Working in sales can be tough. From the initial outreach, to building rapport and closing a deal, there's a lot that goes into the process of taking someone from a lead to a conversion. Whether your method is cold calling or email marketing, following up is essential. Inside Sales conducted a study about web-generated leads that shows the importance of following up for maximum conversions. Key takeaways from the study include: Responding to a completed form within 5 minutes versus 10 minutes led to a 900% increase in contact rate. 6 calls to a lead creates up to a 90% chance of contacting a lead, but only 10% of reps even make 3 calls. 30% of leads in the study didn't get called at all. By making a few more call attempts a sales rep can increase their chances of making contact by 70%. Whether you choose to follow up with a call or a lead nurturing email campaign, a fast follow up can create more opportunities for conversions for your business. Inside Sales also found that 35-50% of sales go to the vendor that responds first to an inquiry, and a number of studies have found that response rates decline as the age of a lead increases. According to a Genius.com study, 66% of buyers indicate that "consistent and relevant communication provided by both sales and marketing organizations" is a key influence in choosing a solution provider. This is where a lead nurturing campaign comes into play. Market2Lead found that nurtured leads have a 23% shorter sales cycle. Lead nurturing is a way for the marketing team to help with the sales process and nurture more leads through the sales funnel. They also found that nurtured leads have a 9% higher average deal size, showing that there is an opportunity to not only increase the number of sales but the size of sales using lead nurturing. Now that you've read how much a quick follow up call or email can impact the success of your business, the best practices on lead nurturing calls are next. These 5 tips will help you turn your follow ups with leads into conversions. Follow up with 100 percent of inbound sales leads. Use your CRM system or automated, segmented email campaign to respond to leads within 5 minutes. Every minute you wait to follow up is hurting your chances of getting in contact and creating a conversion. Follow up more than once. If you don't make contact during your first outreach, follow up until you've made contact or reached six calls -- whichever comes first. Giving up after one or two calls can severely hinder your performance as a sales representative. Provide complete answers. A quick response time means you are providing complete answers to their questions in the least time amount of time possible. It isn't enough to just respond quickly, you have to be able to answer their questions to build trust, credibility and increase your chances of converting a lead into a client. Measure your efforts. You'll want to keep track of the number of leads per week, response time, the percentage of leads that become qualified prospects, and the percentage of leads that become conversions. Not only that, you'll want to measure the number of calls it took to convert a customer. Spend time focused on improvement. After you've seen the effectiveness of a quick response time and follow up calls, you can make adjustments for the future and a more successful lead generation campaign. Measuring your efforts frequently allows for changes and best methods to be put in place at your business. An effective sales lead follow-up process is the simplest way to optimize the ROI on your investment when it comes to lead generation. Whether you choose to use an automated email marketing campaign or a phone call, calling every lead and providing the potential client with a quick response time will yield a greater ROI on your lead generation efforts.