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Archive for November, 2009

Mortgage Delinquencies at Record High

Friday, November 20th, 2009

Almost 10% of homeowners fell at least one payment behind in recent months according to a report by the Mortgage Bankers Association. This figure does not include homeowners who are already in foreclosure. Adding these cases, the delinquency figure nearly reaches 15% or one in seven homeowners. These rising numbers, (the highest since they started being recorded in 1972) are driven by, but lag behind rising unemployment. So when unemployment peaks next year, it is expected that mortgage delinquency will not hit its apex until probably 2011. This is due to the fact that home equity is the primary place that the unemployed can lean when their income dries up. Negative equity plus unemployment leads to increased foreclosures.

8 Reasons CRM Fails to Deliver

Thursday, November 19th, 2009

CRM’s (Customer Relationship Management) are designed to provide lead management solutions and there are various CRM software packages to choose from. Whichever lead CRM software you choose to manage your marketing efforts (RightNow, SalesForce, Leads360, SAP, Microsoft,etc.),  it’s important to understand that they all require regular management and upkeep. In order to be effective the CRM software implemented must be customized to fit your particular company’s needs and goals.

An effective CRM software is designed to automate sales, track lead origination, rate the value of each potential customer and ensure constant contact with your clients. However, even if your company is using the most reliable and efficient leads management software that performs all these tasks, if poorly managed your ROI of this software will greatly suffer.

Regardless of which software you choose, time must be invested in setting up your account and ensuring the software is customized to meet your company’s goals. You must configure into your account how much you pay per leads, your desired cost per acquisitions goals, and the ROI of various marketing efforts of your company. In order to achieve the highest ROI of this software it is important that you learn to fully utilize its features.

“Most reports cite that a whopping 42% of CRM systems go completely unused after purchase, a sobering statistic given that CRM sales topped 9 billion in 2008.”

It’s imperative to know what features your leads software package provides and how you can use these features to your advantage.

We’ve created a Whitepaper titled “8 Reasons CRM Fails to Deliver“. It analyzes and explains various reasons customer management systems fail to meet expectations, and provides an easy way to assess if CRM is right for your business.

Whitepaper Topics
1. CRM is Complicated
2. CRM is Labor Intensive
3. Buying More than You Need
4. Turn-Key CRM does Not Exist
5. CRM is More Expensive than You Think
6. It is Hard to Quantify Success
7. Success is Driven by Your Company 1st & Your Software 2nd
8. Know the Problems you are Trying to Solve

You can Download the Full Whitepaper Here

Did You Know 95% of Leads are Wasted?

Tuesday, November 17th, 2009

At Leads360, we don’t sell leads, but we do help brokers, administrators, agents, and loan officers close more deals from the leads that they receive, purchase, and/or generate. We do this by providing industry-leading lead management & sales software that has been proven to dramatically increase lead conversion rates and more than double return on investment (ROI). We have done a lot of research about the best ways to receive, manage, and sell to consumers who go online to find a policy.

Academic research has shown that on average 95% of leads are ignored, neglected, or receive poor follow-up. As you know, good leads are not cheap, and ensuring that every lead is worked properly is the first step in making sales teams perform up to their potential. Leads360 can help you improve your sales process and results with easy-to-use lead management software. Plus, we are offering a no-cost and no-commitment trial of Leads360 Express.

It’s Time To Stop Wasting and Start Selling!

5 Valuable reasons to try out Leads360 lead management software

Capture and distribute leads in real-time from any marketing source
Securely manage leads and prospects from contact to closing
Help agents and loan officers contact, qualify and follow-up efficiently
Close more deals from the leads you already buy and increase your ROI
View and analyze performance metrics with one click

Sign up and get a 30-Day Trial of Leads360 Express at no cost, with no strings, and no credit card required. Your competition may already be using lead management software, so don’t wait to give your business the advantage it needs.

Lead Scoring is Big in Education, Mortgage, Insurance; New Targus Lead Verification Integration with Leads360

Monday, November 16th, 2009

If you haven’t read the recent press release about Leads360’s integration with TargusInfo which enables on-demand lead verification from within Leads360 you should. Lead scoring and verification is relied on heavily by some of the bigger lead buyers in mortgage and education, but until recently smaller organizations were not utilizing this capability primarily due to cost. The new lead verification offering from Leads360 and Targus may change that. New leads can be automatically and instantly scored when they arrive based on phone number and address verification. Once you have this score, you can use Leads360’s lead distribution engine to prioritize follow-up.

