Whether you are a lead buyer or a lead seller, an effective and efficient lead distribution system is imperative for sustainability and viability in a complex and dynamic marketplace.
While the process is typically automated, by understanding the finite details and nuances associated with distribution, buyers can increase speed-to-lead, sellers can augment their sales process, and both can optimize their entire sales organization approach.
Before you dive into lead distribution methods for buyers and sellers, let’s first define what “lead distribution” is.
What is Lead Distribution?
Lead distribution is the process of distributing leads to different systems, lead buyers, or sales reps. Lead assignment to different sales reps typically takes place within the CRM. The distribution to different systems or lead buyers is typically handled by the lead acquisition and distribution software that sits in front of the CRM.
For buyers, it’s about getting the right lead to the right people in your organization to maximize the feasibility of a sales conversion. If the lead is involved in the solar industry, you would not want a sales rep from a different department, inexperienced in solar, handling it. Proper lead assignment can maximize every individual sales rep’s strengths.
For sellers, an efficient distribution strategy can minimize rejections and allow you to only contact prospective buyers whose needs most closely align with those desired by the lead to ensure compatibility. By knowing your buyer market, you will not waste time contacting a buyer who does not match a lead’s profile or who cannot meet the lead’s needs.
Distribution methods for sellers are limited but are expansive and diverse for buyers. Finding the right method for you will depend upon your industry and specific business.
Lead Distribution Methods for Buyers
When pairing with sales reps, sales teams typically use one of three strategies:
Manual Distribution Method
Also known as the “Pull” method, this autonomous process is handled by sales reps selecting the individual leads themselves.
- Cherry Pick – All sales reps are notified when leads are available, and they choose the best leads that they think they can close. Think of this process as selecting the highest value cards (leads) and all of the cards are facing up. This process sparks competition but can encourage lead hoarding and cause unattended leads to go cold or expire.
- Blind Pull – All sales reps are notified when leads are available but are unable to see any of the lead information. Think of this process as selecting the highest value cards (leads) but all of the cards are facing down. This process encourages sales reps to follow up on every lead but could misalign your strongest sales reps with weaker leads.
Automatic Distribution Method
Also known as the “Push” method, you can set up an automated routing and distribution network within your sales department to assign sales reps leads to pursue.
- Round Robin – Leads are distributed to sales reps similar to a batting order. If you have five sales reps, the first lead would go to sales rep No. 1, the second lead to sales rep No. 2, the third lead to sales rep No. 3, and so on. Once all five have received leads, distribution resumes at the top of the order with sales rep No. 1. However, due to the randomization, some of the best leads could fall to weaker or less senior sales reps.
- Top Performer – The best sales reps are assigned the most/best leads. This method incentivizes sales reps to close more deals and rewards them for doing so. The downside is potential inefficiencies could arise with 20% of your sales reps doing 100% of the work.
- Region Specific – Leads are distributed to sales reps based on their locations with the thought being a sales rep from the same area as a lead can better identify, connect, and leverage their sales position. But with regions varying in lucrativeness, this process limits flexibility and can again allow for a select few to handle the bulk of the work.
Hybrid Distribution Method
A combination of push/pull methods that can be tailored to your organization’s needs and still encourage competition in the sales department.
- Shotgun – Sales reps are divided into teams based on specific criteria (demographics, capabilities, industry), and leads are automatically posted to the group with the highest chance to close the specific sale. Once posted to the group, the sales reps have to manually select (blind pull or cherry-pick) the lead they want to pursue.
Lead Distribution Best Practices for Sellers
Customizing distribution as a seller allows you to maximize your ROI, decrease wasted resources, and optimize your lead flow from the beginning. Follow these best practices to meet your goals:
- Establish predetermined criteria to match leads with the appropriate buyers based on lead fields that your prospective buyers accept. Stop wasting time and resources with broad standards and sell more leads to the right buyers who can quickly convert them into sales.
- Advanced distribution methods allow you to select distribution “tie-breaker” criteria when a lead matches to more than one buyer. For example, if one lead matches to ten buyers and your tie-breaking criteria is based on company size, then the largest company will acquire the lead. Establishing specific criteria to break ties can ensure leads are always going to the most qualified buyers.
- Ping post bidding will allow you to more efficiently sell leads because you will be able to circumvent the discordance associated with direct post selling. By navigating through the ping-post sales process, lead sellers are able to maximize the purchase price and therefore the revenue of every lead. Most importantly, this bidding also allows sellers to operate more ethically by withholding valuable information on every lead from potentially unqualified buyers.
ActivePropsect’s LeadConduit allows buyers and sellers to effectively scale multi-channel delivery efforts with a wide variety of system integrations.
LeadConduit for Buyers and Sellers
LeadConduit is more than just your basic lead distribution platform. LeadConduit is a real-time lead optimization platform that empowers you to take action on your leads by customizing lead flow, enhancing leads with additional data, filtering and rejecting leads, and delivering it all straight to your CRM.
With the power of LeadConduit, you will be able to manage and optimize your lead distribution efforts with powerful data integration solutions and action-oriented tracking and reporting.
Buyers: Accept and reject lead sources in real-time by using rules-based logic. Eliminate time-wasting and inaccurate manual processes before the leads hit your CRM. Set your sales reps up for success with leads that actually want to talk to them.
- Save time by automating all your lead integration points.
- Normalize and validate data elements to comply with the specific requirements of your sources and recipients.
- Deliver clean and accurate data to multiple databases in the appropriate format.
Sellers: Deliver to multiple systems based on rules-based logic. Now, you can integrate all of your lead sources with the systems you use to contact your leads. Leads can be routed based on your custom rules to different systems or buyers.
- Library of pre-built outbound integrations with popular CRMs and ESPs.
- Outbound field mapping
- Deliver to multiple systems based on rules-based logic.
- Integrate with any system using flexible standard integrations
- Optimized ping-post strategy
Learn how you can optimize your lead distribution platform by scheduling a live demo today!