The results of a new survey by nearly 300 sales and marketing leaders in the home building industry were revealed at the Sales and Marketing Pulse 2012 event at the BB King Blues Club in Orlando, Fla., on Feb. 8, 2012 during the International Builders Show. Jeff Shore, president of Shore Consulting, and Dennis O’Neil, president of O’Neil Interactive, presented the findings to the sold-out crowd of more than 150 new home sales and marketing leaders. Shore Consulting and ONeil Interactive conducted the Pulse 2012 survey in concert with Impact Performance Solutions.
“This survey is the first of its kind and is important because new home sales and marketing leaders have a shared interest in learning what will give them a performance edge. They want to understand what the opportunities are and how they can all take advantage of them,” said Jeff Shore. “In conducting this survey, we identified some key opportunities for performance improvement.”
The Pulse 2012 report is broken down into five main sections, including:
· Margin protection. More than half of the sales leaders surveyed report that 75 percent (or more) of their sales involve offers and price negotiations. Based on the data, a directional trend line can be drawn to indicate it’s more difficult to meet or exceed business plan expectations as rates of negotiations rise.
· Individual performance measurement. Leaders who utilize a competitive floor (as opposed to a shared floor), are more likely to meet or exceed their business plans. The survey also reveals that sales leaders who regularly “mystery shop” their sales counselors report that they exceeded business plan expectations at higher rates than sales leaders who do not.
· “New media” marketing efforts. In 2012, 78 percent of respondents say they will use social media, but just 67 percent will focus on search engine optimization, and only 42 percent plan to blog. Builders should invest their resources in creating a strong presence in places where consumers actively search for homes and should consider these actions before expanding their presence in social media where consumer intentions are uncertain.
· E-mail marketing & mobile marketing. More than 90 percent of respondents say they will engage in email marketing in 2012; however, only 42 percent plan on having a mobile website and only 24 percent will include a mobile app. Given that mobile traffic was up 121 percent in 2011 and that 25 percent of smartphone owners say they mostly go online using their phone rather than with a computer, creating a mobile web experience should be an increasingly important strategic initiative.
· Performance perception and reality. There is a serious gap between how sales managers think their sales teams are performing and how the sales teams are actually producing. 74 percent of sales leaders rated their overall team talent “slightly above” or “well above average,” yet 41 percent of sales leaders report that their teams did not meet business plan expectations in 2011. This disconnect suggests too many leaders spend their time administering the business rather than driving the sales.
“The survey wasn’t groundbreaking because of the types of questions asked, but groundbreaking because it provides a new way to think about sales and marketing practices,” commented Shore. “The Pulse 2012 is an essential tool for the home building industry with action items that will make your organization better.”
New home sales and marketing leaders across North America anonymously responded to the survey in January 2012. Data was collected via SurveyMonkey.com and then analyzed using standard statistical practices. The results were based on the opinions and benchmarks provided via the survey, and combined with the analysis and observations of Shore Consulting and O’Neil Interactive.
To read the entire report and watch the presentation video, click here .