What is loan origination?

Loan origination is a process by which a borrower applies for a loan, and a lender disburses it or rejects the application. The origination process includes every step from application to funding disbursement, or rejection of the application. So, basically, the system of automating and managing the loan application and disbursal processes is known as the loan origination system

Depending on the types of loans, the origination process differs. For example, the process for mortgage loans is different from that of personal loans. After loan origination, loan servicing takes place. The servicing part includes all the procedures until the borrower repays the loan entirely. 

phygital lending ebook

The loan origination process can vary between different financial organizations. It may happen through several channels, involving multiple conversation touchpoints, and several meetings with the borrower. 

The loan origination process is usually cumbersome and requires a lot of documentation. Generally, loan origination takes somewhere between 35 to 40 days. However, with the increased use of automated systems, loan origination is becoming easier and faster. 

Stages of loan origination

Loan origination takes place over multiple stages. The initial origination stages are crucial for delivering better customer experiences. Also, the origination process differs from lender to lender. However, some of the critical steps that are similar are as follows.

Pre-qualification

Also known as pre-screening, pre-qualification is the very first stage of loan origination. Here the lender checks the eligibility of the borrower for a particular loan and determines the authenticity of the borrower. The borrower needs to submit identity proof documents to the lender to get the loan. These documents include:

  • ID proof such as a passport or a government-issued ID card
  • Present employment status, and any certificate showing income status
  • Credit score
  • Bank statement and previous loan statements (if any)

Once the borrower submits these documents, the lender verifies them. The lender may verify these documents manually or have software systems that automate the process to an extent. Once the verification stage is complete, the lender allows the borrower to proceed with the application process.

lending CRM - data gathering
Source: LeadSquared Lending CRM

Application

The application process is where the borrower provides relevant information to request a loan. The lender takes all the details from the borrower and proceeds with processing and underwriting the loan. 

Traditionally, the application process involved a lot of paperwork. However, now, organizations are switching to digital applications and self-serve portals. Digital applications not only reduce human error but also makes the application process a lot faster. The borrower can apply for the loan via websites or using a mobile app. Digital application are also product specific. So, depending on what loan the customer wants, the application length and required fields will vary. 

phygital lending ebook

Application processing

The lender processes the application after it is submitted. In the case of larger organizations such as banks, it is a time-consuming procedure. Multiple departments review the application, one by one. It is essential to verify and validate the application and check whether it is complete and authentic. The verification department will contact the customer if the application requires any correction or if any information is missing. This way of application processing takes time – often weeks or months.

However, a lot of modern banks and financial organizations are now switching to automated platforms. Automated loan origination systems can process the application in an instant. Often, these systems use alternative data points to assess customer eligibility. It can flag files, return it to borrowers, and notify the relevant department. 

Underwriting

Underwriting is a process by which lenders analyze your financial information. To decide how much funding the lender can allocate, they must consider multiple parameters. Lenders have different scoring mechanisms, such as credit scores, risk scores, outstanding loans, etc. to evaluate the eligibility of a borrower. Loan origination systems can take care of calculating these scores.

The following image from LeadSquared Lending CRM automated workflow explains this.

Verification underwriting process
Source: LeadSquared Lending CRM automated workflow

Credit decision

The result of underwriting is the credit decision. The lender decides if the application will be approved or denied at this stage. Loan origination systems can make this decision for the lenders. It is easy to assess different risk factors and scores and conclude quickly using AI-powered software. Modern software systems also use machine learning to analyze these scores and make the credit decision.

Quality check

One of the final stages of loan origination is quality checking. The lending business is highly regulated. Therefore, to ensure compliance, the lending organization must check that the processes are error-free and compliant. The lender validates the internal and external regulations at this stage. The lending organization verifies the application one more time before the funding.

Funding

After all the documents are verified and signed, the lender makes the funds available. Some form of loans requires more steps. These include loans against property or business loans. 

Areas where a loan origination system can help

In the current market, financial organizations are persistently trying to improve their workflow. Efficient systems not only improve customer experience but also brings better ROI. Financial services institutions are focusing more on the automation aspect to improve loan management. Adopting technologies such as microservices, APIs, machine learning, and AI is now quite effortless. The integration of these technologies into legacy loan origination systems will cut down the processing time and reduce operational costs. To achieve greater efficiency, lenders need to focus on the following tasks.

  • Automate data collection from the customer
  • Verify the authenticity of documents digitally
  • Automate the underwriting process
  • Enable third-party integrations to the loan origination system
  • Enable automated workflow models

Here are some of the areas where automation can help.

Customer (borrower) management

In any decision making, getting correct customer data is the first essential step. For lenders, this can be quite an arduous task. The data collection involves a lot of paperwork with a high chance of inaccurate data getting into the system. Automated loan origination systems can help here with electronic forms.

Loan origination systems have web-based interfaces that the customer can fill in. Often, more advanced platforms will also pre-fill some of the data for the customer, making it easier for them. These platforms also come with APIs that can help integrate them with other apps and services.

Many financial organizations keep multiple copies of data across different departments. With an automated system, it becomes easier to access data and reduce the duplication of documents. The data is stored centrally. Employees with the right privileges can access them from anywhere. From the perspective of audit control, this can be quite helpful.

