CRM Makes the Sale

Client: Mountain West Financial
Agency: OptifiNow
Objective: Organize and improve lead generation for the sales team with mobile CRM tools that enable direct, personalized interactions

The Back Story: When leads are your company’s lifeblood, there’s nothing more important than having a healthy CRM system in place for your sales team—especially in the mortgage industry, where potential customers can easily shop rates and market conditions on their own using search engines and other online tools.

Leads, of course, require nurturing, which makes it critical for salespeople to be able to track referrals, perform timely follow-up, and engage in co-marketing efforts with affiliates such as real estate agents, CPAs, bankers, and anyone else involved along the path to purchase—no easy task.

Brokerage firm Mountain West Financial (MWF) was facing those challenges and doing so without streamlined technology. MWF agents in the field were feverishly working to engage with customers. However, the team used five or more separate applications to handle text, email, and social communications, which made that customer-centric goal difficult.

“There was no software in place to let us easily see what the last conversation with a client was or a central place to make notes about consumers—and likewise, the consumer didn’t have a centralized way to communicate with us,” says Doug Cavanaugh, operations coordinator at Mountain West Financial. “We needed something that would allow our agents to be more organized so they could spend more time shaking hands and maintaining relationships without having to do so much grunt work to stay on top of everything.”

The Solution: The solution was to implement tools from OptifiNow—which provides a suite of automation, lead management, and content sharing tools—to help MWF agents get the most out of their data. Cavanaugh’s aim was to allow them to “connect everything they know about the consumer in a single system instead of on napkins and yellow pads.”

MWF agents use a variety of OptifiNow tools to help them stay sane and firmly focused on the consumer, one of which is Lead Link, a business application that keeps track of lead referrals. In the past MWF had one database of potential customers—all in various stages of lead nurturing—and another database to keep track of the relationships between accounts and how they were connected to different affiliates. It’s hard to nurture effectively—or give credit where credit is due—without knowing where a lead came from. Lack of attribution also makes it far more complicated to provide affiliates with appropriate marketing materials. Without a comprehensive system, it doesn’t take long for the relationship aspect of CRM to get lost in the clutter.

“After signing or completing a transaction, 48% of people don’t remember the name of the company or the person they dealt with because there’s been no follow-up interaction that’s added any value to the consumer’s life,” Cavanaugh says. “We want to let [customers] know we’re here and that we’ll continue to engage with them.”

MWF keeps its customer and affiliate relationships active by providing both with relevant content through OptifiNow’s Content onDemand tool, which enables brokers to automate communications and keep the company name top-of-mind both during and after the mortgage process is completed.

“Before there were social networks, you had real-life, face-to-face networks you had to build over time; that’s the cornerstone of business,” says OptifiNow CEO John McGee. “To gain customers, agents also need to nurture affiliate relationships with good content to build loyalty and encourage the sharing of leads.”

The tool is preloaded with cobranded content from MWF’s marketing department that Mountain West agents and affiliates can use to send customized communications, including automated emails, newsletters, social media messages, flyers, and other printed matter. All content in the system is preapproved by the marketing department and compliant based on industry regulations, so agents never have to worry about dealing with legal mumbo jumbo.

The Results: In the initial three months after implementing OptifiNow’s various solutions, the MWF sales team saw a 2% increase—to 8%—in conversion rates, Cavanaugh says. Currently, conversions are up to between 10 and 11%. Not only is productivity up—agents save between five and 10 hours a week on client outreach and follow up—cost-per-funded-loan is down, which so far has saved the company approximately $360,000.

The Takeaway: Old-school tactics combined with technology does the deed. “We still shake hands at the beginning, but then we’re able to stay in front of you and keep in touch using technology,” Cavanaugh says. “This is a system our agents can manage rather than they themselves having to be the system.”

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