A Review of Lead Assign Lead Management with Joe Steeves: One Last Tool Episode 6
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Announcer: Is your digital business efforts in need of a tune-up or major overhaul? If you’re ready to get your sales, marketing, and service machine up and running, you’re going to need just the right tools. Welcome to One Last Tool, your pit stop for learning about all of the latest and greatest digital tools to get your business engine running on all cylinders. Now, here’s your resident technician, George B. Thomas.
George: All right, ladies and gentlemen. It’s George B. Thomas coming back again for another episode of One Last Tool. I’m super-excited today because actually this is a tool that I had, well, no clue of until one of our listeners, Rob Misheloff from Smarter Finance USA, by the way, you should check out his website. He said, “Hey, would you think about doing an interview with this tool?”
Folks, that’s exactly what this podcast is about, is that if you have a tool and you’re curious about it or you use it and you think the rest of the world should know about it as well, reach out to me, email@example.com, and we will get these interviews rolling.
But without further ado, let me go ahead and introduce our guest today. It is Joe Steeves. Joe, why don’t you go ahead and explain to the folks who you are, kind of what you do, and who you do it for?
Joe: Thanks, George. Joe Steeves, I’m the Director of Sales and Marketing at Lead Assign. We’re a small Canadian startup, just located a couple hours north of Toronto by car, and we’re fairly new. We’ve been around for about . . . Well, the application has been around two years, but we’ve been selling it vigorously for about a year now.
George: Very nice. Let’s start at the very beginning here, Joe. Really, maybe explain to the One Last Tool listeners what in the world Lead Assign is.
What Is Lead Assign?
Joe: Lead Assign is a small application that kind of sits between your CRM and a lead generator, and we handle the automation of delivery of leads to a team of agents, salespeople, in almost any vertical. We automate it so there’s no need to manually distribute leads through your inbox, sending them to the people you think might be best associated to handle that. We look at keywords and tags to use the intelligence to distribute them to the most appropriate salesperson for that lead in particular.
George: Yeah. I want to dive into that a little bit more because I know a lot of folks who might listen to the podcast, they might use something like Marketo, Infusionsoft, HubSpot. At HubSpot we can get about as smart as saying, “Hey, round-robin this.”
George: It kind of goes around this circle until somebody tells it to stop. So you mentioned tags and things like that. So that really does lead me to my next question which is: how does Lead Assign work? Like what makes it be able to tick in special, where it knows kind of who to give what lead to?
How Does Lead Assign Work?
Joe: Yeah. So I guess, first of all is the journey of the lead is based on a profile that is matched between your sales agent and the content of the lead. We can handle leads that come from chat. We can handle leads that come from MLS listings on your website, or leads that you’re buying. What we do is we look at the actual content. We parse those computer statements within a lead. If a lead came in for a commercial property somewhere in town and I was an agent in that town, and I had the word “commercial” associated with my profile and the lead had the word “commercial” in it, I would be a candidate for that.
George: So I’m starting to piece together some information here. You said “MLS” and you said “agent.” So that really gets me to my third question, which is who is Lead Assign a best fit for? So maybe talk about who this tool would be like revolutionizing what their daily life looks like.
Who is A “Best Fit” For Lead Assign?
Joe: We set out initially to revolutionize real estate. What happened was that in town that I live in there was a fellow who owned six or seven different brokerage offices in real estate in that vicinity. He had this problem where he was getting inundated with leads in his mailbox every morning because he was very forward-looking and progressive in how he was driving leads–a lot of social media and buying things. He was, I mean, 15% of his day, he estimates, delegating leads to his team of 150 agents. So he approached a small software company where we live, where I work, and asked if there was a solution.
He had gone to Salesforce actually to ask if they could do this automated distribution, and they quoted him an insane price with no guarantees that it would work. So he was the guy who this was all modeled after, and after a year of development we had something for it. So we initially went to real estate. We’ve been selling this for a year now, and we started off, our blend was about 100% real estate and it’s now about 60%. We have 40% in automotive, in financial services, insurance, legal, those kinds of things. It really fits in a lot of pockets.
George: Yeah. So what I wanted to dive into that real quick is so folks didn’t immediately say, “Well, I’m not a realtor.” It doesn’t matter if you’re a realtor. It’s open for a large variety of folks. I love though, a couple things you said in that I want to unpack real quick, you said, “Yeah. They had a problem. They were generating too many leads.” That’s probably not really a problem. However, sifting through them can be. So I love that this helps you do that. Then large amounts of money and Salesforce in the same sentence, go figure.
George: Okay. Well, let’s go ahead and get back onto the questions that we have here. So really, if I’m sitting here and I’ve got all these leads coming in, and this might sound like it’s going to be a simple answer, but I bet you’re able to dive a little bit deeper. What problem does Lead Assign really handle for me as a user?
What Problem Does Lead Assign Solve?