Borrower profile - Collections CRM for debt recovery - retail banking CRM

Credit analysis

Modern lending CRM software can help lenders understand the customers’ credit history in just a moment. With the appropriate permissions from the customer, the program can extract relevant data from the customers’ financial documents. The program can automatically inspect the documentations and create a spreadsheet. Technologies such as machine learning and optical character recognition help extract the information. These technologies can help the lenders pre-screen a borrower and even provide credit decisions in minutes. 

Credit decision

In the loan approval process, automation helps with mining the data and simplifying the decision process. For many lenders, deciding to fund a loan by collating various documents is a difficult task. Not only does it allow human error to creep in, but it is also a slow process. For new customer relationships, this can create a negative impact.

Modern lending software can do this in minutes. These programs combine data from multiple stages and help lenders decide based on their predefined rules. To achieve this, lenders need to set a process based on the policies, the program screens the applicants. The final step is to approve or decline the loan. The automated software can flag potential risk factors and help loan officers prepare a proposal.

Portfolio risk management

A strong reason for using automation is improved data integrity and governance. All lenders have a set amount of risk they can tolerate. Organizations have rules based on which they set these risk levels. Without a portfolio reporting tool, coming up with these rules can be tedious and error prone. With manual underwriting, it may take multiple weeks to identify an issue. At that point, it may be too late or too costly to fix the problem. Automation helps a lot in lending risk management. 

Self-serve application forms

Self-serve application forms provide customers with a simple and intuitive way to approach the lenders. For lenders, it is a neat way to reduce junk applications. OTP verification helps in getting authentic customers, improves the customer experience, and saves lender’s time. 

Self serve loan application - Lending CRM

Workflow automation

Loan origination software can also help in automating workflows. Origination software can define and automate workflow for loan distribution to the in-house teams and call-center agents. The loan origination system software can take care of scheduling customer-agent interactions or meetings. From there, it can take over the application and analysis process. In the next stages, it can help in underwriting and decision processes. Finally, based on the decision, the organization can fund the loan. All these make it an end-to-end solution for managing the workflow of the loan origination process.

lending CRM - complete loan disbursal lifecycle

Conclusion

Automation is the driving force for all businesses in the modern era. Since the onset of the pandemic, the global lending market has exhibited a decline. However, it will start growing within a few years. Organizations need to prepare for the change right now. Lenders should start focusing more on automating the process of origination. 

Globally, more and more organizations are allocating budget for a digital transformation. A loan origination system can drastically improve the workflow and customer experience. By using such solutions, lenders can also reduce debt collection risks. Organizations that adopt these systems today have a higher chance of increasing their profit margins. 

Listen to the evolving landscape of lending and the role of digital transformation.

If you are looking for software that streamlines your loan origination process and seamlessly integrates with your LOS, then you must try out LeadSquared Lending CRM. 


Loan Origination System (LOS) FAQs

What is a LOS software?

A Loan Origination System (LOS) is a software or a set of multiple software built to support the loan application and disbursal processes. It saves time, improves operational efficiencies, and reduces default risks in lending.

Can we integrate CRM with LOS systems?

Yes, you can integrate Lending CRM with LOS systems to automate pre-screening checks. It will save your time, improve funnel quality, and speed up loan disbursal. 

What does origination mean?

Origination is the process of screening the applicants, authenticating them, underwriting the loan, and finally funding the loan.

How can loan origination software help in loan management?

A loan origination software simplifies loan management by automating data collection, verifying documents, automating underwriting and workflows, and enabling third-party integrations. LOS also integrates with CRM systems to maintain the borrower profile and track them until the final repayment.

Further reading:

Insurance Lead Generation Best Practices

In this article, we bring to you the digital marketing techniques that generate sales-ready leads and yield maximum ROI on your investments.  Based on our experience with leading Insurers in the United States and across the globe, we have compiled a list of actionable ideas for high-quality insurance lead generation. After applying these techniques, every penny you spend on a lead will return a dollar.

But before, let us quickly look at the digital marketing lead generation data from the insurance standpoint in the United States.

The US insurance digital marketing lead generation statistics

  • U.S. insurance companies spent $6.7 Billion on advertisements in 2018. 
  • The top 10 insurers cover about 82% of the total insurance digital marketing spend.
  • GEICO spends about $4 for every $100 in premium revenue earned.
  • Progressive spends $2 for every $100 in premiums.
  • Allstate and State Farm spend approximately $1 per every $100 in premiums.
  • Companies that spend more than 15% of their revenues on insurance lead generation are more likely to experience significant growth. 
  • Insurance companies that spend less than 5% of their revenues are almost three times more likely to experience flat revenues.

The role of digital marketing in insurance lead generation

A study by a market intelligence company reveals that the marketing expenditure of the insurance industry surpasses every other U.S. industry by nearly 8%.

However, the strategic dynamics of effective insurance lead generation and ROI entirely depend on the channels of marketing the companies utilize.

Capture leads from different sources

Therefore, you need to be strategic while using digital marketing to achieve optimum results. These include:

  • Omnichannel marketing
  • Email campaigns
  • Website chats
  • Landing pages
  • Mobile apps
  • content marketing
  • PPC ads

Syncing these marketing strategies provide a unique and balanced experience for your customers. Also, you need to streamline your marketing and sales teams to drive better productivity.

