2024 Lead Distribution Guide

  • Your sales leads are like the Legos that help you build your business.
  • And just like with Legos, it can be easy to lose track of your leads.
  • The difference between Legos and leads is that Legos are easy to find again (usually when you’re walking to the bathroom at night in the dark).

But if you don’t keep track of your leads from the moment they come in, you may not find them again before their interest cools off.

That’s why many companies turn to lead distribution as a solution to neglected leads.

So, how exactly does lead distribution work? What kind of benefits can it bring your company? And how can you put a lead distribution strategy to work for your sales team?


What is lead distribution?

Lead distribution is a strategy that goes beyond just assigning incoming leads to different sales reps.

It involves matching every lead to the sales rep who is in the best position to seal this deal.

You know that each of your leads is different. They all have different needs, desires, and goals. And each one of your sales reps has different strengths, abilities, and experiences.

That’s why matching each lead to the right rep is so important.

  • Basically, lead distribution aims to automate the process of analyzing, qualifying, and assigning leads to your team.
  • Ideally, it takes into account different factors (such as a rep’s experience in dealing with similar leads), and narrows down the best rep for this particular lead.
  • An efficient lead distribution strategy can do wonders for your business.

It allows the buyer journey to be mapped out, making it easier to analyze and attribute.

What are the benefits of lead distribution?

It helps you build a more efficient sales process.

And don’t you just love a strategy that makes your team more efficient?

With a good lead distribution strategy in place, the most qualified reps will be connected with new leads, giving them the ability to close sales faster.

Equally important, sales team leaders will save time because they no longer have to personally assign each new lead to a rep. This also reduces the chance of manual errors and lost leads.

It allows the buyer journey to be mapped out, making it easier to analyze and attribute.

From the moment that a company or consumer becomes a lead to the moment the sale is completed, how many people have they talked to in your company?

Without lead distribution, it’s harder to tell who exactly was the lead owner, or which rep was the one who truly sealed the deal.

Lead distribution allows for greater transparency in seeing who is bringing in the big fish.

Every sales rep knows exactly what they’re supposed to be doing.

With lead distribution, the hand-off between marketing and sales teams is automated. New leads collected from web forms and other online methods are automatically sent to sales reps through their CRM, meaning every single rep knows which leads are coming in and which leads to focus on.

This removes any confusion and wasted time trying to sort out leads amongst different sales reps.

It speeds up response time (which helps you increase sales).

Once a lead fills out a web form, you have five minutes to get on the phone with them.

Oh sure, you can call them 10 minutes after if you want. But you’ll decrease your chance of qualifying by 400%.

Reduced lead response time

Using a variety of lead routing rules, you reduce lead response time.

The availability-based lead routing rule distributes leads based on your sales reps’ availability. This, in turn, is based on their personal schedules. With this rule, your leads do not have to wait as long before getting in touch with your sales reps.

If the software comes with round robin distribution features, leads will be distributed to the next sales rep in line if the one first in line has already finished interacting with a lead.

Improved customer experience

Lead distribution software also improves the customer experience as your leads are assigned to the sales rep best-suited to handle the deal. This is assured by using pre-set rules to determine which sales rep handles which particular type of lead profile.

Some software also come with a notification feature to inform the sales team when there is a new lead coming in.

This feature provides detailed information about the leads and this will help the sales reps better prepare for the conversation.

How to implement a lead distribution strategy in 6 steps:

Capture all leads and deliver them automatically.

If the hand-off between Marketing and Sales is sloppy, you’ll lose out on leads; important leads can easily be misplaced or forgotten in long email chains and spreadsheet lists.

To fix this problem, you’ll first need to automate lead capturing. You can do this by using lead generation tools like Sumo or Leadfeeder to capture leads as they visit your website.

Many of these tools integrate with your CRM to automatically deliver new leads to your sales reps.

The adaptable automation tool Zapier also allows you to connect your marketing and lead generation tools to your CRM.

For example, when someone fills out a web form, a new lead is automatically created in your CRM and your sales reps are alerted.

That means leads are captured and delivered without someone from the marketing team having to send sales reps an email with spreadsheets or lists of names. (Here’s how to get away from using Excel for that.)

Filter new leads for quality.

Do you suffer from a lack of quality leads?

Then you’re just like 45% of sales reps who ranked generating quality leads as their biggest sales challenge.

That’s why the next step in setting up a lead distribution strategy is automating the process of qualifying leads.

First, you’ll need to define what a quality lead is for your business. This can include factors such as:

  • Business size or location
  • Decision-makers involved in the buying process
  • Current business needs and issues
  • Deadline that a new solution must be implemented by
  • Allocated budget
  • Solutions currently being used by this lead

Next, you’ll need to automatically filter out the leads that don’t meet your requirements, saving only the leads that are most ready to buy for your reps.

For example, you could find out some of the above information by adding them as questions in your web form. That way, you know a bit about the company and the interest before your sales reps get in contact.

Or, use a CRM that automatically imports available info on the web about the company:

Finally, use this information in your lead distribution strategy to ensure that higher-quality leads are sent out first to your sales reps.

