Finding it difficult to look ahead to 2021 with clear eyes? We get it. Most brokers we speak to express that it’s been challenging to plan a business growth strategy with a pandemic going on, even despite an influx of new client inquiries and record-breaking low rates. With so much changing about how we do business daily, how do you future proof your mortgage business for success in the coming year?
After working with thousands of mortgage businesses, we’ve learned two ways mortgage businesses can grow their businesses in 2021:
Leveraging the right technology stack
Breaking bad lead habits
Don’t worry; we’re here to help!
Daniel Kimm, VP of Sales at Shape CRM Software recently sat down on a free webinar with Daniel Cross of lead management platform Verse.io to talk about the lead habits that are crippling your sales and marketing teams the most—and how you can use technology to fix them.
While many brokers understand the effectiveness and importance of tech, Cross and Kimm break down why specific tech stacks and adjustments in your sales funnel may bring more ROI and more significant revenue streams than others.
Bad Habit #1: Stop calling first.
Solution: Text first, then offer to call.
Can you remember the last time you answered a phone call (you weren’t expecting) from an unknown number?
You’re not alone–automated calls have changed the game with outbound marketing—and the downstream impact is wreaking havoc for brokers, too. There was a noticeable uptick of automated calls to consumers beginning in 2018 when “robocallers” took over, leading to more agitation and a massive increase in missed calls. Despite potential legitimate interest in your business from a mortgage lead, the rise of robocalls means that if you’re still outbound calling as the first contact, your success rates are going to plummet.
Daniel Kimm points to the new “disruption” phone calls have on consumers; schedules, which is why Shape also leverages outbound SMS for engaging with prospects. With 90% of consumers preferring text communication over phone calls, it’s a no-brainer that sales reps should leverage SMS more often to get the convo started at the lead’s convenience. An added benefit is that text messages receive a response 7.5x more than a traditional phone call, so leveraging a CRM with these capabilities is a foolproof way to boost your lead response rate.
While many prefer to text, not everyone desires to have a full conversation that way, which is why Verse texts a lead first to confirm it’s their preferred method of communication. Getting this consent allows the consumer to alert you of when they’re free to talk, but it also makes you seem more flexible and willing to work with their schedule while building a baseline of trust for the new client relationship.
CALL OUT: [39% of Marketing and Sales Directors said connecting with leads is the greatest challenge to lead conversion]
Bad Habit #2: Letting your leads sit idle.
Solution: Respond to leads quickly, and with automation when needed.
Customer referrals are less time-sensitive when it comes to speed-to-lead because they’re much warmer leads. But for any leads who come inbound from your ad campaigns, Google searches, or other organic or paid marketing strategies have instant gratification needs and require having their questions answered immediately. Your silence or inaction about their inquiry is their first impression of your customer service skills—and that seldom goes unnoticed.
Consider the fact that inbound leads are not only ones you’re paying good money for but also prospects that have an immediate problem and seek your services as a solution. If you’re not quick to respond or even connect with an automated message letting them know you’ll follow up soon, the likelihood of you losing that business grows exponentially by the minute.
On the other hand, while an influx of new leads sounds like a great problem to have, without a system in place to sort, qualify, assign, and automatically respond to inquiries may put your business at a disadvantage. Automating a speed-to-lead strategy with technology like Shape + Verse will help keep leads focused on your product or service–and less on your competition.
Bad Habit #3: Ignoring your database.
Solution: Don’t let money languish in your database.
Your database isn’t just your clearinghouse for all your leads and contacts—it can be a source of unearthed gold, provided you’re using the proper tools to mine.
When you house your contact database in a tool like Shape, you can quickly run advanced queries to organize and group lead opportunities with smart AI to give your sales team an easier way to focus on leads with the highest conversion likelihood.
Automating this type of lead engagement and qualification from your database will maximize your conversion rates and ensure no lead generation efforts (or dollars) go to waste. Not every lead will be ready to buy right away, but using proven techniques like email drip marketing or SMS campaigns, as we mentioned in tip #1, will help keep you, not your competition, top-of-mind.
Bad Habit #4: Take on work/life imbalance.
Solution: Have systems in place for after-hours to maintain team productivity.
Time is precious but also strange in fluid in these pandemic times. While your leads and customers may keep irregular hours, that doesn’t mean you and your team should be working nights and weekends to make your leads and prospects happy. Working weekends doesn’t help home life for your reps, nor does it make them more productive.
Instead, your business needs to leverage technology to automate manual processes, along with the check-ins reps might be conducting after hours and on weekends—like an inbound lead auto-responsder, or providing your leads with a client portal where they can self-service.
As your business grows, keeping your team energized and engaged, especially during an influx of low rates, is key to increasing a scalable and successful business.
Bad Habit #5: Your lead flows aren’t organized.
Solution: Use a CRM to keep all your data clean and efficient.
Leads are one of the most targeted audiences you can obtain—they’re interested people who raised their hand and showed some intent to buy. Having a manual process for responding to these leads is extremely inefficient and will prevent you from growing a profitable business entirely.
Instead, with the right CRM like Shape in place, you can design a workflow that prioritizes the right leads for your team, automatically assigns inbound them to the right sales rep, and prime them for a conversation with a bit of automated marketing before ever taking a sales call.
By prioritizing leads, you’ll also help sort and organize leads by which are the warmest, allowing your team to focus on those worth investing time into. Gone are the days of wasting endless time and productivity on prospects who aren’t a good fit for your business. Instead, using technology to organize your lead flow helps you better track engagement and conversion rates, helping your marketers leverage real data to spend their advertising dollars to generate higher-quality leads.
This entire lead optimization process ensures less lead waste and more ROI on all parts of the sales funnel.
Curious to dive deeper into the entire panel discussion and learn the lead habits to break in 2021? Watch the webinar on-demand now.
Looking for a technology suite built to help take you close and convert more clients than ever before?
Schedule some time to talk with our team about how Shape + Verse.io can take your mortgage business to the next level!