Your speed to lead – also known as your lead response time – is one of the most important factors in winning (or losing) your customer. In most cases, it is the single most important factor.

For inbound motions, the first company to respond to an inquiry is more often than not the winner. According to a widely sourced study by Lead Connect, 78 percent of customers buy from the company that responds to their inquiry first.

You want to consistently win in the marketplace? You need to finish first. There are no consolation prizes for revenue teams who cross the finish line in second. And, to finish first, you need to be quick – best practice lead response time is as low as five minutes!

One way of producing a winning speed to lead is to quicken the notification to your sales reps, and integrating Slack into your processes pays big dividends.

Lead response time = lead processing plus rep response

Every minute a lead sits idle in your lead response process, the greater the likelihood you’re going to lose the customer. If you have any meaningful scale to your number of leads, you will greatly benefit from automating your processes. Let’s begin the second part of the lead response time equation first: your representatives’ response time.

Email is great for a lot of things; simply put, it works for sending messages. But, email isn’t particularly great for urgent notifications. As professionals get more and more inundated with email, they’re following best practices for time management and only referring to email a few times during the day – early, mid and late. There are too many opportunities for emails to slip into the cracks to go temporarily unaddressed. Not a big deal when the subject is an upcoming team volunteer day. But, a potentially huge deal when it comes to a hot lead where every minute counts.

Pushing a lead forward in Salesforce isn’t the answer either, because while a great salesperson does live in SFDC, she isn’t there all the time. Remember, every minute matters.

Salesforce recognized that, and it was undoubtedly the deciding factor in its $27.7 billion acquisition of Slack, the leading channel-based messaging platform. And, it’s the right move to make.

Slack provides the timely notifications necessary to alert salespeople and get them working the most urgent of leads. Depending on an organization’s processes, those alerts – like in the instance of a red hot demo request – can require the rep to drop everything else and devote all energy to responding to the lead.

Slack notifications serve as the catalyst for prompt sales rep attention. When it comes to speed to lead, it’s a great step forward. But, speed to lead also requires ultra-quick lead processing before the right rep is notified, and that’s the critical first step forward. 

Lead assignment rules in Salesforce

Lead assignment rules are built into SFDC, and they represent a useful place for small revenue teams to start. However, as companies grow, the limitations of SFDC lead assignment rules become problematic. 

The root cause is that orgs are limited by Salesforce to just one rule active at any time. It’s perfect for a simple, straightforward go-to-market (GTM) strategy with a single motion, like perhaps an inbound motion off a company’s website. However, once multiple motions are added, like outbound, account-based and hybrid approaches, complexity rises. That complexity is multiplied as sales reps and geographies are added and continually refined due to marketplace changes. And, then there’s all the Customer Success motions that need to be added when internal processes run through the Salesforce CRM.

With just one active rule available to SFDC admins, complex GTM motions require a layering of multiple rule sets. The result is a jumbled mess that is difficult to comprehend, navigate, troubleshoot and change without breaking processes and getting leads stuck.

Stuck leads are killers to lead response time. Forget about Slack notifications – your system doesn’t even know what rep to notify yet!

LeanData lead routing with Slack integration

LeanData’s lead routing flow and assignment solution is a Salesforce-native application that allows users to create flows in an easy-to-understand visual graph. Its drag-and-drop interface empowers the building of complex routing flows for leads, contacts, accounts and opportunities. It’s as easy as that – no more lead assignment rules or custom code.

Simple to create and deploy, LeanData serves its part in increasing speed to lead by automatically processing leads and assigning them to the right rep, complete with all the contextual account information included in the lead records. 

But, the solution doesn’t just stop at the first half of the lead response time equation. With a seamless Slack integration, LeanData empowers the automatic notification to a sales rep with a system-driven alert.  

Last, but very much not least, LeanData Routing comes complete with best-in-class Round Robin capabilities, including:

  • Creating multiple Round Robin pools with different members and settings – for example, separate pools for inbound website leads and leads collected from an in-person or virtual event
  • Assigning different access levels to pool information and settings for pool members and managers
  • Allowing managers to set up schedules such as working hours, vacations and regional holidays
  • Using custom weighting to route more leads to one or more pool members, based on skill level, availability or other criteria
  • Capping limits to balance representative workloads to ensure no one is overworked with too many leads routed during a certain period of time

Optimize processing & response time for quick speed to lead

Assigning your leads for quick follow up is the first consideration in your quest for a quick speed to lead. There is no room in the competitive environment to leave it either to chance or long, complicated, time-consuming lead assignment rules. Automated push notifications that alert reps upon record assignment empower them to reach out to the lead quickly, closing the lead response time cycle and setting the stage for closing the deal later in the customer journey.

“Having one place to see all of our inbound lead requests and all of our hand raises, each in a separate Slack channel en masse, has been very exciting.”

~ Tanya Dracolakis, Senior Marketing & Sales Operations Manager

In the race for your customer, it’s not enough to be fast. You have to be first. Get a head start on your competition by optimizing your speed to lead, first by minimizing lead processing time, then by minimizing representative response time.

Ray Hartjen
Senior Content Strategist at LeanData

Ray Hartjen is a senior content strategist at LeanData, where he collaborates with internal and external customers in furthering the engaging narrative of revenue operations and innovative go-to-market strategies. You can connect with Ray on both LinkedIn & Twitter.