Covering the world of marketing, social media, technology and infographics.

Mar 3, 2016

#Optimizing ROI - Getting Out of The Black Hole Between Marketing & Sales Teams


Businesses are scraping for incremental increases in marketing yields, close ratios, and leverage through technology, yet overlooking a gaping black hole that exists somewhere between their marketing and sales teams.

“Companies don’t respond fast enough to leads.” — Ken Krogue, forbes.

The world has changed.

In the past, one would be happy with a response to an email the next day. With the invention of the Internet and digital marketing, competition is fierce and people's desire for instant gratification is at its highest.

When people enquire about a product or service online they want a fast response. They can inquire from numerous companies within a few clicks and typically, the company that responds the fastest will tend to get the business. This has been noted time and time again by research like Harvard Business Review where Professor Oldroyd points out 78% of sales go to the first company to respond. I’ll repeat that 78%!

Responding to web-generated contact within 5 minutes results in a 900% increase in contact rates.

The New Digital Currency - Trust

Google talks of “trust” being the new currency and timetoreply gives these businesses the opportunity to add a new metric to weigh up likelihood of new customers trusting them or even being able to predict the chances of existing customers cancelling. Most of all, it adds a new key performance indicator for increased ROI.

Remember the last time you received a quick reply? You immediately felt that the company cares about your query, they were organized and on the ball. Sometimes you think “if something ever went wrong, these guys will be most likely to fix it quickly”. Responding to a query is then the first most important chance to win trust; having the right answer, product or price is pointless when late.

We don't want to wait in a queue just to speak about a purchase, we want a good customer service and by receiving a response quickly, we as customers immediately feel somewhat satisfied - from that we can start to trust and rely on a business. Maybe the increasing uptake of instant messaging like Whatsapp, Facebook, Snapchat are turning us into the type of customer that is not prepared for post to arrive in the next 3 working days.

Transforming correspondence and enquiries into a two way conversation is potentially the next big thing in staff performance analytics and TTR nearly makes measurement of 'calls taken' and 'call duration' appear stoneage. It helps us evolve into the domain of tracking digital communication - okay you forgot to reply to a lead, but how many emails did you receive and how long has it actually been - how much has it cost you?

So How Fast Is Fast?

Away from trust building, fast responding companies also catch their prospects in the “zone”. The point a customer is considering options and the business focused on getting back to them quickly wins an opportunity to speak before that customer has had a chance to think about the rest of their tasks for the day. They are ready to talk and you can get them into your sales funnel as a qualified lead because you struck whilst the iron was hot.

Companies are striving to get a positive return on their online marketing expenditure. They have digital marketing professionals beavering away trying to improve the quality of their campaigns, attempting to lower the costs and get more conversions to push ROI in their favour.

They also have UX designers trying to optimize their website landing pages, again to work towards a positive ROI for online marketing BUT most companies are overlooking one of the easiest ways to increase sales – making sure every customer they paid to bring to their website who contacts the firm are actually being responded to on time, every time.

The Lead Response Management Study found:

“Responding to web-generated contact within 5 minutes results in a 900% increase in contact rates.”

It suggests - if you or your staff were able to respond to every contact within five minutes of receiving your enquiry then you will send your new-net customer response levels through the roof.

Getting Out Of The Black Hole

Once you are convinced that a fast email response is something you should take more seriously - do this:

Step One: go to timetoreply.com and connect to your mailbox

Step Two: wait and create a baseline of how you perform right now

Step Three: now start making changes and measure impact by using increased response rates or decreased time to reply as your metric

It works with lots of mailboxes - Outlook, Mac Mail, Yahoo but we use Gmail the most. The kind of questions you can ask are
  1. How many emails has customer B sent us and how many have we replied to?
  2. What is our average response time to company B?
  3. Has agent A responded to the email that came in this morning from customer C?
  4. Who is our the fastest responding agent?
  5. Who is our slowest responding agent?
  6. Which agent is not replying to their leads?
  7. How does agent A compare to agent B in terms of response time?
  8. What is our average response time on a Tuesday and how many leads do we receive on average on a Tuesday?



So it’s a tool best suited for serious business owners who want to identify the discrepancy between leads generated vs. actual sales through analysis of staff email productivity. The results can then be tied down to who is wasting your marketing spend or even explain why your ‘top sales person’ is at the top.

Add The DIW15 Discount Code

We spoke to the timetoreply.com team and they told us about plans to extend their solution to measure response times on other increasingly popular communication channels including Twitter and Facebook!

When we asked for something cool to share with our readers, they quickly responded with coupon code - register for an account on timetoreply.com and enter the coupon ‘DIW15’ when registering and you will get a 15% discount - track 3 agents free forever and then $5 per agent per month thereafter.

Sign Up: www.timetoreply.com

Coupon: DIW15

Let us know what you think of TTR in the comments - email metrics is an innovative turn of events in staff performance analytics and don't worry, feeling 'more strict', more aware and less generous with the time a business has to reply to you after knowing timetoreply exists is normal - it happened to us too :-)

Disclaimer: timetoreply.com has recently been audited by www.4diprivaca.com and is highly secure. timetoreply.com does not affect the sending and receiving of emails in any way whatsoever. timetoreply.com does not store or read the body of any emails it tracks.