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Archive for August, 2011

Staying in the Zone

Wednesday, August 24th, 2011

It is kind of a difficult problem to understand, but sometimes when people are working, and they can’t figure out what to do next, they can stall out. The stalling may last minutes, it may last hours. One example of the problem is in the context of a sales team. When confronted with the decision of whom to call next, a sales rep must switch his thinking from selling to scheduling and prioritizing. Scheduling and prioritizing, it might be argued, are part of the sales reps job. And this assertion is fair. But the administrative tasks that must be performed by a sales rep are really just a necessary evil. Necessary, because a sales rep can’t reach blindly into their list of leads and evil because when you’re looking for it, there is a lot of administrative work to be done. And it can easily expand to fill the time of a sales rep. It is work that does little to make sales reps better at selling.

Lead Management software automatically prioritizes leads to put the one lead at the top of the list that is most in need of a contact attempt. Lead prioritization rules can be configured to fit any workflow. But at a glance, here’s how they work out of the box: Any lead with a scheduled appointment in the next few minutes tops your list of prioritized leads. Then come brand new leads with zero contact attempts. Then leads are listed according to an optimal lead follow-up strategy that dictates that each lead receives six call attempts before being shifted into a nurture status. The six calls attempts are scheduled at strategic intervals and cause leads to appear at the top of the prioritized list only when the time has come for their next contact attempt.

Switching out of selling mode into administrative mode is not just costly in terms of how much time it takes. Making this cognitive switch takes a sales rep out of the selling zone. The selling zone is where each call is preparation for the next and success compounds success. The selling zone is where sales reps gather momentum and gain confidence. Minimizing administrative decision making keeps a sales reps mind fresh and focused on selling.

Getting from Here to There

Tuesday, August 23rd, 2011

What milestones do leads hit between brand new and closed? Having them mapped out is an important aspect of reproducing your success. A lead passes through several dispositions after it enters your funnel. What are they? Probably a lead goes from “New” to “Contacted”; from “Contacted” to “Qualified”; etc… How are you ensuring that leads follow your established best practices? Or can sales reps work leads as they see fit?

If your sales reps are free to work leads according to their own standards, by what means are you able find out if leads are being ignored.

If you are using lead management, you can define these stages of the sales cycle to ensure that none of them are missed. All of your leads are being worked according to your best practices. It is not only possible to make sure that leads pass through all of the required milestones but to see performance metrics that show at what percentages, and at what speed leads are reaching milestones.

Creating an enforceable, repeatable approach to working leads is the best way to make sure that you are getting the most ROI on your marketing spend.

New Research: Mortgage Lenders Hurt Themselves With Unresponsive Customer Service

Wednesday, August 10th, 2011

Today is one of those days that we really take pride in at Leads360 because we were able to release new research into the wild.  Putting our latest study together took a lot of effort from many team members and required developing new proprietary processes just to collect highly accurate data.   After that comes all of the analysis, writing, design, and other associated hard work.  Today it’s available for you to read, use and enjoy. Download our new mortgage industry research.

Mortgage Lenders Fail to Respond to Customer Inquiries

New Leads360 Research Study Highlights Surprising Gaps in Responsiveness; 74% of Lenders Fail to Respond to Prospective Customers Promptly

LOS ANGELES, CA-(Marketwire - Aug 10, 2021) - Leads360, the industry leader in sales lead management software which serves over 2500 banks, brokers, and lending institutions, today announced the findings of new research into sales effectiveness in the competitive residential loan origination market. This new study, entitled “Leading Mortgage Lenders Keep Prospects Waiting,” outlines how major mortgage lenders are failing to promptly and persistently respond to valuable new loan inquiries.

Leads360 studied the inquiry response patterns of large lenders and compared their ability to promptly respond to new prospects by phone and email as well as the companies’ ability to thoroughly follow-up with leads over time. “Mortgage leads are valuable and extremely time-sensitive with hundreds of companies potentially competing to offer a very similar loan,” said Nick Hedges, President and CEO of Leads360. “We were shocked to find most lenders so cavalier about responding to loan inquiries. This research shows that there is a very clear opportunity for lenders to improve their customer responsiveness, originate more loans and better serve their customers, their communities and their shareholders.”

According to the study, 74% of lenders, including leading mortgage originators JPMorgan Chase, CitiMortgage, and GMAC Mortgage, failed to call prospective customers within 24 hours of their initial inquiry. In general, lenders averaged more than 6 days to call a new loan inquiry and more than 50% of lenders failed to make more than a single attempt to call the leads they received. “Lenders should measure response times in minutes or seconds, not hours or even days,” said Mr. Hedges. “Lenders that continue to ignore the basic tenets of sales and customer service in the internet era will be destined to underperform compared to peers and competitors that have implemented the appropriate technologies and processes to compete at the speed that consumers expect.”

