Work Smarter, Not Harder: How Automated Lead Routing Smooths Out the Buyer’s Journey

Madeleine Work

The buyer’s journey is sagging with the weight of friction.

A lot of this friction happens because every team is focused on their own goals. And blames everyone else for gaps in the customer experience.

Marketing creates MQLs. And blames sales for not following up.

Sales closes deals. And blames marketing for sending them leads that aren’t ready to buy.

Customer Success reduces churn. And blames sales for overpromising during the sales process.

In this blog, we’re going to share some solutions for ending this blame game once and for all. Because, let’s be honest, it’s not working for anyone.

After you’ve finished reading, you’ll have some ideas for fixing your leaky funnel, increasing pipeline velocity, and making everyone happy.

Promptly prioritize prospects

Say that three times fast. 

If you’re doing marketing right, your CRM should be full of prospects. Some might have attended a webinar six months ago and haven’t thought about you since. Some might have visited your pricing page four times in the last two days. 

The last thing you want to do is put everyone into the same bucket.

Here are a few strategies you can use to prioritize which prospects you should connect with sales — and how you can use a lead routing tool (like Distro) to make it happen. 

1. Route high-intent prospects based on lead score

Full disclosure: We don’t score leads at Chili Piper

Because we realized people who were engaging with us weren’t necessarily ready to buy. 

Of course, lead scoring isn’t one size fits all. 

But if you want to make it work for you, you need to master your process. 

There are leads that should continue chilling out in marketing nurture campaigns. 

And then there are leads that need a little extra customization and attention. 

Figuring out which leads need that customization is tricky and requires being strategic about what factors into your lead scoring.  

Lead scoring could include things like: 

  • Webinar registrations
  • Visits to pricing page
  • Asset downloads (e.g. case studies, ebooks)
  • G2 intent data
  • Email engagements (e.g. opens, clicks)

Each item should be assigned a certain number of points. Then, once a lead hits a certain score, they’ll be routed to the appropriate rep. 

Here's how you set up lead scoring rules with Distro (it's super easy): 

Pro-Tip: Lead scoring strategies are successful when everyone’s clear about expectations. 

If someone has visited your pricing page four times in the last two days, they’re probably not ready for a demo. 

But they might want an easy way to talk to a sales rep when they are ready. And there your rep will be, right in their inbox with some helpful information.

If you want to get really fancy, you can automate the entire process — set up a few triggers and workflows in Salesforce and you can connect Distro with sales engagement software, like Outreach or Salesloft. 

When you do it right, Distro will funnel leads into an automated outbound sequence as soon as they reach a certain lead score (here's a step-by-step of how that process works).

Then, when they’re ready to chat, all they have to do is reply to an email (or, if you’re using a scheduling tool, book a meeting right from the email).

2. Convert PQLs from free trials into paying customers

If you’re one of the companies testing the waters with product-led sales, lead routing software can help you take your efforts to the next level.

Without software, you might be manually checking product usage or only following up with marketing automation. Then, once someone has had a free trial for X amount of days or completed a specific action, you might then manually route them to a rep to turn them into a paying customer. 

That’s a lot of work. 

With lead routing software like Chili Piper’s Distro (that’s us!), you can automatically route PQLs to your rep (e.g. a free trial specialist) without lifting a finger. 

3. Wake the bear

If your prospect doesn’t want to buy from you right now, it doesn’t mean they’re not interested. 

Maybe their budget just got slashed. 

Maybe their VP just quit. 

Maybe they just brought on another tool and need to wait six months before they can implement anything else. 

Maybe they went with your competitor (but now they realize your competitor isn’t cutting it and they want to try something else). 

Whatever the reason, these are people you should reach out to every so often to test the water.

For example, if an opportunity is Closed Lost for X number of months, you could reassign the contact to a new rep who can reopen the conversation — with their own twist.    

You can even get super granular with this — if the opportunity includes a reason for Closed Lost (e.g. pricing, competitor, etc.), you could have your SDR team personalize the email accordingly. 

Same goes for opportunities that haven’t been contacted for X number of months. You could automate a follow-up to see how things are going and if they’re ready to reopen the conversation. 

The worst thing they can say is no.

