Do you track how long it takes for your sales teams to follow up on a lead? According to an article in Forbes a few years ago, studies show that on average it takes a company 46 hours and 53 minutes to pick up the phone and call a lead. In addition this same study concluded that sales gave up on the lead after only 1.3 call attempts. How do you fix this?
Start at the beginning
Review your organizations lead nurturing workflow looking for any delays that would result in that lead not getting to sales in a timely manner. What's a timely manner? Set the bar high say less than 5 minutes from time of conversion to an email delivered to the sales inbox. Each organization is difference you may have some email processing time if your dealing with territory assignment, etc. but that should only add a few seconds to the overall time.
Match your response to the content
Make sure that you pay close attention to the workflow associated with the different types of content on your website. Use automation to handle the top of the funnel content types (Whitepapers, case studies, ebooks) as converting on this content typically indicates that someone is early in the buying cycle. However you want to fast track qualifying content leads (trial accounts, demonstrations, consultations, etc.) as these conversions are typically associated with someone at the end of the buying cycle.
Strike while the iron is hot
According to the Lead Response Management Study: "The odds of calling to contact a lead decrease by over 10 times in the 1st hour. The odds of calling to qualify a lead decrease by over 6 times in the 1st hour. After 20 hours every additional dial your salespeople make actually hurts your ability to make contact to qualify a lead." So it's critical that your sales teams react quickly.
"The opposite of love is not hate it's indifference."Elie Wiesel
Experienced sales people understand this famous idiom, we as marketers need to embrace it as well and move past the idea that we're are going to anger or alienate a potential customer by calling them too soon. When clearly the research proves otherwise.