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LEAD RESPONSE TIME TOO
SLOW? FIX IT IN SALESFORCE

reduce lead response time
Keeping lead response times to a minimum is critical to maximizing lead conversion rates. The faster you respond to a sales enquiry, the better your chances of making a sale. Your Salesforce lead assignment system could hold the key

According to the Harvard Business Review, you are 400 times more likely to convert a lead if you respond within the first 5 minutes. But most organizations aren’t even responding to leads within an hour, let alone 5 minutes. So what are the issues? More importantly, how do we fix them?

1. Leads are being created manually in Salesforce

A staggering number of organizations are still creating leads manually in Salesforce. A call or email comes in and a Sales Rep or Administrator then punches all the details into Salesforce to create the lead. It’s not unheard of for a lead to take hours or even days to be created in Salesforce by an admin. If a lead hasn’t been created within 4 minutes, then it’s definitely not going to be responded to within 5. This is the first key step in reducing lead response times.

Solution: Ensure all leads are being captured and created automatically, using a combination of native Web-to-Lead functionality and Email-to-Lead functionality (provided by our Email-to-anything app)

2. Leads are being assigned manually in Salesforce

Plenty of Salesforce organizations are still distributing leads manually. In some companies it’s even a full-time job for someone: Analyze the leads, determine which rep is best placed to process it and assign the lead to them in Salesforce. This is an unbelievably painful process which causes endless delays in responding to leads in a timely manner.

Solution: Implement an automated assignment system. A simple round robin is better than nothing, but with any Sales team with 20 reps or more, a more dynamic solution with automated load-balancing, auto-prioritization, auto-escalation and auto reassignment will be required.

4. Sales Reps are cherry-picking leads

With some sales teams Reps are able “claim” leads via a pull system (as opposed to a push system). In these scenarios reps will go for what they perceive as the best leads, leaving the others waiting for someone to take pity on them. Sure, the “best” leads might get responded to within 5 minutes, but the vast majority will not. And, more often than not, those perceived best leads are not the best leads at all. High-value leads are often left in the pack, getting colder and colder, more and more unlikely to ever be converted.

Solution: Eliminate the cherry-picking. Deploy an automated lead assignment system. Match each and every inbound lead to the most appropriate sales rep. Take skills and experience into account. Take workload into account. And, if necessary, set up auto re-assignment rules. If a lead hasn’t been responded to within, say 5 minutes, re-route it to an available rep who can respond within 6.

5. Leads are stuck in queues

In some scenarios all inbound leads are placed in a team queue, and then assigned to sales reps as and when they become available. This can lead to lengthy delays in leads being responded to, especially at busy or peak times of day.

Solution: Ditch the  queue. Assigning leads to the first available agent may work in some scenarios but, more often than not, it’s very inefficient. The answer is to match each lead to the best available agent. The best available agent (the one with the most appropriate skills and experience to process that lead), will process the lead in the shortest possible time. Matching the right lead to the right rep from the get-go will reduce response times and, potentially, eliminate the queues altogether

6. Reps have multiple leads in their personal queues

Even if you eliminate the team queues, leads can still get stuck in the system. Sometimes, there are simply more leads coming in than your reps can physically process in real-time. Sometimes a rep will have a 2nd, 3rd or 4th lead assigned to them whilst they are still working on the 1st. So there is a delayed response.

Solution:  For starters, assign leads to logged-in reps only. Don’t assign leads to reps who are away from their desk, at lunch, off-sick or, worst of all, on vacation. Ensure your automated assignment system is able to check the availability status of each rep before assigning leads. And again, make sure you are matching leads to the best available agent. Make sure each lead is processed as quickly and as effectively as possibly.

7. Workloads are not balanced

Workload-balancing is critical to the success of any lead assignment system. You don’t want your inexperienced reps snowed under with complex, high-value leads whilst experienced reps are twiddling their thumbs.

Solution: Automated load-balancing, incorporating weightings, caps and quotas, will ensure that ALL of your leads are being processed as quickly and effectively as is humanly possible. Calculate “load” points for each lead and have a system for distributing them evenly. If your Sales people are working on both Leads and Opportunities simultaneously, ensure that load points are being calculated across both objects.

ABOUT ORTOO

Ortoo develops native workforce automation apps for the Salesforce CRM platform. Our flagship app, Q-assign, delivers advanced lead and case assignment systems to high volume Sales and Service teams. If you need help to improve your lead or case assignment in Salesforce, please email us at sales@ortooapps.com. Tell us about your use case and we’ll be delighted to help.