Lead Distribution System: The Sales Professional’s Ultimate Guide

Daniel Threlfall

By Daniel Threlfall

Lead Distribution System: The Sales Professional’s Ultimate Guide

What is a lead distribution system? A lead distribution system is a business automation process that qualifies sales leads to the right sales reps. 

The definition is yawn-worthy, but the results are electrifying. 

In this post, I’ll cover the ins and outs of a lead distribution system, explain why it’s important and show you how your business can make a lead distribution system. 

What benefit will you get from reading this article on lead distribution systems? A lot.

  • You will understand exactly what a lead distribution system is.
  • You will understand how a lead distribution system benefits the business on every level. 
  • You will be able to develop a lead distribution system in your own company. It’s easy and inexpensive to do so. 

Lead Distribution System — The Details

Having an efficient means of getting leads to sales reps quickly and efficiently is incredibly important.

Why? Because 78% of deals go to the first vendor that responds. 

lead distribution system statistic

A lead distribution system does that by assigning leads to different reps based on various criteria, such as the quality of a lead, as well as a rep’s experience level, knowledge, strengths, and so on.

“Basically, lead distribution aims to automate the process of analyzing, qualifying, and assigning leads to your team,” explains Amy Copadis of Cooper Chronicles. “Ideally, it takes into account different factors (such as a rep’s experience in dealing with similar leads), and narrows down the best rep for this particular lead.”

With Chili Piper, for example, you might look at factors like the size of a lead’s company, the country they’re from and their industry, and then assign that lead to the most suitable sales rep. 

It’s a very systematic process that ensures leads are distributed efficiently, while putting your reps in a position to succeed.

Plus, it’s automated.

In turn, you’re able to streamline the lead routing process, helping you make the most out of your lead generation efforts so no leads are ever squandered.  

This video from Phonexa does a great job of further outlining how lead distribution works. 

The Benefits of a Lead Distribution System

There are thousands of benefits of lead distributions, but I’ll trace out the three most salient ones.

A Lead Distribution System Automates the Lead Allocation Process

Rather than manually routing leads, this type of lead allocation system analyzes key information for you and directs leads to the most appropriate reps automatically. 

Simply define the rules and segment your reps into specific meeting queues.

Every time a lead is generated, it’s automatically qualified in real-time and routed to the optimal rep. 

leads routed to optimal rep

And this kills two birds with one stone. 

First, it saves your business a ton of time because you don’t have to manually sort out leads and figure out which lead should go to which rep. This eliminates a lot of confusion and means you can spend more time closing deals rather than sorting through leads.

Second, it increases your response time significantly. 

As I mentioned earlier, time is of the essence. The longer you wait, the lower your odds of making a conversion.

Speed to lead is one of the most important factors in closing those leads. ChiliPiper’s speed to lead clocks in at an average of 10-12 seconds. 

By using a lead distribution system, you can get leads where they need to go in an expedient manner, meaning less time is wasted. 

Considering that the odds of qualifying leads drops by 400% when reps wait 10 minutes or more to follow up, a lead distribution system is worth its weight in gold. 

Automation increases both speed and accuracy, which invariably translates into a better performing business.

A Lead Routing System Produces Higher Lead Quality

Generating high-quality leads is one of the main challenges for 61% of B2B marketers

generating high quality leads challenge

Having a lead distribution system addresses this problem head-on because it allows you to filter through leads and prioritize those that are most qualified to buy.

lead routing system filtering

This is done by first defining what constitutes as a quality lead based on criteria such as:

  • Location
  • Business size
  • Engagement (i.e. looking at pricing pages or checking out your product demo)
  • Current solutions they’re using
  • Budget 

A lead distribution system will automatically filter leads, helping prioritize the ones that are most sales ready. 

A Lead Distribution System Produces More Effective Lead Routing

Each rep is different and naturally possesses their own unique skills and knowledge. 

Beyond that, experience levels can differ dramatically.

For instance, you may have one rep that shows great potential but has only been working for your company for three months.

And you may have another who’s a seasoned veteran who’s been with you for five years. 

Another major benefit of using lead distribution software is that you can easily route leads to the right rep 100% of the time. 

lead routing strategy

Let’s say you have two leads.

One is hot, looks extremely promising, and could quickly turn into a top customer.

The other shows interest but would likely only have a marginal impact on your company.

In this scenario, it would probably make sense to route the hot lead to your senior rep with five years of experience and a proven track record of success. They would have better odds of closing the deal and making a conversion.

And the other lead could be sent to your rookie rep, giving them an opportunity to develop their skill set. 

Round robin routing works well in many situations. 

But sometimes, you’ll want to be more selective about which rep gets top leads. 

Using a lead distribution system gives you the flexibility to determine how you define your rules.  

Or let’s say that you outsource sales and have multiple teams located in different parts of the world. 

You obviously would want to strike while the iron is hot when you have a hot lead on your hands.

A big part of that is taking a lead’s time zone into account and routing them to the right team and ultimately the right rep.

So in some cases, you would want to send a lead to your team in India

In others, you would want to send them to your US team or your UK team. 

lead routing system team approach

Beyond that, a lead distribution system helps make the most of each rep’s time. 

As Matt Goldman of Tenfold explains

“A lot of a sales rep’s success is tied to time; as they can only perform so many tasks a day. By giving each sales rep a specific number of potential clients to attend to in a day, it regulates the volume of leads which ensures three things: the maximization of your agents’ daily schedules, an initial interaction between your potential client and your rep, and an increase in the chances of your reps landing a sale.”

