New Research For Inside Sale Professionals: B2B Buyer Behavior Study

If you’re in B2B sales, this is a must read. Software Advice recently analyzed data collected from 6,000,000 unique visitors to the Software Advice website to shed light on when B2B buyers perform research on the Web, when they convert on a website and the best time to contact them. The data is compiled in the Online B2B Buyer Behavior IndustryView Report, which you can access here.

In this post, we’re highlighting the key findings in the report that are most relevant to inside sales professionals:

Calling a Lead Within 5 Seconds Significantly Improves Qualification Rates

According to the data, calling a buyer within 5 seconds of converting increases the chance of qualifying that buyer by 150 percent, in comparison to calling within 1 minute. Meanwhile, it only takes 10 minutes for qualification rates to drop below average, and 60 minutes for qualification rates to drop 13 percent below the average qualification rate.

b2b-activity-final.001

“Our report shows that when a buyer contacts us directly for information—requesting a price quote or product demo, for instance—there is a significant benefit to calling that buyer right away,” said Derek Singleton, B2B Sales and Marketing analyst at Software Advice. “It was amazing to see that if we call a buyer within 5 seconds of converting, we qualify that buyer at a rate 30 percent higher than our average qualification rate.”

Qualification Rates at Minute Intervals

“Of course, it’s also important to understand that not every buyer deserves a call right away. If a buyer contacts you indirectly—by completing a form to download a whitepaper, access video content, or view other gated material—then you should consider nurturing, rather than calling, the lead. As inside sales and marketing professionals continue to compete for the attention of B2B buyers on the Web, understanding their online behavior will be critical to success. Hopefully our data helps provide a fresh perspective for online B2B buyer behavior.”

Tuesday Through Thursday is Best Time of the Week to Reach Buyers

Conversions that come in Tuesday through Thursday qualify at twice the rate of conversions that come in Monday or Friday. This has important implications for capacity planning. With qualification rates above average on these days, it’s essential to make sure you have enough sales reps to cover lead volumes Tuesday through Thursday.

Qualification Rates By Day Of Week

The Week Before Christmas, Traffic and Qualification Rates Are Relatively High

Surprisingly, people are still working the week before Christmas. Traffic is higher than average until two days before Christmas Eve. In aggregate, conversions that come in the week before Christmas qualify at the same rate as the average for business days in the month of December.

Qualification Rates Near Christmas

Implications for Inside Sales Professionals

As B2B buyers continue to research their purchases on the Web, it’s important for companies to understand their online behavior. Our findings show that calling conversions right away can significantly improve a company’s ability to qualify leads generated online. Moreover, there are certain times of the year, week and day when they need to plan their inside sales team’s capacity to maximize the ability to turn website conversions into qualified leads.

Methodology

This report analyzes Software Advice website traffic and conversion data from January 1, 2008 through August 31, 2013. Unique visitor data was pulled from Google Analytics. Traffic was limited to unique visitors in the United States, and it was limited to commercial landing pages. We also excluded international conversions from the data to limit analysis to domestic buyers. Duplicate conversions were removed to avoid artificially inflating our conversion rates from buyers converting on our site multiple times for the same product or information. Finally, this report focuses on buyers that came to our website in search of information on business software (i.e. B2B software buyers).

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