The Current Climate for Online Sales Specialists

The Current Climate for Online Sales Specialists

Jun 23, 2021

You’ve probably heard the old joke: If you don’t like the weather, just wait 5 minutes. It will change. Since the beginning of 2020, the homebuilding climate has gone from tornados to tsunamis to hurricanes and back again and continues to do so today.

The online sales specialists have been there navigating it all, including managing the high volume of responsive leads, dealing with the emotions of discouraged and nervous homebuyers, maneuvering through changes in teams and staffing, and executing on unfamiliar processes for new norms like waitlists and bidding. 

Things are shifting every day, but the online sales specialists are adapting, showing amazing resiliency, and rolling with the ever-changing market. Here are some of the biggest changes the Do You Convert sales team is seeing. 

A Tsunami of Responsive Leads  

Not only are the leads coming in faster than before, but now, those leads are more responsive than ever. Managing 200 leads feels like managing 400. They’re camping out in our inboxes and voicemails, and in some cases, we’re seeing customers sign up multiple times on builder websites.

Also, with the limited opportunity of inventory and homesites, online sales specialists are tasked with going deep on the qualification level with customers. Phone conversations are going longer and there are multiple paths for our leads, ie: appointment, waitlist, nurturing, marketing updates.

Marketers and leaders need to keep this in mind when looking at lead counts, sources, and managing the demand on the front end. Are we still asking for users on the website toCall for Fast Answerswhen we already have more leads than we can handle? Are we offering to schedule appointments for sold-out communities or communities with waitlists? We need to be consistently having these conversations within the company. 

Home Shoppers’ Emotions Running Hot

With the home market on fire, online sales specialists are also dealing with prospects who are frustrated, worried, or disappointed with the process of getting a new home. Do You Convert moved away from the original job title ofcounselorto the titlespecialist, but now the professionals we work with are forced to act more like acounselor,or eventherapist, with many of their prospects. Online sales specialists are dealing with prospects who can feel desperate, depressed, fearful, or dejected. 

An online sales specialist’s goal was once to build excitement, but now, it has now shifted to expectation setting and helping people make their way through what can be a volatile process. We must recognize that online sales serves an essential role in setting the tone for future interactions with the company and appreciate that online sales specialists are constantly adapting to meet this need. 

New and Unfamiliar Processes 

With waitlists, priority lists, and bidding becoming new norms within the industry, online sales specialists are often asked to deliver messages and walk prospects through processes that are brand-new and constantly changing. 

Communication between leadership, online sales, and onsite sales is important for making this smoother for everyone involved. Constant updates on the status of communities, priority lists, and current processes are crucial to allow proper communication to the customer. 

Online sales specialists are dealing with registrants who are submittingMULTIPLE responses monthly, weekly, or even daily, trying to get updates on the community. This makes tools like dated updates on the website and video emails in the initial follow-up process so important. These methods build trust with eager customers and provide reassurance they aren’t going to miss out on coming opportunities. 

Online sales specialists have a valuable role in helping prospects better understand the next steps. To dive deeper into the topic of priority lists check out Kevin Oakley’sarticle about how builders could approach priority listsand Mike Lyon’sarticle on making waitlists less painful for online sales specialists and homebuyers

More New Hires Than Ever Before 

While the industry is dealing with shifts in the market, online sales specialists are also dealing with changes within their own companies and departments. Because of the increased demand and responsiveness of leads (remember 200 leads feel like 400), more and more home builders have outgrown their teams in the last year and online sales teams have been forced to grow. 

Hiring new online sales specialists has been a priority for builders. Do You Convert has loved supporting our builder partners and making sure that we find that perfect person and that they are trained and mastering the role as soon as possible. For info onHow to Hire an Online Sales Specialistcheck out Mike’s blog post.

Even with great people in place, these shifts can cause online sales specialists to feel insecure about their position and place in the company. But if leadership makes it a priority to help the online sales specialists feel valued and supported, the change in teams can benefit the employee and the entire organization.

No matter how many responsive leads come in or how things change, online sales specialists will continue to play an essential role in communicating with homebuyers and often serving as the first person within the company to interact with apprehensive homebuyers. With communication and hard work, the online sales specialists will be able to continue to adapt and thrive, even in this ever-changing climate. 

Learn more about the changes facing the world of online sales inEpisode 145 of the Market Proof Marketing Podcast

The post The Current Climate for Online Sales Specialists appeared first on Online Sales and Marketing for Home Builders - DYC.

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