Dupes, Dupes and More Dupes; Turn on De-Duplication Lead Management

Thursday, November 12th, 2009

About a month ago we launched began beta testing our new de-duplication management solution within Leads360. Like most of our solutions, we developed a very sophisticated and flexible de-duplication engine that can identify, merge and act on duplicates in real-time. Today we turned on the capability for our own sales team and I’ve begun using it. There are a number of uses cases where de-duplication management is useful. For some of our clients, it’s a way to identify duplicate leads sent by the same lead provider. In other cases, our clients don’t want to pay for a lead that they’ve already generated through their own website. Another use case could be simply merging multiple inquiries from the same customer. For our own sales team we use in this way:

1)       A prospect comes to the site and submits a lead

2)       Sales person speaks with the prospect and determines they are not ready to buy, changes lead to nurturing

3)       A month later the prospect comes back to the site after seeing a banner for a sales lead management whitepaper and downloads it

4)       A duplicate lead is generated

5)       De-duplication management catches the lead automatically before it gets distributed to another sales person

6)       The new lead is merged into the old lead, so all the new contact information is made available along with the original lead data

7)       The original sales person is alerted by an email that the prospect has come back into the pipeline and to follow-up

What is your challenge when it comes to duplicate leads? How do you solve that right now?

Keeping Ahead of the Curve

Wednesday, November 11th, 2009

In today’s brisk economic climate, every industry is struggling to adapt. Nowhere is this truer than in insurance. Selling insurance can be very difficult if the right tools aren’t employed, but those companies that have shown the willingness and initiative to embrace new technologies have seen their businesses thrive even in difficult times. More and more people are shopping for insurance online, and those companies that take advantage of this fact are seeing big returns.

A Pew study found that 53% of all Americans not only use the internet, they use it on a daily basis.  What’s more, 92% of those American making more than $50,000 a year use the internet. There are few areas where this has become as visible as it has in the insurance industry. Most people are shopping for their insurance online these days. A whopping 80% of individuals who bought auto insurance last year began their research online and almost 30% of the 25-50 age group wound up purchasing their policies online. These trends aren’t limited to auto insurance, though.  Across the board, customers are turning to the internet as a valuable tool in their shopping for the right policy and those companies willing to make the shift to pursuing internet leads are cashing in.

While traditional business models have insurance companies trawling through fewer and fewer opportunities with less and less sophisticated methods, internet leads allow agents to ignore limitations like geography and time and increase the number of contacts they make and policies they write. Rather than spending time seeking out interested buyers, agents using internet leads can focus on those individuals who have already expressed an interest in buying their products and spend more time closing sales. What’s more, the right software can allow a company to organize and efficiently track their leads in order to maximize sales. Advanced data and sophisticated methods of organizing and distributing leads in real time allows a sales staff to contact quality leads quickly, efficiently, and get the desired results more often.

The internet has changed the pace of business in insurance sales. Internet leads are more effective than traditional methods, particularly when contacted within the first five minutes. Those companies that have been willing to utilize these leads and employ efficient methods of managing and tracking those leads have had the most success in recent years.

How Many Times Should You Call Each Sales Lead? Read Our New Call Attempts Study

Tuesday, November 10th, 2009

Here’s what our own Nisheeth Singh had to say about the study:

As you may have read on Lead Critic today, we released our newest research regarding the impact of call frequency on sales lead conversion.

To misquote a famous author: “Elementary, my dear Watson”. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s written works never actually saw this phrase although the first and second parts of the phrase were seen in close association during conversations. But I digress.

As many of you opined above and is the central premise of the paper (found here), sometimes the most obvious and logical actions are never taken by lead buyers. I don’t necessarily understand why they don’t but I do revel in the fact that it means significant upside for those that choose to engage with their leads smartly.

