The Problem Solver, Money Maker Dane Spear

The Problem Solver, Money Maker Dane Spear


Vital stats

  • Company: timetoreply
  • Player: Dane Spear
  • Established: 2012
  • Contact: 0870 751 026

“Back in 2012, I was grappling with a mystery,” recalls Dane Spear, founder of Cape Town start-up

“Every month I was funnelling thousands of enquiries via my firm,, to businesses where ready sales agents would respond and convert those leads into sales.”

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The mystery was this: Some clients were delighted with their rate of performance in closing sales, while others were complaining the leads they received were converting terribly.

The real quandary was why, since the conflicting reports were based on the same sales leads.

Getting to the bottom of a mystery

“We figured if we could get to the bottom of what was happening, we might be able to help our clients convert more leads into sales, which would help our own business. So we set out to find answers.”

Spear decided that it was the way his clients were responding to leads that determined whether they were successful or not. And his theory was confirmed through several studies into sales lead handling.

These studies measured what days of the week and times are best to make contact – which happens to be Wednesdays and Thursdays between 4pm and 6pm. But without exception, the time it took to reply was where the money lay, with a reported average 78% of sales going to first responders.

A business is born

“I remember reading the opening line of a sales article that stopped me in my tracks. It read, ‘What would your CEO say if you proved 71% of the leads your company generates on the Internet are wasted? Who would be fired?’”

And this is how timetoreply was brought into being.

“We found that clients who complained about lack of successful sales leads often didn’t know how long their sales people waited before contacting leads, and we’d lost track of the lead by that time too.”

timetoreply measures how fast websites reply to visitors’ enquiries, and provides regular analytics data on how efficiently an organisation manages its response rate. A client’s website also receives an optional and unique ‘Speedo’: A badge to prove to visitors how quickly the website responds to enquiries.

Websites’ response times are measured independently by timetoreply’s proprietary response management algorithm, that takes into account a range of factors, including time zones, business hours and industry rankings.

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The business also provides a tool that controls distribution of website leads to sales teams and tracks sales agents’ individual performance.

Turning a widget into a must-have

“One of the striking things we’ve discovered is how significantly website enquiries increase when the Speedo is displayed. If people see proof they will get a quick response, they’re more likely to bother filling in a web form in the first place,” explains Spear.

“In fact, early data from test results show that displaying the badge results in an average increase of 28% in web leads without any growth in web traffic needed.”

Another trick up timetoreply’s sleeve is its ability to leverage the value of social proof. Consumers trust other consumers before they trust companies, and with visitors able to award ratings and write reviews based on their experience of the business’s response time and customer service, they’re bound to generate more sales.

Tracy Lee Nicol
Tracy-Lee Nicol is an experienced business writer and magazine editor. She was awarded a Masters degree with distinction from Rhodes university in 2010, and in the time since has honed her business acumen and writing skills profiling some of South Africa's most successful entrepreneurs, CEOs, franchisees and franchisors.Find her on Google+.