Tuesday, May 18, 2010

How is combat medicine like inside sales? - some fresh stats on sales lead close rates by time

One of our Founders Co-op portfolio companies just shared some eye-opening numbers about close rates for new inbound sales leads based on the speed with which they were followed up.

Unsurprisingly, most leads turned cold after just a few days, with just 9% of closed sales occurring beyond the 72-hour aging mark. What got their - and my - attention is the fact that nearly a third of all closed sales were won in the first hour after the lead came in, and more than 40% of all sales resulted from leads that were responded to within the first two hours!

The U.S. military calls the first hour after a battlefield injury occurs the "Golden Hour" - survival and recovery rates are dramatically higher if medical treatment begins within an hour of injury and most combat medical treatment and evacuation protocol is designed around this constraint. Borrowing a page from the Army playbook, the company that pulled these stats is now reconsidering their lead handling to see how many more leads they can attempt to close within the first hour or two after they come in.

For benchmarking purposes, the key stats from their analysis are presented below - we'd love to hear from anyone whose results either confirm or (more interesting) differ wildly from these.



For all the leads closed (i.e., resulting in a sale) in the last 60 days:
  • 32% of the leads were closed within 1 hour of receipt
  • 43% of the leads were closed within 2 hours 
  • 65% of the leads were closed within 24 hours 
  • 82% of the leads were closed within 48 hours 
  • 91% of the leads were closed within 72 hours