When to engage with business leads and when to hold off

Abi Abrahams, Thursday 27 September 2018
8 min read time
 

 

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We work hard to generate business leads, aiding our business success and growth; ensuring we don’t waste any opportunity gained is paramount. Understanding when best to engage a new lead and when to hold off is vital for any B2B marketing and sales team; make the wrong move, and you’ll push the lead further away and could lose out on a sale. So how can we know when the time is right to engage our business leads? 

 

 

As with many aspects of successful business, there are no set rules to right and wrong techniques or processes, but we can offer some pointers to help you along the path to successful lead engagement. In business, timing is everything- it can make or break a sale

 

When to engage your business leads 

 

Whether we’re talking fresh business leads you’ve just received, or those you’ve been working for some time, engaging a lead at the right moment can have a magical effect, moving them ever-closer to that sale. Here’s 3 tips on when’s best to strike up conversation…

 

1) Instantly

 

It’s a well-known fact that the sooner you contact a new lead, the better! This isn’t the case every single time (as we’ll come onto shortly), but when a business lead submits a contact from, email or message expressing interest or asking questions, instant contact is a must! Leads contacted within the hour are 7 times more likely to be well engaged, and those contacted within 5 minutes are 21 times more likely to successfully enter your sales pipeline. The power of instant contact is huge, and the effect it has on your results is even bigger. Some companies have seen results improve by over 300% thanks to speedy lead engagement!

 

Currently, only 37% of B2B organizations responds to fresh leads within an hour. Get your team quick on lead engagement, and you’ll not only get there before your competitors, you’ll close more sales too. 35-50% of sales go to the vender who responds first; business decision makers don’t have time to wait, so don’t keep them waiting! 

 

2) When they ask you to

 

This seems obvious- if a lead asks to be contacted on Tuesday at 10 am, that’s when you’ll do it! But sometimes teams are so desperate to contact a lead, they call prematurely and do more harm than help. Business leads who have specified a time are likely to be very busy; they have provided a time in order to keep their diary clear for you. Therefore, if your team makes premature contact, your business leads become frustrated- sometimes they’ll push your business away entirely at this moment. But you still want the lead to know you’ll be calling!


The best course of action upon receiving a time and date to call your lead is to contact them via email, confirming their wishes and sharing your excitement for the call on Tuesday at 10 am. If you don’t have their email address, send them a LinkedIn connection and make contact there, or call their office and ask if a message to be passed onto them. This shows you’re excited to do business together, and your contact doesn’t impede on the lead’s busy timetable. This will help you stay front-of-mind whilst strengthening your relationship with the business lead

 

3) When they show interest

 

It makes sense- when a business lead shows interest in your brand or product, it’s the right time to start a conversation! This can work on several different levels to generate new business interest or to re-engage old or unconverted leads…

 

  • Lead scoring- When using a lead scoring model, different actions and qualifying information contribute to an overall score e.g. a website visit is 10, an email open is 5 and so on. When the score reaches a number of your choosing e.g. 80 or 100, they’re ready to contact! This is the perfect time to engage their interest and bring them into your sales pipeline; they know enough about your product to understand how they can use it. The trick is getting the final score number right- start with 100, then after a few months move this to better suit your results. If you’ve seen these leads be enormously engaged, then lower it to 80, if they’re still not ready, up it to 120.
    A lead scoring model helps you take control of your business lead generation, ensuring you maximize every opportunity.
  • Re-engaging stale leads- Nothing feels better than knowing a lead you had previously written off has a new interest in what you offer. There may have been a staffing change, a new product launch or strategy shift that means your disengaged lead has a new found need for your product- so take advantage of their new interest! Instantly contacting an old lead can have the same effect as instantly contacting a new one, suddenly changing a previously worthless, stale lead into a valuable new opportunity.
    To do this, you’ll need an advanced tool such as Lead Forensics to identify the businesses visiting your website and instantly alert your team when a lead re-engages with your brand. With contact details provided, and a direct journey breakdown on hand, you can conduct an impactful follow up tailored to their business needs, giving your team a powerful advantage. Find out more- book your free demo today! 

 

When to hold off contacting business leads

 

We know when to engage business leads to help us achieve success, but when should we hold off? As timing is so important, getting it wrong can be detrimental. Use these 3 tips to ensure you’re engaging business leads at the perfect moment… 

 

1) At the wrong time 

 

We know what you’re thinking- this is an odd thing to say, and not really helpful! But let me explain. A huge amount of studies have discovered the best days and time to contact your business leads (assuming they haven’t specified) helping you create a T.O.P- time optimization plan; this helps your team ensure you’re calling business leads at the optimum moment.


Let’s be honest, if you’ve just arrived at the office around 8.30, you’re not going to want to take any calls until you’ve been thorough your emails, checked in with your team and prioritized your tasks. So, don’t make any calls to business leads in this time! Calling a business lead at 9:01 doesn’t come across as keen, it’s a hindrance to decision makers. Calling at 11.30 however, is far more successful as business leads have got their day sorted and are ready to take calls. Similarly, calling on a Monday or Tuesday isn’t a good idea- decision makers are busy at the start of the week; you’ll get better results on a Wednesday or Thursday.


Do some research into your specific industry and measure your current call success to better understand what days and times work best for your audience. This way you can be sure to hold off on days they’ll be busy, and make connections when leads are likely to be more engaged. 

 

2) When they’re pulling away 

 

When a lead becomes unresponsive to your communications, it’s easy to think persistence will win the day! But this isn’t always the case; sometimes a lead feels you’re pushing too hard and draws themselves away to think independently about your product and their business, or sometimes they’re just busy! 

 

If you’re feeling a business lead pull away, take some time to reassess what you know about them. Does their business fit your ideal buyer criteria? Are they a decision maker? Have they mentioned a product launch or large project on recent calls? Once you’ve gathered everything you know, think about why they’re disengaging with your brand and find a solution.


If you think they’re just busy, pop a friendly email over with some relevant content attached and say you’ll call them next week when they have more time. If you think they want some space, then give it to them! Don’t contact them for a few weeks but keep engaged with their LinkedIn profile, liking posts and sharing new content. Good lead engagement isn’t about how often you contact your business leads, it’s about understanding what they need and when they need it. 

 

3) At the “final” hurdle 

 

When your lead is on the cusp of making a decision, be that the final sale or just whether or not to sit a demo, you need to let them decide alone. Constantly trying to engage them to get that “yes” puts them off, and if anything, makes the final decision take longer to resolve.

 

This is the best place to exercise restraint and let the lead come to a decision themselves- especially if they’re working alongside a number of decision makers. This doesn’t mean just drop contact all together- keep sending the odd catch-up message sharing content, fun facts or things that may interest them, but no more than once a week. You’re not looking to re-engage your lead, you want to let them know you’re thinking about their business and how you can help. Calling daily to ask “any news yet? Have you made a decision?” not only damages your chances, it damages the relationship.
Keep the relationship strong and don’t rush them- you’ll get a better result even if it takes a bit longer.

Why not discover how Lead Forensics can help you strike up engaging conversations with your highest quality leads at the opportune moment? Identify the businesses visiting your website, gain contact details for key decision makers and know how leads find and use your website. Fuel your pipeline with sales-ready business leads. Find out more- book your free demo today!

Free guide - Why not discover the most popular tools for web analytics, what they can do for your business and how to get started in minutes? Download The ultimate guide: setting up web analytics tools on your business website for free today!

 

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Topics: Lead Forensics, Lead generation, Business Growth, Business management, B2B marketing

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