Obviously, this method isn’t the same as a human qualifying your leads. But it will give your sales team a head start in knowing which leads are the most valuable.

Geographic location

Matching the location of your leads to the location to the sales rep assigned to the case may have been a more popular method some years ago. But with the growing popularity of online shopping, this may not apply to some businesses.

However, some businesses still see a significant advantage to matching by location.

For example, an international insurance company would obviously want a lead based in the UK to be matched to a rep that understands insurance needs and law in the UK.

Geographic location is also important for companies that span several time zones and still rely heavily on phone conversations, or for companies whose sales reps specialize in on-site product demos.

“We distribute significant leads―having revenue of $1 million and above―to the more-experienced sales rep. The less-experienced sales rep speaks to smaller businesses. That way, the lesser experienced sales rep learns and overcomes fear slowly and ‘graduates’ to handle more difficult leads.”


Distribute your leads right and watch your sales increase.

Lead distribution can have a direct impact on the number of sales that your team gets.

With a lead distribution system, you can make the sales process more efficient and help reps focus on the right leads, thus increasing the speed of their response time.

Remember, automating your lead collection and filtering for quality helps you see which leads should get matched to which reps. While you’ll need to experiment to find the best lead distribution method for your team, it’s important to factor in things like expertise and availability.

Finally, by using a CRM with real-time notifications, you’ll make sure every rep is instantly aware of new leads:

When you’re looking for lead distribution software, it’s important to find one that meets your specific business needs and makes your sales team members more productive so that you don’t waste time manually assigning leads to sales reps and spend more time reaching out.

When a prospect fills out a form on your website or calls your business, good lead distribution software will use your preselected routing rules to assign them to the most appropriate sales rep. You can choose from criteria such as geographic location, product expertise, individual performance, or round-robin assignments to match a lead with the sales rep most likely to close the deal.

Then, the lead will be offered to the sales rep that best fits the rules via an email, text message, or push notification. Robust lead distribution software gives the sales rep a certain amount of time to accept the lead. If they don’t accept it, it can be offered to the next available rep so that someone can follow up immediately.

“We distribute significant leads―having revenue of $1 million and above―to the more-experienced sales rep. The less-experienced sales rep speaks to smaller businesses. That way, the lesser experienced sales rep learns and overcomes fear slowly and ‘graduates’ to handle more difficult leads.”

Automated Feedback Capture

A feedback capture feature helps keep track of what happens to leads once a sales rep accepts them. Good lead distribution software will wait several minutes after the rep is alerted via push notification, text message, or email, then ask the sales rep to provide an update to sales leaders so that they can tweak the lead management strategy to optimize the sales process if needed.

The sales rep will fill out the feedback form and answer questions about the status of the lead, such as in progress or closed, and the value of the deal. Typically, the answers are recorded in a dashboard so sales managers can track leads within the software or send them directly to your CRM.

Reporting & Analytics

Comprehensive lead distribution software will also provide sales reporting and analytics capabilities to give you a clear view of how your sales reps are performing. You should be able to see the total number of leads, which leads each rep accepts and declines, and average response times.

When evaluating providers, look for software that gives you in-depth reports for each salesperson so that you can view the quality and quantity of deals each person is closing for each type of lead. This allows you to hone your sales training and define which types of leads are most appropriate for each sales rep.


Some lead distribution software systems are powerful, but they stand on their own without connecting to any of the other software you use, such as your CRM. Consider looking for a CRM that integrates with your CRM so that you can see your data in one place. Some CRMs, such as Freshsales even weave in their own native lead distribution features to streamline the lead assignment process.

Some CRMs, such as Freshsales even weave in their own native lead distribution features to streamline the lead assignment process.

Lead Distribution Software Costs

Lead distribution software costs vary by the company you choose. In general, you should expect a monthly cost of $25 to $100 per month, per team, depending on the number of leads you need to distribute every month. Some CRMs also offer lead assignment features for around $35 to $75 per user, per month.

Most lead distribution software is priced to be affordable for small business owners―some even let you pay per lead so you can pay as you go. Plus, lead distribution software can have a good return on investment (ROI) since it enables you to close leads faster by routing them to the right person quickly, which improves conversion rates.


Lead Distribution Software Providers

There is an array of lead distribution software providers for different types of small businesses. Some providers offer standalone lead generation solutions and some incorporated within a customer relationship management product to keep everything in one place.

We’ve evaluated five of the best lead distribution software providers for small businesses.

1. Freshsales

Freshsales is best for businesses that want lead distribution features that are incorporated into their CRM. You can create and manage unlimited territories right within your CRM and define a combination of rules to route them to the right sales rep without having to import them from a separate lead distribution system. Plans that include lead distribution features range from $25 to $79 per user, per month. Sign up for a free trial by visiting their website today.

2. Lead Assign

Lead Assign is best for businesses who want standalone lead routing software where leads often fill out forms on a website and need to be routed to the most appropriate sales rep quickly. When a prospect fills out a web form, Lead Assign uses your predefined custom rules to match the lead with a sales rep and alert the sales rep automatically. Plans start at $25 per 10 users, per month. Visit the Lead Assign website to learn more.

