Wondering how to set up and use lead assignment to automatically assign leads to the relevant territories? If the answer is yes then read on!
Leads can be assigned manually to the relevant sales reps. When the volume of leads grows, it’s saves a lot of time to assign them automatically. In this document I will walk you through a way to automatically assign leads according to their territories:
1 – Create lead queues for each territory 

Queues are “buckets” containing leads
2 – Create lead assignment rule
To automatically distribute leads to the corresponding queue according to each lead’s geographical location
3 – Retrieve leads from a queue
For users to pick leads and become the lead’s owner.

1. Create lead queues for each territory

  • Queues are a SalesForce mechanism that can be compared to a “bucket” in which you place objects. These buckets also have a list of users associated with them so that when a new object is added to the queue, you can automatically notify the queue’s user to let them know.
  • Here we will use queues to group the leads geographically. For instance, if we’re in the US, we might split the country into 3 territories: East Coast, Midwest and West Coast. In that case we would create 3 queues, one for East Coast, one for Midwest and one for West Coast.
  • Note: SalesForce already has the concept of Territory out of the box, so if you use SalesForce territories, it’s usually a good idea to create one queue for each territory you’ve defined.

To Create a queue:

  1. Got to Setup > Manage Users > Queues
  2. Click the New button
  3. In the queue edit page enter the queue information
  • Label and name
  • Queue Email and Send Email to Members: These 2 fields indicate if and to whom notification emails are sent when an object is placed in the queue (see documentation https://help.salesforce.com/htviewhelpdoc?
  • id=setting_up_queues.htm&siteLang=en_US)
  • Supported Objects: In this section indicate the type of objects your queue will contain. Here we’ll select Lead
  • Queue Members: In this section indicate the users that will be part of the queue. Here we can directly select a territory (in the search field) to automatically associate all the users from a territory to the queue


 2. Create lead assignment rule

  • Once the queues are created, we need to create the assignment rule that will automatically assign leads to the relevant queue. If we have a 1 to 1 mapping between territories and queues (i.e. 1 queue for each territory), we can reuse the exact same formula or criteria used for the Account Assignment Rules in each territory
  • In our example, we can use the “state/province” field on a lead to find out in which queue a lead should be placed (e.g. New York goes into the East Coast queue, California goes into the West Coast queue, etc).
  • Note: Unlike territory assignment rules, there can only be one active lead assignment rule at a time. To assign leads in several queues, we will need to create several “entries” within the rule. The rule here is effectively just a container; it’s in the rule entries that the assignment takes place.

To Create an assignment rule:

  1. Got to Setup > Customize > Leads > Assignment Rules
  2. Click the New button
  3. In the edit page enter the name of the rule and click save (don’t activate it yet)
  4. When back on the Lead Assignment Rules list, click on your rule name in the list
  5. In the Rule Entries section, click the New button
  6. In the Rule Entry Edit page, enter the rule entry information:
  • Step 1: Sort Order:  a number that indicate in which order the rule entry is executed. Rule entries are executed sequentially according to the sort order (starting at 1) and as soon as one rule entry criteria is met or formula is true, the lead is assigned and the execution is stopped.
  • Step 2: Select the criteria for this rule entry:  In this section enter the criteria or formula to be evaluated when the rule entry is executed.
  • In our example we will reuse the criteria entered for the Account Assignment Rules from each territory. e.g. For the West coast queue the criteria will be something like “State/Province” equals
  • Step 3: Select the user or queue to assign the Lead to: In this section specify whether you want to assign the lead to a specific user or to a queue. Here we will enter queue and select the appropriate queue name for each rule entry (e.g. West Coast Queue)
  • In the Email Template field, enter an email template in case you want to automatically email the queue members when a new object is placed in the queue.
  • Create as many rule entries as there are territories
  • When all rule entries are created, you can edit the assignment rule and activate it


3. Retrieve leads from a queue

Now all the users will need to do is check the content of a queue and pick leads they want to claim ownership of. It becomes easy for sales reps to pick appropriate leads because the leads have now been pre-distributed according to the relevant territories.
To claim ownership of a lead:

  1. Navigate to the Leads tab
  2. In the View drop down list, you’ll notice that new views were automatically created for each lead queue that we created earlier. So you can now select the view corresponding to the territory/queue you wish to only see the leads relevant to that territory/queue. Note that you can restrict the visibility of these views if you wish by clicking on Edit next to the view name.
  3. Select the lead or leads you wish to claim ownership of by ticking the box on the left of each lead’s name
  4. Click the Accept button at the top of the list
  • Catch: In order for a lead to be automatically assigned via the lead assignment rule, the check box “Assign using active assignment rule” must be checked on the lead record. This can be done manually or (I believe) via the API.