Most sources agree that the average number of touch points a salesperson has with a prospective customer from start to finish of a sale is between 6 and 10. Although this is average for most, some experts say up to 20 touch points are needed.
A touchpoint can come in a variety of shapes and sizes. It might be a phone call, an email, a LinkedIn connection or message, a piece of direct mail or even a physical meeting.
Receiving a higher number of leads is always a good thing, but when this many touch points are required, it puts a heavy stress on the team reaching out and it strains the hiring manager who will be hiring additional headcount.
Let’s do some math.
Let’s say, for simplicity’s-sake, that you have 5000 leads per month coming inbound to your team. If we use the 10-touchpoint-per-lead example, this equates to around 50,000 necessary touch points per month. If a sales rep can make 50 touch points per day (which for many companies might be quite liberal) and 22 work days in a month, this would mean you would need to employ 45 reps focused solely on calling and emailing day-in and day-out.
As your quantity of leads gets to this level or higher, you can continue to hire additional headcount, but that only yields incremental profit. Between base pay, commissions, raises and turn-over costs, hiring is not always the most cost-efficient way to go about handling a high volume of leads. Not only that, but it’s also not the most effective way to close these leads.
In this case, many companies would hire 50 reps, each to have a pipeline that looks something like: 25% “hot leads” that are ready to talk and 75% leads that they have to chase. They spend the majority of their time reaching out, only to get no response.
This is where automation comes in.
Obviously in most cases, a human is required to close the sale and talk to the customer and answer questions before they make a purchase. However, a human is not necessary to send messages over and over.
There are countless automation tools out there that will take care of the needed touch points without a human rep lifting a finger. Like touch points, these tools come in a variety of shapes and sizes. Some that will automate personalized emails, some will automate calls, some will automate text messages and more. As you automate many unresponsive leads, your sales team can focus on having meaningful conversations with interested customers and doing the research needed to have a productive conversation.
If you implement an automation tool (or a few) as you grow to a high-volume lead company, you could scale your team to 25 reps instead of 50 and pay for one automation tool that handles the leads that require a high number of touch points and will bring the ripe ones to those 25 reps to close. The 25 reps are happier, the “hot lead” to rep ratio is higher, overhead expenses are down and revenue is climbing – everyone wins.
The math makes sense. Technology is not invented to replace jobs. It’s there to make companies more productive and profitable and give reps and customers better experiences. Implementing this concept before you hire a massive sales team is the ideal situation. This will allow you to scale your sales team and scale the technology supplements at the same time, yielding higher profit margins than you would have otherwise seen.