Right now, builders everywhere are experiencing an unusually busy time, seeing an increase in online leads and web traffic as prospective buyers get more of their information online rather than in person. Even now, it’s crucial for you and your team to connect and follow up with your prospects, and show that you’re willing to meet them where they are as they navigate their home search in these ever-changing times.
Once again this year, we went undercover to dig into this facet of your customer care and service, to understand how well builders were following up with online prospects. We shopped builders on the top 200 list by creating a fake customer profile, including name, email, and phone number, submitted web forms on the home builders’ websites, and collected data over the ensuing 30 days. (No initial autoresponders counted as an actual follow-up.)
We analyzed how long it took for builders to respond, how often they responded, specific follow-up tactics, and the role that online sales counselors played in customer service — and we’re eager to share the results with you.
The average builder response time was 17 hours. That may be an improvement year-over-year (in 2020 it was 26 hours), but remember that following up within 5 minutes makes a lead 9x more likely to convert. If it takes longer than 5 minutes to follow up with an online prospect, chances are you’ve already lost them. Even in a “normal” market, speed is the name of the game when it comes to initial follow-up. In today’s extremely fast-paced market, speed is even more important.
Only 11% of builders followed up 6 or more times. That leaves the vast majority of builders not creating 6-8 touch points, which we know is the minimum number needed to elicit a response from a viable lead. Consumers today are busy; your communication needs to keep rising to the top of their emails, texts, and voicemails so that they remember to respond when it’s most convenient for them.
Only 9% of builders used text in their follow-up process, and only 4% used video email. All top responders (those who followed up 6+ times), on the other hand, incorporated both text and video into their follow-up. If you use these communication methods, you’re sure to stand out from the majority of your competition.
Overall, what we learned is there is room for vast improvement. While you might have all the leads and appointments you could wish for right now, there will be a day in the not-so-distant future when you need to work for them again. Before that day comes, it’s vitally important to have a strong foundation and proven processes in place to set up your online sales counselors for success. So we have a question for you…
Do you have an OSC? If not, why? Now is the time to invest in one. Use this time, and the extra marketing dollars you have, to recruit and train your online sales team. Having a great OSC is so important. For prospects, interacting with your OSC is their first step in the sales process and their first impression of your brand.
Introducing g2 Online Home Sales Training
We are excited to introduce a new service, g2 Online Home Sales Coaching. This comprehensive program teaches OSC skills with a holistic view of sales, relationships, and the buyer mindset.
Who is this program for: OSCs new and old. Whether yours are brand new and looking to get up and running quickly, or have been in the role a while and need to overhaul their processes in order to keep up with demand, this program is for you. Thinking of expanding your Online Sales Team and need to have more consistent processes and follow-up in order to scale their productivity? This program is for you.
What is it: A comprehensive training and coaching program, including one-on-one coaching with our very own Alexis Udine. For the first phase, we meet weekly to go through the comprehensive 45-page manual that is provided at the start of the program. We take a deep dive into each section, from the sales funnel and processes to the follow-up. We include scripts and ways to ensure a successful “Relay” to your onsite team. Along the way there are homework assignments and a graduation test to hold trainees accountable and keep them engaged.
After about 6 weeks, we switch to bi-weekly coaching calls, and the trainees complete a test to see how they have mastered the skills. After that point, we go through scenarios, engage in role playing exercises, listen to calls, and have fun all while doing it! The program continues with monthly calls with sales and management, so we can go over reporting and benchmarks to make sure all our goals are being reached.
Why should you do this: It is vital to give your OSCs the tools and processes they need to be able to manage leads effectively and efficiently. This will result in more appointments being made, and more sales coming in your door. Based on the secret shop results we’ve seen, your competition is not following up, so you need to be.
What are you waiting for? Join our fresh approach to online lead management and set your new home sales team up for success from start to finish in this fun and collaborative coaching program.
Visit grouptwo.com/services/lead-management for more information.