UK businesses are potentially losing millions of pounds by failing to follow up sales leads despite the difficult economic climate.
Although UK companies spend an average of 2.3 per cent of their turnover on marketing to generate leads, a report dubbed “British Business: Customer Response Health Check” undertaken by Siebel Systems and Microsoft, indicated that a shocking 40 per cent of companies do not even respond to a telephone enquiry from a potential new customer by sending them their requested information.
The figures are even worse if people use the web or email. While 68 per cent of those questioned provide users with the option of contacting them via the web, 66 per cent failed to respond to queries generated by this means, and only 26 per cent replied to an email request for information.
To make matters even worse, potential customers had to wait an average of 4.6 days for a response, with only 24 per cent of firms getting back to them in 24 hours. And a whopping 92 per cent of those companies surveyed did not follow up any contact with the customer at a later date to advance their enquiry further.
Neil Morgan, vice president of European marketing at Siebel Systems, said: “It’s surprising that there is so little consistency across the various channels. I’d have expected to see some client process management to follow up sales leads, but it was in the single digit percentage range.”
He added: “Although companies have a pretty good idea about CRM technology, it’s only between 20 and 25 per cent of the answer and the rest is about cultural and change management and how to incentivise people, but that seems to be poorly delivered on.”
The survey covered 250 Times 100 companies in the UK in five industries – manufacturing, communications, utilities, retail, finance and insurance – and was undertaken by “anonymous buyers”.