Insurance lead generation in 2022: techniques that will bring results

Omnichannel marketing 

Insurers throughout the world are inclining towards personalized and consistent user experiences. Omnichannel marketing is a fruitful way to do that. It helps organizations seamlessly communicate with customers via the channels of their choice – from on-site visits, phone calls, emails to website chat, mobile apps, live chats, text messages, Social media, and much more.

lead nurturing omnichannel

Today’s digital savvy customers seek personalized services from Insurers. It also means that the customer will explore other options, for competitive pricing and packages. However, this is also an opportunity to stand out from competitors through your digital marketing efforts and niche services. 

Traditional marketing also makes campaigns ineffective because of the following reasons.

  • Automation is impossible due to privacy, compatibility, and complaint issues between multiple agencies for insurance lead generation.
  • Manpower and other resources spent to manage your digital campaigns could easily double, triple, or more.
  • Does not integrate with other apps and software. It also presents numerous challenges in creating future strategies based on analysis.

The time is now to leverage omnichannel for insurance lead generation

With the help of omnichannel marketing CRM, you can automate your operations to overcome all the above issues. You can also provide a comfortable experience for your consumers and the company.

All it takes is a customer-first approach.

The digital customers of today use multiple channels and touchpoints to interact with a business or make a purchase. Forcing a customer to buy from a single point of sale creates fiction and a negative impression of your brand.

  • More than 30% of purchases span multiple platforms and devices.  Customers could either walk-in a brick and motor store or choose to but their policies online.
  • 74% of customers research insurance policies online, but due to the complexity of the purchase, only 25% end up buying them online.  And the rest prefer to speak to a live agent or walk into the insurance offices.
  • 88% of the insurance customers demand a personalized experience from Insurance providers.  Customer expectations have gone higher, especially in this digitized world.  Seamless and consistent connectivity is the need of the hour, and omnichannel marketing helps you achieve that.

An omnichannel marketing system will integrate all your platforms to simplify the buyer journey.

[Also read: 25 best ways to generate auto insurance leads]

Email Campaigns

When used strategically, email marketing can be a powerful tool to increase your Insurance lead generation and customer retention. 

It also allows the insurance company to reach out to the customer and provide crucial information that they need. 

The communication is direct, personalized, and informative. It will not only convert the recipients to leads but also build your brand value.

Lead Capture from Emails

Insurance lead generation through email marketing and ROI

Email marketing is still one of the best ways to win customers.
  • 74% of professional and successful digital marketing companies believe in the power of personalized emails.
  • Tailor-made email campaigns improve conversions by 10%.
  • Personalized emails increase click-through rates (CTR) by 14% compared to general emails.
  • Due to its high ROI (almost 4208%), email marketing is the most preferred mode of digital marketing.
  • An average professional in America spends 2.6 hours to 5.52 hours reading and answering emails. 

The challenges, however, lay in integrating the email marketing data with other marketing channels. For example, when a potential customer reads your email, there is a 75% chance that they will speak to a live agent.

If there is a mismatch between the details in their personalized insurance email and what your live agent is proposing, it will impart a negative impression and not close the sale.

Insurance CRM can mitigate this risk.

When the customer calls the insurance support center, your agent will immediately get all the details of the previous interactions with the customer across all platforms – social media, SMS, email, website, etc. 

Additional resources:

Webchats and chatbots

Live agents cannot always be on calls.  The case stands for both smaller companies that lack resources and large enterprises that handle millions of inquiries every day.

Web chats and chatbots are an excellent way to engage with your customers and improve lead generation.

Watch the webinar: Decoding the customer journey to convert leads into prospects.

For instance, after introducing chatbot into its omnichannel marketing channel, insurance giant AA Ireland could cut down missed webchats by 81%, reduce live-call agent handling time by 40%, and increase conversion rates by 11%.

Insurance CRM can effectively manage webchats and chatbots and yield better lead conversion rates and ROI. You can also utilize the CRM for specific tasks such as application automation, renewal reminders, claims, collections, or just for getting a complete view of customer information.

Landing pages

Insurance websites tend to be very confusing for visitors because of the number of insurances they offer. Expecting people to explore the website themselves and leave inquiries is unreasonable. It will only lead to drop-offs after some time.

To avoid this situation, you must use landing pages for specific products and campaigns with a clear CTA (call-to-action).

The main difference between a landing page and a home page, which most businesses fail to understand, is that -a homepage is an overview of your business. It holds multiple sections and offerings. On the other hand, the purpose of the landing page is to generate leads who are on the edge of converting into a potential sale and need a slight nudge for a call to action.

lead capture automation responsive landing pages

Learn the secret to creating high converting landing pages (free ebook).

Further reading:

Insurance lead generation through PPC ads

Insurance PPC ad campaigns are a costly endeavor.  With so much competition in the segment, selling insurance is no small feat.  It is a daunting task, and U.S. Insurance laws do not compromise.

Additionally, insurance-related keywords have ridiculously high CPC rates, averaging close to $54 per bid. 

Integrating your PPC campaigns with Insurance CRM can measure the effectiveness of your PPC campaigns as compared to other concurrent campaigns. With this, you will never miss a lead on which you have already spent a large acquisition amount.

Insurance CRM helps you in deploying your resources strategically.  These include customers you want to target, regional focus, precise segment, etc. You can achieve even higher conversion rates by using landing pages, launching retargeting campaigns to target prospects who did not convert in the first place.

Lead Capture Automation for PPC and digital Ads

Also read the following articles for a deeper insights into PPC marketing.

Insurance Lead Generation: Common Mistakes

Now that you know the effective lead generation techniques in insurance, it is time to look at the practices that may negatively impact your marketing strategies.

