Michael Bird and Nik Sproal of Social Garden sit down to discuss their solutions for challenges that are commonly faced by organisations in the property sector using CRM, including adoption and attribution. Watch the video below!
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MIKE: Hi, my name’s Mike, I’m the CEO at Social Garden. I’m with our Property Client Service Director, Nik Sproal here. And we’re going to have a quick chat about what’s important when you’re looking for CRM in the property sector here in Australia. So, Nik you’ve obviously worked across a wide range of enterprise property clients, also with some small clients as well. What are some of the advice you would give to someone embarking on rolling out a CRM for the organisation in property?
NIK: Look, I think the key thing is actually understanding what you want out of it. I think the danger is taking an off-the-shelf solution that doesn’t necessarily meet your needs. So, as a business you really need to understand things like what reporting you’re after, what does your sales funnel look like and what are the key markers through that process? And I think by doing that pre-work and really understanding what you need, you’re going to set yourself up well to have the right tool to deliver on the results you’re looking for. Obviously, a good CRM is an expensive amount of money put out there and I think you’ve got to really do your research and do the groundwork to get the right result.
MIKE: There’s a few stages of CRM adoption. First of all, there’s using it like a database to find out what’s happened in the past. So how many deals, have we closed in the last month, in the last quarter, in the last year? Where have all those leads come from? So where can we attribute marketing spend to sales so we can get a really clear understanding of what’s working and what’s not. And then I think kind of some of the next phases is looking at—if we look at the percentage likelihood of a prospect to close and assigning each lead that kind of percentage, that’s a really powerful way to kind of predict the financial performance of the business and it really helps executive teams to kind of understand what the pipeline looks like and it helps a lot with resourcing and things like that.
NIK: You pointed out a really good point there. At exec level, at the senior management level at the project level, everyone’s going to have different requirements out of that CRM, so it’s really important that we understand what those requirements are and where we almost building to make sure we’ve got those covered early, rather than having to retrofit it later on in the piece.
MIKE: Yeah, and I think making sure that the stages of the buyer’s process are really well defined early, I think that’s probably one of the most important things. And I think that a good example of that would be like, what’s the percentage like? What’s your current conversion rate from the lead to an appointment, from an appointment to a deposit, from deposit through to settlement? And then starting to identify where the blockages are in that sales process. If you can start getting those types analytics, it can uncover a huge amount of opportunity as far as improvements go that can flow straight to the bottom line for any developer.
NIK: Yeah, agreed. And I think the other thing that it really does is it actually makes your lead generation and your marketing automation processes that much more powerful because you’re able to provide really compelling briefs that identify where your issues are and how we need to solve them. So, it makes certainly our process that much stronger.
MIKE: It’s a good use case particularly when marketers are going back asking for budget. If they can unequivocally prove that one channel is performing better than another channel from a sales perspective then that’s a great kind of use case to start working out: What do we not need to be spending money on? What do we want to increase our spend on? And I think that guides a lot of—it should be guiding a lot of marketing strategy.
NIK: Absolutely. The beauty of it is the marketing team and the sales team suddenly speaking the developer’s language. Everyone’s on the same page and it’s much easier to go cap-in-hand for money when you’re actually providing really tangible evidence of what works and what doesn’t.
MIKE: And in terms of CRM adoption, historically, there’s been issues around salespeople not using the CRM. What have you kind of seen work?
NIK: I think the way that it works well is if you identify users within your business who have a high propensity to adopt the type of technology that you’re bringing in and really drive it from the inside out. I think if you try to go for a full adoption early it’s fraught with challenges but if you find members of your team who are able to drive that process and champion internally, particularly in the sales team, the adoption tends to come through much faster. If you are trying to push it out in whole run, that’s where you can run into problems. I think because the sales team are very influential within the business and often the opinion leaders that you need to work with to get them to drive the adoption because that’s where you get some wins. And also I’ve been starting small with the “must haves” and then moving towards the “nice to haves” that it can drive that 1% to 2% incremental increases in performance.
MIKE: Yeah I think working out ways that you can really incentivise the sales team as well. So, with tools, like when you plug in a Marketo or Pardot which are both marketing automation platforms that natively integrate with Salesforce, we see that we can create, a thing called a “lead score” which essentially means a score assigned to every prospect inside the CRM based on whether they’re coming back and forth to the project site or reopening emails. And by providing that type of information inside the CRM, it’s really creating value for the salespeople and that in turn, generally kind of helps the adoption, which is generally the major challenge with any CRM project.
NIK: Yeah, agreed. I think you’ll find that salespeople often bogged down in paperwork and if you’re adding more complexity to their role and they see the fundament to their role as selling face to face, the less you can—the more you can take that away from them and actually understand that there’s huge benefits in this to them and ultimately delivering revenue which is what they measured on, the adoption process works a lot faster.
MIKE: There you go. CRM guide to property in Australia. Hope you enjoyed it. We’ve got the guide if you like to download it. Otherwise we’ll catch you next time. Cheers!