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January 26, 2022

A New Perspective On Staffing Challenges

Over the last several years, sales and marketing leaders have faced an incredibly challenging landscape. The constant emergence of new and evolving digital solutions has driven innovation and improvements, but also puts leaders in constant battle with keeping pace in a fast moving digital world. Complicating matters, the pandemic added even more variables into the consideration set. Teams have had to rapidly adjust processes and sometimes go to great lengths to accommodate today’s reality.
One of the undercurrents that has surfaced in a glaring way in recent months is the intensity at which leaders need to address problems like staffing shortages, frequent employee turnover, and poor performance amongst those on their teams.
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To address these challenges let's evaluate four areas of concern. With this perspective, we can discuss how teams can solve these problems, letting them optimize their sales process.

Using technology, leaders can drive higher satisfaction along with overall improvements in results.

Problem’s Sales Leaders are Facing
Workforce Talent
Leaders have noticed that the pool of talent has dwindled in recent years. This problem has been exacerbated by COVID-19. Many industry sales team members have either changed industries or have become complacent. This takes a toll on a community's ability to keep the sales process moving forward. It also introduces issues with continuity as new members lack knowledge or expertise in how their predecessors approached the role.

The goal for a sales and marketing team always centers back to occupancy. The pressure to fill unoccupied units will create tension. Tension is not always a negative, but, when the tension grows too great it can “break” some employees down. Think of the normal tension your teams endure to fulfill occupancy goals. They’re investing in SEO, PPC, building better websites, calling prospects, giving tours, and working tirelessly to convert leads to hit their move-in targets.
But now, they have to do all that while also adding new steps into the process to address COVID protocols. Coming up with solutions for virtual tours, and other accommodations now falls to your teams. This increased due diligence is time consuming and difficult to account for.

Increased Competition
While teams have been busy adjusting to new protocols, they’re still battling to capture market share in a market with growing supply. New competitors can be seen in most locations further adding to the set of considerations that stress a sales and marketing team. New construction (both pre and post COVID) has increased supply. But, COVID’s effects are also contributing to overall occupancy declines, causing uncertainty amongst prospective residents across the country.

To remain competitive, organizations are facing pressure to increase capital expenditures for older assets, which increases expectations in the process, including your sales team's ability to sell these new improvements.

Retention Struggles
When the challenges above begin to weigh on a person, people begin to think there is greener grass for them to pursue. Turnover increased 9 points from 2019-20. And it’s not just your front line staff, but key sales team leaders are departing as well. These departures are causing a ripple effect in overall productivity. For example, the exit of an Executive Director level role has been said to slow productivity for up to 6 months upon a new hire. Preventing impacts from departures should be a key focus in 2022 and beyond.

How can conversational technology help?
It’s easy to understand why some may find it hard to connect the dots between a platform that centers around conversational technology with the complexity of the employee experience in the problems we discussed above. But the connections are closer than you realize.
Workforce Talent
Leaders need to attract high level talent. Higher level talent will value organizations that invest in technology. They particularly value solutions that compliment their strengths and allow them to focus on the things that matter, like selling. With Further, sales leaders can rest assured that time will not be wasted on unqualified prospects. This focus will help them achieve higher close rates and ultimately hit their targets. Higher level talent wants to work closest to revenue within an organization that is investing in their success.

Leaders who are equipped with smarter solutions and tools will be more effective. This frees them from some of the distractions and pressures that prevent them from achieving higher results. The ability for a solution to automate the time consuming, manual elements of their day-to-day will produce immeasurable benefits in how they achieve results. Furthermore, the insights leaders gain from our platform will help them provide key information to their management and ownership groups , which helps relieve pressure applied from “the unknown”.
Increased Competition
New construction has continued to add units in the market over the last few years. These new properties and the recent decline in occupancy have created a scenario where there is more supply than demand. This is leading to pricing and discounting strategies. Perhaps more importantly though, it places an importance on the ability for a property to react with speed to each lead during the prospect engagement process.

Traditionally, marketing engagement can be very tough for a local community to manage given the variety of methods that a customer might leverage when seeking to engage with a community. But this is where Further’s offering excels. Our combined solutions work together to automate engagement and interactions with your leads to ensure first contact is made, and follow up always occurs so that no lead is lost.

Retention Struggles
Simply put, sellers want to sell and marketers want to market. And they both want to focus on what’s working and stop doing what’s not. The ability for Further to come in and automate the time consuming elements of prospect engagement and qualification let’s sellers focus on doing what they do best: closing interested candidates. The data and insights marketers get access to helps them make more effective decisions on where to invest their time. With Further, it’s easy to attribute where move-ins are coming from down to the keywords and campaigns. With this power, sales and marketing teams are more likely to hit their targets, enjoy their work, and not feel the urge to find “greener grass” elsewhere.

further_general-graphicDon’t underestimate the power of smarter solutions
Again, most may read this and find it hard to see how a conversational solution will improve things like employee retention. They’ll struggle to understand that new solutions can make a significant difference in the lives of their teams. Yet these leaders will continue to suffer from high turnover and underwhelming results. Don’t fall into the cycle of looking past solutions when they’re readily available and ready to make a difference in ways you may not be expecting.

Deploying tools that maximize your greatest assets (your employees) time will help you get better results. They’ll appreciate the focus they get to actually drive the desired results, and you’ll both be happier in the process.

Tag(s): Featured , Sales , Marketing

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