Get right to the point about the Online Sales role.
The Online Sales Specialist is still a fresh concept for many home builders. Unfortunately, too many newly hired sales executives don’t fully grasp how this process works. Either they’ve never collaborated with this role or they have baggage from a bad previous experience. Either way, you need to quickly familiarize them with how the program works and the expectations.
When you bring in a new hire for a sales role, don’t assume they understand, appreciate, or respect the value of the Online Sales process. Integrate this knowledge into the training process. Just as you would vaccinate someone to prevent a virus, inoculate your new hires with vital insight that will protect them from chronically failing to create sales from their appointments. It’s far better to initiate them from the first day than to try to correct behavior later. An ounce of prevention, and all that….
When your New Homes Specialist shows up for training, include a segment of the curriculum for the Online Sales Process.
Online Sales 101. Teach the process to each new hire. Explain that you have the system in place, everyone follows it, and the success is proven. Introduce the process and then turn the education over to the Online Sales Specialist, who will guide your new team member through the process, step by step. For example, “Here is how I use the CRM. My goal is to respond to each inquiry within five minutes, and you can see here how I track that response time. And here is where I record all the contacts and responses.”
Keep the introductory session to 30 minutes. The goal is for the newbie to get an overview of the Online Sales system—why it exists and how it works.
Math for Salespeople. Yippeee – Math! It’s not rocket science, quantum physics, or multidimensional calculus. There are some basic statistics that sales professionals must understand. In this part of the curriculum, present the math that encourages and reinforces the right behaviors. One out of three appointments will write a contract. 300% higher than walk-in traffic. 3 times! Present actual numbers that demonstrate the success of the process. It’s the new mantra 1 out of 3…1 out of 3…1 out of 3…1 out of 3…
Team Building. Remind the members of your team of the positive results that occur when they following the Online Sales process. Share success stories that demonstrate how lead nurturing works when all team members stick to their jobs. Explain how the lead came in and was handled in the first 30 days. Talk about the process, using the CRM, the specific communication with the prospect, and the all-important hand-off to the sales executive. This part of the continuing education will reinforce the importance of following the system in order to achieve results.
The Hand-off. It’s time to review the hand-off process. Tell them the exact steps that they are responsible for. This is often overlooked with many new hires (and veterans) We spend so much energy nurturing a lead and building up the necessity of an appointment. Don’t let the momentum drop. This is a sales prospect now. They need to take ownership, role out the red carpet, and give the prospect the VIP treatment. Remember, one out of three only happens if the hand-off goes smoothly. (By the way, this step needs to reviewed about every six months. We love our sales team, but they suffer from amnesia when it comes to the hand-off.)
Show the Work. This is big. We can talk all day, but you need to SHOW them what you do. It makes it more real. Let the salesperson observe the Online Sales Specialist at work—answering inquiries, sending follow-up communication, talking to prospective buyers and setting appointments. When the sales executive can see the process in action, the first-hand experience has a more lasting effect than just explaining the day-to-day activities. This, too, may require the occasional refresher course.
From handling the initial inquiry to closing the sale, the process of selling a home works better with an established Online Sales Process. And that process works more successfully when everyone is on the same page from the beginning. If you want to give your system a shot at success, inoculate your new hires right from the start.