Advanced Training: Admin

Lead Routing

The principles of lead routing are based on the old sales industry truism that sometimes "It's not what is said, but who says it." The simple fact is, sales reps have unique skills and traits that qualify (or disqualify) them to better work with some prospects than others.

Some are more qualified to work within certain industries, some have regional language skills or knowledge that make them more productive in those spheres. Lead routing facilitates the process of getting the right Leads to the right agents to increase effectiveness.

Lead Routing Principles

To access the Lead Routing tool, go to:

Admin Tab >>> Tools >>> Manage Lead Routing

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As shown in the screenshot, Lead Routing has two basic elements, skills and rules. Skills define specific criteria, or formulae, that determine the probability for how often a rep should get Leads assigned to them.

Rules then apply skills in specific combinations, or iterations. For example, you may have a rule that uses just one skill set, or combines four or five skills together. Rules (and their associated skills) can be applied when leads get imported via CSV spreadsheet, or through a Web post mapping.

Lead Routing Skills

As mentioned, skills are the individual criteria used to determine a rep's proficiency. Skill definitions must be based on one or more specific sets of database fields (only a very few dropdown fields and the default address field). Custom dropdown fields can be used as routing skill criteria, so if no suitable field exists in the database, create a new custom drop-down field that suits your needs.

Skills require a proficiency, or rating, for each agent assigned to a particular skill.

For example, let’s say that we wanted to create a rule that routes all leads from a Web lead source to three agents: Michael, Dwight, and Jim.

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  1. First, you'd add Lead Source to the skill list by selecting it in the dropdown, then clicking Show Skill.
  2. Since Lead Source is a dropdown field in the database, the Lead Routing tool will show you a list of all of the possible options contained in the dropdown. To add employees and proficiencies, open up the additional options for a particular source by clicking the small plus box [+].

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  4. In the field under the Employee heading, start to type in your first employee's name. The system will do a reverse-lookup through all of the employees in the system. Click on the name of the correct employee.

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Skill Proficiencies

When adding each employee, the system will ask you to enter a proficiency for them. On the surface proficiencies seem self-evident, but the way manages them is different than most people think.

The most important thing to remember is that proficiencies are not percentages.


Take a look at our example. Notice that Jim and Michael's proficiency is 50, but Dwight's is 25. Obviously, we can’t route "125%" of our Leads, so what’s the real story?

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Rather than being based on a strict percentage, proficiencies are actually based on a weighted lottery system. In other words, setting a proficiency is similar to filling a bingo bucket with ping-pong balls, or the National Basketball Association (NBA) draft lottery.

The number in each rep's proficiency represents the number of "ping-pong balls" they have in the "bucket." The reason this system is used, rather than a straight percentage, is that in some cases managers might want to combine skills and proficiencies into a single routing rule (which we'll cover in a minute). In this case, the manager may want to balance skill proficiencies against each other, creating a more granular routing approach than simply saying, "Agent A gets X percent of leads; Agent B gets Y percent."

Carrying this forward with our example, our "bucket" currently has 125 total ping-pong balls—Michael and Jim have 50 each, and Dwight has 25.

NOTE: To save time, you don’t have to add employees and proficiencies for every option in the skill. If a particular lead routing option doesn't have any employees listed, the system will send the lead to the specified default user, set in the Routing Rule.

Campaign Assignment in the Routing Skill

Notice on the right side of the skill section that you can assign Leads to a specific Campaign when the skill is applied. This can be a useful time-saver for organizing data, if you decide to use it.

Routing Rules

Once the appropriate skills and proficiencies are established, the next step is to create a rule that applies them. A Routing Rule can be based on a single skill, or multiple skills simultaneously.

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The first section of the Routing Rule asks you to choose which skills the rule should be based on. If you use more than one skill in a single rule, the system will combine the total proficiencies from both skills when it runs the routing "lottery."

Also, if you use more than one skill in a single rule, and both skills have a Campaign assignment, you must specify which skill's Campaign designation takes precedence.