1. Targeting your campaigns to everyone and on all channels

Identifying your target demography is crucial.  Money spent on the wrong targets is equal to the revenue lost. For instance, a family insurance plan will make no sense for a young, unmarried prospect.

Focus your campaign and funnel it to precisely match your company and the customers you are targeting.

2. Incomplete tracking

However, it requires human intervention to maximize the impact of insurance lead generation campaigns. The additional metrics you must track are:

  • Most profitable sources/campaigns
  • Improving insurance lead generation response rate
  • CPC and sales generated
  • Profile of inquiring customers, etc.

3. Not mapping the buyer journey

Digital marketing and buyer journey mapping complement each other. You can’t run a good campaign without knowing the prospect’s motivations, intention, and their position in the buying cycle. Understanding the buyer’s journey gives you actionable insights into customer preferences.

You must understand where the prospect is in his buyer journey and address his concerns accordingly. For instance, if a lead has filled in your form the first time, chances are he might have inquired with your competitors as well. Here, instant and automated responses with policy details would make a lot of difference.

In another scenario, if prospects are filling the application form and drop off after lingering on a field for a long time, then it means that they possibly had difficulty filling that page. In this case, the call center can call and help them out. 

How to sync marketing and sales in insurance?

Today, the digitization of customer journey, increasing marketing spent by competitors, advanced tools to track, target, and automate communication campaigns, etc. are making it difficult for new players to survive in the market. Even established Insurers are facing tough competition, and their ROI from lead generation techniques is going down the graph.

Targeting the right customer segments, regions, and various other components ethically are the key to elevate your ROI and lead conversion graph.

Insurance CRM is a perfect solution to interconnect all your marketing and sales platforms. It is also a one-stop-shop to get hold of all your marketing data and assign resources to different platforms depending on various factors.  Some of them are:

  • Platform performance: webpage, apps, social media, third-party sites/apps, etc.
  • Seasonal promotions
  • Targeting the right set of audience

How can CRM software help?

Deploying your insurance lead generation marketing campaigns on a single CRM rather than on multiple platforms has several advantages.

Insurance CRM - call center intervention
  • Your data is in one place: Analyzing and correlating become effortless when you have all your data in one CRM platform.  You do not need to request data from marketing agencies, nor do you have to pull it through various sources.
  • More economical: Paying enormous amounts for different marketing channels and platforms does not sound right in any way when you can get all the services for a more economical CRM package.
  • Assign all your resources from one place: Different factors such as target audience, seasonal promotions, regional focus, etc. come into play while you allot funds for leads in your digital marketing campaign.  You can switch your marketing efforts and funds allocation without a glitch.
  • Automate digital marketing operations: The concept of automation has been in the insurance industry for decades but harnessing its capabilities is a novel concept in insurance digital marketing. 

The first step of automation is gathering all your digital marketing channels into one portal – the Insurance CRM. 

It is never too late to transform your digital marketing strategies for insurance lead generation. 

LeadSquared Insurance CRM is the perfect solution to seamlessly integrate all marketing channels and measure the effectiveness of your campaigns. From allocating resources, managing campaigns to targeting demographics that have the potential for the best ROI, LeadSquared CRM provides you full control over your decisions. Give it a try now.

Today, e-commerce has shifted retail sales to online to a great extent. There is hardly an involvement of sales reps. However, despite having an online presence, sectors like EdTech, insurance, lending, healthcare, SaaS products, travel, and online marketplaces need a sales team for interacting with customers and closing sales.

In this article, we will address the challenges and strategies to improve B2C sales.

B2C sales challenges

Finding leads is generally not an issue for B2C organizations. With digital marketing, events, agency outsourcing, and other sources, businesses generate a significant volume of leads. However, nurturing leads and pulling them down the sales funnel is the main challenge for the sales teams. Another pressing challenge that B2C sales face is of lead leakage. Since there are so many and diverse sources of leads (online, offline, intermediaries), it is essential to plug the leaks.

Let us take an example. Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, regular classroom coaching took a hit, and students and parents resorted to online education. Therefore, the EdTech sector gained a sudden boost. 

EdTech companies were able to reach out to millions of students through marketing. But handling queries like course modules, fee structure, etc. became a humongous task. Moreover, selling courses required hard selling skills and proper sales strategies. 

Similar is the case with other industries like insurance, lending, healthcare, delivery, cleaning services, to name some.

The most pressing challenges that salespeople state include:

  1. Quality of leads: Sales teams spend a lot of time convincing the uninterested prospects or casual inquiries. It impacts their speed-to-lead to qualified leads.
  2. Prioritization: Generally, salespeople handle prospects based on a first-come-first-serve basis. It is not the optimum method as they waste time nurturing junk leads or the leads who will never buy.
  3. Calling: Finding lead information and then calling them from their cellphone is time-consuming. 
  4. Status update: After calling leads, sales reps need to maintain a log and meeting/interaction notes in an excel sheet. 
  5. Follow-ups: Salespeople create their own reminders/alarms to follow-up with a customer. Sometimes, they also refer to the excel document to check if a follow-up is pending.
  6. Incentives: Many sales reps are dissatisfied with the bonus or incentives they receive. On the other hand, managers find it tough to calculate incentives for individual sales reps/agents. 

