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In B2B Sales, Timing is Everything

Published: April 18, 2014       Updated: May 13, 2024

3 min read


The web is the number one way for business-to-business marketers to get leads on buyers. Understanding their online behavior can make a dramatic difference in whether or not your sales team qualifies a lead.

Software Advice, a company that helps people find the right software for their organization, recently conducted a study on B2B buyer behavior in regards to timing. The company collected and analyzed data on its more than six million visitors between January 1, 2008 and August 1, 2013. The analysis gave insight to peak research times, when they are most likely to convert, how quickly to contact the lead and how that is reflected in success rates. 

The key findings in the report were specific to Software Advice data, but the analysis is relevant to any inside sales professionals. There are four areas that are important to understand about the online behavior of B2B buyers:

1. How Quickly You Call a Lead

Seconds. That’s what you have to maximize your chances to qualify a lead. According to the data, there was a 30 percent above average qualification rate if the sales team called leads within five seconds. Once a prospect converts on your site, your chance of qualifying them drops each second you wait to call them. After 10 minutes, rates drop below average, and after 60 minutes, rates drop 13 percent below the average.

2. Online Behavior During the Day

Traffic is highest in the first half of the day. There is also a high rate of traffic during lunchtime, which suggests consumers are doing research over their break. It is important to have enough of your sales team available and ready to make calls during this time. 

3. Online Behavior During the Week

Activity is highest Tuesday through Thursday. The best day, however, depends on what you are looking at. Traffic peaks on Tuesday, but conversion rates are highest on Wednesday. These findings imply that your team should use Mondays and Fridays for meetings and anything that might otherwise compete with contacting leads.

4. Online Behavior Throughout the Year

Conversion rates are highest during the first of the year and dip below average during the summer months. With the new year, people have a new sense of urgency, as well as new budgets. The beginning of the year is the best time for your inside sales teams to be at full capacity. Conversion rates fall below average during the summer, but qualification rates are higher during this time because there are fewer leads competing for the sales team’s time.

You can use these results to get valuable insight into the habits of buyers, but you must also research your leads to understand their unique behavior. You might not need to call everyone within five seconds, but be familiar with how they work and respond quickly to those who request immediate or swift responses.

It’s silly to waste all of your resources on a top-notch marketing strategy and then neglect your sales team. If you want to truly maximize your ability to turn online conversions into qualified leads, you must understand buyer behavior and align your sales and marketing teams. 

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