We conducted the study based on several million leads that our clients tried contacting over a period of many months to have as diverse a data set as possible. We studied the effects of multiple call attempts all the way to 20 and I’ve published the entire results of our study below just to whet your intellectual curiosity. Some explanation is in order:

* Column 1 denotes the call attempt

* Column 2 denotes the percentage of ‘Contactable leads’ contacted – this is key to understanding the study and is NOT the same as Contact Rate. This means that the data set excludes any leads that were never contacted. This metric is a percent of the remaining leads in our study which we define as ‘contactable leads’

* Column 3 denotes the percent improvement in the ‘% of Contactable leads contacted’ metric for each successive attempt over the very 1st call attempt

* Column 4 denotes the percent improvement in the ‘% of Contactable leads contacted’ metric for each successive attempt over the preceding call attempt

Contact    % of Contactable   Improvement       Improvement over

Attempt   leads contacted    over 1st attempt    preceding attempt


1                              39%

2                              72%                        87%                        87%

3                              83%                        114%                     15%

4                              88%                        128%                     6.5%

5                              91%                        136%                     3.4%

6                              93%                        141%                     2.1%

7                              95%                        145%                     1.5%

8                              96%                        148%                     1.1%

9                              96%                        150%                     0.8%

10                           97%                        151%                     0.6%

11                           97%                        152%                     0.5%

12                           98%                        153%                     0.3%

13                           98%                        154%                     0.3%

14                           98%                        154%                     0.3%

15                           98%                        155%                     0.2%

16                           99%                        155%                     0.2%

17                           99%                        156%                     0.2%

18                           99%                        156%                     0.1%

19                           99%                        156%                     0.1%

20                           99%                        157%                     0.1%

As you can see, the benefits of calling start trailing off pretty steeply after the 5th or 6th attempt, we chose to prescribe 6 attempts as the cut-off. I beg to defer with LeadCritic in that this is a very statistically relevant study with a data set this size and of this heterogeneity, at least at a high level. I do agree though that to get maximum benefit from a study like this, one should conduct the same study but specifically for their own sales team to understand the effect of call attempts on their contact rate.


Nisheeth Singh

Director of Strategic Intelligence, Leads360

Speed Works - The Necessity of Speed in Sales

Tuesday, November 10th, 2009

The necessity of speed in sales is more apparent on the internet than anywhere else. In order to maximize the results on your leads, it’s essential that companies be able to react at the speed of business. This is especially true when it comes to internet leads. High quality internet leads are expensive and cannot be wasted, making it all the more important to be the first agent contacting a lead/potential client and to do so within five minutes of receiving that lead. The first salesperson to contact a quality lead is the one that makes the sale the majority of the time, and those that can get there inside of five minutes further improve their chances.

Leads that are contacted within the first five minutes are converted at a healthy rate of 19.86%, a number that drops to 4.96 percent in the first ten minutes, 2.12 in the first 15, and continue to fall precipitously the longer it takes to contact the lead. Of course, a higher rate of conversion isn’t the only reason speed in contacting leads is so important. There’s also the fact that contacting a lead within five minutes of their completing an online application increase contact rates by over 500% when compared to those attempting first contact at the 10 minute mark. Contacting in the first three minutes also improves the rate of qualifying high quality leads to as high as 76% while only 10% reached in the first six hours can expect the same results. Finally, over three quarters of buyers wind up closing with the company that contacts them first. Beating your competitors to the punch is essential and the most effective way to convert leads into business.

The early bird gets the worm, and a sales staff that can move immediately on high quality leads is more efficient and sees much better results.  Not only will they convert their leads at a much higher rate, but they will make a first contact more often and get in ahead of any competitors. Especially with the current state of the economy, it’s essential that neither time nor money be wasted on leads that don’t convert, and the best way to convert leads is to beat your competitors to the punch and get to potential buyers in the first five minutes.

New Leads360 Whitepaper! Eight Post-Recession Sales and Marketing Best Practices for Mortgage Professionals

Saturday, November 7th, 2009

We just completed our 9th whitepaper called Mortgage 2.0: Eight Post-Recession Sales and Marketing Best Practices for Mortgage Professionals. So much has changed in the last 18 months for mortgage professionals and B2C sales organizations in general. This whitepaper looks at what will be needed to succeed in the transforming mortgage broker landscape from a lead generation and lead management perspective.

We did quite a bit of research through interviews thousands of clients and partners as well as industry experts and have compiled many of the best practices that have worked in this very tough time, as well as providing some ideas about what is likely to come. We encourage you download it free and let us know what you think.