Welcome to the Future of Lead Routing

June 20, 2017 Mark Emmons

This is not just a chart. Or a diagram. Or a pretty picture.

What you see is a lead flow in Salesforce. Not just a graphic representation, mind you. But a real, honest-to-goodness flow of leads through a sales organization.

“It can be hard for people to grasp because they’ve never seen anything like this before,” said Christine Maxey, the Director of Enterprise Solutions at LeanData. “But these nodes determine your routing. This is where your leads will go. There are no crazy lines of text statements like you find with Salesforce assignment rules. There is no developer code. This is it.”

This is the future of lead routing in Salesforce. This flow is an example of how LeanData drinks its own champagne by using our visual interface called Flow Builder to create and manage our lead routing process in an intuitive manner.

In this flow, there’s account-based routing. Auto-conversion. Lead-to-Lead matching. Round Robin based on company size. And it took Maxey less than an hour to build this out after consulting with the sales team. Among the features offered by Flow Builder:

  • Drag-and-drop display that makes designing and modifying a lead assignment flow pain-free for Salesforce administrators
  • Metrics that show the number of leads being routed, which allows for easy troubleshooting when something isn’t working as expected
  • Version control that enables admins to experiment and iterate with confidence because they always can revert back to a previous version

“This actually is a relatively simple flow,” Maxey said. “But Flow Builder can handle any level of complexity.”

In her previous roles as a Salesforce admin, designing or revamping a lead flow was a time-consuming, tedious headache. It could involve maps of the United States to identify territories. A spreadsheet. Powerpoint. All of that would be used to construct those maddening lines of if-then statements that make up basic Salesforce assignment rules.

“It’s not just that it took longer,” she added. “I couldn’t have built this flow because I didn’t have the capability this offers. For instance, I couldn’t match leads to accounts. I would have needed a developer to do something like that.”

And that would have meant writing code for a workaround. But there’s a reason why admins have a mantra of clicks, not code.

“It can take hundreds of lines of code,” Maxey said. “And when a developer leaves, that’s a problem because everyone’s code is different. It’s difficult to modify. That’s why so many businesses settle for the standard assignment rules. But they just don’t work.”

Admins often complain about how text is a strange way to organize a complicated lead assignment process — especially at large-scale enterprises. It’s difficult to understand where exactly leads are going when you’re poring over lines of text in Salesforce fields. Leads can end up in the wrong place and you really have no idea why. Spotting errors can be like looking for a needle in a haystack. Troubleshooting ends up being time-consuming.

And then there is this reality: Change happens. Territories change. Strategies change. There can be team attrition and additions. Managing all that can be enormously difficult when it comes to updating the corresponding assignment rules – and praying that they work. Oh, and then there’s the fun of updating the existing leads in the system, manually.

“Or,” Maxey added, “you can have an application that supports all of that easily. Having the ability to manage your lead flow with a visual solution can be a game-changer for the business — particularly one that is growing and evolving fast.”

Since creating this flow for LeanData, Maxey has made two significant changes. One supported a new sales team account ownership strategy and the other accommodated a short-term marketing campaign. Both required only minutes to implement, and they took effect in real-time. Any admin, Maxey added, can do the same thing.

“Like I said, this can be hard for people to imagine that a business-critical function like lead routing can be transformed in a way that makes it so much easier to understand and manage,” Maxey explained.

But that’s beginning to change. Businesses that view lead management as strategic have the chance to get ahead of their competition.

Interested in learning more? You can request a demo here.

About the Author

Mark Emmons

Mark Emmons is the staff writer at LeanData. He previously was a reporter at the San Jose Mercury News, Orange County Register and Detroit Free Press. He can be reached at mark@leandatainc.com.

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