As social networking channels gain more and more momentum, there's a good chance you've seen a serious uptick in new inbound leads. "[W]hat happens once you get them?" asks Sammy James at MarketingProfs. "Do your lead-response efforts take advantage of your lead flow? Could your lead-conversion rates use a boost?" To get the most from your inbound program, he offers advice like this:

Prioritize rapid response. If you call a lead within 5 minutes—rather than letting 30 minutes elapse—you increase by 100% the chances of getting through. Further, being the first business to make contact boosts conversion odds by 238%. In this time-sensitive environment, James warns against reliance on potentially sluggish CRM systems. "In the several hours or full business day it may take your CRM system to route incoming lead information to you, your competition may have already contacted and closed the sale," he says.

Be available anywhere, anytime. Make a point of responding immediately if an inbound lead appears during weekends or after hours. Studies have found non-business hours represent a valuable, but neglected, opportunity to connect with potential customers before anyone else.

Remain consistently persistent. "A Leads360 report found that 35% of leads are reached on the first call and up to 72% are reached with the second call," he notes, "but 48% of leads never get a second call." In other words, be sure you're making that second call.

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