It’s a scene that plays out over and over again on sales floors across the country. Like a bad B-movie, after completing a call, the sales rep wonders in confusion, “Who do I call next? Which lead will catapult me easiest to the next sale?” This can be very daunting; very time consuming.

If a sales team is still running old school, it’s filtering through paper lead lists. In the digital age, these same lists are transferred to the computer. Whether by paper or computer, the list-based system relies very heavily on the individual salesperson’s decision-making capability and initiative in selecting leads to propel activity forward. When sales reps cherry pick the next lead to call, it costs the company time and money. First, it takes research to find the next lead, which wastes valuable call time. Secondly, the best lead to call next may not be selected because sales reps have limited information about which leads are the most relevant. This means that important prospects who are ready to buy now may be passed over for casual browsers.

The way in which leads are managed and worked is important to determine success for inside sales teams. Management must come up with a strategy for the workflow of leads to ensure that the most relevant leads get the attention they need and move smoothly through the pipeline. Strategy in lead management goes beyond collecting and managing leads. Strategy, at its core, defines how and when important prospects/leads will be worked to determine the best predictable outcome.

Developing a strategy for your workflow of leads can be a painstaking process. You have hundreds of leads to sift through to determine which ones should be worked first. How do you manage these leads efficiently? Sales CRM software, such as VanillaSoft, can do much of the work for you. Lead management software can route leads based on scoring, geography, team, zip, type of lead (web or trigger), social research, etc.

Once the lead management software has been implemented, the collection of business intelligence begins right away. Each and every touch on each and every contact is documented. The lead source and results are collected accordingly. Once a company has cycled through several hundred touches, analyzable trends begin to appear. These trends become the first key indicators in the “who-to-call-next” race.

Companies that manage their lead routing process using historical call data intelligence from lead management software outperform those companies that choose a random approach, or companies that allow each rep to have their own strategy. In the book The Wisdom of Crowds, by James Surowiecki, we learn that a collective group of data can predict more accurate results than individual bias. In other words, one sales rep is less likely to choose the most relevant lead to call than intelligence collected about the behavior of many leads over time.

Once this intelligence is collected and analyzed, management can develop a strategy. It should be implemented with lead management software that can distribute the next-best lead to call to sales reps on a continuous basis. Progressive dialing from VanillaSoft offers this intelligence with queue-based routing. This dramatically changes the way a sales team functions. As soon as sales reps enter the results of a call, the next-best lead is routed to them using result codes, disposition values, and customizable routing logic. This propels the process of presenting a sales rep with the next-best lead automatically, without having to hunt through a list to find it. It takes the decision of who to call next away from the rep and into the hands of management, ensuring that the most relevant leads are worked first.

Intelligent queue-based routing changes the game in lead management. Queue-based routing increases the average calls per hour, lowers the lead decay rate, and accelerates speed to lead 37 times faster. With this technology, after finishing a call, instead thinking, “Who do I call next?” the sales rep can shift attention to “How do I close this deal?”

For more information on progressive dialing and queue-based routing, contact VanillaSoft.