What do many high-growth sales teams have in common? Often, it's their relentless focus on operational efficiency. As their companies rapidly scale, sales processes increase in complexity, customer acquisition cost can increase, and efficiency-based KPIs like lead response times wane behind reactive selling and overhead.
If you’d like to learn about introducing and implementing lead routing in your process, read this article first. And when possible, use your CRM to track engagement and assess interest before directing the lead to a rep using a process called lead scoring.
When paired with data and automation capabilities, lead routing can make the difference between hitting and missing your collective sales performance and staffing targets, but before your operations and bottom line can see the results, it’s important to segment leads — and your sales reps — by criteria that’ll lead to the best possible buyer experience.
Here are key lead routing criteria categories that’ll enable your sales team members to be matched with the right lead, every time.
Segment/Ideal Customer Profile (ICP)
What it is: Assigning leads to reps based on a lead’s company profile.
Example: If you’re a B2B SaaS company, you may have one sales team structured to work with prospects from 50–500 person companies, and another to work with those from 501–5,000. Or, you may have teams structured around Industries or Verticals and need to send some leads to, say, your ‘Financial Services’ sales team, and others to your ‘Medical and Insurance’ sales team.
Why it matters: Deals and relationships can vary widely between segments (that’s why sales is often ‘verticalized’ in the first place). If reps have conversations with leads outside their expertise, deals can be at risk and you can leave revenue on the table over time.
What it is: Assigning leads to reps based on geographic location.
Example: If you’re a multi-location business or one with a distributed field sales model, you may want leads going to reps/teams who are physically closest.
Why it matters: Whether it’s a language barrier, cultural closeness or just time zone differences, routing by territory can create stronger bonds and increase speed-to-lead. This can quickly get complex to automate in HubSpot and other lead management solutions, especially when you factor in a hybrid workforce across time zones.
What it is: Controlling how many leads go to reps based on their pipeline.
Example: If you have a sales rep with a large open pipeline to close, you can route any new leads to reps with a lower pipeline since they’ll have more capacity to work that lead.
Why this matters: There are other considerations to make this equitable (like an individual quota, rep performance, and closed-won rates) but in general, this criterion helps sales teams operate at maximum efficiency and creates a culture of transparency. It also mitigates burnout for high-performing reps, who may be working overtime to deal with a big pipeline but don’t want to ask their leaders to throttle it down.
What it is: Controlling how many leads go to reps based on their revenue performance.
Example: If you have a sales rep or team with higher close rates, you may want to route specific leads their way (e.g. higher dollar-value leads, strategic partnership opportunities, big logos) or just send them more leads of any kind overall.
Why this matters: Not only does this make obvious sense for your top line by increasing your chances of closing revenue, but it also rewards high-performing reps and allows them to potentially rise faster through your sales organization. This approach requires a lead routing solution that’s dynamic enough to measure performance on a regular cadence and automatically modify lead routing. Without it, sales operations will need to make manual changes to automation on a regular basis.
What it is: assigning leads based on a rep’s availability.
Example: If you have reps in different time zones, their working hours — and ability to respond to leads — are ever-changing. Routing leads based on rep availability also accounts for reps who are away from work by automatically reassigning those leads to peers who are more immediately available.
Why it matters: Work, travel, and time away is more flexible now than at any point in history. While it’s great for those with flexible schedules, it’s a nightmare for any manager or sales ops team that needs to make last-minute changes to automation when someone is out. Also, time is of the essence, particularly at the beginning of a sales engagement when the first business to respond has an advantage and makes a better impression.
By leveraging automated lead routing, sales and operations specialists ensure that reps consistently get ideal-fit leads that turn into confident closed-won deals. To help them in this endeavor, we developed a HubSpot-based lead distribution application — Distributely.
Distributely empowers sales managers and operations specialists to control lead distribution through weighting, capping, geography, performance, or round robin if they choose. They can fine-tune how leads are routed to their teams to save time on sales operations, improve buying experience with a more efficient sales process, and convert more leads into sales opportunities.
Discover dramatic gains in efficiency and tech-enabled growth. Get your demo today and try Distributely for free!
Guido is Head of Product and Growth Strategy for New Breed. He specializes in running in-depth demand generation programs internally while assisting account managers in running them for our clients.