“The Online sales team is the best at nurturing leads! Let’s have them work with all of our lower converting leads who came in from onsite walk-ins and on-site appointments. They can nurture those leads since they specialize in that and generate b-backs! What a brilliant idea!”
Does the above conversation sound familiar? I sure hope not, but this question comes around every few months from leadership asking why, oh why, can’t they just assign the Online Sales Specialist to work the leads of the on-site sales agents?
If you’re a leader, I’m sure at some point you’ve thought about passing onsite leads back to online sales. If you’re an OSC, I’m sure at some point you too have thought about more leads to nurture (and more appointment opportunities, am I right?!). It all stems from the idea that Online Sales Specialists are trained assassins in lead nurture and outreach; however, I’m here to tell you WHY we don’t recommend it.
Here is what the data has shown from a builder that attempted this strategy:
- 1540 Leads from Sales Reps passed back to Online Sales to nurture
- 16 Appointments set by online sales giving a 1% conversion from lead to appointment
- 4 Sales from those appointments giving a 25% conversion from appointment to sale, which seems okay, but that’s only a .02% Conversion from lead to sale
So, let’s talk about WHY it’s not recommended:
- It’s not a good use of your OSC’s time. They should be spending time moving new interest from the top/mid-funnel to the bottom. Your sales team should be working on anything post-appointment or walk-in.
- Decrease in customer experience and customer confidence. In making a decision as important and drastic as purchasing a new home, a customer wants to feel heard, understood, and cared for. When they are passed back and forth between sales reps and OSCs (whom they may have never been in communication with before), they psychologically start to analyze the personal connection and care, and the distrust begins to grow.
- There is a large margin for error with reporting and metrics. If this lead did not originate as a new online lead and had an initial appointment set by the online team, it does not go into the conversion metrics for lead to appointment to sale. Keeping track of this starts to skew your data long term.
- It encourages bad behaviors and practices with your onsite sales reps. They have to handle the hot and quick converting customers, but they also need to prospect and nurture leads who aren’t yet purchase-ready to get those sales down the line.
Remember the handoff process is just that - handing the lead off to the sales rep to take to the finish line. You won’t win the race if your “runners” turn around and pass the baton back to the person who originally handed it to them. Let’s get back to the SALES in Online and Onsite SALES professions. That means onsite sales taking care of online appointments and walk-in customers. Online sales should take care of leads at the top of the funnel to move through the pipeline who are low-hanging fruit…. for now! They are our future buyers after all!