What is Lead Distribution Software?
In a nutshell, lead distribution delivers sales leads to salespeople, lead buyers, or third-party software applications. Effective lead routing requires integrated automation to capture leads quickly and distribute them based on various factors. In other words, automation software verifies, analyzes, and matches each lead with the most appropriate buyer or sales agent.
Companies with high lead volume have to move leads around to lots of different applications to make everything work. They need to be able to receive leads from various sources. They need to sort, measure, and send them to buyers and sales teams efficiently. A proper lead distribution system ensures a positive lead flow to sales agents that can act on them rapidly.
Automated lead distribution saves time and increases engagement and opportunities. Without distribution automation, effective, modern lead distribution wouldn’t be possible.
Buying and Selling Leads
Capturing leads is the first step in an automated lead distribution process. Websites, landing pages, inbound calls, outbound calls, direct mail, and social media all capture lead data. Lead data is then verified and either distributed to an internal network or sold to a lead buyer.
Leads are sold several ways, exclusive or semi-exclusive. They can be captured via live call transfers, real-time, batch, and selection criteria. These factors contribute to the selling price and should be considered before spending money on lead generation. High-quality, exclusive leads, and semi-exclusive leads are both important in the lead generation ecosystem.
Automated lead distribution creates seamless and efficient pathways for these leads. This increases profit for lead sellers and decreases costs for lead buyers.
How does Lead Distribution Automation Address Fraud Prevention?
A high volume of leads opens the door to fraud. Fraudulent leads will tarnish a company’s good reputation and cost otherwise loyal clients - and money. Whether you buy or sell internet leads, preventing fraudulent leads from sneaking through your distribution is critically important.
Automated lead distribution software includes safety measures to prevent fraudulent leads from reaching sales teams. These measures include:
- Duplicate checks
- Real-time email and phone validation
- USPS address verification
- Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) compliance
- Double opt-in.
Double opt-in is a step in the subscription process that requires email confirmation and subscription approval. It prevents capturing leads that are disinterested or have invalid email addresses.
What is Consumer Privacy, and How Can Automated Lead Distribution Ensure Compliance?
Consumer privacy protects consumers from improper collection and distribution of personal data by businesses or merchants. This creates a divide between sales organizations that require consumer data and consumers that wish to protect their privacy. Laws around consumer privacy are getting more strict, while user data becomes more important and valuable to marketers and sales.
GDPR, TCPA, and national do not call (DNC) compliance are no longer optional.
Lead buyers require adherence to these guidelines. The first step is to understand how these compliance requirements impact customers and their ability to win and keep their business. Adhering to these guidelines is a value add for lead buyers, ensuring they avoid potential risk. Many lead buyers require a commitment to follow these guidelines and proof of compliance.
Lead Distribution Tech Stack
Your tech stack is the cumulative system of software applications that serve your business or a component of your business.
Lead distribution requires cross-platform integration of numerous systems. Lead buyers don’t all use the same software solutions. Different lead generation sources need to be able to unify data by sending it to a single system. This is why automated lead distribution software must integrate with other software solutions.
An integrated lead distribution tech stack includes lead capture, CRMs, marketing automation, notification apps, reporting and analytics, and accounting software.
Can a CRM be Used for Lead Distribution?
Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software handles marketing automation, customer support, customer segmentation, email and social media campaigns, and general lead data. Those are all vital aspects of managing customers. A CRM, for all of its significant value, is not built to distribute leads and lacks a sophisticated, intelligent delivery engine.
Many companies used to use CRM systems to manage their leads. This was when lead sources were limited, high contact rates were easier to achieve, and overall volume was lower. Dedicated distribution software didn’t exist, and CRMs made sense.
A CRM can sometimes suffice for smaller companies with low lead flow. However, CRMs don’t handle lead distribution or lead management for sales in a sophisticated way. A company with high lead volume, many locations, or lead sources needs more than a CRM to manage its leads.
How are IVR Phone Systems and Call Routing Used in Lead Distribution?
Interactive Voice Response (IVR) allows callers to access information through a responsive system of pre-recorded messages. It provides menu options via keypad or speech recognition to have calls routed to specific lead buyers (call routing). IVR technology can allow for pre-qualifying and routing based on many factors, including geographic location, specific need, or product interest. Once a lead meets the IVR system's criteria, they transfer directly to the most appropriate live agent or buyer.
Producing high-quality live calls and direct transfers is a great way to provide high-value prospects and increase lead value. Live call transfers are valuable. They are exclusive and generally sell for about three to five times more than semi-exclusive leads.
Marketers and lead generators require seamless capture, tracking, and hand-off to lead buyers to generate live calls and direct transfers. IVR is a great way to maximize lead sales. These features make IVR a valuable component of a lead distribution network.
To maximize lead sales, it's important to be able to identify problems. By discovering issues with lead delivery, orders, buyers accepting or rejecting leads, and making quick adjustments, potential problems can be avoided. Real-time notifications help performance marketers turn their marketing efforts into successful lead generation campaigns. Monitoring and tracking changing data without automated, real-time notifications leads to undetected problems that can cripple a business.
One of the biggest challenges performance marketers face is ensuring timely payment for the leads their clients buy. Most successful lead generation companies have a few high-volume buyers and a lot of small and mid-size buyers. These smaller buyers help provide coverage for leads that don’t fit the criteria of large buyers. Simple payment options like Stripe simplify things for the buyer but also ensure prompt payment to the seller.
What Should an Automated Lead Distribution Solution Do?
There are a number of cloud-based lead distribution solutions on the market. When looking at advanced lead distribution software options, be sure that you choose one that includes these features:
- Capture data from landing pages, website, phone, inbound call centers, direct mail
- Sort date, filter data, distribute data in real-time to various software solutions
- Perform multiple data transmission types
- HTTP post for some CRMs
- XML for many newer CRMs
- GET or SOAP post for some older CRMs
- Ping and post for specific verticals
- Deliver data and leads via email
- Deliver inbound phone calls in real-time using call routing
- Record calls, track calls, setup complex call flows
- Track data transfer to other solutions and ensure successful delivery
- Track ROI, activities, and measure delivered data