Next set the default Lead owner and default Campaign. This is done just in case you get Leads that don’t fall within any of your routing skill criteria. If no failsafe defaults are set, it's possible some leads won't be assigned an owner when they got routed. In this case the record would be "orphaned" in the database as a result.

To the right of the screen are some additional parameters.

  • Send Notification— Instructs to automatically send an email to the new record owner when a lead gets routed to them.
  • Route Sub-Objects—Used extremely rarely. This option is only used when importing Leads via a CSV spreadsheet list, and the upload includes a separate list of Tasks or Events.
  • Round Robin—This is an override function that tells the rule to ignore the skill proficiencies, and hand out Leads in a round-robin format instead. Round robin rules track exactly how many Leads each user receives, and evenly redistributes them as new Leads come on.
  • Route to Available— Rarely used option. This typically works in conjunction with the Route Sub-Objects option. This option checks a user’s calendar before events are routed with the lead, to ensure that event activities don’t get double-booked.
  • Quota Interval— Works in conjunction with the rule quota system. Controls the time frame for the hard “cap” on the number of leads the agents can receive.

Setting Quotas

If you decide to use quotas, you'll need to set the various options in the Quota section. Start by adding the employees with a quota as shown.

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The number specified in the quota column correlates to the Quota Interval setting in the rule. For example, if Dwight has a quota of 15 Leads for this rule, and the interval is set to Daily, after Dwight receives 15 Leads each day, the Lead Routing system will stop sending him new records.

If all agents assigned to a routing rule hit their quota, the system sends any remaining Leads to the default employee specified in the rule.

Using Routing Rules

Routing rules can be applied when uploading a list of leads via spreadsheet, or using a Web form integration, by specifying the routing rule ID in the integration mapping.

List Uploads

When uploading a CSV list of Leads, Step 4 of the process gives you the option to apply a Lead routing rule.

Remember that routing rules only trigger off specific skill proficiencies. If some of the Leads in your CSV don’t meet the criteria of the skill set, then they will be routed to the rule’s specified default owner.

If a routing rule doesn't seem to work when uploading a CSV list, it's usually because the skills have not been set up properly, and/or the Lead list doesn’t include the field on which the skill is based.

Routing Rules for Real-Time Web Leads

To route Leads using one of your Web Post Integrations, set a static variable in the mapping. You'll need the routing rule's system ID number. This is viewable from within the Lead Routing Manager, just to the right of the rule.

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Whatever number is shown there, put it into the field mapping of your Web Post Integration, and any Leads that come in will automatically have the Routing Rule applied.

Routing Rule FAQ

Q. Lead routing seems like it will take a little work to get set up and running, and I’m not sure I have the time. Do I have to use it, or are there alternative methods?

A. Lead routing is an optional function; works perfectly without it, but over time most administrators find that routing rules save more time in the long run than they take to set up. You can always do lead routing manually by bulk assigning ownership yourself, but for very large batches of data this is extremely time-consuming.

For spreadsheet uploads you can also do a “pre-route” by adding a data column indicating ownership and linking that to the various users’ login IDs (meaning you create a column called “Owner” and insert numbers into the column that match the various users). You can’t use names, it has to be a user number. You can look up a user’s ID number by going to the Manage Employee section of the admin tab.

Q. I’ve created my first skill and rule, but reps still aren’t getting leads routed to them when I upload data. What’s going on?”

A. Double-check all of your skill and rule criteria. If you create rules with advanced skill settings but the data doesn’t meet any of the criteria in the skill, the leads will be routed to the default user specified.

Are you using a round robin rule instead of a proficiency-based rule? Are your proficiencies set correctly? Remember that as discussed in the Skills section of the training that proficiencies are NOT percentages; they are a weighted lottery.

Q. I want to round robin two different types of leads, one high quality, one low quality, but I want to make sure that reps aren’t getting cheated out of high quality leads. How do I do this?

A. The best way to do this is to create two different rules that are based off of the same skill, but with different skill criteria. This way, the round robin will trigger off two different criteria, one for the lower-quality leads, one for the higher quality leads.

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