Build a Speed to Lead Strategy


Once you’ve completed the Speed-to-Lead Self-Evaluation, you’ll probably have some ideas on what processes need improvement. The next step is to work with your Operations team (and Play Committee if you have one) on what changes can be implemented now and later to build your Speed to Lead Machine.

An Important Strategy Note: A lot of focus and energy is spent at the beginning of a cadence, but don’t forget the end. What happens when a record reaches the end of the cadence? Is it assigned to another Play? How is the CRM record updated in order to pin-point it for the next Recycled Leads Initiative? How many records are completing the cadence? Is your team biting off more than they can chew if they only get one phone call to every record?

The items below are a tactical checklist of what needs to be setup or modified for an effective Speed to Lead Machine. Links to articles are provided when applicable for easy reference.

(Urgent Shared Records with Immediate Response)

  1. First and foremost, identify the lead attributes in CRM to correctly trigger an automated response (like lead source, and record type). Verify that web-to-lead forms are working properly and not creating duplicate records for known customer contacts.
  2. Create Plays that include the following:
    • At least the first step is marked as URGENT. Subsequent steps can be marked URGENT if needed.
    • Cue cards have detailed, up to date messaging tailored to the Lead Source
    • Cadence best practices including multi-channeled Play Steps (It is highly recommended that all Active Leads get a phone call as soon as possible, not just an email.)
  1. Create Robots that will:
  1. Create or identify Reports and Dashboards that identify Active Inbound Web Leads at creation, Play assignment, 1st activity, subsequent activities, status progression and eventual conversion. Then monitor the ebb and flow of records holding teams accountable and/or celebrating wins.


  1. To take advantage of Playbooks inbound calling features, calls must be routed to a Playbooks phone number. If you have an existing phone number you can transfer that phone number to XANT. For greater explanation on this critical first step, see the Playbooks Telephony Basics 101 course.
  2. Create Call Paths to support different lead sources.
  3. Modify the Inbound Call Log panel to include all the fields a seller would need to complete on the phone call. This information will get written to the task record in CRM and become part of the buyers activity history.
  4. Identify (or create) Plays to be assigned to these records. Strategize if it can be the same early stage Plays for Inbound Web Leads, but you may determine that Inbound Calls have unique behavior to support their own Play.
  5. Train selling teams about Inbound availability, features, messaging, Call Log panel and different call paths they will be assigned to. (Explain how they no longer need to yell across the selling floor “Is anyone available to take a call?”)
  6. Create or identify Reports and Dashboards that identify Inbound phone call volume and outcomes. Track Inbound calls by Play Step, status progression and eventual conversion. Then monitor the ebb and flow of records holding teams accountable and/or celebrating wins.


(High Marketing & Intent Scores)

  1. Similar to Active Inbound web leads, the records need to first exist in CRM with the right attributes to correctly trigger an automated response (like MQL or Intent Score). CRM also needs to filter out known customers, duplicates, and Do Not Contact records.
  2. Create Plays and Robots that follow sales cadence Best Practices, but no NOT include any of the URGENT, Immediate Response features.
  3. Instead, create a Custom Sort for teams that automatically prioritizes tasks by a manager’s or Operations team priority. This can include score thresholds, lead sources, age, etc.
  4. Create or identify Reports and Dashboards that identify Passive Inbound Web Leads.


(Events, Special Initiatives like Lead Recycling & Lost Opportunities)

  1. Don’t make your teams work off a spreadsheet, even if the Operations team was using a spreadsheet to scrub the list. Dataload the list to update records in CRM with attributes that will trigger a Robot.
  2. Build Robots and Plays that will create Shared Tasks for the team to work on a ‘First come, first served’ basis. Alternatively, if records won’t be shared, create a Custom Sort sellers can use to prioritize their daily tasks, with batch records at the bottom of the list.
  3. Create or identify Reports and Dashboards that identify Batch Leads.

Additional Resources

As you build your Speed to Lead Machine consider checking out these additional resources:

Sales Cadence Best Practices
10-minute video full of ideas for Inbound and Outbound cadences backed by contact rate data.
Webinar: Why You’re Losing Deals Others Aren’t
Once you go through the whole Speed to Lead strategy and get a buyer on the phone, watch the full webinar for ideas on what to say and what NOT to say.

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