Michaela Mendes
Head of Content & Strategy
Table of contents:

One final editing review. You hit send. Then…you wait. 

Every experienced sales professional knows not to expect an email back straight away when they message a prospect. 

But just how long should you wait until you give up? (Or send a follow-up?) 

We analyzed 1.5 million sales emails and asked – how long does it take each job level to reply to an email from a sales rep? 

What seniority-level takes the longest to answer a sales rep’s email?

Here’s what we found:

First things first: you should know that there were some very large outliers in this data set. Our data scientists removed the top and bottom 10%. 

We also included the median in order to give a better picture. 

Big takeaways: 

  • Expect the fastest response from Directors. 
  • The C-suite gets a bad rap! They’re more responsive than they get credit for. 
  • SVPs are busy. They’re the ones that need the most patience. 

(Are there other criteria about the prospects that play a factor here, such as company size? We’ll explore that in a future analysis.)

We asked our LinkedIn audience who they think takes the longest to respond, and at the time of this writing, the results were completely inverse to this data. 

Most people voted for C-Suite folks taking the longest to respond, followed by directors, with SVPs voted the fastest. 

It goes to show: always check the data. 

This analysis is from millions of anonymized Salesforce records, and you can use it to coach your reps on who to focus on for sales email follow-ups. But what’s even more important is what your data shows. 

Tracking your reps’ sales activity can help you answer critical questions like: 

  • How soon, on average, are all your sales reps following up with prospects? 
  • Which stakeholders are the most responsive in your sales process? 
  • Notice any trends across reps or prospect seniority? 

If your Salesforce is wrong or empty, find out what sales data you’re missing with our free CRM Health Grader, or use SetSail to make your CRM useful again. 

And don’t forget to sign up for The Beacon, a weekly newsletter for data-led revenue and operations leaders, to get these Sales Data Nuggets directly in your inbox.