Joy - Dec 29, 2020

Why Smart Lead Allocation is Not Propensity to Buy

Propensity to Buy (PTB) models are widely applied to increase sales, and involve crunching customer data (potential or existing) to determine their potential to buy a particular product. This helps you identify who will buy what, and when so that salespeople can approach prospects in the market for a particular product when they are ready to buy - increasing the likelihood of a sale. 

However, just looking at a sales opportunity from the potential customer’s perspective, is only half the story, leaving cash on the table. 

Smart Lead Allocation (SLA) looks at the type of prospect the salesperson has the most success with, increasing the possibility of a sale significantly (on average 30%). 

Propensity to Buy could therefore be described as the likelihood a potential customer is to buy a particular product at this time; while SLA can be described as the likelihood a salesperson is to sell a particular product to a specific potential customer. Please see figure 1 below for more comparisons.

SLA and PTB can work independently of each other. (In fact Value-Ad works along side the Propensity to Buy team).

On their own, PTB and SLA will each still result in increased sales. 
However, used in combination sales will increase even more.
So why use SLA?
- To optimize sales using existing resources i.e. salespeople and systems

What do we base SLA on?
- Historical success and failures for each salesperson

How do we do SLA?
- Model the type of prospect each salesperson is most likely to close
- Allocate prospects to the salesperson most likely to sell to them

What's involved?
- Models built for each salesperson and then refreshed regularly e.g. monthly
- Models used to match list of prospects to the most suited salesperson 
- Prospects distributed to the matched salespeople in your usual way


Figure 1: Comparison of Propensity to Buy and Smart Lead Allocation:


Propensity to Buy

Smart Lead Allocation

Who is modeled

All prospects

Each salesperson

How many models are built

Per product 

Per salesperson per product 

Prospect Info required

The more the better

Salesperson info required


Past success and failures

How often refreshed

? (Less frequently)


(* Please note that the logistics of building as many models as required a month, e.g. 30+++, are tricky. We have these logistics waxed! This is a huge undertaking as the models need to be refreshed regularly so that they continually learn and improve. PTB teams are generally not set up to do this frequency and volume of model building).

Some factors that optimise Smart Lead Allocation are:
  • Salesperson diversity (the more diverse the better)
  • Number of salespeople (the more the better, at least 8)
  • Amount of Training Data (at least 6 months historical sales data (success and failures))

And besides increasing sales, other benefits of SLA have been seen to be:
  • Larger deal sizes (due to scoring and prioritising leads)
  • Increased staff retention (due to more successful people)
  • Measurable results (no guessing or interpretation; hard numbers that speak for themselves)

Lastly, here are a couple of other questions we often get asked:

Q: Do the sales team need to know SLA has been applied? 
A: No, it is not obvious that it has been.

Q: How can you be sure results are due to SLA and not PTB or some other reason?
A: 30% of leads assignments are allocated randomly so that the SLA results can be compared against results that only differ according to the allocation method.

Interested in how we can help you apply Smart Lead Allocation to increase your Outbound Telemarketing sales?

Please contact us for a quick chat.
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Written by Joy