In our last blog, we explored one of the biggest challenges in the mortgage lending industry: its low lead conversion rate. Yes, you might have countless options for generating and buying leads in 2023. But if only around 3% of those leads close, you’re going to be spending a lot on sales and marketing, potentially for little return.
That last blog explored a few reasons why many lending institutions struggle to close leads. Today, we want to look at the opposite side of that coin.
What can you and your sales team be doing to increase your mortgage lead conversion rate? We have six tips.
#1: Develop a tracking system
First up, it’s time to evaluate your current lead conversion rate. And that’s impossible to do if your team doesn’t have a way to track leads.
The second you get a lead, it should go into your CRM. In fact, your website should include automated CRM integration, meaning that if someone fills out a contact form or completes a lead workflow on a landing page, their data gets automatically input into your system.
Just capturing them as a lead in your CRM isn’t enough, though. It’s also important to train your sales team to log calls, emails, texts, meetings, and any other contact there. This way, your sales managers and salespeople can see when a lead is due for their next touch.
In fact, a lot of CRMs can help to automate this for you, with everything from contact reminders that go out to the appropriate salesperson to drip email flows to keep the lead warm.
#2: Teach your team the power of persistence
Sales is always about consistent follow-through, but that gets particularly important in an industry that already has a low lead conversion rate (we’re looking at you, mortgage lending).
Remind your team that on average, it takes seven touches to even qualify a lead.
Most people approach the homebuying process in chunks. They might go to see a house one day, fall in love, and start looking at mortgage options right when they get home. A couple of days later, though, all of the other necessities of life have crept back in. Sure, they’re probably still interested in getting that mortgage. But they might (read: likely will) need a push to refocus their attention. And that’s precisely where your sales team comes in.
With regular light touches (like a very brief email to check in or a text to ask if they have any questions), your salespeople can stay on leads’ radar until they’re ready to move forward.
#3: And the importance of acting fast
In a similar vein, make sure your team knows that time is not on their side. If you can contact a lead within an hour of them submitting their info, you can catch them when their homebuying process is still top of mind. Wait a day or even two and you have a much harder task ahead of you.
In other words, responsiveness is key. Teach your sales team that fast action can make all the difference.
At the same time, evaluate your sales processes. If your sales rep can’t be responsive quickly because their desk is overloaded with other to-dos, it might be time to rework your system.
#4: Meet your leads where they’re at
Some leads only want to conduct business over the phone, while others shudder at the thought of their phone ringing. Some leads consider texting unprofessional while others want to avoid opening their email outside of work hours at all costs.
Your sales team needs to stay flexible. Ideally, they should ask leads both how and when they want to be contacted. Once they know the best time of day and the preferred communication channels, they have better positioning. The lead is more likely to see them as helpful and accommodating, two big pros that can help your salesperson lead them to conversion.
The big takeaway here is that different leads have different preferences. And that means your sales team needs to be willing to tailor the way they operate to that individual homebuyer. If you have some old-school reps who always use the phone or some new-wave employees who only want to text, make sure they understand that the lead gets to call the shots, not them.
#5: Provide clear next steps
As you establish systems outlining how your sales team contacts leads, you should also evaluate what to contact them with.
First up, you should always be as concise as possible. Treat the lead’s time as valuable.
Secondly, make sure you give them actionable next steps. If, for example, the lead wants to get a personalized rate quote, clearly explain the information they need to provide in order to get the most accurate quote possible. Or if they’re ready to fill out the preapproval application, give them the link to it, a PDF they can print out and fill in, and guidance on completing the paperwork. Teeing leads up for action helps to move them forward in your pipeline.
#6: Make continuous improvement
Remember that tracking system we mentioned earlier? It’s not just so you can calculate your lead conversion rate once or give your sales managers an easier way to keep tabs on their team. It’s a robust tool you can — and should — use on an ongoing basis.
Run the numbers. Which lead sources are working best for your business? Which salespeople are seeing the highest conversion rate, and what are they doing differently? Are your leads closing more frequently if you employ specific sales tactics or communication channels?
Regularly evaluating the data your CRM provides can help you optimize your sales process over time. And in doing so, you’ll have a direct way to improve your mortgage lead conversion rate.
To learn more about these lead conversion tips and how you can put them to work at your lending institution, request a demo with our team today.