Wait 30 Minutes to Follow Up with Inbound Leads – and Other New Findings

wait 30 minutes to follow up

I love good data. Good data in professional sales means that there is a big enough sample group (thousands, not hundreds) and from diverse industries (not just SaaS which is much more tech savvy). I also love innovation and updating what used to work with what works better.

Needless to say I was thrilled to hear about the research project that University of Ottawa’s Telfer School of Management and Vanillasoft has recently presented with the understanding that the full study will be completed shortly. I’ll update this post once I see the completion.

If this is as interesting to you as it is to me, download the executive summary.

This study is fascinating because as far as I know it is the largest academic study of sales data ever – which examined 130 million real life sales interactions of 45 million contacts.

VanillaSoft’s CEO David Hood recently spoke at ZoomInfo’s annual sales conference – where I also spoke, and had not seen this data they had been sharing for a couple months. I highly recommend watching the replay of David’s presentation on what the variables are that effect positive outcomes moving leads forward.

What is the best way to get ahold of buyers?

What are the variables that make a difference with leads?

Does follow up matter?

What about cadence?

The biggest data shift I noticed was the one about how quickly anyone should follow up on inbound leads – for so long we have all said “five minutes” because of a 2007 study done by InsideSales.com

The new data done with four million web-based leads shows that to get a positive outcome, five minutes is a LOW POINT - the study shows that you should follow up in THIRTY minutes – not five. Are you doing that?

Are you doing that?

I appreciated the data that show that experienced sales professionals are more successful and are more persistent. You’d think that is obvious, but why? They do more follow up and are on the phone longer (which means to me that they are more engaging and insightful). In this case, experience means specific experience selling a specific product or service.

Research like this is fascinating and I am looking forward to more discussion around the findings. We are in a time of change, and it is important to understand and respond to changes in the sales industry. For more insights on how many call attempts to make to be successful, best times to call, and more, check out the study.


Lori Richardson  helps mid-sized companies grow revenues by solving key issues in their sales department - like recruiting, retention, diversity hiring, process, pipeline and leadership. She speaks at CEO groups on topics of sales growth. Clients include companies in the technology, telecom, manufacturing, distribution, and professional services industries. Subscribe to the award-winning blog, follow her on Twitter
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