Do You Know What Lead Distribution Is And How to Implement It?
…And why it’s important for your business?
No matter what sort of company you run, you need customers to survive. But attracting and converting more customers can be tough. If your business is drumming up plenty of attention but seeing relatively few purchases, it could be a problem with lead distribution.
But what exactly is lead distribution? If you’ve never heard of this concept before, this guide will walk you through the basics of lead distribution, why it’s important, and how to implement it into your sales process.
What Is Lead Distribution?
Customers don’t just appear out of the aether, ready to make a purchase. No, they usually start off as leads, who are potential customers for your business.
Whether the lead approaches your business first or your sales representatives research and reach out to a lead first, it’s your business’s job to nurture that lead’s interest and convince them that your company’s product or service is the solution to their problems. To that end, sales reps usually interact with a lead one-on-one to cultivate their interest.
Lead distribution is the process by which a company’s sales department assigns leads to sales reps for one-on-one nurturing.
Why Is Lead Distribution Important?
Now, you might be wondering: why does lead distribution matter? There are two primary reasons: building stronger customer relationships and improving customer response time.
Stronger Customer Relationships
When you meet a person for the first time, a thousand considerations go into whether or not you “click” with them – their body language, tone of voice, age, gender, shared hobbies, and more. If two people hit it off, the conversation flows much easier, and a rapport is built in no time at all.
For example, if you had a hobby of golfing, you would feel an instant connection to a sales rep who also played golf. Or, if you were looking for gaming laptops, you would feel much more comfortable with a sales rep who also played games and knew exactly what laptop specs and features you were looking for.
A successful lead distribution system matches up leads with sales reps who share common traits with them or are otherwise qualified to handle their unique purchasing situation. This helps the two quickly build a close rapport and get to the root of the customer’s need, making a fast-paced and pleasant sales conversation.
Rather than walking away from a purchase, customers will walk away feeling like they’ve made a new friend!
Faster Response Times
Additionally, as a business gains more and more leads, a lead distribution system helps the sales department answer each incoming customer faster and more efficiently.
An established lead distribution system sets up clear-cut rules on who gets an incoming lead, meaning that leads are handed off to their assigned rep almost immediately. This improves the business’s response time. Vendasta reports that 78% of customers buy from the first company that responds to their inquiry, so a lead distribution system that speeds up response time could also improve your total number of customers.
Without a solid lead distribution system, two opposite-yet-equally-horrid things may happen: sales reps may squabble and step on each other’s toes over a hot lead, or a cold lead may sit unnurtured by any sales rep.
To sum it up, a smart lead distribution system could lead to faster sales velocity, higher customer satisfaction, and stronger relationships with your customers. All amazing things for your business!
How to Implement Lead Distribution
Now that you’ve heard how lead distribution can help you improve your sales process and customer relations, you might be eager to implement it into your own business. To that end, here’s a quick step-by-step guide to setting up your own lead distribution process.
1. Codify Your Sales Reps
The first step to setting up a lead distribution process is to start with what you know: your sales reps.
As mentioned earlier, a good lead distribution system assigns leads to the most qualified sales reps. In other words, you’ll need to know exactly what your sales reps are like and what they’re capable of, both personality-wise and professionally.
Some traits you may want to consider are:
- Years of experience as a sales rep
- Sales acumen
- Industry expertise
- Product knowledge
Additionally, you’ll want to consider how many leads each rep can handle at a single time. Though it might be tempting to assign all your hottest leads to your most experienced sales reps to ensure a sale, this will only lead to burnout on your reps’ part.
2. Collect Data On Your Leads
The next step is to gather information on your leads. How you do this varies depending on your business model and lead generation efforts.
If your company is the one that reaches out to a lead first, be sure to do your due diligence researching each lead’s hobbies and personality before assigning a sales rep. You may do this through browser cookies, online research, or simply chatting with the lead.
Alternatively, if the lead reaches out to the company first, you may ask each lead to fill out a lead contact form, specifying traits such as their:
- Age range
- Relevant need for the product
While asking for these details is more acceptable—almost expected—for B2B companies, B2C customers may feel a little leery of giving away such detailed personal information. As such, if you operate in a B2C space, it might be easier to ask for broader information categories and rely more heavily on online research to learn more about your lead.
3. Choose a Lead Distribution Method
Now that you have information on your sales reps and your leads, all that’s left to do is set up a system to match them together.
Here are four of the most common ways businesses can set up a lead distribution system.
1. Manual Assignment
With a manual assignment system, a sales manager reviews each incoming lead’s information and personally assigns them to a sales rep. This is best for companies with relatively few leads and sales reps.
With a shotgun system, sales reps are segmented by criteria such as area of expertise or experience level. Then, as a manager or lead distribution software routes incoming leads to each segment, it’s up to each sales rep in that segment to claim the lead they want.
This system is best for large sales departments, where sales reps are numerous enough to be separated into functional teams.
3. Round Robin
With a round robin system, lead assignments rotate from one rep to the next in a designated order. This is best for when all of your sales reps share similar experience and expertise and can serve any incoming lead equally well.
4. CRM Software
Finally, CRM software or other designated lead distribution software tools can automatically collect data on leads and match them to available and qualified sales reps using manager-set distribution rules.
CRMs also help expedite and optimize the sales process as a whole beyond lead assignment, so we highly recommend investing in a CRM system if you plan on growing your business.
Lead distribution, which assigns leads to the sales reps most qualified to serve them, is an important part of making your sales process faster and more satisfactory. If you haven’t set up a lead distribution process for your business yet, this guide will hopefully help you set up your first system, optimizing your operations for sales success.