New leads are the lifeblood of business and sales agents want to get them as fast as possible.
However, assigning leads to agents is not as straightforward as you might think. The journey from one to the other is more like a convoluted maze.
As you navigate the twists and turns, you can go in many different directions based on factors like reassignments, queues, skills-based lead ownership or real-time assignments. We’re here to offer a few signposts and help you avoid dead ends.
Salesforce assignment rules, some of which come out-of-the-box, are a powerful way to bring leads to agents. These rules are based on the concept of ownership.
Some companies care about ownership, others don’t. It all depends on whether salespeople forge personal relationships with customers as opposed to purely transactional interactions. A wealth management firm might want to assign each lead to a specific agent, while an online retailer might simply direct customers to a call center.
Commissions are an important consideration for ownership. Even if customers don’t care who serviced them, agents want their names associated with the right sales. Companies can customize their assignment rules based on both ownership and commission structures. Trying to bring leads to agents without assignment rules would be like stumbling through a maze in the dark … not impossible, but unnecessarily hard.
Let’s consider a few other directions businesses can pursue:
For relationship-driven businesses, reassignment may not be a good idea. A customer who’s worked with the same financial advisor or mortgage broker won’t appreciate change. On the other hand, some companies need to reassign leads at specific moments in the sales process.
Let’s say Minotaur Inc. operates like a call center when trying to connect with leads. Yet once prospects are qualified, dedicated salespeople are tasked with closing the deal. This scenario is possible thanks to custom Salesforce rules.
Reassigning gets complicated in fast-paced industries. A new lead might only be “hot” for 15 minutes, sometimes even less! If one agent is busy, quickly reassigning to another keeps leads from getting lost down a labyrinthine path.
Leads don’t necessarily have to be assigned to specific sales agents. Instead, they can be allocated to queues, or cold call lists. Ownership isn’t an issue when using queues; available agents can contact any of the potential new leads.
Salesforce rules can track and limit the number of calls made to each lead in the queue. This way, prospects aren’t overwhelmed and agents have a clear roadmap for moving forward.
Skills matter when assigning leads. An insurance agent might only be licensed for a particular state or a specific product, like life insurance. In banking, an agent could be trained to sell credit cards but not checking accounts. Leads must always find their way to the person with the right credentials.
Salesforce rules circumvent confusion by allowing businesses to assign numerical scores to agent skills. Then, using IVR options, new leads can be automatically directed to the perfect agents. This strategy is as useful as GPS on a dark and twisting journey.
Leads can take vastly different trajectories depending on timing. Consider that agents can be busy for many reasons, from being on a break to helping other customers. If real-time connection matters, agents must have the option to accept or deny calls. This way, a new call will keep bouncing around until a free agent accepts.
If timing is inconsequential, businesses can opt for bulk uploads. In this scenario, hefty lead lists are uploaded – usually overnight – and assigned automatically. Agents can still be selected based on skill scores, but they don’t have the option to deny leads.
If you’ve ever visited a hay-bale maze (and don’t have allergies), you know navigating your way through unexpected twists and turns can be fun.
The twists and turns of delivering leads to agents get complicated, since every business has different needs. Many companies today are even adapting old models to support agents working remotely, which increases complexity. Charting your own lead-to-agent journey isn’t exactly a blast, but Salesforce rules make it a lot more enjoyable.
Just keep our helpful signposts in mind and you’ll find your way.