Ever heard the expression “the early bird gets the worm”? Of course you have. Despite being a phrase that everyone is familiar with, and one that seems to ring true in every business sphere around the world, it’s staggering that a significant majority of companies neglect the message of this simple maxim when it comes to their own operations.

Thanks to a study conducted by Professor James Oldroyd, a Faculty Fellow at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, we now have quantifiable evidence proving the veracity of this age-old expression. Professor Oldroyd compiled data from over 100,000 calls to 15,000 unique leads, amassed over three years of surveying, and unearthed some illuminating statistics about the importance of urgency when it comes to lead response management.

Quick off the draw


As you can see from the infographic above, expediency is key when acting upon online enquiries. Even a matter of minutes can make a huge difference – according to the data, salespeople were four times more likely to make contact if they reached out within five minutes of the enquiry being lodged as opposed to 10 minutes. They were 10 times more likely than if an hour elapsed before the attempt was made, while those salespeople who waited four hours were 100 times less likely to contact the lead.

Persistence pays off

While reacting as promptly as possible is the clear take-away message from Professor Oldroyd’s investigations, his study did reveal some other illuminating facts.


First and foremost, the report underlined how many companies were throwing away business by not responding to 23% of all leads. Secondly, we’re able to ascertain that while only slightly more than 10% of all initial calls are successful in making contact with the lead, those salespeople who persist to as many as six calls have a 90% chance of contact. Finally, a trifling percentage of salespeople are that persistent, meaning the tenacious bird is also adept at getting the worm, too.

Optimise your follow-up efforts

Another interesting piece of data discovered by Professor Oldroyd’s work is the optimum time of day and day of the week to contact leads.


While it’s important to note that you shouldn’t structure your lead response management strategies exclusively around these days and times, they do offer valuable information about when it is best to coordinate your follow-up efforts.

The bottom line is that reaction time is what is most likely to earn you additional business – but do be mindful that persistence and timing also play their parts when it comes to responding to any potential new customers.