B2C sales challenges for managers

Apart from the above B2C sales challenges, sales managers find it difficult to manage sales at the team level. Many industries rely heavily on external agents and call-centers. Also, many businesses outsource the field teams to third-party hiring agencies. Managing contractual workers (especially in some sectors where the churn rate is high) presents some serious challenges to regional/city sales managers.

All these factors impact the productivity of the sales teams, increases the sales cycle, and reduces conversions. At times, old-school sales methods leave a terrible customer experience in a fast-moving digital world.

Fortunately, companies can improve their B2C sales process with the help of technology. Let us see how.

How to improve B2C sales?

How do you improve B2C sales?

It is crucial to align both – marketing and sales strategies to improve B2C sales. Generating leads through marketing will not bring any result to a business if the sales process is not optimized for conversion.

Therefore, in today’s time, aligning your sales and marketing teams is crucial.

However, this is not enough.

To drive better results, you need to invest in technologies that can improve your sales teams’ productivity. Let us look at ways to improve your sales reps’ productivity and reduce speed-to-lead and conversion time.

Lead qualification

As salespeople say – they waste a lot of time and effort in communication with casual inquiries and lose prospects who have better chances of conversion. You can filter the leads to resolve this issue.

By tracking the lead source, the amount of time they are spending on your website, and whether they have navigated the pricing page, location, etc. you can assign scores to the leads. It will help you understand the leads’ intent and interest in your product/services.

Naturally, a prospect who is interested in your offering will browse more about you. All these attributes will help you identify and filter qualified leads.

Lead distribution and prioritization

Another problem that salespeople raised was about prioritization of leads. Instead of interacting with inquiries in sequential order, you can assign leads to sales reps based on lead scores. That is, sales reps can contact the qualified leads before others.

Also, if you also have a call center team, then you can distribute leads among call center agents and your in-house sales team.

Related reads:

Simplifying interactions to improve B2C sales productivity

Salespeople mentioned that calling from their mobile phones consumes time. Sales CRM (Customer Relationship Management) software integrates with cloud calling systems (e.g., RingCentral), telephony, and dialer systems to enable calls from laptops/computers.

A sales representative needs to call many prospects every day. By saving even 5 minutes per call, you can improve productivity to a great extent. The sales rep can thus accomplish more calls per day. 

Similarly, sales CRM makes follow-up easy for sales reps. If the contact was not available, then the system can register that and remind/notify the salesperson to call the customer again after a defined interval of time. It is also possible to automate such workflows with CRM systems.

Listen to the webinar – how to accelerate revenues with sales automation?

 

Record keeping and reporting

The root cause of missed information is the lack of a platform for end-to-end sales activities.

For example, you have captured leads through digital marketing. A typical scenario is – the marketing teams will share the lead information in an excel sheet every day. Now, sales reps will maintain their documents for meeting notes, prospect status, lead stage, and more.

It might be workable on a small scale. But it creates a lot of inefficiencies when you scale and expand. Producing monthly reports and quarterly reports become a task for managers. Sales executives can save time spent on making reports in closing more deals.

The point is – to improve your B2C sales, you need a system that can maintain interaction history and generate reports automatically.

Incentives calculations

If you have a system in place that tracks your sales teams’ performance and conversions, you can automate incentive calculations as well.

We all know that incentives play an important role in motivating the team. The system defined incentive modules are more accurate and fact-based.

[Also read: Sales SPIFF Examples and Ideas to Motivate Your Teams]

Training and knowledge sharing

Sales teams need to know the product/services well. They also need to know the competitors’ offerings. For instance, a customer may ask that why should he buy your product/services over your competitors? If the sales reps are not well versed in the market, they may fail to convince the customer.

Proper training and knowledge about the product are crucial. However, product features and offerings may change from time to time. For example, there can be discount offers in a particular region. Therefore, you need a system that can notify each user about the product update and ensure they adhere to the changes.

[Also read: Sales onboarding template and checklist]

Cross-sell, upsell, and referrals

It is easy to sell to existing customers and in their network. Whether you have a separate referral department or not, you can find new opportunities with your existing clients.

Although we are successful marketing through our website, social media, email and seminars, the biggest key to our finding new business and consumer clients is through the referrals we receive, whether B2C or B2B,” says Samir Thakkar, Founder and Managing Partner of 20/20 Financial Advisers (Source: Forbes).

Final thoughts

Even though direct sales through self-serve portals are on the rise, the need for sales interaction is still intact. Retail might have seen the shift of the sales role to support role to some extent, but many other industries rely heavily on sales through agents and personal interaction with customers.

The key to success in B2C sales involves effective marketing, sync between sales and marketing, and sales process automation to improve the productivity of sales representatives. By streamlining your internal sales process, you can achieve better sales targets with the same resources. All you need is a CRM software that addresses all these concerns and has a friendly UI.

Fortunately, today sales and marketing teams can have access to real-time operational metrics and buyer intents with the help of CRM solutions.

LeadSquared Sales Execution CRM has improved the average sales per day per agent by 40% and the lead-to-sale ratio by 35% for businesses. You can also try it for your business.


B2C Sales FAQs

What is the difference between B2C and B2B sales?

B2C sales differ from B2B sales in many ways. First, the lead and sales volumes are high, and at the same time, lead quality is also lower. Therefore, salespeople need to identify interested customers. Two, you can sell directly from your website, affiliates, referrals, social channels, etc. whereas, B2B sales requires several interactions, product demos, and more. Also, in a B2C business, buying decisions and motivation are more personal and irrational.

