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How do businesses increase the likelihood of conversions? One of the surefire ways is to follow up with leads within 5 minutes. It helps to increase the chance of conversion up to 9 times, especially if companies implement lead distribution software while doing so.
Every sales and marketing department relies on an efficient lead distribution process.
If a company struggles to define how inbound leads are assigned to its sales reps, it can cause numerous issues and disrupt the process.
Naturally, utilizing lead distribution solutions is an excellent choice for every company. But how do you deal with declined leads and wield substantial control over your revenue? Ensuring a simple and transparent lead distribution process can be challenging with many lead assignment rules and routing options.
Let’s examine in more detail the lead management process and the role of lead distribution in driving business growth.
The Value of Lead Management
What does the lead management process entail? It’s all about identifying, managing, and converting prospective customers into returning and paying ones. In other words, utilizing lead management solutions allows businesses to bring in new high-quality leads, manage them efficiently, and then generate income by converting them into loyal customers.
5 Essential Stages of Lead Management
It is traditionally divided into five stages. Here’s a short description of each step to help you understand the process better.
Stage 1: Lead Capture
Lead capture is when leads enter the company database for the first time. With the significant expansion of lead sources, including social media, websites, offline events, email campaigns, and PPC efforts, businesses often generate inbound leads in substantial numbers.
Here is a list of mediums marketers typically use to capture leads successfully.
The increasing number of lead sources is one of the reasons for brands to automate their lead capture process rather than keep and manage inbound leads in an Excel spreadsheet.
With marketing automation tools, businesses can leverage built-in lead capture features. Such features allow for capturing leads from every source and passing them on to the appropriate sales professionals for follow-up. On top of that, they help the sales reps be more efficient and lose no prospects in the process.
Stage 2: Lead Tracking
This stage entails determining the lead sources and the type of leads, i.e., inbound or outbound. Businesses can use this lead data to plan and enhance their future steps in the conversion process.
Stage 3: Lead Distribution
Most commonly, a lead management and distribution system tracks a lead’s behavior and website engagements after they are captured. Then, it passes (or distributes) the leads to the company’s sales professionals with the most relevant experience.
Strategic lead distribution can improve conversion rates and sales. For instance, businesses can distribute leads based on their geographic location, interest in a specific product, or account size. In some cases, sales reps can be assigned to the same area. That implies using a particular rotation method and lead assignment rules to ensure a fair lead distribution.
Stage 4: Qualification Process
In this stage, sales professionals communicate with the inbound leads assigned to them. The communication process entails getting a good sense of whether the leads are worth following up with during the initial call. When qualifying a lead as a sales opportunity, sales reps typically use a list of features provided by their managers to eliminate the guesswork.
This process is called lead scoring. It implies that inbound leads get specific scores on a scale from one to ten based on numerous criteria, including demographics, engagement, buying history, behavior patterns, interest, etc. Qualified leads with high scores are considered sales-ready and typically have the highest priority.
Stage 5. Lead Nurturing
Even the most sophisticated lead generation process doesn’t always result in an abundance of high-quality leads.
In other words, most inbound leads will not score well or make a purchase immediately. Although leads might lose interest in your offerings, you should consider them as prospective buyers.
Developing and implementing lead nurturing strategies can help businesses keep leads in the pipeline, keep them interested, update them on current offerings, and engage with them until they finally convert.
How To Distinguish Lead Distribution From Lead Management
Lead management is the process of capturing lead data from multiple sources and using it to guide communications between sales reps and prospective customers. It entails capturing, tracking, validating, nurturing, and forwarding leads to sales professionals.
Lead distribution is inextricably linked to lead management. It allows for capturing leads and directing them to specific destinations or lead buyers.
On top of that, it enables lead sellers to monetize declined leads and get connected to more interested parties.
What Is Lead Distribution, and How Does It Work?
Businesses use lead distribution systems to connect consumers with the brands and products they are looking for. The process generally starts with a company using particular marketing channels and ads to direct consumers to specific offers. These prospective consumers, also known as leads, are then assigned to sales reps who can best assist them.
It’s not uncommon for lead generation companies to use distribution and lead routing software to connect prospects to optimal buyers successfully. Businesses equipped with automatic lead distribution leverage sophisticated algorithms that match reps, buyers, sellers, and leads by using the information captured during the lead and call tracking processes.
For instance, Phonexa’s LMS Sync – lead management and distribution solution – offers a unique filtering feature that enables buyers to receive the most relevant leads while reducing lead response time. Besides, it allows lead distributors and generators to direct leads to the correct destination without delay.
What Are Automated Lead Distribution Methods?