​Tech Tip: With Distro, you can round robin closed lost opportunities to pools of reps for follow-up after a specific time period. Rather than manually setting up “wake the bear” nurture campaigns every so often, Distro will automatically funnel leads to the right rep when you decide it’s time to follow up. You can also ensure your team is focusing on qualified leads by adding criteria, such as a certain ARR threshold.

Be a good match-maker

Once a lead starts talking to sales, things get a lot more personalized. And it’s easy to mess things up if you’re super awkward about it. 

For example… 

Don’t reach out to the same person about the same thing multiple times

You’d think this would go without saying… but it’s really easy to do when you’re routing leads manually. 

Let’s say someone registers for a webinar, downloads an ebook, and then downloads a case study. If you’re manually routing leads each time someone takes an action, three different SDRs might contact the same person about the same thing.

That’s real awkward. 

Instead, make friends with lead to account matching

Lead to account matching is the all mighty elixir for this problem. 

In a nutshell, lead to account matching avoids incorrect assignments or follow-ups. 

Now, instead of prospects getting three different emails each time they take an action… each action they take will be added to their profile. 

When you upload lists from trade shows, events, and partner webinars, Distro will either assign them to a rep (for new leads) or route them to their assigned reps (for leads already in your system).

Don’t leave your customers hanging

Honestly, don’t leave anyone hanging. It’s pretty rude.

But with your customers, it should be a no-brainer. 

Once you close the deal, your customer should AUTOMATICALLY be assigned to a CSM and AM. You know your CS team. You’ve seen their calendars. They don’t have time to figure out which account is theirs and reach out — this process absolutely needs to be automated.

When multiple people are assigned to one account (e.g. a CSM and an AM), it gets a little more complicated, because it requires multiple routes and a round robin for net new accounts that join. 

It’ll get to a point where you’ll really need automation… and Distro can help.

To toot our own horn, Distro lets you automate this process without forking over any more money. 

Tech Tip: For an added layer of personalization, you can also assign customers to CSMs/AMs based on geography or company segment.

How Chili Piper uses Distro for CSM/AM Assignment

As you’re building out your lead routing process in Distro, feel free to reference (or blatantly copy) the process we use for routing new customers to their designated CSM/AM.

We just threw a bunch of acronyms at you. Here’s a handy key you can reference if you get lost in the capital letters:

  • AE: Account Executive
  • AM: Account Manager
  • CS: Customer Success
  • CSM: Customer Success Manager
  • EMEA: Europe, Middle East, and Africa
  • ENT: Enterprise
  • MM: Mid-Market Business
  • NA: North America
  • RR: Round Robin
  • SMB: Small- or Medium-Sized Business
  • X-Sell: Cross Sell/Upsell

The following section describes what is in the image above. If you were already able to wrap your head around the image, feel free to skip this section.

First, Distro determines whether or not the lead is new business or cross sell. If it’s cross sell, it will determine whether the account already has an owner assigned. If yes, it will be assigned to the existing case owner. If not, it will be round-robined between our SMB and MM CSMs.

If the lead is new business, Distro will run through two different lead assignment rules to assign the AM and CSM. For AMs, Distro will determine whether the lead is SMB, MM, or EMEA, and assign it to the correct AM accordingly. Then, Distro will automatically alert the AM they have a new account. 

For CSMs, Distro will determine whether the lead is SMB, MM in NA, MM in EMEA, ENT in NA, or ENT in EMEA, and assign it to the correct CSM accordingly. Then, Distro will automatically alert the CSM they have a new account. 

Once both the AM and CSM have been assigned, Distro will alert the AE, and the AE will send an email introducing the customer to their AM and CSM.

Start fixing your leaky funnel

Marketing, sales, and customer success are all working towards the same goal. And we need processes that reflect that.

Rather than solving small pieces of the revenue funnel, Chili Piper takes a more holistic approach.

Heat up warm leads with Distro. Capture hot leads with Concierge. Make it easy for your SDRs to book meetings for sales reps with Handoff. And make it easier for EVERYONE to book meetings with Instant Booker.

Book a demo to see how the entire Chili Piper ecosystem works together. 

Or, if you’re not ready to schedule a demo, sign up for our next anti-demo.

About the author
Madeleine Work

Madeleine Work is Product Marketing Manager at Chili Piper. She loves bringing people together, learning new things, and making hilarious jokes. When she's not typing away at her laptop, you'll probably find her running, hiking, or hanging out with her baby. Follow Madeleine for laughs and product marketing tips on LinkedIn.

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