SaaS sales: Why you need to call every trial signup user within 5 minutes!

by Steli Efti

Why you need to call every signup user within 5 minutes!

If you’re a B2B SaaS startup, you need to be calling all your free trial signups to convert more of them to paying customers and raving fans.

We’ve written about this before and if you’re not sure yet if your startup should follow this strategy, please invest 5 minutes and read this article we published on PandoDaily. Go ahead, we’ll wait ;)

Today we want to share an easy but powerful way to massively improve the success of your phone outreach: calling new users within 5 minutes of signups!

Why call within 5 minutes?

Because that’s your best chance of actually getting people on the phone. The longer you wait, the greater  the likelihood that you will be wasting time on voice mail or waiting in vain for someone to pick up.

The reason why many startups don’t want to call people is that it can be a huge time waster. Calling within 5 minutes can fix that.

Dr. James Oldroyd researched how big the difference is in reach rates depending on speed to call. He looked at two things:

  1. What are the chances of reaching a lead if you follow up after ____ (x amount of time)?

  2. What are the chances of qualifying a lead if you follow up after ____ (x amount of time)?

Turns out, following up with a lead is best within 5 minutes, and after that there’s a very significant drop. You might say this is obvious, but most people underestimate how big that difference is.

What is the difference?

Call within 5 minutes and your chances of reaching a lead will be 100 times higher than calling after 30 minutes of sign up. Your chances of qualifying that same lead? 21 times higher.

Boom!

The difference is even more pronounced if you wait longer than 30 minutes.

Our own experience helping over 100 venture-backed startups optimize their sales funnel supports the numbers from this research.

Not only do you reach more people but your conversations are better.

They will know who you are and why you’re calling them. They’re at their computer right now, and not in a meeting. In short, it’s the perfect time to speak to them about your product.

What to say?

You don’t need to be a slick salesperson or smooth talker to make this call. Simply say this:

"Hi, my name is ___. I wanted to personally reach out and say hi. I saw that you just signed up, I know you didn’t have a chance to play around with it a lot, but I wanted to see if you have any questions that I can answer or give you any guidance. What can I do to make sure that you get the maximum out of your trial experience?"

People love that!

This will often be a good opportunity for your trial signups to ask you specific questions. They want to know how a certain feature works or how your product can help them to accomplish a certain task better.

If you can answer these questions in a personal and direct manner, it will make a huge difference in how activated these users will be during their trial and how many of them ultimately convert to paying customers.

Calling within 5 minutes of sign up is probably the most effective thing you can do to improve your overall sales numbers!

Many startups work on optimizing the end of the funnel, training their salespeople and improving their demos and sales scripts.

All that is important but worthless if you don’t reach enough people to sell to in the first place.

The funnel math

Let’s say you have 100 signups per day, call all of them within 1–2 days, reach about 20% and convert 50% to paying customers (a pretty typical conversion funnel).

This means you close 10 out of every 100 signups. Not bad.

Now let’s say you work hard to improve your conversion rate and now are able to close 75% of the people you reach. Impressive! This means you’re closing 15 out of every 100 signups.

What would happen if you decided to optimize your reach rate instead and start calling people within 5 minutes of signup?

Your new conversion funnel looks like this:

100 signups, reaching 50% of people (within 5 minutes) , closing 50% which means you’re closing 25 out of every 100 signups.

A 66.67% INCREASE!

If you’re calling your trial users, please stop everything else you’re doing right now and start implementing the 5 minute rule!

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