Inside Sales Tip: For Lead Routing, Skill-based Trumps Regional and Ad-Hoc

Saw that lead metrics guru Trish Bertuzzi posted an answer to question on Quora talking about the most appropriate way to do sales lead routing.

And I thought I’d quickly chime in.

In the actual Quora question, the person asks, “What’s the most effective way to route leads?”

One of the respondents immediately chimed in to say that simply doing it by region makes the most sense.

In our experience, this isn’t the case.

For outside sales teams (read: when the rep goes on site), regional divisions make sense to save travel costs.

However, if you’re not engaging in on-site sales practices (and let’s face it, even those who do spend 70+% of the time selling over the phone/remotely anyway), the net benefit of regional-based sales divisions is nil, and can actually be a detriment if you’re sending sales leads to reps who are unqualified to handle them, simply because the lead falls in the rep’s “region,” or because a manager wants to do it ad hoc just to make sure things are “fair.”

Skill-based and vertical-based routing has the highest net benefit in terms of lead qualifications and closes, because reps have a leg up in identifying true prospect needs and establishing a trust-based relationship. Regional routing can be appropriate, depending on other factors, but on a simple win/loss close ratio, it has no measurable impact on performance.

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