In this final episode of season two of The Bridge, we will take a trip down memory lane and pull the most important takeaways of each episode to help you take the next steps in your selling journey.
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This season has been nothing short of unexpected twists and turns as we figured out how to weather the pandemic. What started off as in-person recordings, quickly pivoted to Skype calls for the majority of our guests. What a blessing in disguise that was as we were able to meet and connect with so many amazing people. Thank you for sticking with us!
It was our goal this season to focus on sales and connect you with individuals who could provide insight on how to connect with shoppers online and transition the conversation and ultimately the sale, at an onsite physical location. We learned how to enhance the buying experience and with all of the world changes, pivot to a more virtual consultation and tour setting.
We hope you enjoyed listening to season two and we can’t wait to bring you more laughs, conversations, and insight in season 3. Happy podcasting!
Listen to the full recap episode here.
Listen to an Episode
Using Virtual Tours in Your Multifamily Community
Learning to Leverage Digital Sales Leads
Transforming your Team with Digital Sales Training
Personalizing the Customer Experience with a Sense of Urgency
The New Reality of Virtual Apartment Tours
Bridging the Gap Between Online Acquisition and Onsite Conversion
Success Goes Beyond Data
Learning Sales Enablement Without a Playbook
Connect with the Guests
Episode 1: Matt Weirich, Jordan Easley, Realync
Episode 2: David Kain, Kain Automotive
Episode 3: Bryan Scott, Big Sandy Superstore
Episode 4: Desiree White, Colin Cloud, NE Property Management
Episode 5: Jenna Miller: Bozzuto, Margaret Henney: Covideo, Matt Weirich: Realync
Episode 6: Robert Lee, Hy.ly
Episode 7: Ellisa Fink
Episode 8: Irina Soriano, Seismic
For many marketers, sales enablement is a newer marketing discipline. Irina Soriano describes it as the strategic use of people, processes and technology operating together to improve sales productivity and increase revenue.
As the Head of Enablement for Seismic, she would know a thing or two about sales enablement. Seismic is the global leader in sales enablement providing storytelling platforms to increase productivity and effectiveness across sales and marketing.
Learn from Irina as she breaks down the basics to this now fundamental discipline while giving listeners a plan to start. You’ll also hear how impactful it is to give back to the sales enablement community by networking and sharing ideas with other like-minded marketers and sales teams.
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Key Takeaways to Learning Sales Enablement
- Build a business case for sales enablement to secure a budget from stakeholders.
- Lean into those with sales enablement experience to foster your own growth.
- Start by focusing on one area of enablement at a time such as onboarding new hires.
Sales Enablement Resources
Sales Enablement Society
Sales and the City: Irina Soriano Blog
How to Run a Smooth Sales Technology Implementation
Connect with Irina Soriano
Connect with Andy
Connect with Muhammad
Goals not only provide purpose and a path to success, but also lead to better teamwork. Without goals, the desired destination may feel unattainable or too ambiguous. In addition to framing an approach to positive results, goals help team members understand and embrace their contributions to the company. With day-to-day responsibilities sometimes pulling focus away, how do successful organizations prioritize and focus on setting business goals?
Even though goal setting remains a popular practice in today’s business culture, 44% of workers cannot specifically name company goals and only 5.9% of businesses communicate goals daily, according to a study by ClearCompany. Keeping employees focused on business goals requires a conscious effort, from beginning to end.
“We keep our team focused through transparency, communication and purpose,” says David Weiss, Marketing Manager at Sherman’s, a home furnishings retailer with multiple locations in Illinois.
“For us, it begins with being transparent about where we are, where we’re going, and why. We provide regular updates, at least weekly if not daily, so everyone understands what’s most important right now and how we’re progressing.”
Accurately Assess Current State for Future Success
Take an honest look at where your company currently stands to take the first step toward reaching business goals. Understanding your present metrics not only provides direction, but it also helps your business formulate attainable and realistic goals for the future.
If you aren’t measuring where your business sits now and establishing benchmark metrics, how will you work toward conquering that next level — or even know when you’ve succeeded? With the right analytics and data-driven insights integrated into your efforts, from prospecting to purchasing, transparency conveys an accurate assessment of your business to help inform your team.
By adding AI-powered software connected to a cloud-based CRM, your company can collect valuable online data to generate insights not only into customers’ needs but to the overall effectiveness of your team’s efforts. Data provides a roadmap for your business to adjust and advance.
“For our property management leadership, the focus for our goal setting is marketing information and leasing data,” says Catherine Azar, Director of Property Management at Barratt Asset Management. “If we’re not mentioning our website on the phone enough, we will have a decrease in our leads. Or if our lead response time is not good enough, we report on that. We use PERQ software, so we know exactly what’s happening and break down every aspect of that whole leasing process. There are always ways we can improve.”
