Improve your sales pipeline

Your sales reps always want more leads, but adding more leads doesn’t always garner more revenue. So how do you create more opportunities with the leads you have?

Call fast, call often and be strategic!

The odds of contacting a lead if called within 5 minutes versus 30 minutes are 100 times greater. – The Lead Response Management Study – MIT

Yes, that’s right – within 5 MINUTES your odds of connecting with a prospect are 100X higher. The same study found: “Your odds of entering the Lead into your sales cycle increase 21x if called within five minutes compared to 30 minutes.”

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Your prospects are looking at your website and your competitors – 80 per cent conduct some amount of research online. You want them in your pipeline, not your competitors – so get to them fast – and first!

Consider introducing a business development role, with sole responsibility to call leads as they come in, qualify and set introductory meetings with your outside sales reps. Procrastination kills deals, prospects forget why they contacted you, or worse – your competitor gets there first.

What if they don’t answer within 5 minutes?

Did you know that on average, 30 per cent of leads are never called and the average number of calls made on a lead is 1.5 times?

By making a few more call attempts, sales reps can experience up to a 70 per cent increase in contact rates. – The Best Practices for Lead Response Management Study, Harvard Business Review

In fact, 80 per cent of connects happen between 6 and 12 attempts. Set your minimum to at least 6 call attempts to significantly increase your chances to connect with the prospect and increase your pipeline. Remember, your competitors are only making 1.5 attempts.

Follow the sample call cadence:

Call cadence

Timing IS everything

Turns out Wednesdays and Thursdays are THE best days to call and connect with a prospect. Results show connects between 4 pm to 5 pm can garner a whopping 164 per cent increase over calling between 1 pm to 2 pm. The second-best time is between 8 am to 9 am.

Following the strategies outlined in this article will significantly increase your ability to grow your sales pipeline. Get to those prospects quickly, keep calling if you are not connecting and be aware of the best days and times to call.

Related links:

The Best Practices for Lead Response Management Study original and updated versions from, as published in the Harvard Business Review

Rose Cain is an experienced Sales and Business operations executive. She helps organizations increase sales productivity with a focus on improved revenue visibility, predictable forecasting, increased customer retention and business automation. Rose supports large organizations who are scaling to enterprise level maturity as well as smaller organizations who are ready for their next growth chapter.

To learn more about Stratford Managers and contact Rose Cain, visit

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