Scaling sales and marketing efforts comes hand in hand with the decreasing capability of a business to manage leads manually as effectively as before. At that point, business owners realize it’s time to automate the company’s distribution and routing efforts.
Here are the top four automated methods of lead routing most brands use to manage a growing number of inbound leads:
- Round robin lead assignment This algorithm allows to distribute leads based on the availability of company representatives. It means that the sales reps currently handling inbound or outbound calls will not receive any new leads. This method significantly shortens lead response time by routing leads and callers to the next available representatives.
- Top performer: Sales professionals’ skill set and expertise play a crucial role in this case. This push-based lead routing method prioritizes high-performing leads and matches them with top-skilled reps.
Since these salespeople are expected to generate and convert more leads, they typically have to handle a higher number of leads. Managers and business owners must remember that this approach may result in the top-performing salespeople feeling overwhelmed, fatigued, and overworked. That, in turn, may result in a deteriorating quality of the customer experience and leads over time.
- Geographic location and language: Scaling a sales department and expanding a business can be beneficial in terms of revenue opportunities and lead routing. When a company has sales reps in different countries around the world, it allows them to route leads to the sales professionals depending on their geographic location. On top of that, it helps to avoid language and time zone issues.
- Company budget and size: Selling or marketing to an enterprise-level company has its peculiarities. Large corporations are typically more cautious when purchasing and implementing new software. The change in lead distribution software might have more severe and far-reaching consequences for an enterprise than for a middle-market company.
For instance, B2B efforts must entail different sales tactics to ensure successful sales to businesses of various sizes. Utilizing this routing method can help brands categorize their sales professionals based on their skill set and specialization. That way, a company can flawlessly match B2B leads with sales reps.
How To Create Lead Distribution Strategies
It’s no secret that customizing routing rules and automating routine tasks is essential to creating a successful lead distribution strategy. Here are some crucial steps brands take to develop and implement an effective distribution strategy:
- Identify the best distribution software that allows buying and selling leads.
- Check if the leads distribution system can assist with screening prospects for quality.
- Customize routing rules and select the best way to handle and distribute inbound leads.
- Test routing rules, compare conversion rates, and determine what rules and lead distribution methods fit your lead generation process.
Regardless of the size of your sales team, sales reps and marketing experts have probably used one of the lead distribution strategies listed below. While each has advantages and drawbacks, it’s crucial to understand how these approaches can help you decide which fits your company’s next growth stage.
Let’s examine in more detail the most common lead distribution strategies.
Segment-based lead distribution
It’s not uncommon for sales reps to choose clients based on their experience and company strategy. More often than not, businesses use a segment-based approach when reps are assigned to specific areas, regions, states, or cities and, therefore, leads from those locations. The segment-based strategy is about more than just a particular territory; it can take many forms, including the industry or the company’s annual revenue.
Round-robin lead assignment
This strategy is common in early-stage companies because it facilitates lead distribution. Simply put, it divides inbound leads evenly among all the sales reps. Since small companies typically have up to five sales professionals, implementing this approach often jeopardizes the customer experience. Why is that? As a sales team grows, it includes varying expertise, skills, and competencies, making this strategy no longer efficient.
Tiered lead routing
This strategy implies assigning leads to reps based on predefined criteria to guarantee the best team performance. For instance, if a company hires new sales reps with decent ramping skills, there are two ways to deal with lead distribution. First, a company can assign them more leads so that they open up the pipeline and move leads down the sales funnel faster. Second, assign fewer leads so that they take time to grasp the intricacies of a company’s sales process. Simply put, this strategy considers individual capabilities and skill sets to determine the reps with the most significant potential for enhancing the overall team performance.
How To Fine-tune a Lead Distribution Process
After figuring out which lead distribution strategy fits your business, it’s crucial to understand how to optimize and streamline your lead distribution process.
Here are five actionable tips that will help you achieve the mission:
1. Implement Marketing Automation Tools
The cooperation and transition of leads between sales and marketing departments must be smooth. Businesses can automate their lead capture process with the right marketing automation solution.
When a lead signs up for a trial, messages you on social media, or fills out a web form, you can capture their information, track their behavior, and direct them to specific sales professionals through the CRM system integrated with the lead distribution tool.
2. Automate Lead Qualification Process
Businesses need to define the factors that impact their lead qualification process. It can be a geographic location, business size, company’s budget, issues the organization is experiencing, etc.
That will help you filter your inbound leads based on specific predetermined factors. As a result, only high-intent leads will be routed to your sales representatives.
3. Set Lead Routing Rules
After lead qualification and prioritization, businesses must assign them to suitable sales professionals. It means establishing specific routing rules. Here are some common factors companies consider when setting routing rules:
- Experience and skill set: Many brands assign high-priority leads only to experienced sales reps who can ensure top-level performance and maintain high conversion rates.
