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The link between marketing ROI, enquiry rate of response and sales conversion rate

As business owners we’re all familiar with the aim of achieving ‘Return on Investment’ (ROI) from marketing activities. However, you are unlikely to get the ROI you were hoping for if you don’t have your sales ROR (rate of response) systems sorted out.  How timely and well sales enquiries are responded to is directly related to your sales conversion rate.

Over-emphasis on new leads, rather than converting what you have

Return on investment hanging icons

As a director in two marketing agencies and a business coach, I speak regularly with many business owners. Many of whom say they want to implement new or improved lead generation strategies as the first part of their growth strategy.

This is the default setting to ‘improve business results’, but is it the most efficient or effective path? In many cases the answer is no. 

The reason I say this is that many businesses don’t actually need a huge increase in the volume of new leads. i.e. invest in more outbound marketing). Rather what they need to do more of is to optimise their rate of response to enquiries in order to improve conversion rates. i.e. make more of what they are already doing.

Sales conversion is not just about the strength of your value proposition and the skills of your sales team. More often, it is something really simple: your sales ‘Rate of Response’ or ROR. The ROR  is a significant factor in your sales conversion rate.

Your rate of response to enquiries to increase sales conversion rates

Sales enquiries conversion rates via email and calls

Lots of companies invest a lot of money into generating leads, and in improving their brand messages, presentation and data management. All of these things are important.

But when the phone rings, the email pings or the direct message arrives, if you don’t respond quickly, your conversion rate will take a dive.

The best sales pitch in the world will not help you if the prospect’s first impression of your customer service is that it is slow, disconnected or absent. It indicates that you aren’t that bothered about helping them, and it sets a tone for their future service expectations from your business.

Getting your ROR down from days to hours, from hours to minutes, and minutes to moments will see a proportionate improvement in conversion from opportunities to orders.

If you think you have this nailed already, try mystery shopping your own business.

  • Check the online chat function works instantly
  • The phone rings, is it answered and in a manner to give a good first impression?
  • Do emails reach who they should and are answered promptly?

Rate of response is not just an instant acknowledgement

This ROR concept goes beyond the instant acknowledgement of a query.

Within the construction and trades sector particularly, it is common for site visits and quotations to be arranged many days, if not weeks in the future. 

As a customer, there may be some marketplace acceptance of “they must be good if I have to wait”, but there is also a reality that most customers don’t want to wait. 

This is true of the enquiry acknowledgement, site visit, quote preparation and delivery, or project fulfilment overall. Getting your ROR shortened to match your customers wishes, rather than the limits of their tolerance, will boost:

  • Sales conversion rate
  • Order value achieved
  • Likelihood of positive referencing after  completion.


Our sister company, Growth by Design, goes into much more detail about enquiry handling and conversion within their ‘Common 10’ model.

Simply put, it’s worth the investment and the effort, and should be the priority at the outset BEFORE loading the marketing leads hopper!

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