3. ClickPoint

ClickPoint is lead distribution software for businesses that rely on calling leads after they are assigned to sales reps. Create lead distribution lists based on things like geographic area, choose calling times, and apply criteria and daily lead limits to each sales rep. When a sales rep logs in, the next available lead is presented, and they dial the lead within the software and can leave prerecorded voicemails. Pricing starts at $65, per user, per month. Sign up for a free trial.

4. Tray.io

While some lead distribution systems have rigid lead assignment rules that are difficult to update when sales teams or territories change, Tray.io offers visual workflows that are easy to tweak quickly, even for nontechnical users. The software also integrates with many CRMs such as Copper and Salesforce, so you can see everything in one place. Pricing starts at $595 per month for unlimited users.

5. Nextiva

Nextiva is a robust voice-over-internet-protocol (VoIP)—also known as a business phone system—that comes with a CRM with a rules engine for lead management. Plans range from $20 to $30 per user, per month. Sign up for an account that offers a 30-day, money-back satisfaction guarantee.

Lead distribution software is helpful for sales teams who want to automate the process of assigning prospects to sales reps based on certain rules. However, it isn’t for every small business, especially smaller teams who want to maintain manual control of assigning leads.

Pros of Lead Distribution

  • Automation: Automatically assigning leads to sales reps based on predefined rules, which saves time and allows sales managers to focus on coaching reps and helping close deals.
  • Deal conversion: Lead distribution software allows sales reps to receive leads instantly rather than waiting for someone to assign them, so they can reach out faster, which is proven to increase conversions.
  • Analytics: Lead distribution software usually comes with reporting features that make it simple to know which sales reps are performing well with each type of lead and which reps need help.

5 benefits of outstanding customer service

Cons of Lead Distribution

  • Setup: Defining custom rules can be cumbersome, especially for small teams or solopreneurs without technical knowledge.
  • Cost: Most lead distribution software comes with a price tag, and it may be unaffordable for smaller businesses on a tight budget.
  • Maintenance: Lead distribution software needs to be maintained by someone as things change in the sales process as sales reps leave and are new reps are hired, often creating extra work for sales managers.

Routing leads to the most appropriate sales reps saves times, matches leads with the best person to close the deal and improves close rates.

Why should sales teams automate their lead distribution process?

Automating the lead distribution process helps sales teams reach out to leads quickly and saves time by making sure no leads fall through the cracks. It also gives back valuable time to sales leaders since they don’t have to assign leads manually.


Why should sales teams automate their lead distribution process?

Automating the lead distribution process helps sales teams reach out to leads quickly and saves time by making sure no leads fall through the cracks. It also gives back valuable time to sales leaders since they don’t have to assign leads manually.

Lead routing rules

Lead routing rules

A lead routing rule is basically a criterion (or set of criteria) in which a business decides which lead should be assigned to which sales rep.

There are two main types of routing rules. Push-based and pull-based.

Of the two, only push-based lead routing is automatic. As its name implies, leads are ‘pushed’ to your sales reps automatically by the lead distribution software.

On the contrary, pull-based distribution relies on your sales reps to pick the lead which they will interact with. In this case, leads are ‘pulled’ toward your business.

But since we are talking about lead distribution software, we will not be exploring pull-based routing rules in this guide.

1. Round robin

This method of lead routing uses a round robin algorithm to distribute leads based on sales reps’ availability.

Leads won’t be connected to sales reps who are currently engaged in another call or busy. This reduces lead response time, by bouncing the caller to the next available rep.

Furthermore, once a rep has ended the call with the lead, the lead will be shifted down the line to allow sales reps who have not interacted with leads to answer the next phone call.

This way, the wait time is reduced and sales reps will not be overwhelmed with calls.

This way, the wait time is reduced and sales reps will not be overwhelmed with calls.

Top Producer

Push-based lead routing prioritizes high-performing leads when distributing leads to your sales reps.

Such sales reps are expected to be able to generate more leads and drive more conversions. However, these sales reps tend to end up being overwhelmed with leads.

As a result, the customer experience of your leads may decrease over time as your better performing leads become increasingly fatigued.

Country of lead

If you have multiple sales reps across different parts of the world, you can distribute your leads to sales reps in the same country as them.

This avoids the timezone issue so your sales reps will not have to stay up till ungodly hours to work according to a different timezone.


Bottom Line: Lead Distribution Systems & Software

Ultimately, lead distribution software helps sales teams quickly funnel leads to sales reps so they can reach out to prospects quickly and close more deals. Lead distribution software gives businesses the power to automate their lead assignment process, access meaningful data about performance and close rates, save time, and increase sales revenue.

  • It’s helpful to use a CRM that has built-in lead distribution features so that you can manage leads in one single place.
  • Freshsales CRM offers plans that have lead scoring and distribution capabilities so that you know everything that’s happening with each place right within your CRM. Sign up for a free trial today.