How to get the most out of your online leads

When we search online we’re generally looking for an answer to our problem pretty quickly; we already know what the problem is and are looking for the right business to provide a solution. This behaviour and type of engagement means that responding to leads that come through from your online marketing channels in a timely manner is of the utmost importance. There is little point in investing in digital marketing if you aren’t committed to converting that lead into a valued customer. We’ve put together some tips that will help you readjust your sales operations to get the most from digital advertising.

We’ve put together some tips that will help you readjust your sales operations to get the most from digital advertising.


The biggest problem with the response to online leads that digital marketing has generated is the speed with which they are followed up. We’ve all submitted a contact form for a product or service we’re eager to learn more about – or perhaps we were even ready to make a booking or purchase – but the company never got in touch with us and the opportunity for our custom disappeared.

If you were to be honest, how quickly do you or your team respond to leads that come through online?

In a US study, only 37% of businesses responded to an online lead within the hour. As a business, you are 60 times more likely to qualify a lead if they are contacted within the hour. 16% of the tested companies took up to 24 hours to respond. Alarmingly, 23% never responded at all. When large portions of the marketing budget is being dedicated to digital this is extremely worrying.

Sales process

What current structure is in place for handling online leads in your business? 65% of companies have admitted to having no solidified process for turning leads into sales. If this sounds like you then perhaps it is time to put a system in place given that a firm sales process results in 47% higher profit margins than those that don’t.

As consumers have changed to have shorter attention spans and using different avenues for seeking our services it is important that the sales process we use as a business adapts with the consumer to match their expectations surrounding the interaction. Below are a few tips:

  • Technology that is responsible for receiving and sorting these leads should be up to date and meet the necessary capabilities.
  • Sales teams should prioritise incoming leads ready to be made into sales over chasing their own leads.
  • Automated responses have their place in lead nurturing but should be used carefully, match your brand and tie-in to your sales funnel, and always be followed up by a form of contact with a human.


44% of sales people give up after just a single call to follow up an online lead. If your potential lead was busy washing the dishes, in the shower or in a meeting at work then too bad; you won’t be gaining their patronage because of a slack sales team. From an online lead you want to be able to get in contact with the decision maker and have a discussion with them, whether that be by phone or email. Contact with key decision makers that have made an enquiry increases the likelihood that a sale will be the result of that interaction. Giving up after a single attempt at making contact is a waste of your investment in generating these leads.

Obviously, this must be balanced with becoming a nuisance and making consumers avoid answering calls from your number. One way to avoid becoming a hassle is, as discussed above, be timely in responding with a call, text or email. Someone submitting an online form is most likely ready to take action and will answer their phone if you call within the hour, providing you with the opportunity to get in before competitors with less sleek sales processes that make customers wait days.

If you are unsure of how to be following up your incoming leads we are happy to help you address these issues and get the most out of your online activity. Send us an email or give us a call to see how we practice what we preach when it comes to lead nurturing.