What is direct to consumer sales?

Also known as D2C, Direct to Customer is an eCommerce strategy that allows manufacturers to sell directly to the consumer. It eliminates the conventional way of negotiating with resellers/retailers to get your product on the market.

What are the necessary B2C sales skills?

To succeed in B2C sales, you need to have the following skills.
1. Selling and communication skills
2. Listening and negotiation skills
3. Comprehensive knowledge about products and competitors
4. Time management skills.

What is B2C sales?

B2C corresponds to business-to-customers. It indicates businesses that target consumers directly. B2C businesses involve retail, marketplaces, consumer tech, on-demand services, where a product or service from a manufacturer or a service provider is available to individual customers. B2C sales strategy is related to the sales activities or selling of products to individual customers, either directly or via intermediaries.

Further reading:

Capabilities of CRM Software

Sales and marketing are the backbone of any business. They generate leads and educate your consumers about your product. Any growing company with a strong sales and marketing team can easily win customers.

You may have many touchpoints and channels to interact with your prospects. It is therefore not an easy task to manage all the customers with their unique demands. Now, this is where CRM comes in. CRM tools have helped businesses to maintain their sales efficiency and customer relations.

In this article, we will discuss the capabilities of CRM Software. We will also cover how it makes sales and marketing more efficient.

Benefits and Key Capabilities of CRM Software

CRM software is a smart thing to have for any sales or marketing team. Here are the benefits that you can enjoy with the exclusive capabilities of CRM systems.

7 Key capabilities of CRM Software (Infographic)

1. Improved Communications

With CRM in place, you can provide your customers with high-level services. You will also be able to communicate with your customers in real-time. Some of the real-time communication options of CRM are – chatbots, live chat sessions with sales reps, and phone calls.

Moreover, you can track all these interactions into a centralized system. Thus, in case you change the point of contact with your client, the new employee can look at the activity history and understand the customer better.

2. Better Team Coordination

A team that works as a single unit is more effective. With cloud storage and a handy interface, you can always have the information at your disposal. But the information is available only to the collaborators. That is – any unauthorized person cannot access the CRM data.

The data is secure, and at the same time, with the ease of accessibility, sales and marketing teams can work more productively. Along with this, reporting to managers and clients is also easy. This way, CRM allows smooth coordination between teams.

3. Integrations

You might be using some software for some part of your business. For example, sales-intensive organizations use RingCentral for cloud calling.

Now, the traditional process is – the sales reps maintain an excel sheet of their work/call logs. Then they manually enter the notes.

You can simplify this task for your sales reps. By integrating RingCentral with CRM, you can convert phone calls and even voice mails to leads. This way, following up with the leads becomes easy.

So, this is just one example. You can integrate several apps like Gmail, Facebook Ads, Google Ads, and many more with the CRM.

4. Customization

Every business has its unique requirements. Although customers are the center, the interaction patterns are different. For example, the Education sector deals with a particular set of inquiries. Here, the customers are students – who need guidance.

At the same time, the insurance sector has to deal with adults. The leads may not want suggestions but would explore the product benefits.

The point is – a good CRM software adapts according to the business requirements. You can customize them to solve a particular business problem.

5. Improved Client Relationship

MuleSoft study indicates that 72% of global consumers would consider changing service providers because of disconnected experiences. Therefore, sales reps need to know the customers well to keep them satisfied. Better customer relation is the core capability of CRM.

You should be able to show them that you care about them and can take care of them. CRM software will help you form such a relationship with your customers. It has all the solutions already integrated for a quick resolution to any problem.

6. Cost Savings

The CRM software itself has a purchasing rate. But, over time, CRM tools give you a great ROI. The investment is even lesser in SaaS CRM (Software as a Service). Here, you use the software on a monthly/annual subscription basis.

There is another aspect to look at when it comes to cost-saving.

Field sales agents spend a lot of time and money in traveling to meet clients. Imagine if your representatives can plan meetings for a day in a particular region. Your sales reps can then arrange meetings with potential customers in the same area. It will save them traveling time and cost.

7. More Profits

When it comes to productivity, the capabilities of CRM Software are immense.

With CRM, your employees can respond better to all the needs of your customers. It will lead to better customer experience and generate more business for your company. After all, happy customers are the best advocates.

Hence this way, you will be able to generate more revenues and profits for your company.

Things to Consider Before Buying a CRM Software

Now that you know the capabilities of CRM software, it’s time to understand what makes a CRM fit for your business. It will help you select the best CRM software.

Things to consider while buying a CRM Software

1. Accessibility

Accessibility is a crucial factor that you should consider. It corresponds to making your application available and usable to people.

A lot of people work from home these days. Thus, a software that demands the workforce to operate only from their desktops is not good.

Now, this is where cloud-based software and SaaS come into the picture.

Traditionally, enterprises used on-premise CRM systems. But now they are migrating into cloud platforms. It is due to mobility and accessibility reasons.

The next advancement in CRM technology is Mobile CRM. It is a handy mobile app that serves all the necessary benefits of the CRM on your smartphone. Field agents have reported a significant increase in their productivity with Mobile CRMs.

Also read – What is a cloud-based CRM and how does it benefit your business?

2. Compatibility

In general, CRM software can integrate within your existing infrastructure. However, you should check whether the CRM that you have shortlisted is compatible with your existing platform.

