Many businesses won’t struggle to get sales, as they know they can get leads from word-of-mouth marketing and referrals from existing clients. But as a mortgage broker, you can’t simply leave attracting leads and converting them into paying clients to chance.
Instead, you have to put a structured, clear process in place, such as a sales pipeline, so you can see at a glance where current and potential sales opportunities sit in the sales process, and take action where necessary.
With a sales pipeline, you can view key information such as:
- How many deals and opportunities are open
- How much they are worth
- How long it takes your sales team to move prospects further along the sales funnel
- How many leads are converting into paying customers
- When you should follow up with a lead
- Whether your sales team are close to reaching their quota
If you can view this information quickly, clearly and holistically, you’ll be able to see where you can make improvements in managing the sales process, which could have a transformative impact on your revenue and wider business.
However, creating a sales pipeline is not the end of the process - it’s the beginning, as it should be seen as a live document that evolves and needs updating regularly.
We therefore wanted to share some tips on making sure it’s fit for purpose and ensuring this approach delivers results for your brokerage.
Use a CRM system
Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software has become a crucial tool for managing sales for countless businesses - one of many.
Not only does CRM software allow you to monitor all your sales activities, you can personalise interactions with prospects, schedule meetings, track the movement of leads and automate processes such as sending emails.
This can deliver great efficiencies for your business and make sure you have the means of managing your sales pipeline effectively. To learn more about building and strengthening relationships with prospects and clients, read our article Sales skills every broker should master.
Set up notifications to follow up with leads
Sales people might have to make many phone calls and send lots of emails to persuade a lead to sign up to your mortgage advice service.
With that in mind, it’s important to put a system in place to follow up with potential leads, such as using CRM software to notify the team when it’s time to get in touch. That can help to ensure that promising prospects don’t inadvertently slip through the net.
Concentrate on the best leads
Closing a deal can take time, so it’s well worth putting most of your time, effort and resources into converting the highest quality leads. By having the details on how much a potential client could be worth easily available, your sales team will be better able to prioritise, rather than spend too much time concentrating on prospects who don’t represent the type of client you want to attract and work with.
Identify dead leads as quickly as possible
If a prospect isn’t moving along the sales funnel and has been stuck at one stage for a long time, they need to be identified, so you can at least work out what’s stopping it from progressing. It may be that there is no clear reason or solution, in which case it might be worth giving up on these leads.
However, it’s only right to contact your prospect first, so they have a chance to say whether or not they’re still interested in working with you.
If they don’t answer or tell you they aren’t interested, you can concentrate on other sales opportunities instead, or at least put these dead leads on the backburner with a view to contacting them again in, say, six months or a year.
Make sure sales and marketing strategies are aligned
Both sales and marketing involve reaching out to encourage people to use your service, so it’s very important that they’re both putting across a clear, consistent message, and are working towards the same goals.
For example, both teams need to have the same view of who their ideal customer is, so they can concentrate their efforts accordingly. Otherwise, there could be a disconnect that ultimately leads to both your sales and marketing campaigns missing the mark and promising leads going elsewhere.
Identify best practice
Are particular teams, individuals or sales techniques proving particularly effective and delivering strong results? If so, it’s well worth spending time identifying what’s working best and where, so best practice can be promoted across your wider sales team.
Make your processes clear
It’s important that an individual or team owns the process of managing your sales pipeline, so you should make sure each person’s role is clearly defined and set out in writing.
This could be complemented by training courses on the basics of sales pipeline management and new developments your team may need to be aware of. To find out more about building a framework for your wider sales process, read our article How to Develop a Framework for your Sales Process.
Set a schedule for monitoring your pipeline
Keeping pipeline data up to date is crucial, or you risk it becoming disorganised and difficult to use and understand.
However, this can’t be done as and when, so you should set a clear schedule for maintaining and updating your sales pipeline, perhaps every three to six months.
That means you can be confident that key information such as the contact details of clients are up to date, details of dead leads have been removed and the information you want to look at is easily and quickly accessible.
For more information and tips on improving your sales process, download The Ultimate Guide to Selling Mortgages here.