If you’re responsible for the marketing that sends leads to your sales team you may have run into the claim from the sales guys that, “Internet leads are no good! They never pan out.”
There’s a reason that some sales people feel that way: They’ve probably seen a lot of bad leads that came “from the Web.” At the same time, the Internet is where most of your potential clients are looking for information about building a new home. It’s a logical place to find good leads. But what makes a good Internet lead for a homebuilding business? Let’s look at two main characteristics of a good Internet lead.
- Quality: It’s important that the leads you get are quality leads—and that means qualified leads. You really want your sales people talking to people who are genuinely interested in the kind of home your build—and have the ability to actually purchase it. If you specialize in building custom homes in the $500,000 range, you really don’t want your sales staff spending time and energy talking with someone who has a budget of $200,000. As much as that person may enjoy hearing about what you offer, they are never going to make that kind of a purchase. The same is true if the numbers are reversed. If you specialize in $200,000 homes, you’ll never entice someone who wants to spend in the neighborhood of $500,000. The two of you simply aren’t a good fit.
You need to use the content and the offers on your website to qualify your leads. Some builders are hesitant to talk about price on their websites. You don’t have to give exact pricing, but it’s actually helpful if you give potential prospects a price range so that you don’t waste your sales people’s time talking to the wrong prospects.
- Engagement: You also want your sales people dealing with prospects who are already engaged. Your marketing team (and your online marketing content) should do the job of engaging and nurturing leads before they’re ready to be turned over to sales. That means getting prospects to respond to offers (eBooks, checklists, and other downloads) that answer their questions—and demonstrate their level of interest. Someone who has already engaged with you on multiple occasions (downloads, emails, phone calls) has demonstrated that they are serious about moving forward. That’s when they are ready to talk to the sales team about building a home.
If you want to have success, it’s important that your sales and marketing teams work together. Marketing needs to generate leads, qualify those leads, and then nurture them until they are ready to be turned over to the sales team. The Internet (and your website in particular) is one of the most powerful tools you have at your disposal to do that. You can give your sales team great leads from the Internet—but it doesn’t happen automatically. You have to make sure that your marketing content refines and qualifies those leads before they become legitimate sales leads.