The timetoreply Story

Why are some sales leads better than others? How does one business close sales while others struggle to get any meaningful return on lead generation?

These are questions I found myself asking back in early 2012, arising from how one website sales lead can bring great results for one company and prove dead in the water for another.

The Good, the Bad and the Mysterious
I had been grappling with a mystery. Every month my lead generation business was funnelling thousand of inquiries to businesses, ready for sales agents to respond and convert. While some clients were delighted with their rate of performance in closing sales, others reported the leads we were providing were converting terribly. The mystery was this – many of these conflicting reports of success were based on the exact same sales leads, because we would often route the same inquiry to three or four customers at once.

If we could get to the bottom of what was going wrong then we might be able to help people convert more leads into sales.

I already had a hunch the answer lay somewhere in the way our clients’ sales agents were addressing each lead they received. Were some agents better skilled sales people than others? Were internal communication errors confusing messages? Or were some companies simply getting back to prospects faster and converting before their competitors.

The latter seemed the most likely reason. But I had no way to accurately prove it. Once a lead had been routed to a client we lost track of it and had no way of determining when it would be responded to. Conversations with our customers didn’t help much. Most admitted to not actually knowing how long it took their salespeople to contact leads.

Where Time Mattered Most
So I started digging, looking for data that might support my theory that response time was a deciding factor in converting website sales leads. Eventually I came across a number of articles from esteemed sources like Forbes, Harvard Business Review and the Kellogg School of Management, reporting on several studies into sales lead timing. Without exception, the time it took businesses to reply was where the money lay.

The opening line of an article by Forbes stopped me in my tracks… “What would your CEO say if you proved 71% of the leads your company generates on the Internet are wasted? Who would be fired?”

The findings of these studies showed that not only do most sales go to the fastest responder, but also that leads grow significantly colder over a relatively short period of time.

I finally had a firm answer to my hunch: businesses don’t respond fast enough to their website inquiries.

From here we started to work on what would become timetoreply – a system of algorithmic measurement and reporting tools that would help businesses track and improve their response times.

Sales Teams, Trustimer and Reviews
As we progressed we added more and more features into the product and adjusted the algorithm to reflect different business hours and time zones. We also introduced our on-site customer review system, a dashboard to manage response times and the Trustimer, all positioned in the modal window – viewable on websites that chose to display it.

But what really blew our hair back early on was how valuable the Trustimer proved to be
Quite simply, we discovered how fast responders were getting more leads via their websites when they showed the Trustimer – simply because they could offer independent proof that they would get back to people quickly. Our first series of split tests showed an average uplift in leads of 28 per cent in the first month of showing the Trustimer, and more positive reviews from happy customers (which helped to drive leads and sales even more).

What Time Will Tell
The Internet is definitely shortening our attention spans. But businesses are still not responding anything like as effectively as they could to win more business from their websites.

So we’re helping our customers get their response rates on point and showing them why optimising their reply time is so important. As a result I’m proud to say we’re helping every one of them to grow their business and will continue to do so as time goes on…

Here’s What We’ve Got For You

Install timetorepy on your website and,

  1. Boost sales by measuring and improving your response times
  2. Increase customer engagement with your timetoreply Trustimer

Get Started – It’s Free

No credit card required.

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