Speed to Lead: What Is It And How To Improve Yours
Common sense — backed by recent studies — suggests the more time you take to respond to an inbound lead, the less likely you are to qualify that lead or turn them into a customer.
For instance, a Workato study of 114 B2B companies found that 99% of companies aren’t responding within 5 minutes.
A sub-5-minute lead response time may sound a bit unrealistic, but in this era of countless choices, it can be the difference between winning a lead or losing them to a competitor.
That’s what “speed to lead” is all about — not letting leads slip through the cracks or put friction in their way when they are ready to talk to sales.
In this post, we'll cover how you can use lead routing to hit optimal speed to lead.
But first, let’s understand...
What is lead routing? And what is a “qualified” lead?
Lead routing is the process of automatically assigning leads to the appropriate reps on your sales team based on pre-set criteria, such as deal value, territory, etc.
This process can vary based on your company’s sales model and how you collect leads — but, the purpose remains the same: to respond to leads at record speeds and win more deals.
An effective approach to lead routing is using forms to qualify leads along with lead enrichment — the process of adding a lead’s information (such as email address, role, company size, etc.) to your lead records. A “qualified” lead is one that’s ripe for conversion based on the requirements and budget information they have shared.
This helps to accelerate lead qualification and automatically redirect a lead to the right sales rep’s queue.
So, let’s take a look at how you can route leads accurately and quickly by equipping your sales team with the right tools.
How to use sales enablement for lead routing
You can satisfy your lead’s need for speed, qualify them, and route them to the right sales reps by equipping your sales team with the resources (content, tools, and processes) they need to close more deals.
Here’s one way to do that:
Step #1. Get a lead conversion tool like Chili Piper
Chili Piper is a form concierge tool that facilitates more meetings and bookings from interested visitors on your SaaS website.
As opposed to the old approach wherein visitors fill out a form and see a message like “We’ll get back to you” — which causes a good chunk of your leads to leak out of your sales funnel — Chili Piper lets you create an interactive calendar which prospects can use to instantly pick a convenient meeting time with the appropriate sales rep on your team..
Chili Piper helps automate routing based on rules that make sense to your business, such as company size, territory, industry, ownership, etc. It lets you use one form for many outcomes based on a prospect’s responses - no need for multiple forms and byzantine workflows to get them to the right person.
Step #2. Set up your form
To integrate Chili Piper with any of your existing web forms, follow these steps:
- Log in with your CRM
- Then, log in with your email provider (Google, Office 365, etc.)
- Install the Google Chrome Extension
- Configure your personal information to automatically tailor your meeting invite templates:
- Video conferencing link to Conference Details
- Working hours
- Phone number
- Connect your integrations (CRM, email, etc.)
Check out a step-by-step video to set up your form, plus answers to some FAQs here.
Step #3. Route leads
Lead routing helps ensure the right leads reach the right reps at the right time, saving everyone time and effort.
Here are three typical ways to route leads:
By territory or location
If you have a distributed sales team and customers across continents, then determining lead ownership by location makes sense. A rep who works in the same time zone as the lead is more likely to respond instantly and get on a call to nurture the lead.
To route leads using this approach, simply build the rule into your Chili Piper settings. Then, you can get inbound leads to reps working within that territory, instantly.
The bigger the potential monetary value of a lead, the more personalized attention they’d necessitate.
This approach boosts sales efficiency by focusing on your most valuable resource — the rep’s time. It entails routing smaller inquiries to a low-touch, high volume, one-to-many sales channel (such as a chatbot or knowledge base) while investing greater resources in closing larger deals.
By lead score
This lead routing approach involves assigning a quantitative (0-100) or qualitative (such as “high, “medium,” “low”) value to every lead to help the sales team prioritize leads.
Leads can be scored a combination of aforementioned aspects such as deal value and demographics, along with other metrics like engagement with your company (on email, social media, etc.) to assess the probability of a lead becoming a customer.
Scoring helps define the level of lead nurturing and personalization from a dedicated sales rep a lead requires, or if they could close with a low-touch approach. By routing leads with higher scores (who are likely ready to buy) to your sales team, you improve your team’s efficiency and reduce their frustration with getting low-quality leads.
Step #4. Engage leads
Once a lead is routed to the right rep based on your pre-set criteria, the final step is for your sales team to engage leads and nurture them to conversion by:
- Providing them with relevant content
- Demonstrating product use, features, and benefits
- Helping them in choosing the right plan (or tailoring the pricing) and onboarding
- And so on.
Time to convert more inbound leads
The more mature your business becomes and the more elaborate your prospect’s needs are, the trickier it is to maintain a super-speedy response time that packs a personalized touch.
Hyper-growth businesses, in particular, can benefit from stronger sales enablement and automation via online forms that automatically qualify leads, route them to the correct rep, and display a simple self-scheduler that lets them instantly book a meeting/demo time based on their preferences. This helps ensure no leads fall through the cracks, sensible distribution of leads among the sales team, and optimal sales speed.
So, don’t let a qualified lead pass you by. Leverage a tool like Chili Piper to get them into your queue and on your calendar, reduce friction, and close the deal.
And when you’re ready to drive hockey-stick hyper-growth for your B2B SaaS, Matter Made can help you marry your marketing with sales ops to close more leads and scale faster.
Daniel Schutzman, Head of Revenue Operations