Also, you must ensure that it integrates other third-party applications that you use. Otherwise, you might end up with a lot more hassle. What’s the point if the CRM you’re investing in cannot reduce the workload of your team.

3. Cost of Software

The CRM software is mostly customized based on the needs of the company. So, the cost may vary according to the customization that you demand.

There can be a lot of useful features in the CRM system that you have selected. But, if you have specific requirements, you must convey it to your vendor.

The ideal approach to select a CRM would be –

  1. Assess your needs
  2. Explore CRM that serves most of your needs
  3. Ask for customization options and cost for the same
  4. Reassess the CRM system before making a final decision.

You can also go for SaaS CRM. It is very cost-effective. If in case, it did not work for you, you can switch to other options without any expense. The whole point of SaaS is on-demand availability. Thus, if the cost is a concern, then SaaS CRM is the best for you.

4. Support Options

Businesses have to deal with unforeseen challenges. For instance, the Covid-19 Pandemic changed the office-going culture to work-from-home in a snap. Forget contingency planning organizations faced a tough time continuing their regular operations in a Work-from-home set-up.

At such times, the support you get from your CRM vendor counts a lot. The pandemic was once in a lifetime case, but other challenges might occur during day-to-day operations. Thus, you need to ensure that your service provider has support and customer success teams in place.

5. Friendly Interface

Don’t overlook the UI of the CRM software that you are looking forward to buying.

Senior business people can work with almost every UI. But the users of your CRM would be sales representatives. The interface should be simple enough that your agents need not memorize how to use it. Moreover, your users might be non-technical professionals. They cannot dig into details in case they are unable to use it.

The whole purpose of investing in a CRM is to improve your sales and marketing teams’ efficiency. If they had to hassle with the interface, then instead of saving time, it would become an extra burden to use.

Thus, if you opt for a simple enough system, you can save a lot of time. And this will also encourage your employees to use CRM for all their tasks.

Concluding Remarks

Today, nearly 90% of companies with more than ten employees use a CRM system. It indicates that the CRM system is crucial for businesses. 

CRM software is pivotal to improve your business and maintain a good relationship with your customers. 

It has many applications ranging from work reporting, automated email response, a reminder system, contact management, sales analytics, communication management, to name some.

I hope these points have helped you understand the capabilities of CRM software. Also, you must now know what additional aspects you should look at while buying a CRM.

LeadSquared is one of the best CRM companies that focuses on the users first. You can try LeadSquared CRM software for free.

Related articles:

CRM Software FAQs

What are CRM functions?

The main CRM functions are:
1. Contact management
2. Interaction tracking
3. Workflow automation
4. Lead management
5. Communication and marketing automation
6. Sales team management
7. Reporting and analytics

What can I expect from a CRM system?

You can expect to improve sales productivity and customer experience by using a CRM system. It consists of several tools to help you capture, segment, prioritize leads based on a pre-defined set of rules. Details.

Residential Real Estate Outlook 2021. A complete guide to residential real estate sales along with industry best practice ebook.
A definitive guide to real estate sales [Free Download]

The real estate sector is reviving, and realtors across India are breathing a sigh of relief. Realty has witnessed a surge in business in July-September and will continue this trend in 2021 reveals a leading real estate consultancy firm. With a reduced home loan interest and 1% GST on affordable housing, the industry has returned to the pre-Covid level. There has been a positive outlook for major metro cities such as Kolkata, Pune, Chennai, Mumbai, and NCR that have witnessed an average of 75.8% rise in residential real estate sales this quarter. However, the average price has gone down. When it comes to the commercial and office space segment, cities have witnessed a 51% jump.

Our team from LeadSquared, an integrated Real Estate CRM and Marketing solution provider compiled industry best practices and learnings into a Definitive Guide for Real Estate Sales.

Reason for Upsurge in Real Estate Sales

The spike in real estate has been due to developers actively enticing customers through digital mediums. Shikhar Mota, a CRM expert in the real estate industry, says that property sales have already started going digital. Marketing tools are helping to reach a broader audience amidst the pandemic. Initiating a residential real estate sale in 2021 would largely depend on how seamless the digital onboarding experience is.

Commenting on sales closures, he said, “there are many things that we consider before buying a property. Having a view of the project physically is hugely on top of the customer’s mind. The real estate industry’s behavior has been extremely volatile in the past few years. Most developers have lost their credibility in the market. Hence, buying a property 100% digitally is currently doubtful. Our international customers also ensure a site visit of the project through someone known before making the purchase.” He further added that realtors could expect the onboarding process to turn digital-only if the industry is more streamlined and process-oriented. Till then, digital can only be used as a marketing tool.

Quarterly Report Card 2020

However, it is seen that despite the pandemic, the absorption rate has drastically increased. Metro cities such as Pune, Mumbai, NCR, Chennai, and Kolkata have recorded YoY sales this quarter of 60%, 50%, 57%, 73%, respectively. Kolkata home sales have jumped to a whopping 139%, with a sale of 3921 residential units in the 3rd quarter alone and a 62% jump in office space deals. There has been a positive absorption rate. In real estate, absorption is the rate at which existing properties in the market are sold over a specific period. Mathematically, it is represented as:

The number of properties sold at a particular time/ the total number of properties available in the market at that point. 

The given bar graph provides and outlook on city-wise rise in residential sales in 2020 and the pie chart demonstrates the ranking of cities across India as per the living index 2018.

The figures validated by the leading real estate developers account for the revival and positive outlook on residential real estate for 2021. With the festive season approaching, the days to come will be even more crucial for builders.

