Inbound Lead Routing


What is lead routing?

Leads are assets in your CRM that your company has spent time and money collecting and attracting in an effort to convert them into customers, aka revenue. If these assets are sitting in your CRM waiting to be contacted, their value is depreciating and the likelihood of them turning into revenue drops exponentially over time. Making the most of these leads is more important than ever in the current economic climate.

Lead routing is the process of distributing these valuable assets to Sales Reps so that they can be converted into customers and therefore revenue. This process seems simple in theory but, as we will see in this blog post, it can be difficult and complex in practice.

Connecting to the right sales reps

One of the first principles of lead routing is making sure that the right leads make it to the right Sales Reps. This is where the complexity starts. It isn’t enough to simply distribute all incoming leads to Sales Reps. You want to make sure that Reps aren’t wasting their valuable time on low-quality leads that aren’t ready to buy. In addition to qualification, there are many other variables to consider. For example, are leads getting distributed equally, or are some reps receiving more than others? Are leads from specific account types like customer accounts or partner channel leads and should they be routed differently? Should the leads be converted to contacts? Are leads from owned territories? These examples only scratch the surface of possibilities in automated lead routing.

Common issues with lead routing

There are some common issues that come up when routing leads. Many of these issues stem from the fact that leads have very few data points because marketing knows that leads are more likely to be captured if they ask for as little information as possible. Below are some of the most common issues and why they are so frequently encountered.

Merging duplicate leads

In this digital age, it is inevitable that duplicates will be created in your CRM. These duplicates make everything downstream more complicated. At the top of the funnel, prospects might be reached out to by multiple Reps, causing a poor buying experience and frustration on the part of the Sales Team stepping on each others’ toes. Further downstream, it’s difficult to do any sort of reporting or attribution if you have duplicates. It is more important than ever to ensure duplicates are identified and merged in your system.

Identifying duplicates is often more difficult than it seems. Software is often tripped up by prospects going by different names, owning multiple email addresses, and frequently changing jobs. Furthermore, if you have several duplicates in your system, how do you decide which records to preserve and which to overwrite when merging?

Routing to account owner

We said earlier that it is not enough to just distribute leads to Reps. What if a lead comes from a customer account? What if a lead comes from a company with an open opportunity? Another common issue with lead routing is ensuring these leads are routed to the Account Owners so that customers and prospects have a better buying experience. However, in most CRMs, leads are not linked to any accounts, so the common issue here is that it is difficult to determine which Account owner to distribute these leads to.

Many software vendors and CRMs claim to have lead-to-account matching, but these often rely solely on the exact match of a few fields, usually company name and email address. This often results in low quality, inaccurate matches, and also misses out on some matches altogether, effectively rendering the data inactionable.

SDR assignment and notification

Another common issue in lead routing is that Sales Teams are often composed of some combination of SDRs and AEs and therefore have different criteria for which leads need to be worked by SDRs versus AEs.

Most commonly, SDRs are responsible for reaching out to hot leads like those that come in through a demo request. These types of hot leads are particularly important to be contacted in the shortest amount of time, therefore notifying the SDRs as soon as possible is also critical.

Another hurdle is that SDRs usually have to spend a lot of time manually triaging leads assigned to them to ensure they have the right leads and the right messaging.

Auditing lead routing

Once you have automation in place, how do you know if it is working properly? Even if it is working properly, you probably still want to have visibility into how your automation is functioning for auditing purposes. You want to know who made changes in your org, whether it was a person or automation. This can often be more difficult than it sounds. Many solutions, including native Salesforce workflows and process builders, are black boxes that do not provide transparency or audit logs.

Automated lead routing with LeanData

LeanData will ensure that the right leads go to the right Sales Reps and that Reps follow up in a timely manner. This means that you will be able to maximize your return-on-investment for every lead in your CRM with LeanData.

LeanData accomplishes this with our proprietary matching algorithm and our robust and flexible lead routing platform.

LeanData matching is able to identify and surface duplicates leads and contacts. Our routing platform gives you the power and flexibility to address them in whatever way is most appropriate for your business. This could be automatically merging duplicates, routing them to a queue to address manually, and/or sending out a notification.

LeanData matching also provides the industry’s most accurate lead to account match. This gives leads account-level context, which can be used to take a host of routing actions such as routing to the matched account owner, or routing by account type so that leads from Customer Accounts can be routed to the Customer Success team, for example.

LeanData’s routing has the flexibility to accommodate your specific go-to-market strategy. Our routing can finely segment leads so that the right leads are sent to the right SDRs and that they are notified in the same step. LeanData’s routing can even take it a step further and help you track and enforce SLAs with our time-based routing.

For further information on how LeanData can help you convert more leads into revenue, contact us for a demo.

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About the Author
Christa Chavez
Solutions Consultant

Christa is a solutions engineer with extensive experience at technology companies including Salesforce, WorkSpan, and Cayuse. She has previously held roles in Business Development, Inside Sales, and Marketing. Christa is passionate about helping Sales and Marketing teams achieve their revenue goals.