Specific capabilities you might need – Routing
Written by RingLead Marketing on February 9, 2021
Customer expectations continue to evolve. Sales and marketing organizations continue to seek new ways to meet those expectations. The goal is to provide a good customer experience while at the same time retiring quota and hitting revenue targets. Increasingly sophisticated go-to-market strategies, including adoption of account-based marketing, necessitate the need for robust data management technologies.
Growing companies require systems capable of scaling.
Whether you want to ensure all leads from the same company are always owned by the same person, or if you want an automated, hands-off way of evenly distributing leads across the board, below are specific capabilities you’ll want to employ in your intelligent routing strategy.
Employee schedules can change. As people take paid time off, you need to make sure they don’t get assigned leads, because if they do, your lead response time will be way beyond 5 mins—perhaps even beyond 5 days.
You might also want to accommodate different employee working hours, especially for sales reps working in different time zones.
Matching leads to accounts is one of the most common components of an intelligent routing strategy and enables account-based marketing.
Create pools of users to assign leads on a rotating basis. This ensures salespeople all get a fair amount of “at bats” and the workload is evenly distributed. Round-robin functionality is a core component of an intelligent routing strategy.
Further customize your round-robin lead assignment by giving each user a weighting so they’re assigned fewer or more leads from a queue, without having to manually intervene and disrupt the round-robin flow.
You might need to limit the number of leads able to be assigned to people. For example, to prevent a salesperson from having too many open leads, stop assigning them new prospects if they’re already working at full capacity.
Weighted Round-Robin with Caps
Quickly and easily combine the power of round-robin, custom weighting, and capping. When you hire a new salesperson, you might want to give them fewer leads until their 90th day after they complete their training. Or you might have a seasoned rep who you want to ensure gets more leads.
Duplicate records wreak havoc on databases, cause confusion, skew KPIs, and negatively impact the revenue engine. In your routing processes, you’ll want to prevent duplicates from being created, which might entail merging leads or converting them to existing contacts.
Data enters the system in different shapes and sizes. An intelligent routing solution can automatically A) normalize the data into standard formats (i.e. CA is always transformed into California) and B) segment the data into standard cohorts. Standardization enables fast and accurate routing, and equips marketing teams with crystal-clear campaign targets, and sales teams can have simplified territories or quickly build call lists in Salesforce.
Marketing Automation Integration
If you have a marketing automation platform (MAP), you’ll want to connect your routing processes with whatever platform you use, such as Marketo, Pardot, or Eloqua. Your entire marketing technology stack should be connected to facilitate a seamless flow of information throughout your revenue engine.
A robust solution will streamline your routing process and increase match rates by populating virtually any data point, in real time, from any number of the industry-leading data vendors. Within the same flow, an intelligent routing solution can standardize the enriched data into usable segments according to unique business requirements.
Automatic Field Updates
When processing leads or other objects, you might want to have a field value updated—any field, whether it’s the record being processed or the matching record. For example, if you have an open opportunity, and the CTO from the same company watches a recorded demo of your product, you can have them added as a contact role to the opportunity as an influencer or decision-maker automatically.
Tasks & Alerts
If a prospect requests a product demo or consultation, you can have a task assigned to either a salesperson or a product specialist to conduct the demo. This is one way to hold people accountable to following through on action items. Email notifications can optionally be delivered so action items are added to the inbox.
Comprehensive activity reports make it possible to view lead history and activity, such as the number of leads linked to an account for any time frame. Audits are helpful to answer questions like, “Why was the lead routed this way?” You’ll find it useful to have logs with visibility into matching results, record assignments, and any fields that were updated—all in one easy-to-view report.
A good user experience removes friction from managing routing workflows, allocating user licenses, and making quick updates. Usability correlates with adoption. A visual display with drag-and-drop functionality makes it a delight to execute your intelligent routing strategy.
Matching leads and contacts with other objects, such as accounts, opportunities, and cases can be useful as part of an intelligent routing strategy. For example, matching leads with accounts is necessary to optimize account-based marketing and sales processes. If a lead enters the system with an email domain that matches an account’s website domain, you can have the account data copied to the lead record for increased visibility.
Occasionally you might find a need to perform recurrent updates to maintain the health and integrity of your database. For example, a batch process can be useful for conducting territory reassignments on records owned by inactive users.
Are there scenarios where you would want to re-route leads, such as a missed SLA? You might want to automatically reroute a lead if an SDR does not take action such as changing the lead status within a certain time period of a lead being created. Yes, you can foster a culture where everyone respects lead response time by instituting a policy where the consequence is a hot lead being taken away.
Owner Assignment & Backup Owner
Organizations may have unique needs that require flexibility in who or what gets assigned the record. Here are some examples of ways you might want to assign leads or contacts: a round robin group, a specific Salesforce user, an account team member, a column from a CSV file, a hidden field on a web form, or even use a Salesforce assignment rule.
As an extra layer of protection, a backup owner can ensure no lead goes unanswered.
Now let’s look at some scenarios.
