The Five Minute Rule: Convert More of Your Web Leads to Sales!

You’ve heard the story… web leads suck, right? They’re all just a bunch of tire kickers! Maybe you’ve even said it yourself. Well listen up as we’re about to explore some astounding realities that just COULD go a long ways towards changing your tune to… web leads RULE!

First, let’s define a web lead. It’s an inquiry that could come your way from one of the major internet lead providers like HomeAdvisor. Or, it could simply be an inquiry (form submission) from your website or landing page(s)… maybe an estimate or consumer guide request or possibly a sweepstakes entry of some sort. However the lead gets to you, it almost always requires a “response” on your part; usually it’s an effort to set an appointment.

Right Here Is Where Things Can (and often DO) Go Bad!

Imagine going to Nordstrom on a Wednesday afternoon and asking to talk to a sales rep about a pair of shoes and the salesperson says they will be happy to help you Friday morning! Ridiculous, right? The fact is… the same is true for responding to inbound web leads. Immediate service is critical to your success.

In fact, research from The Harvard Business Review and others show that web submitted leads convert 22 times more often when you make contact within the first five minutes. Here are some more astonishing statistical facts regarding web leads…

  • The odds of even CONTACTING a web submitted lead increases by 21 times if your response is within 5 minutes vs 30 minutes
  • 63% of companies fail to respond to their web leads within 1 hour (which still isn’t good), 24% fail to respond within 1 day and 23% fail to respond AT ALL!
  • 25% of companies surveyed THINK they respond to their web leads within 5 minutes when in reality only 5% actually do (Wow!)
  • The first company to contact a web submitted prospect has a 238% higher rate of conversion than the second (Holy Better-Get-To-Them-First, Batman!)

The message is pretty clear isn’t it? I’d suggest you share these realities with all your employees so they can see the importance of “The 5 Minute Rule”.

How To Convert More Web Leads?

So what does it take to efficiently convert more of your web leads? Three things… Speed, Skills and Persistence. Web leads are different than many other types of leads so let’s examine each of these 3 success components…

  • Speed – The stats above make it very clear that how quickly you are able to respond to a web inquiry will likely have the biggest impact on your success. Be sure you are leveraging technology (industry specific CRM) to upload these web submissions from your webpages and/or lead providers into your database and immediately alert your staff members in real time via email, text messages, alerts, etc.
  • Skills – In most cases, following up on a web lead requires an outbound phone call to attempt to schedule an appointment. Now listen closely here… TOO MANY COMPANIES SIMPLY “WING IT” WITH THIS IMPORTANT STEP! Get some scripting training for your staff on how to effectively set appointments on the phone. This phone is NOT about selling your product but it is ALL about selling the value of the visit… Two different things!
  • Persistence – Statistics show that it often takes multiple attempts (average of 5) to make contact with these web leads (the average company makes 1.5 attempts). Additionally, even if you do make contact, many of these leads don’t convert immediately to appointments or sales. Here’s where you should rely on a ‘nurture marketing’ program to be sure these valuable contacts don’t “fall through the cracks” over time.

Action Plan: Have a brainstorm meeting with your marketing staff to discuss this critical business strategy and layout your plan of attack! It MUST include a commitment to treat your web leads like GOLD! In today’s “New Normal” it’s all about sales and marketing EFFICIENCY! The companies that set out to identify and execute many of the ‘little things’ that separate themselves from their competition will be the winners.

Tim Musch is the Director of Business Development for MarketSharp Software, the leading Web Based Lead Generation and Management System for the Remodeling Industry. You can reach Tim at 800-335-4254 ext. 203 or [email protected]. Get a FREE DEMO of MarketSharp at