And because you’ve already gathered key information like a lead’s location, business size and engagement level, it’ll be available to your sales rep when they initiate their interactions. 

That way they’ll know a bit about each lead and can adjust their sales approach accordingly. 

How a Lead Distribution System Is Set Up 

Here’s a basic outline of how a basic lead distribution system is set up. 

  1. Start by defining rules and meeting queues
  2. Segment your reps based around those rules
  3. A lead distribution system then automatically qualifies each lead in real-time
  4. Each lead is then routed to the best rep in a specific meeting queue
  5. Book meetings in a rep’s calendar 

From there, the rep will interact with the lead and use the information you’ve gathered to tailor their offer to the lead’s exact needs. 

Example of Lead Distribution System in Action 

To gain a better understanding of what this actually looks like, let me use Chili Piper as an example, since Chili Piper’s lead distribution capabilities are best-in-class. 

With Chili Piper, you can define rules to qualify leads, using the criteria that’s most important to you. 

For instance, you may base your rules on a lead’s company size, location, and industry. 

lead routing system criteria

You may also take engagement like viewing a demo into account.

engagement as lead routing criteria

Reps are segmented, and leads are then routed to the best reps. 

lead routing segmentation

Then, Chili Piper allows leads to book meetings at a time that’s convenient for them, while taking geographical data like their time zone into account. 

schedule call time after lead routing

An added benefit of Chili Piper is that you can book meetings from any app like Gmail, Salesforce, Outlook and Salesloft for added convenience. 

(We love integrations.)

Then, it’s just a matter of following through and interacting with leads. 

Chili Piper will even send reminders to minimize no-shows

How to Implement Lead Distribution in Your Business.

At this point, I’ve established that a lead distribution platform can offer a host of benefits. I’ve showed you how it works.

Now, for the good stuff. 

How do you implement a lead distribution system with maximum efficiency, while reducing hiccups along the way?

First, it’s vital that you’re on the same page with your sales team right from the start.

You’ll want to be totally transparent about why you’re using lead distribution software and what they can expect when making the transition from your current setup.

Employee resistance is the number one reason why change initiatives fail, especially if there have been issues with previous attempts. 

“When change efforts have failed in the past, people often grow cynical,” explains Brent Gleeson in Forbes. “They start to mutter under their breath, ‘Here we go again…’ or ‘Here comes another flavor of the month…’ or, as one middle manager once told me, ‘We’re lying low until this fad blows over.”

From their perspective it’s understandable. The feeling of change sucks, and plus there’s always a learning curve when implementing new procedures and software.

By explaining how a lead distribution system will make their lives easier — you can cite the advantages I discussed earlier — getting everyone on board is realistic.

I find that it’s also helpful to point out specific case studies of companies that have already implemented a lead distribution system effectively.

Chili Piper has multiple case studies, including one from an online project and contact management company Apollo that was able to increase their revenue by 300%.

lead distribution system success

Here’s a video featuring Director of Growth at Apollo Krishnan Patel discussing his experience.

Including concrete data like this is really helpful for getting your point across and should connect the dots for your sales team.

Next, you need to clarify how the system works and do everything within your power to reduce the learning curve. 

This may include discussing the specific rules you’ll use to qualify leads and segment reps, how leads will be routed, how to go about booking meetings, and so on. 

You’ll also want to provide reps with plenty of hands-on instruction while they’re learning the ropes and have someone available to answer any questions that may arise. 

That way they can get more comfortable with the platform and be confident using it in their day-to-day lead interactions. 

Finally, you’ll want to pay close attention to analytics to track KPIs like how many meetings have been received, how individual reps are performing and what your overall conversion rate is. 

This will help you identify potential areas for improvement, and you can make continual iterations to optimize the process. 

Lead Distribution FAQs

How do you distribute leads?

Segment your reps based on meeting queues, and then distribute each lead to the most qualified rep. 

This is commonly done through round-robin routing, where lead distribution software automatically cycles through a group of sales reps as new meetings are booked.

Or, you can use other methods like cherry-picking where leads are sent based on specific criteria like a rep’s experience level.

Why must an agent be assigned to a lead?

This ensures that someone responds to a lead promptly, which is absolutely critical in our competitive landscape. 

One studyfound that five minutes is the “golden window,” which gives you the greatest odds of converting a lead. 

convert a lead in five minutes

By instantly assigning a lead to an agent, you’re following lead distribution best practices and should be able to maximize your conversion rate

What is sales and distribution?

This is the area of business logistics that involves routing each lead to the appropriate sales rep. 

How many leads can a sales rep handle?

This will vary depending on several different factors. But generally speaking, most sales reps can handle about 150 per month.  

That’s a good number to shoot for because it means a sales rep should be able to contact every single lead. 

Conclusion — Fully Leveraging Lead Distribution System

The way reps handle leads has evolved dramatically over the years.

They now have a wide array of tools at their disposal, with a lead distribution system being one of the most powerful.

With it, you can increase your speed to lead time and assign the right reps to qualified leads.

Not only does this make the entire process far more efficient and maximize conversions, but it also improves the overall customer experience for a win-win.

Want to learn more about how Chili Piper does lead distribution? Get a demo, and our lead distribution system will route you to the best SDR for the job.

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