By Sara Wise, Vice President, Strategic Services
The great thing about customer relationship management software (e.g., REPS and Salesforce) is that these tools give you great data to evaluate your sales and marketing activity. Unfortunately, without knowing what to look for in the abundance of data these programs provide, you can end up with analysis paralysis. To simplify, here are five easy data points to use when your sales activity is off track.
1.) Start by looking at the number of weekly appointments your sales team has had over the past four months.
Have they been achieving their weekly goals? If so, what has been the result of those appointments? You should explore what is happening during those appointments to discover why leads are not converting to depositors. Your sales team should be strategizing how to advance each lead along the pipeline and convert appointments to depositors.
2.) If you are not achieving your weekly appointment goals, check to see if you are achieving your completed call goals.
Since calls result in appointments, this is a critical component of the sales cycle. Calls should be used to nurture prospects and conduct discovery. As you learn more about each prospect, finding reasons for follow up calls becomes easier. If you are achieving your call volume, but not converting prospects to appointments, team members should listen in on each others calls to brainstorm additional tactics to use. In some cases, formal training may be necessary.
3.) If you are not achieving your weekly call goals, then you should explore whether there is a sufficient number of active leads in the database.
Start by looking at your lead base. You want approximately 350 to 400 active leads per full-time sales team member. This number is subject to increase or decrease depending on the number of leads necessary in the database in relation to the number of sales necessary. If you have an adequate size lead base for your team, beginning to explore the frequency of contact with leads by status code. The most frequent contact should occur with the hottest leads (once per week) and less frequent contact with the coldest leads (twice a year).
4.) If you don’t have enough leads in your lead base, you’ll want to increase the size of the active lead base.
Start by looking at how many leads you are classifying as lost each month and the criteria you are using. If you are classifying leads as lost without doing sufficient discovery, you are losing valuable leads. You should have specific criteria for when to classify leads as lost that all team members follow.Then you should look at the number of new leads you are generating each month and compare it to the number of lost leads. If you are regularly losing more leads per month than gaining new inquires, the size of your lead base is declining and you’ll need to increase your lead generation budget.
5.) Finally, you should evaluate if your lead generation budget is sufficient to support the number of leads you want to generate.
Start by calculating your cost per lead. To do this, take the lead generation budget divided by the number of leads using data from the two previous years. Typically CCRCs spend $500 or more per lead.If you have a lower cost per lead than this, there are two possibilities. The first is that you are generating a sufficient number of new leads per year and outperforming industry benchmarks. The other possibility is that you are not generating a sufficient number of leads and are primarily generating leads from lower cost lead sources (such as referrals). In this case, increase your spending on more costly lead sources to have enough leads to meet your census goals.
These data points will give you a great starting point for evaluating why you are behind on achieving your sales and occupancy goals. With this information, you and your team can get back on track.