There are two ways to generate more sales: increase the number of leads going into the funnel, or improve the rate that you’re converting those leads to sales.
If your marketing team is supplying the right leads, but your sales team’s appointment-to-sale ratio is not at the desired level, it may be time to conduct a sales audit.
By digging deep into your database and looking at sales practices step-by-step – including leads, engagement and follow-up communication – you can help uncover the cause of low conversions and find ways to improve your team’s rate.
Before You Begin
Before starting the sales audit, first confirm that your CRM is capturing and managing your leads correctly.
Check that the following items are true before you begin:
- Your team sales team has been successfully trained to enter all prospect and customer data into your CRM
- All online lead sources have been integrated with your CRM
- Follow-up processes are in place for online leads, walk-ins, and REALTORS®.
If you answered yes to all those items above and your CRM machine seems to be running smoothly, it’s time to begin your sales audit.
Getting Started with Your Sales Audit
Below are the steps we used with a client in the past to help uncover their conversion issues. You may need to customize some of these steps so it better maps on to your particular situation, but following this framework will provide you with information you need to properly assess your sales practices.
1. Confirm CRM Set-up
As a first step, you need to make sure leads are being entered into your CRM correctly and automatically. This means reviewing if:
- Your sales agent rotation is set up correctly.
- New lead notifications are being delivered.
- Prospects are getting auto-reply emails with updated information.
- The correct triggers are in place for sales follow-up processes. (e.g.: a lead from Zillow might be added to a different sales process than a website lead)
Once you know that your CRM has been set up correctly, your next step is to review the sales processes you’re using.
2. Analyze Sales Processes
The goal of a sales process is to move the prospect along the sales funnel more quickly and effectively.
When they reach the next step in the buying process, your follow-up approach changes, and so should your follow-up.
For this step, you need to look at the following:
- Are right steps included in your sales process that will move the prospect deeper into the sales funnel?
- Are processes being triggered based on the right event (e.g. source type, activity type, etc.)?
- Are subsequent processes set up and ready to go?
It’s important to make sure the right processes are in place and being followed, and your audit will uncover the areas that need to be improved.
3. Research “Sure” Wins that Did Not Close
This may require you to dig a bit deeper into your database, but it’s useful to take a sample of leads that did not close. Your sample batch may be anywhere from 5-10 lost sales. Depending on the time you have, you could do more! Try to make sure that the sample chosen is a good cross section of sales.
For your research, look through the following material:
- Auto-reply emails
- 1-to-1 communication between the sales agent and the prospect
- Content and timing of marketing emails
While time consuming, this is a very important step in the audit because this is where you’re looking for missed opportunities. Did the agent miss a buying cue that was being clearly communicated by the prospect? Was the marketing material sent irrelevant? Was a particular message in the auto-reply email not resonating with the audience or not being communicated? Some gaps may be more obvious than others, but it’s at this step in the audit you’ll be able to identify and categorize potential issues in the process.
4. Take a Sample of Sales that Did Close
After researching the misses, look at those exchanges that ended in a sale to compare where things went right. There will be obvious differences in activity type and messaging that led to prospects writing a contract versus buying elsewhere.
When you look critically at each step of sales, and compare the wins with the losses, don’t be surprised if you uncover approaches from your own team that worked and led to sales. This information will help you proactively coach your team with proven techniques that worked for your unique market.
If you’re not getting the conversion rate you’d like to, conducting a sales audit is a great way to take a closer look at your sales process and help your business achieve its goals.
Tell us in the comments section if you’ve done a sales audit before and let us know your results. We’d love to hear about your experience!
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