How to Improve Speed to Lead with Outsourced Virtual Receptionists

Today’s sales funnels would be unrecognizable to organizations a few decades ago. The sales process has evolved a great deal. From multi-touch to multi-device, buyers no longer take action on the first call, and do quite a bit more research before pulling the trigger. What hasn’t changed is the difficulty in converting prospects into leads. It’s a delicate balancing act and one that you can’t afford to get wrong.

Too much pressure too soon in the journey could result in a prospect pulling back or even looking elsewhere. Too little attention paid to prospects could mean missing an opportunity to convert them from a prospect to a lead or failing to respond promptly when a prospect takes a qualifying action, like requesting a demo or filling out an online contact form. 

That can lead to major fallout, like losing market share to your competitors and a lack of profitability. 

Why does speed to lead matter?

Speed to lead is an important metric because it describes your business’s ability to respond to contact requests within a reasonable time. It’s an average taken across multiple contact methods, like web chats, emails, phone calls, and contact form responses. It also feeds into one of the most important metrics — your conversion rate. This is a measure of how many leads convert into customers. 

Because people can’t convert if they never make the move from prospect to lead, it’s crucial to respond to those requests as quickly as possible. How long is reasonable? HubSpot reports that it might be as little as 10 minutes. That’s a tall order – especially for short-staffed teams. How do you ensure your people can manage to pivot from critical tasks to handling prospect-related communications in such a small window of time? Outsourced virtual receptionists. 

How do outsourced virtual receptionists change the speed to lead game?

Improving your speed to lead is important but hard to do. How can outsourced virtual receptionists achieve this when it’s such a struggle for your in-house team? One aspect of this is that virtual receptionists act as part of your team but are separate from it. That means they can focus on things like pivoting quickly to handle prospect-related communication without sacrificing productivity, billable work, or mission-critical tasks. However, there’s more to it. Let’s break it all down.

Stop wasting time with leads that aren’t ready to convert

The act of requesting a demo or sending an email might indicate that a prospect is ready to become a qualified lead, but it might not. They could simply be comparing their options or just need more information. 

All leads are not created equal – some might convert immediately, while others will require additional nurturing to convert. In truth, 68% of leads consult with businesses they ultimately don’t hire. 

Outsourced virtual receptionists help you separate qualified leads from unqualified leads, allowing your team to spend their time where it has the most impact. But how do they separate the ready from the not-so-ready? It’s all about context. By screening leads and gathering information about their needs, goals, and next steps, outsourced virtual receptionists provide you with more than just a name and a phone number. 

Responding to contact attempts

In sales, we often say that a prospect becomes a lead the moment they take a predetermined action, like filling out a contact form or requesting a demo. The truth is that this isn’t the case. They’re certainly more likely to convert if they’ve taken such an action, but there’s no guarantee that they will. 

That means time spent communicating with potential leads could be time wasted. Outsourced virtual receptionists help you recoup this time and use it for more productive and profitable purposes, while still pivoting promptly and communicating with those leads to move them further down the funnel. 

Outsourced virtual receptionists can answer messages from form fills, live chat, SMS, and field phone calls, too. You never need to worry that a qualified lead will fail to convert because you weren’t able to answer their query promptly. 

Make appointment setting a breeze

In many cases, the next step for a prospect-turned-lead is an appointment with one of your team members. This is your chance to show how your product or service addresses their pain points directly. How much time do you or your team members waste trying to set appointments with potential leads? Chances are good it’s pretty significant. 

Outsourced virtual receptionists can transform this ungainly process. By integrating directly with your team’s calendars, virtual receptionists can ensure that appointments are set with the right people at the right time. They can also send follow-up reminders to leads to reduce the number of late arrivals and no-shows you experience.

Don’t miss communications that come in after you close

With the explosion of digital technology, potential leads can reach out to your business at any time of the day or night. They might submit a form at 3 AM or send an email at midnight. In many cases, they might not even realize that your business is closed. And make no mistake — the clock is ticking on those communications. Waiting until your business opens the next day to reply could be a costly mistake.

Outsourced virtual receptionists ensure that all communications are answered promptly, including those that come in after hours. That means you never need to worry about missing those conversions.

Get the expert help you need with outsourced virtual receptionists

Building a thriving business today means being available when qualified prospects reach out. Your speed to lead depends on timely communication.’s outsourced virtual receptionists can help ensure that you’re able to handle those communications easily, without sacrificing time on other tasks. We also offer additional services that can improve your speed to lead and conversion rates, including call intelligence and metadata, spam and sales call blocking, warm phone transfers, and more. 

To learn more, schedule a consultation or reach out to

Virtual Receptionists
Written by Tom Armitage

Tom Armitage is a Senior Marketing Manager with

Take the faster path to growth.
Get today.

Affordable plans for every budget.

Sign up for our newsletter

By signing up, you agree to receive news & updates from
Thank you!
Your submission has been received.
Yikes! Something went wrong while submitting the form.

Take the faster path to growth.
Get today.

Affordable plans for every budget.