The mapped sales process for homebuilders, like so many other businesses, is linear. Leads are recommended to you or see your marketing, make contact, talk to the OSC, move on to the onsite team, then to the design center, and so on. It’s methodical, and it has been proven to work – but is it the best model? We would argue that it’s not. While the linear sales process is tried and true, it leaves a lot of room for leads to fall out of the funnel as they feel passed from one person to the next. There’s no one for them to feel anchored to, and even if they’re enthusiastic about purchasing their new home, they’re aware that they are just a customer. A circular sales process is the future.
A Circular Sales Process is the Future
So what is a circular sales process and why is it the future? Think of the linear sales process as a road trip your buyer sets out on. Each stop is a touch point with your team, and the buyer requires their help in reaching the next touch point. If anything goes wrong, your buyer may take a wrong turn and not return. A circular sales process ensures they never stray far. Imagine instead that your buyer is in a room surrounded by your team in a circle. The buyer can go around to each team member one by one, but the other team members are always close by to give them guidance. In a linear sales process, the OSC is one very brief touch point. They make that first contact with a buyer, set up the appointment for the onsite team, and never speak to them again. It’s frankly a waste of their skills. A circular sales process places your OSC in the center of the circle, always there to guide your buyer on their journey as they move through the segments of the pie. The only way you’re going to lose that buyer is if they are not ready to buy from you.
OSCs at the Center
We have to let go of the idea that the OSC only talks to a lead if they come to you through a contact form or call. OSCs are nurturers by nature; when allowed to flex their OSC muscles, they can get to know a buyer better than anyone else in your company, acting as their trusted touch point should they have any questions. Your on-site sales agents need to have the freedom to focus on what they know they’re good at, and OSCs can do the same. For OSCs, that’s segmentation and nurturing leads. They should talk to every person at some point in the process, so give your OSC the ability to manage the entire funnel.
Preparing for the Future
Moving from a linear sales process to a circular one takes preparation. You need to look at your CRM and think about if it’s the right one to use for your new sales process. Can it handle it? Are the fields and histories you’re creating now going to help you segment your leads in the future? To give your OSC the ability to manage your funnel, you can slim down your ratings into a true funneled pipeline, utilizing histories and processes for segmentation, and surveying your leads to fill in the gaps. If you commit to the idea that the lead’s path is no longer linear, and instead a pie made up of little pieces that make it whole, you’ll lose fewer buyers and, in the process, create an unforgettable customer experience.