Lead Routing: Everything You Want To Know But Were Afraid To Ask

Cassy Aite
June 23, 2023
Lead Routing: Everything You Want To Know But Were Afraid To Ask

The clock is always ticking on a sales team. As soon as inbound leads come in, a race to contact a potential customer ensues. A lack of responsiveness or a significantly delayed response time can cost you conversions and money. Conversely, responding to inquiries and leads within one minute can increase your conversion rates by 391%. That’s what makes the lead routing process such an integral part of the sales equation for all types and sizes of businesses.

Lead routing solves the issues that arise between a customer inquiry and a response time. By implementing this automation tool, your organization can streamline the sales process, improve CRM (customer relationship management) and the customer experience, and ultimately, land your next client.

What Is Lead Routing?

Two salespeople in the office on headsets

Also known as lead distribution or lead assignment, lead routing is the process whereby you distribute customer inquiries and leads to your sales team members. Lead routing is the first step in lead management and part of the sales prospecting methodology. Without a proper lead routing system, your team can miss out on lead assignments and those customers most likely to purchase your product.

The goal of any lead routing system is to respond to customers as quickly as possible. Each passing moment can cause leads to slip through your fingers, often falling to a competitor. Lead routing also ensures that the lead or prospect goes to the correct sales rep by providing instant notifications — in most cases, to the salesperson most likely to convert.

Lead Routing Practices You Can’t Afford To Ignore

How you distribute leads depends on the size, scope, and industry of your business. Obviously, a small company with only a handful of salespeople doesn’t need a complex lead-routing tool. However, the general principles and practices of lead routing are uniform in most organizations.

If you’re missing out on conversion opportunities and want to utilize lead routing technology, make sure you consider these lead-routing practices.

The Importance of Lead Scoring

Lead scoring is the practice of assigning a value to a sales lead. This internal practice typically uses data to assign the likelihood of conversions while also sending the highest-rated lead scores to your sales leader or top salesperson.

Smaller companies can create their own lead-scoring templates using simple database software. But the larger your company gets, the more you’re going to need a bit of help and automation.

Companies like HubSpot and Salesforce offer lead-scoring technology to facilitate the lead-routing process, which can automate an otherwise time-consuming part of lead routing.

Existing Customers vs. New Leads

New leads and existing customers follow different paths to conversions, often dictated by your demand generation model. As such, lead routing can differentiate between the two and send the lead through the proper channels — also known as account matching.

With lead-routing software and a well-written customer inquiry template, you can send new customers to a sales rep and qualify the lead. If the person is already a customer, you can circumnavigate this extra step and send them directly to an account executive, customer success agent, or another party who knows the customer or has some type of rapport.

Lead Routing Rules

Although companies have numerous ways to route leads, choosing one or two methods is far more plausible to increase the chances of successful conversions. In general, lead routing or lead assignment rules send leads to sales agents by using one of the following methods:

  • Round-robin: Perhaps the fairest way of lead routing, the round-robin method simply means that you go down your list of sales reps and assign each lead. Once you reach the bottom of the list, it starts back at the top. It’s impartial but ignores the various qualities and past successes of your individual salespeople.
  • Geography: If you have a global company or one that stretches numerous time zones, a geography-based lead routing workflow assigns the lead to someone in the same area. This can lower response times and provide a lead-routing solution, specifically for fully distributed and remote teams.
  • Salesperson’s Choice: Motivated salespeople are the lifeblood of many companies. While some are effective, they may be far less motivated than others due to fluctuations in their work-life balance. Others may love to work far more often for more compensation or to earn a promotion. In this lead-routing method, you let the salesperson choose their leads. It’s first-come, first-serve and usually goes to the most motivated person on your team. The only issue is that sales reps may overlook prospects that have a lower lead score, causing them to fall through the cracks.
  • Manual selection: If you want more control or feel like one salesperson is more apt to convert than another, manually selecting a salesperson for the lead is always an option. While this may overlook lead routing altogether, it’s an important option if you have a customer that can generate a healthy amount of revenue and a sales rep that’s consistently smashing their sales quota. This should only be used in special situations; otherwise, you’re likely to take far too long to respond to potential customers.

Regardless of what lead-routing method or routing criteria you use, real-time notifications are essential. Lead routing distribution and methods simply don’t work without outreach and streamlined functionality. In essence, time is always a more crucial factor than anything else.

The Best Lead-Routing Software

Person using lead-routing software on a tablet

Unless you’re manually selecting each lead, lead-routing software is a necessity in businesses that have dozens or more sales leads and numerous sales reps. The scalability of these programs makes them alluring — they have enterprise options that will grow with your company without destroying your budget. If you need a lead-routing solution, here are some options to get you started.

Chili Piper

If you already use Salesforce for your CRM, using Chili Piper for your lead routing makes perfect sense. Integrated with Salesforce, Chili Piper allows you to sync or create lead information in real-time. It also uses an intelligent assistant that routes leads to your reps and offers them the opportunity to instantly start a phone call or book a meeting.


If you want to take the mathematical and algorithmic approach to lead routing, LeanData is the optimal choice. Using its proprietary lead-routing algorithm and easy-to-use platform, this lead-routing service ensures that leads are always going to the right sales rep in a timely fashion.

LeanData’s lead-routing software also merges duplicate leads, puts a premium on account matching, and provides both manual and automated lead-routing applications.


Using advanced machine learning and AI, LeadAngel is a suite of management and sales software that enables you to conduct lead routing and so much more. Quick outreach is at the forefront of this platform, offering numerous ways to capitalize on the efforts generated by your marketing team.

Thanks to a drag-and-drop interface, easy-to-read sales reports, and seamless CRM integration, LeadAngel has everything you need for lead routing and conversions all in one place.


With a low starting price point and loads of scalability, HubSpot’s sales software is an excellent place to start your lead-routing ventures. It focuses on round-robin style lead routing, but with an intuitive design, using historical data and custom criteria that provide the best possible lead scoring for your team. It also has over 500 app integrations, allowing you to use it with multiple CRM software platforms.

Lead Liaison

Built specifically for small- and medium-sized businesses, Lead Liaison is an automated marketing and sales software that puts all of your needs in one place. While the focus starts with marketing, the platform also covers lead generation, sales prospecting, and lead routing. And with rule-based routing and in-depth analytics, you can always be assured that you’re meeting your lead-routing rules.

Partner With Hoppier To Increase Your Conversions

Lead routing is just the first half of the equation. You still need to close the deal, regardless of which sales rep gets the lead.

Lunch and learn gift card from Hoppier

Though the burden of closing the deal lies with your sales team, you can still add a few incentives from your end to facilitate a deal. For corporate gifts to impress new clients, free virtual lunches, and bulk gift cards that provide almost endless options for potential customers, partner with Hoppier.

Hoppier offers fully customizable virtual gift cards you can send to new leads with the promise of a lunch or coffee or that you can give to the right sales rep to use as they see fit. You choose the amount on each card, select the vendors, and pick the expiration dates. Anything left on the card goes back into your account — a notable change from physical gift cards that waste any remaining balances.

Regardless of company size or how many salespeople you have, the ability to follow up on the right sales leads and ink deals with high-value clients is an invaluable resource for growth and expansion. Hoppier simply makes the right leads easier to close in an affordable, easy-to-use format.

Paired with lead routing best practices and a team that realizes the importance of speed-to-lead against the competition, Hoppier is the extra jolt to capitalize on lead generation and routin

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