What Your Inside Sales Agent ( ISA ) Needs To Focus on Daily
As you look at the daily activities of an Inside Sales Agent ( ISA ), you’ll see that there are a number of places where effort is mandatory for him/her to get strong, consistent results in the front-line trenches.
The predictability you want and need in your business all starts with the effort put forth by your ISAs and the activities they complete on a daily basis.
Here are some of the many areas where solid effort makes a huge difference:
- KPIs/Leading Indicators: A leading indicator is a measurable factor that can impact, and even help predict, a specific result. Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) are activities help you to determine the things that you need to do on a daily basis.
They give you benchmarks on how would you measure yourself for success, on how you get to your goal.
For instance, say you wanted to get in better shape and started going to the gym. Your weekly KPIs would be: total days gone to the gym, total number exercises you do, total number of reps you do, total number of minutes of cardio you do.
By tracking these on a daily, weekly, monthly, annual basis, you can look back and see what led to the results you obtained and also if anything needed to be changed to get better results.
In the world of real estate sales, there are a number of KPIs that lead to the end result—a home sold—and they all take real, consistent, unmitigated effort to get the job done.
- Dials: There needs to be a requisite number of dials each day to ensure contact with enough prospects to create nurtures and appointments that can turn into listings.
It’s important to realize that we’re not just looking for dials, we’re looking for legitimate dials to prospects who are likely sellers within the next year.
- Contacts: Sales is a contact sport, right? The more good prospects you contact, the better chance you have of setting legitimate listing appointments. Your goal should be to contact between 9 and 12 percent of your calling list each day.
The hit rate will be heavily dependent on the quality of the list and the time of day/week that you are calling. Simply by improving our contact rate from 38 to 42 percent, we were able to see a measurable jump in nurtures and appointments.
To take your contacts to an even higher level, you’ll want to implement a predictable contact formula that automates follow-up with your prospects.
By adding planned texts and emails to your call sequence, you can dramatically increase the number of prospects that call, text, and email you back. Our automated system helped us set nine listing appointments the first week we had it in place.
Predictability is the name of the game with your ISA department, and having an automated contact strategy in place adds a tremendous amount of value to creating a predictable pipeline of listing opportunities.
- Nurtures: These are a Key Result Indicator (KRI). By making a certain number of dials and contacts, the result will be a specific number of nurtures. A KRI will tell you if your KPI(s) are not only the right benchmarks, but also if the volume of each KPI is sufficient enough to get the results you want.
This KRI takes more skill than the first two KPIs. A nurture is a prospect that is going to sell in the upcoming 12 months, who is not committed to another agent and is willing to let you stay in touch with them until he/she is ready to sell. A nurture will sometimes require multiple calls to convert them to an appointment.
As you can imagine, nurtures aren’t always forthright with their plans when being prospected, so a good ISA needs to know how to ask the right questions and more importantly, to read between the lines to determine if this seller merits additional calls in the future.
Lastly, with our targets for nurtures at 1-2 per day and appointments at .5, you can see how much more likely it is you’ll get a nurture on the phone in one day than you could get a one-call close for a listing appointment. It’s because of this level of availability (and the ensuing ease in building a relationship from a nurture) that makes nurtures so attractive.
- Appointments: This is where the rubber meets the road...so to speak. If your ISA has made enough quality dials and contacts, and if he/she has done a good job with nurtures, appointments should come as a natural, predictable, and consistent conclusion. The number of appointments you get are elastic to the three KPI's I just reviewed.
- Dream 100 Management: Your ISA could never stay in touch with every person in your database consistently, and quite honestly you wouldn’t want him/her to do so. That said, I’m a huge fan of Chet Holmes and his strategies on following up with prospects.As a result my affinity for his teachings, I’ve adopted his “Dream 100” approach for our ISA department.
When it comes to staying in touch with prospects, Holmes once said: “Follow-up makes the difference between mediocrity and greatness.” This holds especially true when it comes to dealing with the cream of the crop in your prospect database—your Dream 100.
The goal is to put forth the effort to identify 100 sellers who meet the criteria of a nurture and then maintain an ongoing relationship through calls, texts, and emails. The real effort gets exerted in top grading this pipeline on a daily basis.
Each day, as a seller in your ISA’s Dream 100 shows up as an opportunity to call in the CRM for a potential listing appointment, your ISA must contact the seller and 1) set an appointment, 2) move the seller prospect to another date for future follow-up, or 3) remove the seller prospect from the list and replace him/her with another, better opportunity.
Mastering this strategy and putting forth the right amount of effort is crucial to capturing the largest share of listing opportunities you can. Letting follow-up dates go by and/or not calling nurtures in his/ her Dream 100 list can lead to a lot of waste and missed selling opportunities.
By focusing on doing an amazing job in each of these areas every day, your ISA can accomplish great things for you.
In fact, the cumulative effect of their efforts on a day-over-day basis should provide you with significant returns.
Remember, you’re looking for the cumulative rewards of your ISA doing just a little bit - really well - each day.