Communication Keeps Business Goals in the Forefront
Critical to transparency and tantamount to focus, communication keeps business goals front of mind. Employees want to know the score — are we winning or losing? Are our efforts moving the business toward the desired outcome?
“Barrett Asset Management is growing, so we have to keep our goals in the forefront,” Azar says. “We meet every single week to go over our progress, obstacles, or any kind of issue. We’re focused on our goals and where we want to go, what we want to do.”
Azar stresses the importance of creating a cadence of communication. “We never miss a meeting. They’re quick. We start on time. We end on time. We’re very respectful of each other’s time,” she says. “It’s been beyond beneficial. Constantly revisiting goals keeps them alive and fresh in our minds.”
In conjunction with regular meetings, Azar emphasizes creating an environment for honest exchange. “It’s having that safe zone to really make good goals. When you don’t make a goal or you can’t reach it, being able to say ‘that was too big. I should have made that two goals.’”
Jacob Sizemore, Marketing Director at Big Sandy Superstore, agrees that staying focused on goals requires top-of-mind awareness. “What you talk about is what’s present the most often, and that has to be consistent,” Sizemore says. “We meet weekly and dig in. We’re constantly talking about performance and topics driving business.”
Roles in Setting Business Goals Provide Purpose
Along with transparency and communication, employees crave purpose. Highly engaged employees understand the importance of their roles, how they personally contribute to goals, and ultimately their contribution to the success of the business.
“We drive employee engagement by helping them understand the big picture, and how they contribute to it individually and as a team,” Weiss says.
“Any good business has goals for the coming year and maybe goals for the quarter, things of that nature,” says Michael Norris, Chief Marketing Officer at Youtech, a digital agency that specializes in marketing multifamily property management companies but also works with clients from a variety of industries. “What becomes a problem is if individual goals don’t match up to the company-wide goals.”
“Look at specific departments and determine how they can help reach those goals. Set specific KPIs for each department to help science the overall goal,” Norris adds. “Knowing what KPI everyone should be shooting for creates a more tightly fit strategy across the board.”
At Big Sandy Superstore, an employee-owned business, the ideas of goal setting, employee purpose and engagement carry substantial weight. “Everything we do revolves around top-of-mind awareness of performance, with incentives to drive the right kind of behavior,” Sizemore says. “You’ve got to talk about it constantly, but there has to be an incentive to do it the right way, and a disincentive to do it the wrong way.”
Sizemore points out that when the business as a whole does well, tenured employees also do well. “We’re constantly keeping the perspective of ‘this is your company’ and as an employee-owner, you are tied to the long-term advantage of a profitable, stable company that’s reaching its goals.”
While not all businesses are or can be employee-owned, providing your team members with a sense of ownership in the top business goals for the organization will result in more success for everyone.
Imagine building a marketing team from the ground up and seeing that brand go public through the New York Stock Exchange. For Elissa Fink, this was her reality. As the former CMO of Tableau, business intelligence software that helps people better understand and embrace data, she led strategic planning and execution for its marketing worldwide.
In leading marketing efforts, having the ability to facilitate conversations to drive sales digitally is a necessity regardless of where the conversion takes place. During Elissa’s time at Tableau, and now as an advisor, a few lessons have stood the test of time.
You’ll hear the key lessons learned in the conversation with Andy and Muhammad. Elissa also shares how she embraced the many challenges presented from data but why you shouldn’t be scared to take the first steps. Listen in as she shares how you can stay nimble as a marketer, develop good relationships in and outside of your business, and how to start measuring the data to improve your business decisions:
- Start understanding and embracing data by tracking one key metric then build over time.
- Focus on why you started and why the company exists to power through challenging times.
- Ask good questions to uncover priorities and stay ahead of the subject matter.
Power Pro Leasing (Power Pro), the best-in-class mobile leasing app for apartment operators, today announced a partnership and integration with PERQ, the maker of an artificial intelligence-driven digital marketing platform that engages and captures critical prospect data through a community website. The integration between the two platforms will further drive leads and improve community tour conversion.
As a result of the partnership, when a prospective renter schedules a property tour through PERQ’s website solution, the information will be seamlessly fed into Power Pro. The integration benefits both prospects and leasing associates by ensuring a community receives the tour booking selected by the prospect, be it self-guided, video or an in-person, associate-led visit, and enables the leasing associate to create the right experience.
“Our new partnership with Power Pro Leasing brings value to both property managers and consumers,” said PERQ Co-Founder Scott Hill. “Power Pro Leasing’s software combined with PERQ’s Multi-Option Tour Scheduler allows consumers to schedule and experience virtual tours of properties seamlessly and gives leasing agents additional tools to close the deal during a difficult time.”
The Power Pro mobile app allows leasing associates to perform all of the critical leasing tasks and gather needed information from a prospect from anywhere. Through Power Pro, leasing associates can execute live Zoom tours or record and send personalized video tours to prospects. Power Pro also offers self-guided-tour technology to apartment communities. Taken together, Power Pro’s solutions reflect the company’s Tour Your Way philosophy. Power Pro’s goal is to give teams options so they can create the best leasing experience possible while giving prospects the exact experience they desire.
