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Lead routing – Send prospective buyers to the right sales partner

Lead Routing - The lead is here. Now distribute properly!

You've put a lot of effort into generating leads - and a lot of resources: money, time and personnel. Whether through mailing campaigns, trade show participation. Or simply through newsletters or forms on your website. You've nurtured and qualified leads with relevant content thanks to marketing automation campaigns. Ideally, you have performed lead scoring and determined when the lead becomes interesting for an initial direct contact. All these steps have then finally resulted in the lead being at a "hot temperature" and - finally! - ready to be passed on to the sales department. Hooray! Off to lead distribution, also called: Lead Routing



Why do you need a well-organized lead routing?

 

- Over a quarter of leads are lost due to poor lead organization -

 

But now you are only halfway to completion. The work is just beginning nt. Because it's at this point in the so-called "sales funnel" (lead funnel) that the problems really begin for many companies with indirect sales structures.


A study by LeadData revealed: Over 57 percent of sales and marketing professionals surveyed doubted that their lead process actually provides an ideal customer experience. In short, they find it challenging to find the right person within their organization to provide the prospect with the perfectly tailored information. Worse, a quarter of leads are assigned to the wrong contacts! It fizzles out, seeps away, gets lost in nirvana.


Mind you, this applies to organizations that have an internal sales team. That is, organizations where marketing and sales teams ideally have access to the same database. Nevertheless, lead organization with the accompanying lead routing seems to be difficult.



The lack of marketing-sales alignment is mainly due to the fact that marketing does not know exactly what makes the sales department tick and what it needs ...

Now imagine how much more risky it is to distribute leads or prospective buyers to sales partners who are not even part of your own organization!


This creates additional obstacles to a perfect customer journey:

  1. The physical distance

  2. The lack of access to the same CRM system by distributors and manufacturers

  3. The incorrect allocation of leads to the right reseller or sales partner




How does a manufacturer bridge the physical distance to the channel partner in lead routing?

Today, it is the case in most companies that hot or qualified leads (SQL) are passed on to sales partners by telephone, Excel list, e-mail. According to different criteria:


Often it is regional proximity

  But sometimes it is also the personal good contact to the reseller

  or just coincidence


But how can you assume that the distributor has time? Or enough freelancers? Or has the product in stock? Or that selling the requested product is in line with his current business strategy (interest in enterprise or SME customers)?



 

Thought:

Ideally, the internal sales employee would have to query these factors for each lead distribution. However, very few people do this.


The solution:

The lead matching process must be reversed: Leads should no longer be sent from the manufacturer to the sales partner, but the sales partner (reseller, specialist dealer, system integrator, etc.) should get the lead. After all, no one knows better than they do whether they have the time, resources, desire and the corresponding know-how to process the lead!


Tip on the side: Leads should not be sent to sales partners, but sales partners should actively get the leads.


 



How do manufacturers solve the media break between their own CRM and that of the reseller?

Resellers and manufacturers do not usually work with the same lead database.


The problem with Lead Matching:

Der Hersteller weiß auf diese Weise nicht, welcher Partner welches Lead kontaktiert hat.

Und ob es überhaupt zu einem Abschluss gekommen ist.

Im Rückschluss bedeutet das: Der Hersteller hat keine Transparenz über seine indirekten Vertriebskanäle.

Und weiß nicht, welchen ROI seine Marketing- bzw. Leadgenerierungskampagnen erzeugt haben.


The ideal path would be:

Distributors and manufacturers should have access to a single control console or cockpit where they can both view and enter all information regarding the processing status of a lead:


Which sales partner handles which lead?

  How often was the potential customer contacted?

  How much turnover does the contact promise?

  When is a deal in sight?

  Is there a resubmission?

  Why was a deal lost?


Leads should have previously given their consent as to whether and which sales partner may contact them.


Side tip: Distributors and manufacturers should have access to a single control console or cockpit where they can both view and enter all information about a lead's processing status.




Lead distribution: How do manufacturers ensure that a lead is assigned to the right sales partner?

If an unsuitable sales partner is forwarded an inquiry, he is very unlikely to pursue it with vigor. And in case of doubt, the lead will be lost.


We have already mentioned a first logical solution above:


The sales partner who has the right resources will actively "pick" a lead if they determine that the lead is a good fit for them and they have a high probability of closing the request.


However, it would also be conceivable for a lead to be assigned. In this case, however, the right matching parameters or sales KPIs must be defined in advance.Criteria could be:


  regional proximity

  reseller certification level

  reseller size

  reseller revenue size

  product availability

  partner level etc.


How can manufacturers support their sales partners in their sales work?

You understand what I'm getting at:


The manufacturer and the sales partner must communicate and cooperate much more closely than before. And they need the right tools to do so.

This also applies to the time that comes after the initial contact with the potential customer. Today, many sales partners drop a lead if they do not immediately know which arguments, which offers, and which services they can use to pitch their product. Until now, they have had to look around in sometimes confusing partner portals.


But who has the time and leisure to do so? It would be ideal if this information were automatically sent as a push message. And always updated. The same applies to press releases, stock exchange notices, information on new business strategies that affect the respective potential customer. All this data has to be made available to the partner on an ad hoc basis. This saves time and effort and helps him in his sales arguments.




Lead routing software - the ideal support for the allocation of your leads

You may already be using powerful CRM software that is tailored to your needs. But does it help you in indirect sales? As the name suggests, most CRM solutions are only really good when it comes to supporting your customer relationships, especially with direct sales structures. Additional applications are needed for indirect sales.


Sales software is generally used to maintain an overview of all sales activities. All collected data and results are compared here, e.g. by region, product or sales employee. However, these applications are usually slightly overwhelming when it comes to lead routing in collaboration with sales partners. Especially when it comes to very specialised, indirect sales. Many well-known solutions have to capitulate with this combination at the latest.


» Lead routing describes the "final step" in lead management: the transfer of the lead to sales.


Your prospect is very interested at this stage. The transfer of this qualified, hot lead to the sales department should therefore be well organised. Now it's a matter of forwarding the prospect to the right partner. A very crucial point! After all, you now need to know exactly who is a suitable contact for your potential new customer. All the better if the lead routing software can provide the best matches. Your enquiry can then be forwarded to precisely the sales partner who best matches the requirements of the prospective customer.


Criteria that must be stored in the routing software for lead routing are, for example, the regional proximity of the partner to the contact, a possible level of certification or the question of whether the requested product division fits into the portfolio of your sales partner. With this information, customer enquiries can be quickly forwarded to the appropriate sales partner.


A suitable sales software for indirect sales is leadtributor. It allows you to quickly and easily forward contact enquiries to the right sales partner.




Conclusion: Make sure you use lead routing software in indirect sales

Contact enquiries from new prospects and existing customers must be answered quickly in order to maintain a high level of customer satisfaction. For indirect sales structures, forwarding leads to suitable trading partners is often a major challenge because classic CRM systems are not effective when working with sales partners. You need specialised sales software for indirect sales in order to automatically and quickly forward contact enquiries to suitable trading partners. Take a look at leadtributor as a routing software and special lead management system for indirect sales and arrange a free demo appointment.

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