It is tough out their!
With the state of the real estate markets around the world, I don’t think there is any single marketplace that is not experiencing reduced enquiry rates and as a consequence, sales rates. Which ever way we look at it, this is effecting property businesses underlying profitability.
I was recently discussing this with one of our clients, and put forward a suggestion that I want to share with you today. That suggestion is to change the culture of your organisation from sales transacting to outbound sales.
So what does this mean?
Sales transacting is is culture of effectively waiting for the prospect to make the purchase. Your sales team is entirely reactive. They wait for a prospect to enquire, and often wait for them to purchase, and then effectively take on a role of facilitating the transaction. This sales transacting role can also be described as ‘order taking’. This culture is really born out of bull markets. When times are good, and a new prospect is around every corner, your sales team really only needs to focus on sales transacting to make target, and a very acceptable living. However this is a very poor sales culture, if we can call it sales at all. At best it can be described as a sales administration role, at worst simply an administration role full stop.
So what is an outbound sales culture? That is where your sales people are proactively chasing prospects. They are hunting for business, rather than order processing.
It goes without saying that is a slowing (slow!) market, you need your sales people busy. They need to be proactive and to be chasing every opportunity and can not be waiting for the next purchaser to walk in.
How do you create this type of culture?
Here are just a few ideas:
- break the mold. You really need to confront your sales team and get them to understand that things are different. The market has moved, and they need to move with it or they will be pushed out of the property industry. You need to make clear to them that the ‘new’ corporate culture of your organisation is about ‘outbound sales orientation’.
- give them the tools.
- systemise, systemise and systemise. When your business is effectively processing deals, you don’t tend to need to many systems. You can afford to operate inefficiently simply because they are good times and plenty of profit to go round. However in tougher times you need your business running like a well drilled team and it is systems that will achieve this. If you don’t have paper based systems – put them in. Better still though get effective software to manage, control and report on the key aspects of your business so you are operating as efficiently as possible.
There is never a better time to drive real change in your business then when times are tough. Everyone, from your board through to your sales people are all concerned about revenue and profitability, so now is the perfect time to effect that change in your business.