and phone number generation with Dialer.

3. Track and analyze your speed-to-lead metrics

As always, it's important to understand what's working and what isn’t. Fortunately, speed to lead is pretty easy to monitor, and Mixmax's extensive email tracking functionality can help you discover those rough edges, whether it's a low open or reply rate, or reduced downloads (click-throughs).

4. Respond quickly and with a personal touch

Though your lead conversion rate depends on a lot of moving parts, responding quickly is just as important as responding with personalization in mind.

You can still use automation, but only if you strike the right balance. For example, features like email templates—which can be customized in a few clicks—offer the best of both worlds.


5. Best practices for improving speed to lead

Remember that improving your inbound lead response time is a process, not a one-time thing. To set yourself up for sustainable, long-term success, be sure to:

  • Adopt and implement a capable dialer software.
  • Take advantage of sales automation (the right way).
  • Regularly monitor your metrics and adjust accordingly.

Benefits of speed to lead

We've given you the rundown of how to tweak your sales strategy, but what is speed to lead doing for you in return?

Honestly, it's doing a lot.

It's making your sales efforts more efficient, enhancing your customer experience, and saving you time and money.

Here's how:

  • Improved lead conversion rates: The faster you can get to a lead, the more likely they are to convert. In fact, a response time of one minute could boost your conversion rate by 391%!!! 
  • Increased sales revenue: As you can guess, the quicker you close deals and bring on new business from new clients, the better chance your team has at making more money over time.
  • Improved customer satisfaction: When your team is able to reach out, answer questions, and sell solutions that help your prospects slay their problems in less time, it's a win-win for everyone. Your customers will be happier, your business's wallet will get a little thicker, and you'll have more time to focus on other tasks.
  • Competitive marketplace advantage: Like we said earlier, not everyone is great at responding quickly to leads. By giving your team the tools and processes to do so, you'll instantly stand out from your competitors and build a positive reputation amongst prospects and competitors.

How Mixmax sales engagement helps with speed to lead

We're no stranger to the trials and tribulations of 21st-century sales strategy, which is why Mixmax is designed to help you make the most of every opportunity.

Our features will trim the fat from your sales process, making it easier to connect with prospects in less time. A few ways we'll get the ball rolling for you include:

  • Sequences: Create a series of automated, customizable emails perfect for nurturing leads from the second they complete an intake form.
  • Sales automation: Schedule meetings and events, send reminders, and more to manage your pipeline in a few clicks.
  • Follow-up reminders: Send a gentle nudge when a prospect has gone quiet.
  • Dialer: Connect with your prospects using generated phone numbers that are logged and directly synced to Salesforce.
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The time to focus on improving your speed to lead conversion time is now.

Keep in mind these key takeaways:

  • Speed to lead conversion can help you understand how fast your sales team is moving.
  • A lead response plan is necessary to streamline your lead-management process.
  • The right tools, like Mixmax's sales automation functionality, will give your team a valuable market advantage.
  • By boosting your speed to lead statistics, you'll be able to identify and qualify leads faster.

You can't afford to let your sales team waste time on manually tracking, prospecting, and following up anymore. It's time to get serious and automate your sales process to close more deals, make more money, and better serve customers.

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