Joe: More than one. For starters, it saves you time. If you’re a sales manager or own a brokerage of some sort, you’re going to be looking at you have to manually or you have somebody in that firm manually delegating and distributing leads. So it’s going to save you all that time. In the case of our founding customer, it saves him about 15% of his day.
Aside from that, it handles response time. In real estate, one of the things that we put this together with was that if you can get to a prospect that has sent you a lead from zero to five minutes after they send it, you’re 900% more likely to contact and engage that customer than you are if you wait 30 minutes.
So we needed to make it timely. So in doing so, when an agent gets a lead sent to their phone or a salesperson gets a lead sent to their phone, they just touch a text message and a ticker comes up, and they’ve got a predetermined amount of time. Our default is five minutes. Depending on the business you’re in, it could be anything. You could set it however you like.
George: I love that. So it’s customizable. I have heard that same stat that if you can react or get in touch with within that five-minute window, there are some magical things that’ll happen. I’m sure the stats is different for things.
Now, at this point, the listeners or viewers, depending if you’re listening to the audio podcast or watching the video on thesaleslion.com, I’m sure they’re probably wondering, “Okay. He mentioned Salesforce. He mentioned lots of money. This is a custom solution that’s been built. I might as well get my wallet, my first born, my right leg, I should probably get all those ready because it’s probably going to cost a lot.” So that leads me to, if somebody wants to use Lead Assign, what’s it going to cost them?
How Much Does lead Assign Cost?
Joe: The Lead Assign itself is very inexpensive. It’s $1 per user, per month, and $1 per lead that we distribute. I’d like to qualify that. So if you have a sales force of 10 people using Lead Assign, it’s $10 a month. For every lead that we distribute on behalf of that company, we charge $1.
Part of what we do, one of the amazing things we do, is if a lead is sent to a salesperson and they either time out or they decline it for whatever reason, it goes to the next best-qualified salesperson and they get that. They have the opportunity to do so. If that lead would go through two people, it’s still only $1. If it goes through five people, it’s still only $1.
You see that sometimes at night when all the salesforce is in bed sleeping, a lead will flow through five people, and then the first one to wake up in the morning can touch the message and it’ll put it out of a holding pattern and bring it back to that agent. So it’s $1 per lead and $1 per agent, per month.
George: Then, I guess my question, because I do want to go off the beaten path a little bit on this one.
George: It’s $1 per user, which is cool. That’s a bargain at, I don’t know, like 17 times the price, or something like that. But then it’s per lead. So what happens if we get to that fifth, sixth, seventh salesperson and they just have really deemed that maybe the lead is a non-fit? Is there like there’s just no charge, or is there a basic, “No, it’s a lead? You have to pay us.” What does that look like?
Joe: Yeah, interesting. So if a lead comes in and it’s deemed non-relevant by the first agent who sees it, automatically once they decline or time out it’ll go to another agent. If it goes through five people and they all deem it not relevant, it’s one of two things: Either the tagging system that you have in place to bring that lead to you is faulty, which we can develop and fix with our assistants or on your own, but beyond that it could be a spam lead.
I use Lead Assign myself, and I wake up in the morning and I’ll have some leads that are spammy, some of them in a different language or whatever. Lead Assign allows you to blacklist or whitelist messages like that.
So if it’s a lead that I never want to see come through my system again, I can blacklist it and it’ll never happen again. Actually, we also have a policy. If you have leads coming to you that have no business making them to you in the first place, we would happily refund that $1 for that lead.
George: Nice. I like that. So you know you’re not going to get kind of caught in the middle of something there. I like too, see this interview to me is getting better and better because I hear “customization” and I hear you’re able to blacklist and whitelist things. So you can really just hone it down to a well-oiled lead-distributing machine once you get going. So that is awesome. You may not have any of these, Joe. But I have to ask the question because, well, I always ask the same questions pretty much on every interview for every tool.
George: That is, Lead Assign, competitors?
Who Are Lead Assign’s Competitors?
Joe: Yeah. Well, our biggest competitor is really the CRMs that are trying to play in that space. However, we have a mandate here to not be a CRM. We have a lot of customers asking us to go that extra step. We actually have a follow-up mechanism with our application, which allows the salesperson to follow up within the lead as well. But that’s as far as we go. We don’t want to go any further than that because it’ll make us a full-blown CRM.
So I guess the real competitors in our space would be other CRM companies that are working with lead distribution. I have yet to come across a full-fledged distribution-only model. I haven’t seen one yet. At least, not on the scale that we’re doing.
George: All right. So with that said, let’s put the gloves on. Let’s put them on. CRMs, that’s pretty much your competitors, and this really gives you the chance to talk about yourself, your company. Right? You’ve made this conscious decision to not bake in a CRM. So why and what makes Lead Assign better than the “competition” in this case?
What Makes Lead Assign Better Than Its Competition?