- Geographic location: In some cases, assigning leads to company representatives from the same area can be an excellent approach.
- Representative’s availability: One standard method is assigning leads based on the sales rep’s availability.
Regardless of your chosen criterion, it’s crucial to ensure that the company representatives have enough resources to engage with leads properly.
4. Leverage Tech Stack Integration
Before utilizing a lead distribution system, brands must ensure that their lead generation, call tracking, lead management, lead distribution tools, and CRM can integrate and work seamlessly. This way, companies can reduce lead response time and ensure an efficient sales process while remaining transparent with sales and marketing teams.
5. Capitalize on Measurable Outcomes
Tracking and measuring the results of implemented lead distribution strategy is as important as evaluating the performance of every stage of your sales funnel. Here are some of the essential metrics businesses typically track:
- Duration of calls
- Lead response time
- Conversion rate
- Close rate
The Role of Lead Generation in the Lead Distribution Process
Over 50% of marketers spend half their budget on lead generation efforts. It’s hardly surprising since effective lead generation allows for building a sales pipeline by capturing and stimulating the interest of prospective buyers. Besides, businesses that use lead gen to determine their ideal customer profile may rest assured that they’re on the right track to capturing more quality leads.
But how do lead generation and effective lead distribution correlate? Let’s examine in more detail how lead generation efforts can improve your company’s lead distribution system.
- Efficient sales process: Companies equipped with distribution and lead routing systems can route new leads faster, provide sufficient responses to queries, and close more sales deals.
- Enhanced performance tracking: While lead generation offers multiple benefits to businesses, one of the most significant advantages is its ability to simplify data analysis and performance tracking. For instance, when combined with a tracking and lead distribution solution, companies can evaluate how many sales representatives a lead has spoken with until the deal is closed. On top of that, brands can effortlessly identify lead owners, enabling them to recognize the sales reps who bring in more deals quickly.
- Elevated customer experience: There’s no denying that by assigning the most knowledgeable representatives to handle lead inquiries, companies automatically improve customer experience and establish trust. In other words, the company’s lead generation, call and web lead tracking, and distribution efforts complement each other and ensure positive outcomes.
Why Use Lead Distribution Software
Many organizations invest in increasing efficiency and speeding up business processes. For that reason, it’s common for companies to purchase and implement lead distribution software that ensures better performance, speed, and integrations.
Additionally, it helps businesses concentrate on innovative lead generation methods and approaches without sacrificing lead quality.
With Phonexa’s lead distribution software, brands can facilitate the lead management and distribution processes and leverage advanced reporting, automation, call tracking, and lead routing resources that make for one of the most effective lead distribution solutions available on the market.
Phonexa’s lead distribution software with ping post technology enables businesses to optimize the traffic flow, create custom ping trees, leverage predictive insight into active campaigns, and strategically route leads in real-time.
When it comes to Phonexa’s ping tree software, it enables a sophisticated lead distribution process that employs ping post technology to deliver and route leads to multiple sellers and buyers based on different filters, factors, and lead prices. All those arrive at the lead management dashboard via LMS Sync, Phonexa’s lead management, tracking, and distribution solution. The ping tree software enables publishers and affiliate marketers to instantly distribute the same leads to a network of potential buyers for real-time bidding.
Features of Phonexa’s Distribution & Lead Routing Software
Intelligent Lead Routing
One of the traditional lead distribution methods provided by Phonexa’s lead routing software is intelligent rules-based routing. It helps brands find the best match between the lead and the sales rep by using specific criteria such as lead origin, interests, language, etc.
Streamlined Sales Process
Phonexa enables businesses to take advantage of CRM integrations within their tech stack by seamlessly organizing lead data, routing leads, adding prospective customers to the sales pipeline, and streamlining the sales process to facilitate converting leads into sales.
Multiple Integration Options
Integration opportunities are essential to the success of any lead distribution strategy. Therefore, companies must be able to integrate a lead selling software and distribution system with their CRM software. With Phonexa’s suite of marketing automation solutions, businesses can automate their workflows, make strategic decisions, and accelerate lead data transfers.
Lead generation and management strategies require access to structured lead data and insights. Therefore, advanced reporting is a critical feature of any lead distribution software. Phonexa offers granular analytics and an advanced reporting feature with an easy-to-use dashboard, custom reports, information on agent performance, unpaid invoices, etc.
Customer Feedback Capture
Innovative lead management software with ping post lead distribution improves business functionality by offering such features as customer feedback capture. This feature facilitates lead assignment while allowing businesses and teams to track leads and prospects as they are pulled or qualified by sales or marketing departments.
