When it comes to distributing leads, do you use a round-robin approach? Some believe that by taking steps to match prospects to salespeople, you can maximize their success and your sales.

Rick Edwards, president of Pittsburgh-based Custom Patio Rooms, uses a personality profiling test in the hiring process. One question he asks candidates is what type of prospect they're most comfortable with: low-to-middle income, middle income, or upper income. That information, Edwards says, “gives us an indication right up front that we have a guy we need to work with in terms of getting him comfortable in these different situations.” For instance, someone not comfortable selling to lower-income prospects might self-qualify leads by looking at the house and deciding the prospect can't afford a sunroom. “If you know you have someone who's not comfortable selling to lower-income folks,” Edwards says, “you can spot that kind of problem sooner.”

Lead Source and Age Factors Edwards also matches by lead source. One-half of the company's leads come from outbound telemarketing; the remainder are inbound calls responding to ads. “Some salespeople prefer the outbound calls because there's typically no price competition,” he points out. “Some prefer the inbound calls because they perceive more real interest there. Typically you want the less experienced reps to get more of the outbound calls. They don't know the products and competitors as well, and the outbound calls are less likely to be shopping other options.”

Salesperson Prospect
Attitude Income
Experience Lead Source
Age Age

Age also plays a role when matching salesperson to prospect. “When we get a prospect where the wife's name is Betty or Wilma, we'd like to send someone who talks a little slower and caters more to an older client. And, especially with widows or widowers, you don't want to send someone too aggressive or profiled as results-oriented.”

An alternative approach is to pair someone “real young” with an older prospect. “That's the long-lost grandson who never comes to visit,” Edwards says. “They'll keep him there for five hours!”

You can combine these in a useful matrix for cross-matching salesperson to prospect:

By weighing all of these factors against one another, you can create a pairing of salesperson and prospect that leads to more immediate rapport, more trust, and more sales.