Architecting the Sales and Marketing Engine for Urgency

April 28, 2015
Written by

Twilio Bug Logo

The paradox with sales and marketing is this. As a business grows, marketing gets much more effective at capturing the intent of the buyer. They produce higher quality leads and more of them. At the same time, sales becomes more efficient at converting that intent into actual sales. But something always seems to break in the middle. It’s like a botched blind pass in basketball. Two professionals at the top of their game, failing at the critical point of a handoff.


Much like the basketball example, for sales and marketing the handoff is about passing a lead, not the ball. That lack of coordination and urgency has big consequences. It introduces risk that a buyer’s intent will change from the time marketing identifies it, to when sales starts the process of outreach.

Bottom line, it’s hard to architect urgency and have sales reps instantly receive and respond to new opportunities. All the backend intelligence and automation in the world won’t keep leads from going cold if the rep isn’t notified and properly motivated to do something. In fact, 23% of leads are never followed up on at all. You can imagine this takes it’s toll on campaign ROI, not to mention the customer experience you create on the other end.

The impact is well researched:

  • 42 hours is the average time it takes a business to respond to an inbound lead. That means a prospect actively shows interest and then they’re left to wait 2 days to change their mind or find somewhere else to buy.
  • 50% of buyers just choose the first vendor to respond. We’re more heavily influenced by the first salesperson to contact us and it doesn’t help that this person has a chance to set traps.
  • 100x is how much you increase your contact rate if you reach a prospect in under 5 minutes. You also double the chances of converting them into a deal, so calling them quickly has an exponential effect on ROI.

The takeaway? Speed matters. When leads go stale, you lose business and leave the door open for competitors. To ensure this never happens, you can use your existing lead management and CRM systems to automate the distribution and alerting of leads, a tactic called Instant Lead Alerts.

The moment that a buyer shows interest, a sales rep should be prompted to respond. That might mean automatically initiating a call between an available rep and the prospect. Or it may just mean alerting a rep with an SMS when a lead comes in or reaches a scoring threshold. The goal is to give you more control over the handoff and help your sales reps prioritize.

Twilio customers like Trulia and Datalot have created entire lead marketplaces on this concept. When a buyer submits a web form, a call can automatically be stitched between buyer and seller. If that call can’t be completed, an SMS is sent to the sales rep with lead details or the call is rerouted to another sales agent.

To try a live demo of Instant Lead Alerts and learn more, visit this page.

We’ve also written a HowTo guide to get you started on building the solution yourself. Hint: Ask your developer.