LOS ANGELES, Aug. 12, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Velocify, the market leader in cloud-based intelligent sales automation software, today announced findings from its newest secret shopper study "The Impact of CRM on Sales Lead Response," exploring the sales effectiveness of companies using customer relationship management (CRM) software. The study found that while companies that used a top CRM for selling were faster at contacting leads by phone and email than Fortune 100 companies, they failed to respond at rates that would meet buyer's expectations, and thus are missing a substantial revenue opportunity.
"There is no denying CRM solutions have made a significant impact on the effectiveness of sales organizations, however, this study provides evidence that CRM solutions alone aren't enough," said Nick Hedges, president and CEO at Velocify. "This study found a clear gap exists at the initial point of contact with a prospect. Even the savviest of CRM users are letting ripe leads die on the vine by failing to respond, waiting too long to contact an inquiring buyer and giving up too soon."
Key Findings of the Study
A staggering 19 percent of inquiring prospects waited days or weeks to get an initial call from companies that use sales CRM solutions. Despite the $20 billion spent on CRM annually, this study reveals an incredible opportunity for sales organizations to improve lead response practices in order to drive better buyer experiences, increase revenue, and improve return on marketing investment.
How CRM users compare to industry best practices:
- No response – 13 percent of leads received no response of any kind to their online inquiry – not a single email or phone call.
- Slow response via phone –The average buyer wait time for a phone call in response to a sales inquiry was 2 days. Previous Velocify research2 found that attempting to contact a lead within three minutes of a web inquiry being submitted increases the likelihood of that lead converting into a paying customer by 98 percent.
- Slow response via email –While the average email response time was better, with nearly 35 percent of inquiring buyers receiving an email response in under an hour, previous Velocify research would suggest room for improvement, indicating the optimal time for email follow-up is 20 minutes.
- Lack of persistence –Only 57 percent of inquiring buyers received at least one phone call and one email in response to their inquiries. Previous Velocify research found the optimal number of call attempts is six and email attempts is five. Only 13 percent of leads received close to the optimal number of follow-up calls, receiving between five and seven attempts.
How CRM users compare to other user groups:
- Companies that used sales CRM solutions sent email responses on average three times faster than Fortune 100 companies (studied earlier in 2014) and were nearly twice as fast to call up inquiring buyers.
- Sales CRM users were more persistent on average than Fortune 100 companies, making 23 percent more call attempts on average and sending 29 percent more emails on average. As a group, however, CRM users are still a long way from best practices.
- Tech companies performed 60 percent better than non-tech companies in following optimal contact strategies.
- Sales teams using one of the five CRMs included in this study significantly outperformed all other sales CRM users. Details can be found in the study here.
Velocify conducted the secret shopper study by filling out multiple online lead forms of companies that were highlighted on the websites of CRM solution providers as customer success stories using the CRM solution in a sales capacity. Researchers tracked how quickly these companies responded by phone and email, and how many response attempts they made in the following 22 days.
The full report is available for download on Velocify's website at: http://www.velocify.com/CRMNotEnough.
Velocify is a market-leading provider of cloud-based intelligent sales software, designed for high-velocity sales environments. Velocify helps sales teams keep pace with the speed of opportunity and increase revenue by driving rapid lead response, increased selling discipline, improved productivity, and actionable selling insights. The company has helped more than 1,500 companies across a variety of industries improve customer acquisition practices and sales performance. Velocify was recently recognized as one of the fastest growing companies in North America by Deloitte and a Best Place to Work by the Los Angeles Business Journal.
 Gartner, Forecast: Enterprise Software Markets, Worldwide, 2012-2017
 Ultimate Contact Strategy, Velocify, 2012
 Ultimate Contact Strategy, Velocify, 2012