“At Power Pro, we care passionately about integrating with other supplier partners to create great experiences for our customers,” said Karen Gladney, co-founder of Power Pro. “When we create great experiences for our customers, they, in turn, are able to provide best-in-class experiences for their prospective residents. That’s why we’re so excited to partner with PERQ. They truly are a first-class supplier partner.”
The Power Pro leasing app unchains leasing associates from their desks so they can create a comfortable, personalized leasing experience to drive prospect engagement throughout the apartment shopping process and the property tour – even over a Zoom call. When in-person community visits are an option, the app enables associates to talk with prospects and get information from them while anywhere on the property, whether sitting in a comfortable courtyard or walking through an apartment home. And regardless of what form a tour takes, Power Pro allows associates to send prospects a Personal Tour Summary e-brochure afterwards. The brochure is a lightweight quick link for prospects to open and see the apartments they’re interested in, access personal quotes for those apartments and see any virtual or custom videos made for them.
Power Pro’s solutions fully integrate with major property, revenue, and lead management software platforms, including RealPage’s OneSite, ILM, Yardi’s RENTCafé, Yieldstar and LRO.
About Power Pro Leasing
Greenwood Village, Colo.-based Power Pro Leasing’s iPad-based software technology enhances consumers’ apartment search and leasing experience while at the same time enabling the leasing professional to become more efficient in the leasing and management processes. Predicated on customer-centric needs, the program is designed to raise closing ratios and increase leases for everyone from the greenest to the most senior leasing professionals. When integrated with an apartment community’s property management software, Power Pro enables single-entry data and real-time information. This means properties make more money through more leases and increased efficiencies.
PERQ, a marketing technology company founded in 2001, empowers businesses and the online consumer experience through innovative solutions powered by artificial intelligence. More than 1,500 businesses in the multifamily, home furnishings and auto retailing industries leverage the PERQ Marketing Cloud and technology to give them more visibility into their digital marketing efforts and sales.
Businesses create personas to place the consumer at the center of decision-making. Customer personas work when designing products and services, yet do they still serve a purpose in marketing and sales?
Marketing, the process of identifying, anticipating, and satisfying customers’ needs and wants, essentially matches what you’re selling to the people looking to buy. On a fundamental level, we all share the same basic needs and wants. Moving beyond the basics of buyer personas opens up a world of possibilities.
With everyone as a potential customer, creating personas may help marketing feel more manageable. Putting a face, age, and fictional name to your customers’ traits, personality characteristics, and pain points kicks off your digital strategy, but then what? Where do you go from there? Customer personas, in theory, work to attract leads, yet treating each customer in a generalized manner may actually move your brand further away from connecting with prospects.
Technology now provides valuable information beyond the type of customer interested in your brand (married with two kids and a mortgage); it delivers details on their online behavior (searching for distressed dining room tables to seat 10).
With the right software and CRM, collecting valuable online data generates insight into the customers’ specific needs and wants. Real information, captured in real-time, directly from the people interested in your products. From there, you can use the data to personalize the follow-up and lead-nurture process for more prospect engagement and brand loyalty.
More than Just a Customer Persona
Technology allows for a deeper understanding of consumers. Not only do you learn more about your customers through their actions, but you can also create a better experience online to stand out from the competition. Give website visitors the opportunity to interact with your brand, while also providing the information they need.
Understand what customers want while shopping. Offer interactive engagement opportunities like quizzes and assessments, live chat or online financing pre-qualification. Even better, with AI-driven software you can ensure your website remembers the customer’s previous visit, suggesting options and incentives based on prior behavior. These personalized, guided interactions will shape how the customer views your brand and build a feeling of welcome and value.
Buyer personas may attract shoppers to your website, but leverage personalization to move them along the customer journey toward a purchase.
Customer Data Helps You to Focus on Personalization
Not only does personalization benefit your customer, but it also translates into customizing your company’s operations. Your customers’ behavior and data should drive your business decisions.
If your target consumers continually search for specific products or services you don’t currently offer or do offer but don’t prominently market, demand exists and justifies expanding your offerings or adjusting your ad and website copy to meet the need. If prospects routinely drop off the website after reviewing pricing on your website, it may be time to run some competitive intelligence.
Analyze and use data from your CRM to help your sales team nurture leads and convert them into sales. Generate automated and personalized emails with AI-driven technology to get shoppers back to your website or in the door. Track the average number of touches necessary to result in a purchase, and adjust your approach based on the analytics.
It may feel counterintuitive to rely on technology to build personal relationships and really get to know your customers, yet with more than 80% of shoppers beginning their shopping journey online, the power of personalization makes it possible — and imperative.