Round Robin’s Role in Effective Lead Management

You know speed to lead is one of the most important – if not the single most important – factors in a successful go-to-market motion. Just consider the following lead response time statistics:

  • Calling within five minutes of prospect first contact is 21x more effective than calling after 30 minutes (LeadSimple)
  • After five minutes, there’s an 80% decrease in your odds of qualifying the lead (Vendasta)
  • After five minutes, leads are 10x less likely to respond to your outreach (
  • Responding within one minute increases lead conversions by 391% (Velocify)

Every organization with a high volume of Inbound leads needs a fair, equitable, effective and fast method to route leads among its sales development representatives (SDRs), minimizing the processing time between a lead entering the system and the first outreach to the prospect. 

More and more often, organizations are looking to round robin lead assignments as a way to increase speed to lead.

What is a round robin lead assignment?

A round robin lead assignment methodology is simply a rotation through a group. It’s similar to dealing cards, and a straight round robin distribution for a Sales team of four representatives would look like the following:

  • Lead 1 is assigned to SDR 1
  • Lead 2 is assigned to SDR 2
  • Lead 3 is assigned to SDR 3
  • Lead 4 is assigned to SDR 4
  • Lead 5 is assigned to SDR 1 (the start of a new round)
  • Lead 6 is assigned to SDR 2
  • … and so on

Implementing a round robin approach

The litmus test for determining if round robin distribution is right for your business is fairly simple. If you’ve ever had two or more sales reps argue over the ownership of a lead, then a round robin might be the approach for you!

Round robins evenly distribute leads among your team members, and it speeds up the delivery of leads to be actioned upon, thereby reducing your lead response time. It also keeps your team focused on proactive outreach rather than wasting precious time shuffling through lead queues and cherry picking what your team members believe to be the best leads. Round robins ensure no lead gets left behind!

Certainly, companies with high volumes of Inbound leads require a routing process, and a round robin ensures leads are evenly and equitably distributed. However, to ensure you address one of your primary success factors – your speed to lead KPIs – your round robin process will need to accommodate both working hours and out of office schedules, in addition to other considerations like territories, customer industry verticals, product and/or language expertise, onboarding ramp time, and more.  

Round robin solutions

Unfortunately, round robin methodologies are not an out-of-the-box feature of Salesforce. However, you can create your own round robin methodology by setting up your own custom fields and writing a lead assignment rule

Alternatively, automated solutions exist, like the round robin functionality that is part of LeanData Routing. When sourcing automated lead management solutions, ensure routing solutions allow for multiple, highly customizable round robins to support every routing flow, no matter how complex, for leads, contacts, accounts and opportunities. You’ll need the ability to effectively manage multiple use cases, including:

  • Routing the lead to an account owner if a matched account exists in Salesforce
  • Skipping over an SDR who is traveling or otherwise out of the office
  • Skipping over an SDR when it is outside her working hours
  • Weighting and assigning a more modest share of leads to new SDRs who are still ramping up
  • Weighting and increasing the assignments to your most experienced and/or efficient SDRs
  • Pausing and capping the assignment of leads to SDRs who are at full capacity
  • Re-routing a lead if it is not actioned upon within the SLA parameters
  • Notifying leadership when leads are not actioned upon

Additionally, ensure reporting mechanisms allow you to develop the insights on actual round robin assignments by SDR, empowering you to control your pools better and adjust as the business requires. For more information about round robin pools with LeanData, please check out the Round Robin datasheet.


Your lead response time, or speed to lead, is a key variable in winning the go-to-market race against your competition. In processing your Inbound leads, you need a lightning quick process that gets leads into the hands of the right representatives to take action upon them instantly.

Round robin pools are a logical extension of a revenue team’s lead routing flows, and they ensure not only a fair and equitable system for SDRs, they are also highly customizable to play to the team’s strengths and account for any of its limitations. 

  • Lead Routing
  • round robin
About the Author
Ray Hartjen

Ray Hartjen is an experienced writer for the tech industry and published author. You can connect with Ray on both LinkedIn & Twitter.