By  , Digital Sales & Marketing Coach

Our leads are going cold! How do we respond faster to close more deals?

Our leads are going cold! How do we respond faster to close more deals?

This post is for small business owners, marketing directors/managers and sales directors/managers. 

Would you love a new way to make the selling easier in 2024? Where improving the way you respond to leads, reduces the chances of them going cold, and builds the trust?

If you’re like me and you invest time and money to generate website enquiries for businesses, you want those prospects to get a stunning experience.

But it doesn’t always happen.

What are your lead response times like?

Imagine a typical Monday morning.

You’ve been working hard to generate website enquiries.

A new email enquiry comes from your website.

Great news.

You want to call the prospect back quickly, but you’re too busy talking to other prospects, doing other work, or worse, procrastinating.

In the end, you call the prospect later that day…

…but you don’t get an answer.


If you delay calling your prospects you will…

  1. Make it harder to get the prospect to pick up the phone.
  2. Slow the buyer’s momentum.
  3. Damage your chances of making the sale.
  4. Lose an opportunity to the competition.

Your revenue will likely take a hit if you or your salespeople delay your web enquiry response times consistently.

You need to make a change to make the selling easier.

You will get incredible benefits if you respond quickly.

But how can you speed up your response times?

Let’s explore.

Your Lead Response Times Are Way Too Slow…

Website enquiries go very cold, very quickly.

When you get a lead via email, you need to act fast.

If you respond quickly and get the prospect on the phone, studies prove you’ll get higher response rates compared to writing emails.  

You’re also more likely to close the sale.

So get them on the phone, keep the lead warm and make the selling easier.

Is It That Easy?

Getting a prospect on the phone quickly is easier said than done.

But get them on the phone and you significantly improve your chances of making a future sale.

Most companies contact leads within 42 hours of them becoming a lead. – Harvard Business Review

Many firms are just way too slow at following up.

If all of your competitors follow the average and call prospects back in 42 hours, there’s an opportunity for you to win the business.

That alone shows you why it’s important to get back to leads quickly.

If you’re serious about increasing revenue, take the opportunity that’s within your grasp.

Increase your web enquiry response times today – and do it by phone.

How Quickly Should You Contact Leads?

Your lead response time must be ‘as quickly as possible’ and that should always be the goal of you or your sales people.

And the “…as possible” bit, well, that means quick.

“The faster you contact your leads the more likely they are to close.” – Hubspot

Studies show that if you call someone in 5 minutes versus calling them in 24 hours time, you significantly increase the chances of closing the deal.

Only 4.7% of companies achieve the 5 minute window.

Why is 5 minutes the ideal time to respond?

It is of course easier to get someone to pick up the phone if you call them within 5 minutes.

They are likely to still be tuned it to the activity and be available to talk, than maybe in 30 minutes time.

“Years of lead response research confirm the odds of contacting a lead if they are called within 5 minutes are 100 times higher versus one called in 30 minutes.” – Source:

How Important Is Increasing Your Lead Response Times?

You’re investing resources in marketing?

You want to do everything you can to close more deals and opportunities?

And of course, you want to increase revenue?

If so, you simply must focus on increasing your the speed you get back to website enquiries.

Have a company wide goal to call leads back in 5 minutes and you will almost certainly increase your revenue. (If it’s just you in the business, you can do it too).

Even if your entire sales team is busy, at least get someone to call the lead back within 5 minutes. It’s critical. They can always get a sales person to return the call later.

Does The 5 Minute Rule Work For Small Businesses?

I know a story of a company who implemented the 5 minute rule when they had just 7 employees.

They increased revenue by 6 times.

6 times. Wow.

They put that increase largely down to their speedy lead response time.

You don’t need a large team to implement the 5 minute rule.

What Should You Say In That First Call?

Let’s imagine an email enquiry has just arrived in your inbox.

The prospect knows your company name.

Once they pick up the phone they’re likely to be very warm to talking.

Warmer than at any other time.

Don’t waste this chance.

What should you say in that first phone call?

  1. You have to be natural and helpful.
  2. Don’t try to sell.
  3. Today the power is with the buyer, if they don’t like the way you come across, they’re going somewhere else.
  4. Come across as a super helpful company. Help people find the information they need. Don’t be the company that’s dangerously desperate to make the sale.
  5. Say something like: “Hi, my name’s John Smith calling from Acme. We just saw your enquiry come in about [INSERT PRODUCT/SERVICE] and I’m calling to see if I can help answer any questions? [If you’re not a salesperson then add: “And if I can’t then I know one or two people who will definitely be able to help.”]”

Think of the impact this approach and the 5 minute rule could have on the people you’re talking to.

They’ll LOVE you.

Having prospects who already love you, makes it easier to close the sale (as long as you keep the super helpful response up!).

NEXT STEPS: How Can You Improve Lead Response Times?

You may have heard about the 5 minute rule before.

Maybe you concluded that you couldn’t implement it in your company?

The 5 minute rule has the potential to 6x your revenue, but you need a lot of dedication to pull it off.

Does your team have it?

It’s a good idea to sit down and talk with your salespeople to find out what the shortest realistic response time is.

If 5 minutes is not realistic, what is?

Agree on that time and look at ways to shorten it as time goes on.

Introduce methods like getting other people to make the calls if a salesperson is available. It’s proven to work.

Remember that faster lead response times are in your control.

Get back to prospects quicker, consistently over time and you will grow your revenue.

Make the call.

Related reading:

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