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NELSON MANDELA

7 TIPS FOR OPTIMIZING YOUR SALESFORCE ASSIGNMENT SYSTEM (AND RESCUING YOUR SALES AND SERVICE TEAM!)

In more normal times, management teams might now be drafting in the experts to analyze the business, re-work the strategy and to set a new path to success for the coming years. But these are not normal times. Decisions need to made quickly.

But before turning your entire strategy on its head, it is worth checking your Sales & Service teams have got the basics covered. A fully optimised Salesforce assignment system can make all the difference between an under-performing team which is plodding along or a high-performance team which is conquering all before them.

Here are 7 simple actions you should take to ensure your Sales or Service team is operating as efficiently and effectively as it possibly can:

1. Establish a scoring system for all assignments

If you are not scoring your leads and cases as they arrive in the business then you are throwing money down the drain. It’s as simple as that. When every dollar and every minute counts, it’s absolutely critical to ensure that your valuable resources are working on the items that are most likely to deliver the highest return. Having sales reps work on low-value leads makes no sense if there are higher value leads waiting in a queue. Likewise having all your service agents engaged on less important cases whilst SLA-bound cases are waiting to be processed, is a recipe for disaster. Score every assignment as soon as it is created. Then assign it automatically to the best available agent.

2. Prioritize hot leads & urgent cases

Once all your assignments have been scored, then they can be prioritized. You might have 500 leads that need to be processed but only 50 reps available. You need to prioritize the hot leads. In a service environment you might have a load of SLA-bound cases queuing amongst hundreds of less urgent ones. You need to identify them and prioritize them. Automatically prioritize the most important assignments and give yourselves an edge.

3. Eliminate cherry-picking

Cherry-picking is the scourge of many a team. It can be de-motivating and often causes tension and disruption. But what a lot of managers don’t realize is that cherry-picking can have a devastating effect on team performance. The mistake is to believe that cherry-picking means that hot leads and urgent cases are dealt with quickly and effectively. Not true. The people doing the cherry-picking are often the best reps and agents. The leads or cases being cherry-picked are often the easiest to convert or resolve. The leads with the highest long-term potential, or the cases which might have a detrimental impact on CSAT, are often left in the pack. To maximize your sales revenues and customer satisfaction ratings, you need to have your very best agents working on the items that will deliver the highest return. Less experienced agents can often deal with the quick wins. For maximum productivity and performance, each lead or case needs to be routed to the right agent at the right time.

4. Match every lead or case to the "best" available agent

Each agent has different capabilities. Different skills, different experience, different attributes. Likewise, every work-item is different and will require differing combinations of skills and experience to be dealt with efficiently and effectively. The key to any Sales or Service team’s collective success is to always match every work-item to the best-qualified (and available) agent – at that moment in time. When an item falls into an agent’s area of expertise or experience, it can be processed, converted or resolved much quicker than if it’s simply routed to the next agent in line. Matching leads to reps increases both lead throughput and conversion rates. Matching cases to service agents decreases time-to-resolution and queue times. Routing work-items to agents with pinpoint accuracy is a major step on the way to creating a truly high-performance team.

5. Introduce automated load-balancing

A team which has some agents that are constantly overloaded, whilst others are sat idle, is sub-optimal. It’s inefficient, leads to supressed productivity and, most importantly, negatively impacts performance. Load-balancing is therefore critical. There is no point queuing an assignment for your very best agent if they are already working on half-a-dozen high priority items. At the same time, you don’t want an agent sat idle just because they are less experienced. There is bound to be a queued assignment somewhere that they can deal with. You also need to get the balance right to avoid burnout. You don’t want employees going sick due to stress when every dollar or every minute counts. An intelligent assignment system can monitor every agent’s workload (across multiple objects, for example both leads and opportunities) and factor that into the assignment process when deciding where to route the next item. This helps to maximize both productivity and performance.

6. Re-assign neglected leads and cases automatically

Now, more than ever, every lead needs to be treated like gold dust. Assigning a lead to a suitably qualified sales rep is not the end of the story. The lead needs to be followed up and worked. The same goes for customer cases.

Leads and cases can become neglected for multiple reasons. The agent goes sick. They get distracted by easier looking assignments. They try and fail to get a response from the prospect or customer. A lead or case which has become neglected, for whatever reason, should be automatically re-assigned to an available agent that has the time and inclination to work it properly. Leads get colder the longer they go unattended. The chances of conversion are diminishing minute by minute. Neglected cases become more and more problematic. Make sure all of your neglected leads and cases are being re-assigned automatically.

7. Assign work-items to logged-in agents only - respond as quickly as possible!

Many assignment systems readily assign new work-items to agents, irrespective of their availability status. They could be late for work, on a break or off sick, but the assignments keep coming and will be ready and waiting for them as soon as they log on. That’s only fair, right? Wrong – it’s madness! To maintain productivity and to maximize team performance, it’s essential that new work-items are only assigned to logged-in agents who are available to work an assignment at a moment’s notice. That way case queues are reduced, or even eliminated, and leads are responded to in the shortest possible timeframe, increasing the potential for conversion.

To summarize, now is the time for management teams to take the bull by the horns and to deploy a state-of-the-art assignment system which is fit for purpose and ready to tackle the challenging circumstances that the Covid-19 pandemic has foisted upon us. By taking action now, productivity can be increased and, more importantly, team effectiveness and overall performance given a timely shot in the arm. Now, more than ever, is the time to build a high-performance Sales or Service team which is capable of taking on the world.

Now, more than ever, every lead needs to be treated like gold dust. Assigning a lead to a suitably qualified sales rep is not the end of the story. The lead needs to be followed up and worked. The same goes for customer cases. Q-assign by Ortoo is a hugely powerful case assignment app, 100% native to Salesforce, which is transforming the fortunes of high-volume Service teams all around the world. To explore how your case assignment system might be improved or optimized, please contact us at ask@ortooapps.com and we’ll be delighted to set up a discovery call.