Joe: Well, what makes us great or better is that we’ve built in or baked into this product something called “Forward Accept Email.” So it works with any CRM. If you’re working with Salesforce, HubSpot, all of those CRMs, you can save or direct a record or a lead into that CRM via email address. So we have a spot in our console or our dashboard where if you are an agent and you hit Accept on a lead on your phone or your email, it will automatically push that lead. Once you do that, you’ll have a record of it but it’ll push that lead into your CRM as well. That is a big piece of it.
The cost is our biggest factor that separates us from any CRM. I mean, we have people with two-person teams running Lead Assign and they might spend $30 a month with us. But we’ve changed their lives as far as how their flow works.
George: Yeah. I love that. Understanding what we are and what we should be is really important. That fact that you don’t have the extra hours of coding to become a CRM and can keep the cost low, I really love that. Love it, love it, love it.
Joe, as we go through the internet, we bump into some people who are really smart and really internet-savvy, really technology-savvy, and then, well, there’s the other side of the tracks. They just kind of end up not having the best experience in things. So I’m curious, what possible problems might a user run into when using Lead Assign?
What Problems Will New Users Have With Lead Assign?
Joe: Well, I mean, we do have problems and I’ll tell you what they are. One of the challenges that I have, once somebody buys into Lead Assign and goes through a trial basis with us, they realize quite often that they’re in the situation where they have somebody on staff who they’re paying x amount of dollars a year to that handles their lead distribution process. We’ve actually been in the spot where we’ve had a broker say, “You know what? I don’t think I want to pursue this because I’m going to have to let her go or I’m going to have to find a different job for her.” We really can replace headcount.
It sounds great to the bottom line. However, it can be a problem, where when I deal with the people directly that are doing the lead distribution sometimes there’s dead air. So there’s that. We also have another kind of problem. I know you won’t call it a problem. But it comes up quite often, is when somebody is on-boarded with Lead Assign, one of my first questions to them when we do that process with them is how many leads a month they think they’re really getting. If they tell me 100, without exception I can tell you it’s going to be 150 to 200.
What’s happening is so many leads are falling through the cracks on them, or there ends up being post-it notes on somebody’s phone or door or an email that never got addressed. That when they actually consolidate all of their incoming leads into one spot in Lead Assign, they have far more leads than they thought. So the problem is, “Man, we’ve been spending a lot of money on leads that we’re not looking at.”
George: Yeah. I love the post-it notes, Excel spreadsheets, email.
Joe: I’ve seen it all.
George: You could have a billion-dollar company if it wasn’t for all of those places where you keep leads. It’s funny, Joe, too when you’re talking about the, “we could replace a person,” I sadly giggle inside because I feel very much that way with like if you go to Walmart, you know how they have those self-checkouts?
George: I refuse to use them.
Joe: Me too.
George: Yeah. My wife is like, “Why? Why?” I’m like, “Listen. That was Betty. That was Joe. That was Johnny like six months ago.” So I love that you guys are cognizant of the fact of, “Well, yikes.”
Joe: It is a factor.
George: It is. It is. We’ve got to keep the humanness of it. Even though we’re just talking about leads and we’re talking about generating revenue for business, we still have to be human in our business as well.
So Joe, this has been awesome. I love the sound of the tool. I know that it works because well, Rob Misheloff said, “Look. You got to get this out to more people.” If people want to find out more about Lead Assign or yourself, where do you want to send them? Where should they go?
Joe: Yeah. Leadassign.com is definitely the place to go. I would suggest that they click on the top-left corner. There’s a spot where it says “Features.” In going there, you can try it and sample Lead at no cost. You can put an email address or a cellphone number in there, and it will deliver a lead to your smartphone and show you what that experience would be for the salesperson. In doing so, it will also notify me that you’ve done so and if you ask to be contacted, I can usually get to you within five minutes of making that inquiry.
Something that we didn’t talk about too, George, is I failed to mention that one of the things that really separates us and makes us great is that there is no software, no login, no passwords, or usernames for a salesperson to know.
It was essential for us in building this that adoption would be high, and we know that salespeople don’t like to download software. We know salespeople don’t generally like CRMs, and forget usernames and passwords. So the delivery mechanism is literally a text message, which I know all salespeople know how to deal with. You get a text message and you click on it, or you get an email and you click on that.
But there’s nothing for them to download themselves. So adoption is high and the interface has a great sales manager-facing dashboard that reports on everything, every stroke, every lead that was declined, accepted or timed out, or re-requested. So it’s really robust reporting and no software for agents or salespeople themselves.
George: Joe, you officially blew my mind without even me asking a question. Like I mean, for a company to know their demographic and realize, “Yeah. They hate CRMs. They don’t like inputting data. They don’t want to remember anything. They just want it to work,” this is amazing. Joe, I totally appreciate the time that you took for the interview. I can’t wait for people to check this out.
Folks, that’s how we roll at One Last Tool. No fluff, just great tools. If you are listening on iTunes, make sure you go over and leave a rating or review for us. If you’re just watching or listening, make sure if you have a tool that you would like us to contact or learn more about, hit us up, firstname.lastname@example.org. Until next time, folks, go out and just find that one last tool.
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