Let’s begin with a simple scenario to understand lead routing.
Somebody visits your website and fills out a contact form to know more. You take a couple of days to get back to them with a personalized email because it took time for the lead to get assigned to a rep. However, the damage is done—the lead is now unresponsive.
Tough luck? Not exactly.
Clearly, response time is a critical factor in securing your sales leads. And one of the prime causes of long response times is the lack of efficient lead routing systems.
What is Lead Routing?
Lead routing, or lead distribution, is the process of distributing incoming leads among your sales reps.
If your data fields are corrupted with incorrect or insufficient information, you may need to clean up before you can assign them to your reps. This delays the lead routing process and prevents crucial timely responses.
Let’s look at the key factors that determine the rules of lead routing and explore a solution to speed up the process.
Setting Lead Routing or Lead Assignment Rules
Lead routing may sound simple. But there’s more than one way in which it can go wrong given that each company has its own specific lead assignment rules. The last thing you’d want is for the wrong leads to end up with the wrong reps.
So let’s look at some of the rules and criteria of lead routing.
1. Lead Routing by Time Zone and Geography
If a lead is from the North American (NA) region, it should be assigned to a rep working in the American time zone. Likewise, since there are separate teams to handle sales leads from various regions, this specific lead needs to be routed to a rep tasked with handling the NA region specifically.
2. Lead Routing by Size
Leads come from accounts of varying sizes. So if there are separate teams within your organization to handle accounts with various employee sizes, leads from bigger accounts may need to be routed to teams handling the enterprise segment while others may need to be routed to the team handling the SMB segment.
3. Lead Routing by Lead Score
Lead scoring is the process of assigning numerical values or “scores” to leads on the basis of their perceived value to your business. An ideal lead routing system prioritizes sales leads with the highest scores. This maximizes efficiency and minimizes missed opportunities.
4. Lead Routing by Availability
Lead routing should also take into account the availability of your reps and assign leads accordingly. If your reps are on leave or busy with several leads already, adding a new lead on their plate might not be the best idea.
4 Key Lead Routing Best Practices
#1 Strike while the iron is hot
Leads are at their warmest when they’ve just filled out a form or engaged with your content on your site. And they can cool down surprisingly quickly. Failure to establish a system in place to reach out to fresh leads on time may result in an overwhelming number of missed opportunities.
A recent study by the Harvard Business Review found that firms that reached out to leads within an hour were seven times more likely to qualify the lead than those that reached out during the second hour, and above 60 times more likely than those that reached out 24 hours later.
Phew! That requires some pretty fast lead routing on your part.
The earlier you assign the lead to a rep, the earlier your rep can reach out to the fresh lead, and the more likely they are to qualify the lead.
#2 Have well-integrated tech in place
Leads come from a variety of sources. They may come from your marketing campaigns, social media campaigns, website content, landing pages, ads, third-party sources, or web forms.
For effective lead routing, you need to make sure you’re not missing any key sources of leads. This means that you need to ensure there’s a well-integrated tech system in place so that you can capture lead data from all likely sources.
Leave no stone unturned.
#3 Be flexible with your lead routing rules
In the previous section, we spoke about defining lead routing rules for your incoming leads. Leads have several variable attributes like size, geographic location, industry, and value that may determine their routing.
While it may seem unnecessary to alter an already efficient lead routing system, that can be counterproductive in volatile industries. Companies may get acquired, merge, get funded, or raise revenue targets. In scenarios like these, staying flexible and open to changes in your lead routing rules is a better strategy than choosing to continue as is.
#4 Maintain data hygiene
Poor data hygiene is the easiest way to disrupt your lead routing systems. It doesn’t matter how stringent your lead routing rules are—without accurate data, your leads can not only waste your reps’ time but also create unnecessary confusion.
Let’s take a look at how this may happen.
How Inaccurate Data Throws Apart Your Lead Routing Systems
- A lead from an enterprise account could end up with a rep from a team handling SMB accounts.
- A lead from the Asian time zone could end up with a rep working in the European or American time zones.
- An existing customer nearing expiry may be mistaken for a fresh lead and end up with the sales team instead of the customer success team.
- A lead could be assigned to a rep who is unavailable at the moment, potentially causing them to grow cold and gradually, into a missed opportunity.
- A lead could get matched to the wrong account and your rep could end up contacting them with wrong details on the email, reflecting poorly on your brand.
How Slintel Provides Accurate Data for Your Lead Routing Needs
Accurate Lead Data
In the previous heading, we explored the ways in which inaccurate data can cause internal confusion and chaos by causing the wrong leads to get assigned to the wrong reps.
However, using a lead data provider like Slintel can help ensure the quality of lead information in your CRM.
From an ops perspective, accurate data helps us create routing algorithms to qualify/disqualify a lead on top of the tunnel and pass only qualified leads as MQLs to the Sales Dev team.
Basically, accurate data is directly proportional to quality MQLs. It also saves time by pushing away low-level leads.—Jason Dsouza, Sr. Associate, RevOps at 6sense
Slintel tracks over 286 million lead profiles from more than 14.5 million companies all over the world and collects accurate lead data to provide insights for sales and marketing teams.
Incorrect data needn’t necessarily be the only contributor to poor data hygiene. Incomplete data too can lead to missed opportunities. And your best bet at fixing incomplete fields in your lead’s data is by enriching them with adequate information.
As mentioned before, leads grow cold unbelievably fast. You need to reach out to them within the hour. And you’ll have only so much time for manual lead routing, let alone manual lead enrichment.
That’s why you’re much better off with Slintel’s automatic enrichment.
Slintel’s database can not only enrich missing data fields with accurate information but also update existing fields with the most relevant data, especially technographic data.
With the quality of your lead info guaranteed, you can route your leads to the correct teams without any unnecessary delay.
Bonus: Raise Your Chances!
What if you reach out to a lead but they’re unresponsive? Or do they just direct you to somebody else working within the organization?
Neither outcome is favorable as you’re losing precious time anyway.
Slintel, however, can help you find multiple leads within the same account. With several leads to contact, you can make sure you reach out to the most relevant one with the highest decision-making authority for a better chance at qualifying them and closing a deal with them.
No More Delays
With the quality of your leads polished to perfection, you no longer have to worry about roadblocks in your lead routing processes. The right rep gets the right lead and you get to reach out to them in time.
To learn more about how we provide you with the most accurate lead insights and point you to the high-intent leads in your TG, check out our lead insights page.