It may seem fairly obvious that the marketing department’s job is to create awareness, drive traffic to the website, and generate leads. Just as important, the online sales counselor’s position is there to field these leads, build rapport, and set appointments that assist with sales.
Sometimes there are two different extremes that can happen within a builders office between marketing and online sales, and as with anything the solution is somewhere in the middle!
To some home builders the overlap between marketing and online sales is so obvious they feel that the solution is to make one person in charge of both. In this two-in-one solution one of these two important roles will take a backseat to the other. It’s very difficult to find a strong marketer who loves creating awareness, copy, graphics, and at the same time loves to follow up and deal with people. The idea of having to curb your creative enthusiasm to answer a phone or an email, if you are a truly dedicated graphic designer or marketer, is a hard pill to swallow. The online sales role becomes an, “I’ll get to it” task that can fall by the wayside.
Likewise if a dedicated online sales counselor is tasked with all things marketing, they may feel that their follow-up is suffering as they try to brainstorm and implement ideas to generate leads.
The second scenario which can commonly happen when there are two different people in each of these roles, is that there is no collaboration between the two departments. Leads come in to the online sales counselor and they are not aware of what marketing pushes if any are working to drive this traffic. It’s very important to know where your traffic is coming from, and address it accordingly. The kind of response to a driven campaign may be different than that of general inquiry, and sales processes need to be adjusted accordingly.
More often then not, when Blue Gypsy Inc. consults on a project, it is common to remind everyone that the OSC must be a part of all the marketing meetings and know what is going on with the marketing plan for the company. Likewise, the marketing department needs to get a handle on how successfully their plans are converting. It’s one thing to drive a lot of traffic to a website, but it is another if it’s not actually generating leads.
Communication between the online sales counselor and the marketing department is key to track, hone, and improve sales efforts. To that end, OSC’s should be on great terms with their marketing department and collaborate with them on a regular basis. This will help the entire company succeed.