Real-time Bidding and Lead Acquisition
Phonexa’s Ping Post Calls 2.0 enables performance marketers, small businesses, and enterprises to collaborate directly. With this feature, Phonexa introduced a novel approach to enhancing lead flow management and purchasing and selling ping post leads. It assists sellers and buyers with real-time bidding based only on the best call and lead data attributes and ensures that sellers maximize their profits on every lead.
Lead Distribution Software Use Cases Across Industries
Let’s look at how companies can use lead distribution software across four industries.
It’s common for financial companies to use technical terminology to describe specific processes and products. That makes it challenging for prospective customers to understand the offerings. Besides, it complicates the purchasing decisions.
Since prospective clients often have many questions, they call financial advisors to clarify doubts and make educated decisions.
Here’s how financial institutions can benefit from implementing lead distribution software:
- Automate business processes, including lead distribution, to engage with the inbound leads as soon as possible.
- Utilize lead routing to direct leads to suitable financial advisors and improve first-call resolution.
- Capture customer feedback and evaluate advisors’ performance.
Travel & Hospitality
Consumers contact hotel chains and tour operators to inquire about travel packages and accommodations. Such communication usually happens via phone calls, email, or live chat.
Here’s how implementing lead distribution software can help travel and hospitality businesses achieve their sales and marketing goals:
- Ensure effective lead distribution by routing calls and web leads to knowledgeable agents and sales reps.
- Eliminate misunderstandings and language barriers by routing leads to local sales professionals.
- Focus on closing more deals and streamlining sales processes by routing leads to the right sales reps and issuing invoices before prospective clients contact rival companies.
- Fine-tune the customer journey, recapture lost inbound calls, and never miss another call by implementing a marketing automation suite that includes call tracking and lead distribution solutions.
The home services and improvement industry has numerous niche offerings, including solar power solutions, remodeling, and roofing.
When home service providers get most inbound leads from performance marketing companies or a network of affiliates, the leads are distributed simultaneously to multiple contractors. In other words, the same lead can be sold to several contractors in a specific area, which means speed-to-contact is crucial.
Implementing lead distribution software can help contractors achieve the following goals:
- Reduce lead response time
- Increase conversion rate and boost sales
- Build effective lead generation campaigns
- Distribute more leads in less time
- Gather and capitalize on lead data
The name of the game for insurance professionals and providers is “jockeying for position” in a highly competitive market. Therefore, it is paramount to implement tech tools and solutions to improve customer engagement, increase retention, bring in more quality insurance leads, and distribute them effectively.
Here’s how insurance carriers and agencies can make the most of lead distribution software:
- Utilize automation with the ping tree and ping post technology to maximize the sales and profits driven by lead distribution efforts.
- Gain more insight and control over the generated inbound leads.
- Adjust and customize filters to bring in more insurance leads that meet specific criteria and boost conversion rate.
- Make the most of real-time reporting and discover lead data trends.
Get Your Lead Distribution Right
The process of generating, capturing, qualifying, and routing inbound leads is ongoing regardless of the industry or niche. Therefore, developing a distribution strategy and implementing lead distribution software is the surefire way to speed out the process of reaching out to leads and delivering them the best possible customer experience.
Schedule a consultation with one of Phonexa’s experts to discover how LMS Sync can help your business increase lead response time, streamline sales workflow, and automate your lead distribution process.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is lead distribution software?
Lead distribution software aids the lead management process by assigning inbound leads to suitable sales professionals based on predefined criteria. The criteria typically include but are not limited to the representative’s availability, geographic location of prospective clients, sales rep’s expertise, company budget, and time zone.
What is an inbound lead?
Inbound leads are prospective clients who initiate contact with the business after an organic search, a referral, or a chance encounter with the company’s content. Inbound leads tend to have higher quality because they trust the brand and are ready to purchase.
What is lead routing?
Lead routing, otherwise known as a lead assignment, is the process of distributing inbound leads among salespeople manually or automatically with the help of the lead distribution software.
What does it mean to distribute leads?
It means assigning inbound leads to your sales reps manually or automatically.
Why is lead distribution and routing software essential?
It ensures that each lead is assigned to a sales rep with a specific experience and skill set. In other words, it guarantees that brands will assign inbound leads to the best-suited representatives who are likely to close the deal. Since every prospective customer has unique goals, issues, and needs, it’s crucial to match them with the appropriate sales professional to deliver excellent customer experience and boost conversion rate.
What is round-robin lead distribution?
The round-robin method implies that every new inbound lead is assigned to a different sales professional until each sales rep has received and handled the same number of inbound leads. Then, the cycle repeats.