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Lead Distribution 101: Why You Need a Better Plan

Optimize your sales pipeline by efficiently distributing leads with our lead distribution strategies. Boost conversion rates and close more deals with ease.

An effective lead distribution strategy is essential to developing a profitable sales organization.

Do you struggle with lead allocation? Set up a lead distribution system that empowers your team to increase their conversion rates at the individual and department levels.

Well, that’s easy to say, but putting it into practice takes a commitment to routing your leads effectively. You need a system that’s fair and transparent. So, choose a lead distribution software that captures the strengths and weaknesses of each sales representative so you can automate the routing stage.

There are many benefits to adopting lead distribution software, including automated data collection, reporting, analytics, and more.

With the right CRM, you can streamline the process from lead generation to lead distribution to finalize more sales.

What is lead distribution?

Lead distribution is the process of assigning leads to your sales team. In a small organization, you might do this manually.

For midsize to large companies, it’s more efficient to use automation software that matches leads to sales representatives based on the lead routing rules you set up.

Flexible distribution systems facilitate lead nurturing and fairly share warm leads among well-performing reps. Additionally, it's a good idea to make your policy transparent so the whole team can easily understand it.

There are three types of lead distribution, manual, automated, and hybrid. Choose the one that makes sense for your sales team.

Manual lead distribution

There are two ways to approach manual lead distribution, picking from a pool and manual assignment.

When picking leads from a pool, reps can choose which prospects to pursue from leads stored in the CRM. In this case, the fastest rep usually has access to the best leads. You can also set the system up to blindly assign leads to make the process fair.

If you have a small sales team, this might work for you. In some cases, sales directors are manually assigning leads to reps. Large organizations handling high volumes of leads should consider a faster alternative.

Automated lead distribution

When you choose an automated lead distribution strategy, the system assigns leads based on the lead routing rules you define.

There are three main approaches to automating your lead routing, as follows:

Round-robin lead distribution

This is the simplest automation strategy. Leads simply go to the next available rep with no logic or rules applied. You can still “turn off” the pipeline for reps who are out of the office, on vacation, or otherwise unavailable.

Group-based lead distribution

You can also distribute leads based on groups. If your sales team is already divided into groups based on function or performance, it makes sense to sort leads the same way.

Automated lead distribution software greatly simplifies the way your reps pull and work leads and makes it easy to get the right leads to the appropriate group. You can also use this strategy to match leads to specific reps.

Specific lead routing rules

This is the most specialized type of distribution. If you assign sales staff by region or skill set, lead assignment rules ensure that leads go to the appropriate person based on geography or other characteristics.

Hybrid lead distribution strategy

This method combines a push-pull strategy. You can make leads accessible to a small group of reps. These reps can pull out individual leads to work.

By developing your lead distribution process, you can improve performance in multiple areas.

The need for a better lead distribution process

It’s important to plan your lead distribution strategy to match your organizational structure.

That includes the size of sales teams working on specific types of leads. You may want to start with written policies on performance expectations and reporting requirements that align with your lead distribution process.

Volume, quality, team size, and structure are the main challenges in configuring your lead routing.

Fortunately, the right CRM software alleviates many of the pain points with automated lead distribution.

Common lead distribution challenges

Too little volume and your sales team won’t have enough leads to meet their quotas.

However, it’s equally important to generate warm leads that have a fair shot of becoming sales. Keeping team sizes small allows you to segregate leads as needed, and you can easily expand this model if you need to scale your team.

With lead distribution software, you can ensure your reps spend the majority of their time talking to customers already hooked or curious about your products. By building nurturing campaigns, you can improve your ROI.

The benefits of optimizing lead distribution

Optimizing your lead distribution creates a broader picture of the wants and needs of potential customers. Take the time to understand the challenges your customers face so that you can pair them up with the right product or service.

You can use this information to strengthen future lead-generation efforts. You can set lead routing rules that distribute sales according to the following categories:

  • Experience: Give time-sensitive leads to your most experienced sales reps.
  • Geographic Location: Align lead distribution with sales territories.
  • Performance: Reward your top performers with high-priority leads.
  • Availability: Make sure to include rules based on sales rep availability.
  • Company size: Distributing leads based on their company size.

Using a lead distribution system saves time, leaving your sales team more time to focus on closing deals. It also shortens the response time for warm leads, so that you can close the deal while the potential customer is still excited.

Key components of an effective lead distribution plan

Take the following components into consideration when designing rules for lead distribution automation:

  • Capture leads: You can capture leads and contact information by integrating your front-end forms with a CRM that handles lead distribution.
  • Screen and qualify leads: It’s important to separate interested, eligible buyers from your general target audience. You can accomplish this through detailed call scripts and taking advantage of information collected from forms and other channels.
  • Implement routing rules: Create routing rules that consider the core competency, availability, and experience of your sales reps. The lead distribution software will ensure that the right leads get to the right reps.
  • Send reminders: Track the progress made on leads and send follow-up reminders as appropriate. You should also send reminders about new leads.
  • Reporting: Create reports that show your progress at different levels of the marketing funnel.

How to optimize lead distribution

You can optimize your distribution strategy by creating a lead scoring system that factors in responses to a sales rep and customer interactions. Identifying lead sources and assigning lead qualifications are essential steps in an effective distribution strategy.

By qualifying leads using the information you collect, you can route prospective customers to the most effective sales resources.

Identify lead sources and lead qualification

You can source leads from many channels, including search engines, referrals, social media, and ads.

However, use CRM software to store and organize your leads in one place. This allows you to sort cold and warm leads for the appropriate distribution routing.

Establish lead routing and assignment

Before you set up rules in the lead distribution software, document the routing criteria to direct each lead to the right salesperson. While it’s important to match profiles and account types, avoid segregating your leads into overly complex groupings.

Measure lead distribution performance

Setting up your distribution strategy is just the first step. Next, you can gather data to measure results and direct future interactions. Here are some of the most useful metrics that help you track performance in the crucial early stages of prospecting leads. Watch out for signs of trouble in the following areas:

  • Response time
  • Call duration
  • Close rate
  • First call contact rate
  • Call duration
  • Conversion rate

For the most comprehensive analysis, examine these metrics by individual, team, and department. Follow dropping methods to triage areas where your lead distribution strategy has failed.

Encourage communication and collaboration

There are many ways to foster transparency and openness. By making metrics transparent and easy to understand, you can create a culture of collaboration, with everyone working toward common goals.

Besides encouraging communication across departments, aligning rewards with performance can create a motivated, cohesive sales environment. It’s also essential to have the right technology stack, including lead distribution software that works for your company.

Aim for continuous improvement

As a business grows, manual lead distribution methods become harder and less effective.

To avoid confusion and manual processes, implement marketing automation in your technology stack. You can achieve continuous improvement with advanced lead distribution software. It allows you to automate lead assignments and eliminate manual errors.

Use lead distribution solutions to generate solid leads and qualify prospects appropriately. Formalizing the process builds confidence in your sales team and makes it easier to manage sales reps with different skills.

Mailchimp has several tools to set your marketing and sales teams up for success. Implement marketing automation at various levels of the lead generation and distribution process.

As you scale your business, establish email marketing best practices to dramatically improve your conversion rate. You can empower your sales team to prioritize leads, close more sales, and raise your business revenue.

Contact us today to find out more about Mailchimp’s solutions for lead distribution and management.

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