Best Practices for Routing Leads from Marketing to Sales
In the digital era, the attention span of people is reducing. If you delay or fail to provide the stimulation people crave, they quickly switch to other options. The same is true when it comes to leads.
The faster your marketing and sales teams respond to leads, the higher your chances of converting them. But this is not always easy if your data is siloed. Instead, it’s paramount for companies to transition to unified and automated data integrations to enhance lead routing.
Read on to learn more about lead routing and some practices you should adopt.
What Is Lead Routing?
Lead routing refers to the end-to-end process of collecting and distributing leads internally. Lead routing aims to allow you to respond to more inquiries and do it faster. Depending on how a company wants to collect and route leads, the process can vary significantly.
The Best Practices for Lead Routing
It never hurts to have a large marketing budget and team. But it does not necessarily guarantee success. It begins with a great marketing message to attract leads your team should nurture, from potential customers to long-term clients.
So, as you work to enhance lead routing, it’s not just about responding quicker. You also want to ensure that the right rep handles the right lead while it’s still hot.
It’s only by paying attention to such minor details that you can enjoy better conversion rates.
1. Align Your Marketing and Sales Teams
Sales and marketing teams may be independent, but they can’t work alone if you’re going to meet revenue targets. The marketing team’s job is to generate high-quality leads and pass them on to the sales team. And it’s the sales team’s job to work on the leads they receive from the marketing team.
While it sounds easy enough, that’s not always the case. In many organizations, a disconnect may arise if the sales team thinks the leads coming its way are not good enough. So, their commitment to converting leads reduces, and their efforts wane, resulting in friction between the two teams and affecting performance.
To avoid such a scenario, it’s vital to ensure alignment between sales and marketing. Have the teams come together to define qualified leads and at what stage they should be assigned to the sales team. Doing so gives the marketing team a clear blueprint to follow, ensuring the sales team’s leads are of the desired quality.
Related: 5 Steps to Building a Revenue Operations Team
2. Marketing Should Make the First Move
Depending on the volume of leads you generate, the sales team may not be able to respond within minutes of receiving them. However, allowing hot leads to go cold is not an option.
Instead, have your marketing team make the first move. An excellent option is routing leads into automated and highly personalized nurture campaigns.
This simple adjustment to your lead routing process has two fundamental benefits. First, leads will receive the instant response they prefer and will be warmed up before a sales rep is assigned. Sales representatives do a much better job converting leads into clients when they’re more receptive.
3. Build Marketing Strategies around Precise Personas and Journeys
Compelling marketing and lead generation begin with a clear picture of buyer personas and journeys. Then, have your marketing team define target customers and engage with them.
Try to find out what attracts leads to your company, their buying process, and their experience. The more data you can gather, the better. Then, categorize the buyers into five personas based on your insight.
From there, structure marketing campaigns based on each buyer’s persona. Account for their buying journey and the challenges they experience and develop content that touches on such challenges. Knowing this will help them move further along the sales funnel.
4. Great Lead Quality Is the Product of High-Quality Data
You likely generate tons of data with numerous digital channels for collecting leads. While this is great, it can be a handicap. For your marketing efforts to be practical, you must determine which data is worth pursuing and what to ignore.
This is one of the most significant pain points for sales reps: they receive numerous leads, but only a few are suitable for engagement.
Invest in automated processes to review customer data, and you will ensure the information passed to the sales team is standardized, validated, and enriched.
5. Plan Lead Assignments with Sales Leadership
Now that you have streamlined processes and your technology is integrated with data sources make sure you’re ready to capitalize on high-quality leads. A great way to achieve this is to plan lead assignments with sales leadership.
Meet with leaders from your sales team to determine how leads should be routed. Bringing them to the fold helps enhance collaboration between marketing and sales. But you have to do it well. In this regard, here are some of the questions you should ask:
- Are there sales reps that you should give top priority?
- Under which territories are sales reps assigned?
- Which sales reps own specific accounts?
- Is priority based on experience, performance, or other factors?
- What is the protocol should there be an overlap in industries, territories, etc.?
6. Determine Your Lead Routing Criteria
When routing leads, it’s essential to segment them just like you do with marketing campaigns. Some of the segments you should use include:
- Geography- It’s important that leads are matched with sales reps who cover their territory.
- Industry- Divide your sales reps into various industries and match leads with representatives specialized in their sector.
- Company size- If your sales personnel is grouped by the size of the companies they serve, it’s integral that you segment customers using the same criteria for better matching.
- Product expertise/use cases- Figure out each rep’s strengths and expertise so that each lead is matched with the best representative for the job.
7. Develop Rules for Lead Automation
As you continue implementing various strategies to enhance lead routing, you’ll notice significant gains in performance and harmony between marketing and sales. But if you want these gains to be sustainable, you must look beyond them and develop rules to govern lead routing.
Some of the things you should track to determine appropriate regulations include:
- The criteria producing the best results
- The amount of time it takes sales to follow up with leads
- Personnel changes in the sales department
- Changes in criteria or territories
Related: What Are the Best Enterprise Data Integration Tools?
8. Use Multiple Lead Capture and Lead Magnet Strategies
To generate more high-quality leads, you’ll also need to generate more leads in general. Fortunately, there are numerous lead magnet strategies. Some of the things your lead generation campaigns should include are:
- PPC ads to boost ranking for hard-to-reach keywords
- Well-defined content funnels that compel leads to move further
- Take measures to enhance your credibility, such as investing in a robust website, high-quality content, customer testimonies, and reviews.
- Have easy registration mechanisms for segmented lists, demos, and critical information to make it easier for leads to convert
What are the Benefits of Lead Routing?
Effective lead routing will enhance your sales workflow, translating to many benefits. These include:
1. Improved Sales Rep Performance
The quality of leads a sales rep receives plays a key role in their results. Lead routing can help improve sales rep performance in two ways.
First, it ensures leads are better organized and accessible to everyone. As a result, sales reps can maximize productivity as it’s easier to prioritize and plan their time.
Secondly, lead routing significantly improves the quality of leads and increases sales representatives’ chances of success.
2. Better Response Times
The modern business ecosystem is unforgiving for delays and inefficiencies. The difference between closing a lead and losing a potential client is how quickly you respond: with every minute that passes before you respond to an inbound lead, you lower your chances of conversion.
By routing the right leads to the appropriate sales reps, you’ll notice an improvement in response times. In turn, this will trigger an increase in conversions.
3. Improved Customer Satisfaction
Aside from the quality of your products, one thing you can’t afford to mess up with is customer satisfaction. Modern consumers are spoilt for choice when it comes to products and services. So, any delays in communication can push them to rivals quickly.
Lead routing helps sales reps respond to leads faster. Furthermore, it matches leads with the sales reps best placed to meet their needs. As a result, it also improves customer satisfaction.
4. Increased Morale
When leads do not match the expectations of sales reps, it can cause friction between marketing and sales and can easily cause disharmony, impacting operations.
A key element of lead routing is bringing sales and marketing together to determine which leads qualify and the routing method. Clarifying this information and expectations eliminates such issues, thus enhancing collaboration and morale.
Take Your Business to the Next Level
Increasing sales and revenues is not always about getting more leads. Instead, the best methods often involve making better use of your customer base and the leads you’re currently getting. And this is what lead routing offers. It aligns marketing and sales and empowers sales reps with better leads.
At Vertify, we can help you with your lead routing efforts. We help brands achieve a unified view through data automation and integration. Request a demo today to find out how we can help your company reach the next level.