Friday, January 28, 2011

FIXING LEAKY SALES PIPELINE


Life is not easy and neither is selling modular homes.  Even though modular homes are a great product, buying a new home  is still a stressful decision for home buyers since it is such a big ticket item.  With economic woes from coast to coast, it has been even harder to close the deal on modular home purchases.  It can really feel like the industry is travelling through a desert right now.  I can't make it rain new orders but I can give you some helpful tips to maximize your sales juice.

Breakdown Obstacles for New Customers
Make sure customers can easily contact you by whatever method they prefer.  If someone is looking to spend $200,000 on a modular home, why not let them decide how they want to communicate with?  Make sure each page of your website has your phone number clearly displayed.  While you are at it make sure your phone number is a toll free number.  It will help remove hesitation a person out of state might have of calling you long distance.
 
Having a toll free phone number is great, but there are some people that prefer email over phone calls.  Maybe they worry about being placed on hold or they just want your answers in email that they can reread, it doesn't matter.  You should make it as easy as possible for a new customer to contact you.   Make sure to also post an email address on each of your web pages.  If you would rather not post an email address online, then at least post a contact form.
 
Monitor Your Sales Team
Having customers contact you is good, but it is totally useless if your sales team is not quickly following-up.  Make sure the phone calls are being answered.  A great way to lose a potential customer is for their first experience of your company is to be placed on hold for 10 minutes or for the phone to just keeping ringing.  Unfortunately, this is a common occurrence for our mystery shopper.  Don't think this is can happen at your company?  Be safe and regularly test your sales team.  Have a friend call your office once a month and see how well they are handled.  Don't forget about your email, test that as well.  Make sure that someone covers whenever the person responsible for customer responses goes on vacation.
 
Monitor Your Builder Network
Many larger modular factories simply forward the sales leads to the builder network.   This can help your customers get faster pricing and other answers from their local builder.  This can also be a recipe for lost sales if your local builder is busy with other projects or going on vacation and decides not to respond.  How do I know this?  Because this is what some modular factories told our mystery shopper when they were asked why they never responded. 
 
To protect yourself, simply follow-up with all customers within 24-48 hours to make sure they are happy with the service from their local builder.  This will help you identify any orphaned sales leads and also give you a second chance in case there was some reason the customer didn't like your local builder.  If your local builder is doing a good job with your sales leads then a follow-up from the factory simply reinforces the image that you care about customer service.  Being perceived as valuing customer service makes it easier to close the deal with customers.
 
I hope this helps you.  

If you are interested in other ways to promote your modular company make sure to check out the free options we provide on Modular Today http://www.modulartoday.com/addinformation.html.

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