New Year, New Benchmarks
In the recent Professional Builder article, “New Year, New Benchmarks for Measuring Online Sales,” Mike Lyon unveiled the latest indicators of online sales success for the new home industry.
It’s no surprise that as home builders and developers analyze their data and improve their campaigns, some benchmarks are getting higher. Here’s a recap from the article:
- 100% of home buyers are influenced by the Internet
- 1-3% of online visitors convert to leads
- Lead-to-appointment ratio has increased from 20 to 30+%
- Appointment-to-sale ratio has decreased from 30 to 20+%
- Percentage of sales from online leads increased from 25 to 30+%
Understanding the buyer’s funnel and your conversion numbers is critical to getting the most from your sales and marketing campaigns. A CRM for new home sales can help at each stage of the funnel to understand your numbers and improve them. Here’s how:
Online Visitor to Lead
The key to success with all these sources is capturing lead information automatically and seamlessly. Your CRM should:
- Generate a profile for each new lead with complete contact and demographic information.
- Assign a sales process based on pre-selected trigger criteria.
- Send an instant auto-reply email thanking them for their submission.
- Notify the assigned sales agent immediately that there’s a new lead.
With these automated steps, your lead has already had their first touch point and the sales process is well under way.
Lead to Appointment
Here is where the magic of CRM happens – the follow-up process. Each online lead is valuable. And each should be treated that way. HHHunt Homes in Virginia launched an online sales program in early 2017, complete with a skilled Online Sales Counselor (Laura Ellis won 2018 OSC of the Year), Lasso’s sales processes, and executive support. In just eight months, 13 percent of all company sales originated with an online lead, and their numbers continue to climb. This is an example of what happens when online leads are carefully nurtured, and it can happen for you.
In fact, according to the Professional Builder article, an online prospect who keeps an appointment is more likely to convert to a sale than a walk-in prospect. Here’s how a CRM can help during this phase of the buyer’s journey:
- Assign follow-up processes to leads based on their unique interests and needs, so that messages are personal and relevant.
- Send automated reminders of activities so that no lead slips between the cracks.
- Save time by leveraging email templates that can be personalized and sent in just a few clicks.
- Know when a prospect is active on your website so that you can gauge interest and send timely communication.
- For Online Sales Counselors, easily transfer online leads to onsite staff when they make an appointment and maintain communication about that lead.
Appointment to Sale
At this point in the buyer’s journey, the sales team has collected valuable information about the prospect. By recording this information into a central CRM system, everyone on your team has a better understanding of the prospect and can send him/her relevant information. Here are some other ways CRM can organize information at this phase:
- Link the profiles of everyone involved in a transaction, include multiple buyers, real estate agents and lenders.
- Track all email and communication history.
- Upload documents associated with a home or unit, including contracts, amendments, floor plans, etc.
- Continue to nurture prospects who don’t buy with consistent, relevant messaging in order to stay top-of-mind.
It All Adds Up
Home builders and developers are beginning to understand how much online leads can positively impact their bottom lines. It is an investment, however, and the right people, processes and program must be in place to fully leverage these leads. A CRM system is an integral component of any successful online sales program. In fact, Lasso clients who fully commit to CRM are seeing the benchmarks described by Mike and higher.
If you are interested in learning more about how Lasso can help you hit the new industry benchmarks, schedule a demo today.