Sierra Interactive: Lead Routing Rules - How, Who, and What?Jan 05, 2020
Lead routing rules within the Sierra Interactive CRM are incredibly flexible and typically the setup is specific to the account holder. However, the overarching constant for every lead routing approach boils down to addressing three questions:
How should the lead criteria be defined?
If you look at lead routing rules as “if-this-then-that” sequences than setting the lead criteria is the “if” side of the equation. This allows you to define the criteria that a lead must meet in order to be assigned to a specific routing rule. Here are the four most common criteria used:
- Lead Source - You may only want certain agents or lenders to participate in specific lead sources such as Zillow, Google, Facebook, etc.
- Price Range - The obvious logic here is that leads looking at higher-end homes be routed to agents with the experience to handle these transactions. However, the same could be said about leads looking at incredibly inexpensive homes, you may want to route these leads to agents who specialize in working with investors.
- Area - If your team or brokerage covers a really wide area or even multiple cities, states, or MLS associations, you want to make sure that you get the leads to the agents who work those areas as well as make. Sure you trigger action plans that are specific to the area.
- Lead Type - It is common for teams large and small to assign specific buying and listing agents. This may be the result of experience but it can also come down to preference, some people just prefer a particular side of the transaction.
This is really just the basics here, oftentimes these criteria are combined to create incredibly specific rules.
Who should these leads be offered or assigned to?
When lead meets a rule’s criteria, the next step in the sequence is to decide who the leads should be offered or assigned to. The first part of this is deciding on the distribution type. There are two top-level types, round-robin, and first-to-claim. However, within the round-robin type, there are three sub-types.
- Auto-assign - As is sounds, this option will automatically assign a lead to the next agent in rotation. The agent will be alerted by email by default but can also receive a text alert, phone call, and app push notification.
- Claim with a timeout - This round-robin type, gives the next agent in rotation a manager-defined window of time to claim a lead before it they lose their opportunity and the lead is offered to the next agent in line. As with auto-assign round-robin, the agent can be notified in a variety of ways.
- Instant call with no delay - Unlike the above two types, with this type selected the agents in the rotation, will only be alerted via phone call. If the first agent in rotation does not answer the call, the next agents in line will receive a call, and so on down the line. When an agent does answer the call they will have the ability to claim the lead by pressing 1. When the lead is claimed the system will then immediately call the number the leads registered with so the agent should be ready to engage.
The most competitive lead routing type is first to claim. Unlike round-robin where each participating agent is placed in rotation, first to claim offers the lead to every agent simultaneously. This type is an instant call only, so every agent’s phone will ring at the same time and the first to answer and claim wins.
Pro tip - Using distribution weighting you can reward top performing agents with more leadership opportunities within a round-robin distribution. This feature is limitlessly flexible, but a simple example would be a 4 lead round with 3 participating agents:
Michael - 2 leads per round
Josh - 1 lead per round
Ben - 1 lead per round
For every 4 leads generated, Michael gets 2 and the other each get 1. Getting creative and using this tool to motivate through a little competition is a great and easy way to keep agents engaged.
What actions should Sierra take?
The final “then-that” in the sequence tells your Sierra CRM what automation it should trigger. The primary focus here is typically going to be triggering an action plan to ensure you can lean on automation to engage new leads right away. Here are some of the most popular automation that can be triggered.
- Action plans - While there are technically two types of action plans in Sierra, fully automated plans are typically the type triggered at the distribution level. The reason is that these plans are built to get a direct response from a lead and can contain a sequence of email, text, and voicemail messages sent at any cadence of your choice. These plans also stop when a lead responds so they can safely have a more forward messaging cadence.
- Drip campaigns - Like action plans the legacy drip campaign can trigger a sequence of messages, however, they can only be emails. It’s likely that these will be sunset in the future but for now, they are the only automation type that can send messages on fixed dates. For that reason, drip campaigns are still the best option for birthday, holiday, and anniversary campaigns.
- Listing alerts - In a lead routing setting, listing alert assignment can be used with two primary strategies; 1. broad criteria built to get a response from a lead with more specifics about what they are looking for, and 2. specific criteria built for an area-specific rule. If a lead flows through a rule defined by an area, then assigning an alert for that area could make a lot of sense.
- Market updates - The scenarios for assigning a market update is going to be similar to what we’ve defined above for listing alerts, however, rather than a daily listing alert, market updates are typically sent monthly. These are typically welcomed by the participant, delivering get market data sourced directly from the MLS.
The key takeaway from all of this should be flexibility. The Sierra lead routing system can help you build a routing rule for almost any scenario. This can give you tremendous power as you think through your database marketing and conversion system as well as how you incentivize and manage your team.
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