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.
Using technology, leaders can drive higher satisfaction along with overall improvements in results.
Problem’s Sales Leaders are Facing
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.
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.
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.
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.