Implementing a Lead Management System is Deceptively Difficult
Are you frustrated with your lead management software?
Implementing a lead management system is deceptively difficult. On the face of it, all a lead management or a CRM does is get a phone number and an email address from a lead and deliver it into the hands of a loan officer. Whether you’re blasting out emails or buying leads, the process seems pretty straightforward.
Are you a mortgage lender?
Why do lenders end up with a tangled mess of leads, crisscrossing an organization like a five-year-old coloring a kid’s restaurant menu? That perfectly arranged system of lead generation and management looks nothing like reality, and the outcome is frustratingly familiar: low adoption rates, wasted internal resources and a big black hole in your P&L.
Part of the reason is finding the right fit. When you look at the lead management system and CRM landscape, they generally come in two basic flavors: highly specialized or highly generalized. Specialized systems are great because a lender can take it out of the box and use it immediately, as long as you adopt their recommended sales process (a.k.a. best practices).
But for many lenders, their sales and marketing process is what makes them different. Drawing on years of experience or owing to a sudden bout of innovation, lenders develop a unique method of lead management that gives them an edge over their competition. Specialized CRM systems constrain their ability to go outside of the box, resulting in wonky workarounds that are expensive to develop, if it can be supported at all.
On the other hand, generalized systems are built for flexibility. They’re a blank slate where lenders can design virtually any process they want. The obvious drawback is that lenders must have the expertise or resources to execute on their custom designs, increasing costs and extending implementation time.
Is there a CRM that is both easy to implement and flexible enough to support unique sales processes? In our opinion, the answer isn’t found in the software or groundbreaking innovation. It’s actually a function of culture and the time value of money.
“If a CRM can be utilized by a lender sooner rather than later, ROI is higher for both the lender and the vendor, since vendors get paid faster. The closer a CRM is delivered to a lender’s specification, the more valuable it is to a lender which increases the chance for contract renewal” Linn Cook, VP of Sales, Optifinow.
We believe that a lead management system vendor should dedicate their own resources to deliver a CRM according to lender specifications in as short a time as possible and at the lowest (most competitive) cost. A vendor that is willing to not only develop software but also do the heavy lifting required to deliver a usable lead management system on day one: list management, UI changes, field mapping, email campaign creation, etc.
This is exactly what OptifiNow does. Where most lead management system vendors offer an Ikea-like experience – you buy it, you build it, you break it – OptifiNow provides what we call the “White Glove” service model. Our clients don’t have to get their hands dirty learning how to build their dream system. They show us what they want, and we build it for them. We want our clients to step into a working CRM environment and immediately start selling.
Opportunity costs are your biggest risks when implementing a lead management system. Why buy a CRM and wait six, nine or even 12 months before you can actually begin using it? Why force individuals who aren’t trained in CRM system configuration to suddenly become experts? Who knows how to configure a lead management platform better and with greater efficiency than the developers who built it?
Cloud-based SaaS systems are pretty much the norm in the business world today. Software companies no longer have to build their own servers, network infrastructure or support hardware-heavy client-server architectures. Cloud servers, cloud hosting and cloud computing means that software providers can put more resources towards something more innovative than AI, machine learning or quantum computing combined: a human being providing customer service.