The new study, “Leading Mortgage Lenders Keep Prospects Waiting,” is available for download at Leads360.com. See how each of the following companies performed across four key metrics and benchmarks:

  • Ameriprise Financial, Inc.
  • Branch Banking and Trust Company, a subsidiary of BB&T Corporation
  • JPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A. a subsidiary of JP Morgan Chase & Co.
  • CitiMortgage, a subsidiary of CitiGroup, Inc.
  • Flagstar Bank, a subsidiary of Flagstar Bancorp, Inc.
  • GMAC Mortgage, a subsidiary of Ally Financial Inc.
  • HSBC Mortgage Services, a subsidiary of HSBC Holdings plc (ADR)
  • Huntington National Bank, a subsidiary of Huntington Bancshares Inc.
  • Key Bank, a subsidiary of KeyCorp
  • MetLife Bank, N.A. a subsidiary of MetLife, Inc.
  • OneWest Bank, FSB
  • PNC Mortgage, a subsidiary of The PNC Financial Services Group, Inc.
  • Provident Funding Associates, L.P.
  • Quicken Loans Inc.
  • Regions Mortgage, a subsidiary of Regions Financial Corp
  • SunTrust Mortgage, Inc. a subsidiary of SunTrust Banks, Inc.
  • U.S. Bank, a subsidiary of U.S. Bancorp
  • Wells Fargo Home Mortgage, a subsidiary of Wells Fargo & Company

About Leads360
Founded in 2004 and headquartered in Los Angeles, Calif., Leads360 develops software-as-a-service (SaaS) solutions for managing sales leads. Distinguished by its focus on solutions that address the unique needs of businesses who sell to consumers, Leads360 is recognized as a market and technology leader, managing more than 40 million leads for over 5,000 clients. With a suite of solutions scaled for enterprise sales organizations as well as small businesses, the company offers the industry’s most comprehensive and configurable lead management platform.

Leads360 enables companies to distribute, track, analyze and convert sales leads using a customizable lead management workflow. Professional services, including training and sales process consulting, are also offered to deliver a highly effective solution for converting sales leads. Businesses look to Leads360 for solutions that allow them to maximize their investment in leads generated both online and from traditional sources, and ultimately increase sales closure rates for greater revenue. To learn more about Leads360, please visit www.leads360.com.

Follow Leads360 on Twitter: www.twitter.com/Leads360.

Lead Management Best Practices for CRM? Use LMS!

Wednesday, August 10th, 2011

Here’s a post about lead management best practices in Salesforce.  It has some good suggestions for how to manage leads using the Salesforce CRM. But the problem with using a CRM to manage leads, of course, is that leads and customers are not the same thing and should be treated as different entities with different needs. Customer Relationship Management may offer some tools for managing leads, but the fact of the matter is that CRM is developed to accomplish the task of managing customer relationships, not establishing them. Devotees of CRM can think of lead management software as CRE, Customer Relationship Establishment. Lead management is built to achieve a few certain results better than any other solution; e.g., be the first to get a prospect on the phone and stay in regular contact with the prospect until it closes. If those simple truths sound obvious, like foregone conclusions, consider this new research on lead response in the mortgage industry which found that in general, lenders averaged more than six days to call a new loan inquiry and more than half of lenders failed to make more than a single attempt to call the leads they received.

The value of lead management software is that it distributes leads immediately to eligible sales reps by ringing their phone. When a prospect submits an online inquiry, that prospect will get a call from a rep in under a minute. That rep has the first opportunity to build a relationship with the lead, and is reaching the lead while the leads mind is focused on wanting to know more about the product or service the rep is offering.

The post linked at the top of this page talks about customizing statuses of leads in Salesforce to track leads through the sales cycle. Lead management software ships with a best practices workflow as well as lead prioritization to ensure that all leads are contacted quickly and followed up on in accordance with best practices and company policy.

Salesforce is great at helping companies manage customer relationships, but trying to convert leads with any CRM equals a decision to be slower and more inconsistent than any competitor who is using LMS.

What’s the Problem?

Monday, August 8th, 2011

Last week there was an interesting post on the SLMA blog. The SLMA asked all of their new members what were the biggest problems they were facing. There were five answers that generated the most responses. The problems break down 55%/32%/13% into three main categories: Generating Leads, Working Leads, and Calculating ROI. Click here for the full breakdown.

Each of these problems can be helped by lead management software. The first category of issues, Generating Leads, coming in with 55% of responses is not the primary focus of lead management software. There are some tools and solutions that can be leveraged to generate more leads, but this is not the core feature set of lead management software. What LMS can provide as a way of generating more leads is a custom form generator that enables you to create web forms that can be easily embedded on different landing pages on your website. Admittedly, this is only one piece of the puzzle when it comes to generating new leads. The purpose of this feature is really to ensure that leads captured on your website are followed up on in accordance with best practices. So it pre-supposes that you have a search marketing strategies in place.

The other two categories, Working Leads and Calculating ROI are problems that lead management software was developed to solve. Together, these two received 32% of the responses. The two answers that were listed under the rubric of working leads were “Managing Inquiries” and “Working with Sales Management on Follow-up.” Managing Inquires includes ensuring that leads are contacted quickly and followed up on consistently. Lead management achieves these goals with an intelligent distribution engine that works in conjunction with a lead dialer to make get sales reps on the phone with leads within minutes of leads inquiry. Automated Drip Marketing Emails and Lead Prioritization make sure that prospects are followed up on appropriately both via email and on the phone.

The third category, Calculating ROI, received 13%  of the responses. Lead management software offers you a clear view of the performance of all of your lead sources and sales reps. The reporting features are easy to use and comprehensive in their scope. If you want to review the efficacy of any aspect of your lead management strategy, it is easy to create a custom report to do so. You don’t have to stop at questions like, “How well are my lead sources performing?”  You can drill down to view performance data on every aspect of your business and answer questions like: “How well are my lead distribution strategies working?” or “What percentage of leads from a given lead source are qualified by one sales rep versus another?” Running reports helps you gain insights that can help you manage your sales team better and get better results.

Lead management software solves a lot of the most common problems.

Join us at Leadscon New York August 24th-25th

Friday, August 5th, 2011

We are again proud to sponsor Leadscon New York and are looking forward to seeing all of our partners and many of our clients on site. If you have not yet gotten your tickets please visit this link for a special discount: http://www.leadscon.com/special-discount-leads360.html