By Laurie Madden and Julia (JB) Pitts – Customer Velocity

How Big is Your Lead Package?

At Christmas, the kids rush to the Christmas tree to size up the presents, and they often believe that the biggest presents are the best.

Unfortunately many homebuilders size up Internet leads the same way- more volume equals more sales. When leads come to them through the Internet they often tend to assume what the five year old does but what appears to be bigger at the beginning is not necessarily better once it is opened and assessed. Upon true assessment of a lead, if the sales representative takes the time to carefully work with every lead, they can find a nugget of gold.

With the current housing marketplace in a downturn, many homebuilders have begun thinking more strategically and aggressively when it comes to internet customers. What is the best way to manage leads as they come in? How do the sales managers know leads are being managed well and followed up on effectively? Or at all?

When each lead is received, sales representatives need to make sure they treat each of those customers with the same amount of awe and respect as they do with any other customer. With most leads, sales representatives do not have much more than contact information and a little information about the home in which the lead is interested.

Leads are the critical piece in each sales representative’s sales funnel, and at the beginning they are all “equal opportunity leads”. Much like Christmas packages, leads may look similar, or they may look very different. Regardless of how they appear on the surface, each should be treated as if that lead will be THE lead to help drive revenue.

It is critical that sales representatives accurately discern the quality of prospects, and the only way to do this is to ensure that each lead is treated with equal attention. Sales leads, much like Christmas presents, should not be judged by their covers. They need to each be seen as “A” level leads to ensure a quality connection is being made in response to that prospects inquiry.

Managing leads is easier for sales representatives when using an effective lead management tool. The best lead management tools give sales representatives the ability to act effectively on every single lead and manage them through the sales process. When this is done correctly each prospect continues to receive messaging and touch points until they are ready to buy their home. Depending on their level of interaction back with the sales associate these touch points may require different levels of sales associate involvement in the response. This allows your leads to self qualify into the buyer category without sacrificing prospect interaction for buyers that are earlier in their decision making process.

A great lead management system will quickly let salespeople know when new leads have come in, combined with a level of information from that customer that helps move them through the sales process. Combining a lead management system with an outstanding lead process will ultimately result in all leads being treated equally. By assuming that all leads can be converted, and managing them well, these leads are much more likely to become a sale.

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