Most companies have a lead assignment process setup for distributing leads to their reps. This could be based on territory, lead type, zipcodes, etc. Divvying up the pie is essential to your sales team, however, high performing sales team know that this is not enough. What happens after the distribution is just as important and their routing strategies take this into account while distribution.
Lead or opportunity assignments are usually static in nature. What do I mean by that? Often when a lead is assigned to a rep it does not take into account whether the rep is available to connect or whether they have enough bandwidth to meet the SLA for that lead. What usually happens in these scenarios is that the lead sits in the rep’s bucket and no other team member can work that lead.
There is a problem with this approach. Leads often go cold this way. And there is a business impact to this which often goes unmeasured.
Most often prospects who have visited your site or have requested for a demo have already done their research. By this time in their buying journey, they would have also contacted a few of your competitors and are simultaneously evaluating your product. Hence time to contact is crucial not only for you but also for your competitors.
Based on working with our customers, we have come up with 5 tips which can take your lead assignments to the next level.
Segment your leads
Every company has a different set of criteria to define their best leads. This could be using demographics, lead source, website behavior or any key conversion events. Ensure that you have bucketed your leads so that it is easier to prioritize your leads and associate specific routing attributes to them. You could have different SLAs, different routing strategies like Round robin or weighted assignments to different segment of your leads.
Account for availability
According to a study – ‘Research shows that 35-50% of sales go to the vendor that responds first.’ [Source: InsideSales.com] . When your assignments do not take into account your sales rep’s availability, it directly impacts your business. Often the reason for not contacting a lead ends up being that the rep is on vacation or the sales manager did not get a chance to quickly assign the lead to the rep. These delays cost in terms of seizing a potential opportunity.
Ensure that you have processes in place in your routing strategy to pause and play assignments for rep’s who aren’t available. It should be simple to turn on/off individual members or teams based on their availability.
Define SLA’s for lead action
There is always a tiff between sales and marketing in terms of quality of leads and about leads not being followed up on time. Implementing a Service Level Agreement(SLA) between your sales and marketing teams are key in optimizing your lead conversion efforts. Once both teams have agreed on the SLA, you can base your routing strategies to reassign leads when the SLA is not met.
This, however, should never be manual as it would be a productivity drain. Your sales routing engine should have the ability to ensure that the SLA is being met according to your strategy. If not, it should be reassigned to someone else on your team so that no opportunity is lost.
Score your leads
Scoring leads is crucial to the success of your sales team as well as your marketing teams. It not only helps your team prioritize the leads they work on, it also keeps your sales and marketing teams aligned in terms of what metric is important for your company. This, on one hand, reduces the conflict between the sales qualified leads and marketing qualified leads since everyone is on the same page in terms of quality.
Not only does it impact your sales teams but also your marketing teams. When marketing qualified leads are handed over to the sales teams they must have a certain SLA by which the sales team should follow up with the prospect.