FloorPop  - Interactive Marketing Best Practices for Homebuilders, June 7, 2006
Vol. 7, Issue 3: Copyright (C) 2006 Blair Kuhnen.  All rights reserved.

FloorPop FloorPop (Flr-pop) n. 1. The home buyer who visits a Builder's community and writes a contract for sale the same day. 2. The sound made by a salesperson clicking their heels high in the air and returning to the floor after a prospect signs a contract the day they first meet.

Getting Sales & Marketing On Board

Want to smoothly implement best practices across your sales and marketing organization? This month's article is about improving your implementation success rate.

I have a startling observation. Shhh "Our sales and marketing staffs have more on their plate than they can handle." I often hear this, but I'm not sure it really sank in until recently. With a background as a corporate marketing person and then as a consultant to larger builders (usually hired by corporate folks), I find myself nave.

Why is it that proven best practices that will absolutely improve revenue, margins, and or customer satisfaction are still very hard to implement, even for a progressive builder? The problem is not YOUR initiative or best practice, it is ALL initiatives and best practices. In a stretched marketing or sales organization (or IT for that matter), each and every new initiative seems to be a burden.

You have to either add resources (a.k.a. overhead), provide professional services (outside help), or take something off their plate. Adding overhead is always a tough option, but if it is a long-term strategy, trying to make it work with existing staff is not the right option. Take Online Sales Counselors as an example. If you are going to be effective with and OSC position, you need to add the resource. Simply adding managing leads to someone's already busy task list doesn't work. If the practice requires upfront effort, also consider providing short-term help as part of the implementation.

Successful marketers are successful not because they discover best practices or benchmark better than others. They are successful because the pick the right items to implement for their companies and then support the implementation. Sometimes, the best practice to implement is not the one that appears to have the best sales or ROI impact. Rather, the best projects are those that will be embraced and used by the organization to the fullest. If your sales team is not going to get excited about a new sales or marketing tool, then getting them to use and embrace it is going to be difficult.

Salespeople see the new "Corporate" project as new work, but not necessarily as anything that will make their lives easier. So, they push back. They find something that is not quite right, a reason to object. What if what you wanted them to do was going to have an immediate positive effect on their time or personal earnings?

It's about implementing. Here are a few tips for picking and implementing your favored best practices.

  • Do a reality check. Talk to a few select individuals within your sales and marketing organization about your idea. Are they excited? Ask them what you might do to get them excited.
  • Look for operational bang for the buck. Give more weight to projects that provide a net benefit to implementers in addition to profits and customer satisfaction. Turn-key best practices are easier to successfully implement.
  • Consider adding professional services. Factor in training, creative, or other services that can be easily outsourced.
  • Reward early adopters. Have a plan for recognition that rewards your internal early adopters. Write up the implementer in your company newsletter. Share this widely.

Blair Kuhnen is the publisher of FloorPop and can be reached at 817-658-7698 or via email at kuhnen@earthlink.net.

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