Example use case scenarios
The possibilities of your routing solution should be limited only by your imagination. With a sophisticated tool, fine-tuned routing workflows can be set up for virtually any scenario.
Sales territories are usually based on geography or market segment (i.e. Enterprise, Midmarket, SMB), but here are some more data points organizations might want to include in their routing processes:
annual revenue • number of employees • geography • industry • NAICS and SIC codes • department budgets • product expertise • job titles • technologies used • capital raised
Territories, assignment groups, and routing rules can be comprised of any combination of data.
Other examples of niche routing rules:
- Number of brick-and-mortar retail locations.
- Size of an organization’s sales force or customer support call center.
- Amount of franchisees nationwide.
- Number of trucks used in supply chain delivery.
- Startups that recently received a certain amount of funding.
- Private, public, or nonprofit organization.
- How many hardware devices active in field service.
Let’s continue with some more examples to paint a picture of the limitless control that comes with a sophisticated routing solution. Ready, set, go!
Rapid-fire examples to spark your imagination
Build deeper customer relationships by ensuring prospects from the same company are always owned by the same salesperson or team.
Merge duplicates to avoid the embarrassing mistake of different salespeople unknowingly contacting the same person.
When a lead comes in that matches a prospect account, assign it to the sales owner of that account.
Similarly, when a lead comes in that matches a customer account, immediately convert it to a contact and assign it to a customer success manager.
If an employee is traveling, temporarily skip over them so they don’t get assigned any leads while they’re not available to respond quickly.
Send a notification to an executive when a lead has a certain kind of job title or role. If the CEO of a target account makes an inquiry, you can have your own CEO connect with them on LinkedIn.
Assign or reassign a contact to a product specialist based on the customer’s interest, and create a task to schedule a demo.
If you have sales teams that specialize in verticals, ensure that prospects get to the salespeople that understand their pains best. Some industries have particular buying processes, and understanding the buyer’s process can increase win rates.
Assign new leads to SDRs or BDRs for prospecting, and assign new customers to the appropriate customer success group or account management team for cross-selling and upselling.
If your product or service complements a product from another vendor, you might want to route based on what technology you know the prospect company uses. Or perhaps as part of your competitive strategy you might want to route certain prospects using competitor technology to a particular sales group.
Little-known applications of a routing solution:
You might have multiple ingestion points where leads can enter your system of record, such as multiple CRMs or MAPs for different business units. You routing technology should be able to support a seamless integration of data.
Apply different rules depending on where the lead originated from, such as whether it was created manually, captured from your website, or imported from a list. You can keep some leads in your MAP and out of your CRM until they’re sales-ready.
Most companies maintain one overarching route workflow, similar to how you might have one active lead assignment rule in Salesforce. However, you might have a special circumstance where you want additional route workflows that act as containers of rules used for special circumstances. For example, if your field marketing team has a list from a [virtual] tradeshow, you might have a reason to temporarily deactivate your primary route workflow and temporarily activate another one.
Drive action and ensure persistent follow-ups. Set up a rule, based on any of the previously-mentioned data points or scenarios, to create a chain reaction and invoke a series of tasks: Phone call, email, LinkedIn outreach, repeat. Initiate a nurture campaign to warm up the lead.
Set up a free-for-all system where certain kinds of leads are assigned to a particular queue and salespeople can cherry pick leads from the queue. First come, first serve. To prevent lead hoarding, set up re-routing rules if certain conditions aren’t met, such as if a lead status isn’t updated in a certain amount of time.
Automatically clean, validate, enrich, normalize, and segment your data in real time or retroactively to maintain the quality of your database and improve the precision of your routing process. (More on this later.)
Use cases with other CRM objects:
- Six months after a deal is lost, transfer the opportunity’s key contact or the opportunity itself to a BDR for follow-up. Don’t give up. Persistence pays.
- Decrease the number of manual steps in your renewal process by scheduling renewal opportunities to be automatically created 45 days before the contract end date. Assign it to customer success, renewal management, or the owner of the account. Get a jump start on potential cross-sells. Reduce churn.
- When an opportunity reaches a certain stage, have it automatically re-assigned from a junior sales rep to a senior account executive to seal the deal.
- Automatically create a new opportunity when a set of qualification criteria on a lead or contact record are met. Control your conversion process while saving time for your reps.
- Annually transfer customer accounts to new account managers for the purpose of growing and expanding the account from a fresh, new perspective.
- Change the type field on the account object from Prospect to Customer when an opportunity is closed won. A year later, transfer the account from the account executive to an account manager to switch from hunting mode to farming.
- Mark a prospect account as “Marketing Qualified” when related leads meet your marketing criteria, such as exceeding the firmographic or behavioral lead score thresholds or upon confirmation of viewing a product demo. Then assign the account to an account executive.
- Change case owner when any data value changes, or escalate a support case when a certain amount of time passes.
Keep your revenue engine running like a well-oiled machine and automatically get the right leads to the right people, quickly.
Also learn Why intelligent routing matters