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Archive for May, 2010

Tune In to Why You Can’t Trust a CRM with Student Recruitment

Friday, May 21st, 2010

UPDATED - Listen to the Recorded Radio Broadcast!

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The world of career universities and colleges is booming, yet many schools are losing out on prospective students due to out of date best practices and aged recruitment and enrollment solutions. Hear from the experts as they discuss why CRM’s are not the answer educators have been looking for. Leads360 founder Jeff Solomon will be joining Ryan Busch (founder of .eduMarketer and Principal of Higher Ed Gadfly–a digital marketing, social media, and e-learning innovation consultancy) and Josef Katz (manager of .eduMarketer and VP of Marketing for StraighterLine) for a discussion about “Why You Can’t Trust a CRM with Student Recruitment.”

“Show Summary: The term Customer Relationship Management (CRM) has become a must-have for post-secondary institutions. Many schools begin their journey towards improved enrollment business processes and recruitment results by looking at a CRM. However, there is often a gaping chasm between what a CRM can do in the recruitment process and what it needs to do. A CRM is often not the one-size-fits-all solution they are portrayed to be, especially when it comes to recruitment management. This .eduMarketer Radio Show will discuss what a CRM is good for and what it lacks.”

Pass Information to Your Prospects to Motivate Them to Buy

Monday, May 17th, 2010

For instance, the top 10 and bottom 10 housing markets in the U.S.

At the Economic Outlook conference, Celia Chen of Moody’s shared her Top 10 and Bottom 10 housing markets to invest in. Ms. Chen is senior director of the Moody’s Economy.com research staff, specializing in housing economics. Her assessments are based on 5 year forecast models for each market.

Click here to read the whole list, but the top 10 are:

  • Bend, OR
  • Bremerton, WA
  • Cape Coral, FL
  • Lakeland, FL
  • Medford, OR
  • Palm Bay, FL
  • Palm Coast, FL
  • Port St. Lucie, FL
  • Punta Gorda, FL
  • Tacoma WA (Metropolitan division)

    If these are the best opportunities for investing in a home in the nation, then people who are in those areas already thinking about buying a home or refinancing their mortgage should know. This is the kind of information about the broader market that can motivate individuals to buy.

    With lead management software it is easy to shake the tree in those areas. Using filters, you can quickly and easily send out an email to prospects whose home cities or states match those in the list. Let them know that homes in their market have been identified by being a good investment. Be the one to share the good news and be the one to close the deal.

    Home Buyers Spending No More Time Researching Mortgages Than in 2008

    Friday, May 14th, 2010

    According to a new survey conducted on nearly 2800 adults, home buyers are spending no more time researching mortgages than they did in before they did in 2008. The survey was carried out by Harris Interactive on behalf of Zillow and indicates that home buyers are spending an average of five hours researching mortgages and actually soliciting fewer quotes than they did in 2008; three instead of the earlier average of four.

    A home is one of the largest investments most people will make in their lives and yet some people spend as little as two hours researching mortgages before buying. According to research this is about the same amount of time spent researching a new computer, or planning vacation.  Buying a car actually gets an average of ten hours of research, twice that of a mortgage.

    It just doesn’t appear to be the type of thing that most people like thinking about, so they ignore the importance of the purchase.

    But the study also reveals that 65% of people who have bought homes in the last 5 years will do things differently when they buy a house next time.

    There is a lot of opportunity for the mortgage broker who is able to educate his clients on the best mortgage option. When using a lead management system, it’s easy to nurture leads with drip marketing emails that contain useful information in manageable pieces. And helping borrowers understand their mortgages and helping them to get the best deal increases the broker’s likelihood of getting referral business.

    To Recycle or Not To Recycle… That Is The Question

    Tuesday, May 11th, 2010

    Check out Jeff Solomon’s new post over at leadcritic.com. He explains lead recycling, “the process after a newly generated lead has been assigned to a salesperson and then automatically and re-assigned to another salesperson,” and explores some of the questions and concerns that typical “recyclers” can face.

    Click here for another great read from Jeff, or checkout an excerpt from the article explaining some of our upcoming research below!

    “Once you’ve got your recycling times optimized, the actual recycle rate (percentage of leads that are recycled) can be a very powerful metric to manage against. Internally at Leads360, we use the recycle rate metric to drive lead distribution volumes for individual sales reps. Each week we look at the recycle rate for our sales reps; those who fall below the target rate are shut off from new lead distribution for a period. You can imagine the impact this has on our sales reps and you can see how recycling can be a powerful metric to manage from.

    Recently we started looking into this metric on behalf of our clients and found some very inconsistent data, thus the impetus for this article. We’ve begun to synthesize how our clients use recycling and are trying to determine some best practice baselines. I hope to share them first on Lead Critic when we come up with something.”

