Lead distribution by territory remains one of the most common for sales teams. But is this really the best way to effectively manage sales today?
The question is very pertinent, especially if we think about the transformations that companies have gone through in the last year. Due to the restrictions imposed by the Covid-19 pandemic, during this period, the external sales model needed to give more space to mixed or inside sales models. And, for businesses that have not internally transformed their operating models, there is a need to adapt to the scenario of customers – who may have migrated to the home office or, therefore, may be prioritizing virtual interactions.
Thus, if the need for salespeople to move across many segments has significantly diminished, distributing leads according to geographic areas no longer seems to make much sense – whether they are received via inbound or collected from outbound prospect lists.
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The challenge at the moment is, therefore, to find new ways to establish a division of leads that makes the team more productive and salespeople present better results. In this sense, we have a clue: this can be a great opportunity to use technology and take advantage of available information to better organize sales management.
It’s time to take a lead distribution by territory to another level.
In this territorial distribution model, each professional is assigned a region to cover and becomes responsible for the leads and customers of that specific geographic range.
However, over time, it was found that there are other essential points to be considered for a good distribution of leads and, thus, the concept of sales territory was expanded.
Today, the term can also refer to a “customer group” defined by aspects other than the physical area, such as sales potential and/or customer and seller history. And, in a context of transformation and growth in remote sales like today, it’s this kind of information that needs to be considered to efficiently allocate resources and personnel.
And why does lead distribution deserve maximum manager attention?
The distribution of leads among sellers is related to several factors and brings a series of benefits to the business. Correctly targeting contacts makes it possible to reach full coverage of the market, motivates representatives and provides better customer service.
In addition to increasing sales productivity and the ability to qualify leads, investing in an effective division of labor reduces the sales cycle and closing costs. This means that both salespeople and the company benefit when this point of management gains leadership attention.
However, for it to be effective, it is important to establish proper criteria for defining the distribution of leads. Nor does it mean letting “luck” do the work and changing the pattern of splitting contacts using the roulette technique. There are much more effective paths to the process!
Factors to consider when establishing a more effective lead distribution policy
Let’s then list some factors that can be used to define a lead distribution policy aimed at maximizing the company’s sales and profits. First, however, it is worth mentioning that, as with most processes, there is no magic formula that will work the same in every business.
The tip, therefore, is that you test some models combining different aspects until you find the ideal one, that is, one that guarantees that no leads get cold and that the team’s productivity increases. Come on?
How is the response rate from the professionals on your team? This is relevant information for an intelligent separation of contacts. After all, directing a lot of leads to a seller with a low response rate is unlikely to bring good results, is it? So, first and foremost, he needs to work to improve this and you, as a manager, can help with training and sales coaching.
Meanwhile, salespeople with higher response rates can receive a higher volume of leads and ensure better leverage into the sales funnel.
Just keep in mind that, as a leadership, you can’t let a team member stay in that status for too long. The natural thing is that it is a metric that varies and is improved over time.
Also in this sense, another variable that can be taken into account in managing contacts is the salesperson’s conversion rate.
To be better leveraged, rather than just opportunities rated as hottest or easy to close on qualification, high performers can receive a greater number of more challenging leads, for example.
Of course, here the rule of balance always applies, because if they only receive “problems”, the effect will be demotivation.
In addition, good lead distribution also needs to avoid overloading professionals.
So, find out how the flow of activities of your team’s salespeople is going and try to divide the contacts also based on this, leaving a smaller group for those who, at the moment, have tasks accumulated in the funnel, such as a long follow-up list to do, for example.
Again, it’s important to monitor each salesperson’s performance and funnel from week to week as these scenarios tend to vary.
Product or service line
If your company acts on more than one front, with different product or service lines, another possibility is to divide contacts among sellers using this criterion. For this, you can take into account the professional’s affinity with the product or even its performance, since sales representatives of different profiles can convert more to certain lines.
Changing our point of view and now looking at the characteristics of leads, there are other variables that can serve as a basis for your sales management. It is possible to work, for example, with market verticals.
In this model, you divide the companies by sector of activity and designate which group each representative will work with, taking into account their knowledge and/or experience.
It is also possible to make this division by company profile, such as s tart up, family business, small, large or medium size: who is your best salesperson for each of these groups? Think, for example, that to serve a startup you will need a bolder professional and so on.
How to define optimal lead distribution?
Well, considering all these other factors that can be used in addition to the location of potential customers, what then is the best lead distribution model?
The recommendation is that you design your own process for this, one that is not stymied to the point of lowering productivity but also has some intelligence behind it that allows for better conversion rates.
Depending on the size of your sales team, the ideal is to choose only one factor to use. In other cases, it is possible to use 2 or more combined criteria for the decision. And, for this, it will be essential to have effective recording and analysis of the data generated by the day-to-day business routine. That’s how you’ll be able to make the distribution and also assess if it was successful!
A CRM system like Scheduler is an important ally for lead distribution. See more:
Data-based management to improve process organization
Thanks to technological evolution, which allowed the development of software such as CRM systems, today the sales leader has access to a wide range of information, which is very valuable if used intelligently.
Data-based management is gaining more and more space because it enables a more efficient organization of processes. As we have seen, this is the case of lead distribution, which becomes much more assertive when based on concrete information about sales and about the leads themselves.