Leads are just so .. precious in the early days. It likely will be years until you have “too many leads” … if ever. But especially in the early days when you as CEO can manually count every lead each month yourself, the last thing you want to do is waste any.
Once you have a handful of reps, one of the most important things you can do is route the right lead to the right rep. Here are some simple, easy-to-implement tips in the early days:
- Segment your leads, once you have enough reps to do so. At least, by Small, Medium and Larger leads (if they aren’t all the same size). Focus will increase your revenue per lead. Let reps specialize at the business process changes, questions and needs of customers of a specific size. Reps may all think they want the leads for “bigger” deals, but in reality, a rep that can close fast can often make as much or more money serving a higher volume of faster-closing leads. You often can also use the smaller leads as a bit of training for first-time reps and SDRs moving to an AE role.
- Round robin as the default, not territories — until you are a bit bigger. Sales leaders from bigger SaaS companies will often want to immediately divide the country and the world into lead territories. Once you have scale, a true sales ops leader and careful processes, this can sometimes be the right way to scale past reps 15, 20, 100+, etc. But before that, it’s just a recipe for frustration. The territories are almost never equal or load-balanced in the early days. Round robin lead allocation is the simple way to do this in the beginning. It’s by nature fair and load-balanced to simply route leads to reps in sequential order.
- Take away / reassign any leads that aren’t followed-up with quickly. Maybe within 24 hours. Or even faster. Route leads that aren’t rapidly followed-up with to a rep with time to talk to them. You gotta do this. Leads not only go stale — which is important — but when a rep doesn’t follow up almost instantly, that’s in general a clear sign she just isn’t excited about the lead. Send it instead to someone that is.
- Monitor which reps can process more leads than others. Later, this will be too much work. But in the early days, carefully tracking rep capacity can really help you get the most revenue per lead. Some reps simply will work faster than others. Not necessarily better, but faster. Others are more deliberate. Don’t assign any additional leads to a rep that can’t process anymore leads in a given month. You are just throwing away those leads.
- Score your leads, and send the lower scored leads to someone. Implement a lead scoring process as soon as possible — but don’t throw away the lower scored leads. Instead, send them to an SDR or a junior rep. You’ll be surprised that quite a few will still close. Maybe the absolute lowest scored leads won’t close very often. But the ones with some score points, but not too many? Often, just showing them some extra, additional careful attention and time will lead to them closing.
A bit more here:
(note: an updated SaaStr Classic post)