    Top 5 Small Business Tips for Lead Management

    Monday, May 10th, 2010

    Leads360 founder Jeff Solomon was recently quoted by The Los Angeles Times in an article entitled “Small Business Q&A: How to improve sales.” Knowing Jeff’s expertise in sales, The Times asked for Jeff’s opinion on how small businesses can improve their sales capabilities. Although much of Jeff’s thoughts were not included in the short article, I think that Jeff had some extremely valuable points that can help businesses of any size. Jeff’s goals are simple, increase sales, decrease costs, and thrive. Check out some of Jeff’s thoughts below, or click here to read the article.

    “Sales leads are the lifeblood of just about every small business. With more customers going online to research and buy products every day, The Internet has made lead generation easier than ever before for small businesses. Of course, generating leads is only ½ the battle. Turning leads into revenue requires sales efforts to convert them.  Here are some tips that small businesses use to increase conversion rates on their leads:

    1)      Implement a lead management system – if you are receiving leads by email or in a CSV/Excel file you are probably not maximizing sales effectiveness. Having a lead management system to automate the receipt, distribution and tracking of leads can have a huge impact on overall conversion rates.

    2)      Call new leads quickly – In particular if you are getting leads from your website or from search engine marketing you need to call them back quickly. Research shows that calling new leads in the first 2 minutes can increase conversion rates by more than 350%. Also consider responding in the evening or on weekends as those leads have a higher conversion rate. Calling a lead between 4-10 pm has a 41% better chance of converting. Calling a Sat lead the same day has a 58% better chance of converting.

    3)      Create a consistent sales process – When everyone is working leads in a different way it’s impossible to see what is driving results and what isn’t.

    4)      Track performance of your lead sources – the 80/20 (or maybe 90/10) rule applies, so probably a small amount of your lead generation efforts are driving the bulk of your sales

    5)      Be persistent – Not all leads convert during the first conversation so follow-up frequently with emails and calls. Of course you can’t convert a lead you haven’t spoken with. Research suggests that calling leads six times optimizes contact rates. Be sure to nurture leads that don’t convert right away. Sending 2-4 nurture emails over the lifecycle of the lead can increase conversion by more than 50%.”

    Establishing Trust Turns Prospects Into Customers

    Friday, May 7th, 2010

    How do you keep them coming back to your small business? This is the question posed in this article. Getting customers to show up and keep showing up is the fundamental challenge. There are a lot of little extra touches that can be provided to make prospects feel like your place of business is ‘their place’; the place where they want to come.

    This article mostly addresses this challenge from a retail perspective. But no matter what your business, getting customers to show up is the thing that keeps you afloat. In a business that doesn’t have a physical location where customers show up, there is still something to be said for creating a ‘place’ where the prospect feels comfortable. This place is not physical, but it’s no less real. Maybe it is established on a phone call from a sales agent. And then it is bolstered by follow up emails that provide relevant content.

    This consistent patterned content establishes rapport. It establishes trust. How do you make sure that no one falls through the cracks? Lead Management Software is the right tool for the job. After many clever examples of how business owners keep their customers coming back the writer of this article concludes that you have to out-think, not out-spend your competition. It’s good to both if you can, but why spend more than you need to. Lead Management Software helps sales people be the first person in contact with a prospect. It gets you in touch fast, and it automates as much of the repetitive work of keeping in touch with prospects as possible. Being able to get in touch first and staying in touch is the best way to establish a relationship with a prospect and turn them into a customer.

    Smallbiztechnology.com Interview With Jeff Solomon

    Thursday, May 6th, 2010

    Leads360 founder Jeff Solomon recently was interviewed by Smallbiztechnology.com for an article entitled “Managing Your Sales leads: CRM (Nor Excel) Is Not The Answer.” Jeff does a phenomenal job articulating the proven benefits that companies can instantly start to take advantage of when they commit to a lead management solution like Leads360.

    Check out an excerpt from the article below.

    “If businesses are not using a particular lead management technology, what are they using?

    The truth is that many small businesses do not use any type of lead management or CRM application. For companies that have little or no marketing program (i.e., they get a few referrals a month or something like that), this may not have a huge impact. But most small businesses survive on leads and have some type of lead generation program. Whether they use Google Adwords or simply drive organic traffic to their website, chances are they are getting leads online. If they are, not having a system to manage those leads is a big mistake. Some companies try to get by on managing leads in Outlook or another email program; some try to use Excel. And a lot of small businesses manage leads on printed paper. None of these methods work well, in particular if the company has more than one person selling.”

    Check out the full article here.