Sales development representatives (SDRs) have an important job. Essentially, their task is to educate prospects about the ways your products solve real-world customer problems. The SDR has to guide a cold-to-warm lead into a conversation that will prompt them to say, “Yes, I would like to [get a demo, book an appointment, insert your next action here].” To get the best results from your sales team, lead routing should be a top priority.
With such an integral role in your sales organization, how do you go about ensuring you’re routing the proper leads to the right person at the right time?
The answer is in your sales engagement solution.
The way you handle lead distribution within your sales team is crucial to the overall success of your organization.
Is Your Lead Routing Software Up to Par?
Ask yourself these three fundamental questions:
- Are you hitting industry benchmarks?
- Are you using a list-based or queue-based lead routing solution?
- Are you coaching SDRs to success?
SDRs are the champions moving leads closer to a purchase decision. The sales engagement platform you select must facilitate this process.
Let’s take a look at some industry KPIs to see where you might need to focus your attention.
The industry benchmark for call productivity is eight to ten calls per hour, and an SDR working in a traditional, list-based CRM environment makes 52 calls a day on average, which is between 6 and 7 calls per hour.
By contrast, sales reps using a queue-based sales engagement platform will see much higher productivity levels — 24 calls per hour on average. (Source: Telfer School of Management).
Review your SDR’s hourly call averages to identify anyone who may be struggling. Use your CRM or phone system’s call monitoring features to listen in and coach them on a call.
Initial Contact Attempts Per New Lead
Making initial contact with a new lead can be trying.
In fact, a minimum of eight contact attempts are often needed to first connect with a new prospect.
Unfortunately, according to a research study by Sirius Decisions, a typical SDR using a list-based CRM solution only makes two attempts per lead, meaning that contact is often never made. However, Telfer School of Management found that a sales rep using a queue-based platform averages nine contact attempts, ensuring that more leads are actually connected.
Use your sales technology to measure each SDR’s contact attempts per new prospect.
Is anyone failing to make at least eight tries to reach a prospect before giving up on making a connection? Set aside some one-on-one time with each rep who falls below the benchmark.
Review the data you have on hand. Ask questions to uncover reasons for not making the total required calls.
Is it sales call reluctance?
Is the prospect a bad fit?
Maybe the SDR in question misunderstands expectations.
Or are the leads just getting buried?
An easy fix to the problem, of course, is to invest in a solution that allows you to create and automate the perfect sales cadence. All your SDRs need to do is sell — the system ensures each lead gets handled appropriately.
Follow-Up Contact Attempts Per Lead
Following up with an established lead can be just as difficult as making the initial connection.
Stats say that 80% of the time, a successful sale requires at least five follow-up calls.
How well does your team do when it comes to those follow-ups? The same r that 44% of salespeople using a traditional list-based CRM alone discard a lead after a single follow-up attempt, while 48% of sales never follow up with a lead at all.
However, the Telfer School of Management established that salespeople who use a queue-based solution average 8.6 contact attempts.
Take similar steps as listed in the section above regarding follow-up attempts for new leads. Measure, counsel, coach.
Here again, technology could save you training and coaching headaches. With the right sales engagement solution that automates cadence, your reps will most likely average nine calls per lead.
When it comes to the contact ratio for marketing-qualified leads, Marketing Sherpa reported that salespeople don’t contact 80% of their marketing-qualified leads (MQLs), meaning they never translate to actual sales. That’s a massive waste of time and money.
List-based tools leave almost half of all leads in limbo, while queue-based system users have far fewer leads that go uncontacted — only 17%, according to the Telfer School of Management.
Unfortunately, with list-based solutions, SDRs have the opportunity to cherry-pick what prospects to contact. So, they’re spending more time looking for that perfect lead rather than making calls.
There’s no logic and no prioritization other than the sales rep’s guesstimate or individual biases. If you have a queue-based system with automatic lead routing and dynamic prioritization of leads, the reps have to engage with the leads in the order they are presented. This dramatically increases the sales performance and also ensures you’re following up on leads based on defined criteria.
Response Time To Leads
Speed-to-lead is key to increasing your sales.
If a salesperson contacts a new lead within the first five days of being identified are 20% more likely to convert than those contacted later. This stat doesn’t apply to the insurance industry, as in this competitive field, every minute counts.
The best way to help your SDRs increase their speed-to-lead is by providing them with lead routing software that helps manage the lead prioritization, allowing them to spend more time in quality conversations and less time figuring out which lead they should be calling next.
Keep an eye on how your reps are doing by monitoring your call-activity dashboard and creating reports to review with your SDRs.
Lead Tracking and Monitoring
Logging call results is critical to your overall sales process.
Unfortunately, only 60% of salespeople log their call results into their CRM — the other 40% still use Excel spreadsheets and similar outdated methods to record customer data. This contrasts with a queue-based system, where call attempts are automatically logged.
When reps log call results, it keeps everyone in your organization in the know about each contact. Logging call results allows you to accurately evaluate the results of your sales and marketing efforts.
Implement logical branch scripting to help guide your SDRs through calls to assist them with capturing data based on responses from the contact. By using scripting with data capture prompts, you reinforce the need to track calls. You’ve also collected critical data to help you evaluate script and campaign effectiveness.
Lead Routing Gets Results
If you’re not hitting these benchmarks, then your team isn’t meeting its full potential. Now is the time to consider whether or not you’ve got the right lead routing solution in place that yields results. Today’s SDRs need a queue-based lead routing solution that takes away administrative tasks and gets results.