Your CRM (Customer Relationship Management) system has the ability to smooth the sales process, creating a seamless experience for your customers, but many home builders aren’t taking the time to optimize their CRM.
A CRM can do more than simply be a digital Rolodex. With the right CRM or with the right optimization, your CRM can automate parts of the sales process, removing the chance for human error and ensuring your lead receives the right information at the perfect time.
Here are some of the best ways to optimize your CRM:
7 Ways to Optimize Your CRM as a Home Builder
- Customize Your Sales Funnel Template
Most CRMs come with a template (or multiple templates) you can use to create your sales funnel, and industry-specific CRMs often have templates you may be able to use as-is when you first set it up. However, years later it may no longer be the optimal funnel for your business. Take a look at your sales funnel and think about if any steps are missing, any areas where you often lose leads and how you can correct that, and any extraneous steps. Work with your OSC (Online Sales Concierge) and allow them to suggest changes since they’re working directly with leads and customers day-in, day-out.
- Take Advantage of Automation
One of the benefits of an OSC is their ability to give customers a one-on-one experience remotely, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be taking advantage of your CRM’s automation capabilities to reach out to customers at the right time. CRMs can help you automate:
- Capturing email addresses
- Capturing customer information
- Email automation (welcome emails, responses to questions, onboarding, lead recovery)
- Set up triggers to notify team members to take action
- Track KPIs
If you have KPI tracking software you can disregard this point, but if you track your targets on paper or spreadsheets, consider taking advantage of KPI tracking built into your CRM. This will help you track things like lost leads, number of active leads, sales closed, complaints, and more. When your CRM tracks this for you, you can access accurate data and make better decisions.
- Unify Your Team
Your CRM should unify your team members and help them work collaboratively. Your OSC, other sales team members, and other customer support teams should all be on the same system and able to tag and speak to one another within the CRM system. This will help reduce instances where customers feel like they’re being passed from one isolated team member to the next without a good answer to their problem or question. With more of our team members working remotely, this kind of collaboration is essential to a good customer experience. Make sure you are taking advantage of collaborative tools in your CRM.
- Make Sure Your Team Can Use It Intuitively
If your team members are constantly Googling how to do something with it months after they started using it, then there’s something wrong. The goal of a CRM isn’t just to hold information on leads (a spreadsheet can do that) so it needs to be intuitive to use. If you find your team members are putting off using it and storing information in another way most of the time or have an additional tool they use to keep track of customer information, then you either need to add custom fields or use a different CRM system.
- Integrate It With Other Platforms
Your CRM shouldn’t (or at least doesn’t need to) stand alone. While it is still difficult to find a CRM that does everything you’re looking for, most now integrate with other major tools such as your website, email marketing tools, surveys, your customer portal, and builder resource management tools. If you aren’t taking advantage of your CRM’s integration tools, look into if it’s possible so you can streamline your processes and make sure customers receive the essential information they need and not information they don’t.
- Go Cloud-Based
Many CRMs now offer some level of cloud capability, which can help your sales team on the ground access the same information as your OSC. If your sales team showing a family a plot or home has access to the information your OSC has gathered on their smartphone or tablet, they can personalize the experience without retreading ground they’ve already covered with the OSC.
If your CRM isn’t working for you, don’t be afraid to change. It can feel like a monumental task to move to a new CRM system, but that initial upheaval will be negated by the ease of a CRM that meets all your needs. When you find a CRM that integrates perfectly with your other tools and is easy for your team to use, make sure you pay attention to updates and explore how these updates can further streamline your sales process. It’s easy to ignore emails about new features but by paying attention to optimization opportunities, your CRM will drive sales for you, rather than simply being a source of information for your sales team.