Increasing Demand for Ready-To-Move-In (RTMI) Properties 

An interesting development in the purchasing pattern of consumers has been the rising affinity towards RTMI properties. Sudhir Shetty, AVP Residential Sales, Prestige Group, admits an upsurge in the residential real estate sales since August-September from customers and channel partners starting from site visits to the booking of properties. The RTMI segment has shown a promising market demand of 30-40%. He also mentioned that one of their luxury projects sold more RTMI units in the last three months alone compared to last year.   

An all-time low home loan rates and no GST has encouraged customers to speed up their decision making. Additionally, builders are expanding their discount umbrella by offering lucrative discount options and additional benefits such as hassle-free loan processes, flexible EMI options, and other deals.

The Builder and Customer Mindset

From the Customer Standpoint:

The pandemic has magnified the importance of a house. A house is no longer just a residential “home” but serves as an office/school to cater to “work from home” and “online classes.” Builders are not wasting the opportunity and offering flexible payment options/discounts on their properties. On the other hand, customers are happy to avail huge discounts.

Shrihari Pathak, MD, Pathak Developers, Mysuru, said, “Customers, especially in the age bracket of 25-35 years, have got into a fast-track mode as they have realized there is a lot of momentum on losing out on inventory. Hence, the overall decision making has become faster.”

“The demand for residential units  anyway existed, but the uncertainty brought by Covid-19 has actually accelerated the need and importance for owned homes to a generation that was tilting towards renting over buying.” Adds Chaitanya Seth, Partner, Business Consulting – Real estate sector, EY India

From the Builder Standpoint:

Builders, on the other hand, are not sitting on the inventory. Sales prospecting has become more aggressive. Most builders are looking to improve their overall customer onboarding experience. The quality of leads and inquiries have improved as prospects with a definite purchasing intent and timeline are approaching realtors while the number of casual inquiries has reduced.      

As per Chaitanya, “Some developers are already in excess of 65% of their pre-COVID sales levels. The conversion rate across the buying cycle has also nearly doubled for a few. The coming quarter will be a great buying opportunity for fence-sitters and quick decision-makers. Developers are likely to see strong and swift momentum in decision making from these segments. The preference of home buyers today is more towards Ready-to-move-in (RTMI) properties or for a trusted brand with a strong value proposition.”

Have Site-Visits Reduced or Increased?

In the initial part of the quarter, the number of site visits had reduced due to the pandemic. People relied on virtual modes of communicating and interacting with the builders, especially customers residing out of the station. However, virtual site visits, pictures, videos, and walkthroughs are just a precursor. One needs a physical site visit for sale to happen. Sudhir Shetty, AVP Residential Sales, Prestige, said, “The weekends are often jam-packed with continuous site visits lined up.”

Chaitanya’s view of on-site visits is that they continue to remain an essential part of the sales cycle, especially for first-time buyers. He said, “While site visits remain critical in a high-transaction-value customer journey, buyers have been relying on digital mediums extensively for researching, shortlisting, and engaging with developers. In response, developers have adopted well to shape up their digital presence and eminence through websites, virtual tours, and digital marketing. Investing in digital platforms is key for developers to scale, engage, and maximize reach to the customers and channel partners.”

From a Commercial Standpoint: 

RBI‘s announcement to justify the risk weightage on home loans and to link housing loan risks only to loan-to-value (LTV) has encouraged banks to offer more to the borrowers. With the onset of the pandemic, banks have been reluctant to provide loans while borrowers face financial stress.

Considering this, the RBI has decided to keep the repo rate unchanged in its October policy review. It could have provided an added boost right before the festive season. However, with an increase in consumer inflation and reduced repo rates from 140 basis points in 2020, it seems unlikely.

There have been initiatives to back-up realtors by reducing stamp duty charges (In Maharashtra) and providing builders’ discounts and freebies. This is likely to encourage customers and boost residential real estate sales and build a strong future outlook for Q4 of 2020 and 2021.

[Also Read: Residential Real Estate Sales Strategy for 2021]

A Condensed Version of What Lies Ahead in 2021

The outlook on Q4 and 2021 for the Indian residential real estate industry is slowly and steadily reviving. From a realtor standpoint, customer experience is something that has to be made seamless. This is the time to build trust and brand image. Investing in the right set of automation tools will help establish an exclusive and personal touch with customers. One needs to provide complete transparency of information to the customers at every corner to make their onboarding experience smooth. Historically, the North, South, and East regions of our country have started seeing some trajectory; however, the near-term outlook on sales for Q4 of 2020 and 2021 will continue to depend on the economy and environment’s recovery velocity.

Having worked with top realtors like Shapoorji Pallonji, Rohan Builders, Alliance Group, MGH Builders, Adarsh Group, Vaishnavi Group, and more, we have compiled the industry best practices and learnings into a real estate sales E-Book. The takeaways from the Ebook are as follows:

  1. How to increase agent productivity & boost digital sales?
  2. Capturing & tracking inquiries, and personalize communication-based on interest
  3. Managing multiple opportunities to ensure visibility into the pipeline
  4. Industry drift towards Zoom, Whatsapp, and other online modes of communication
  5. Residential and commercial real estate outlook 2021
  6. Insights from Industry experts

Mortgage Loan Origination Software - features and benefits
Decoding the home buyer’s journey e-book [Free Download]

Disbursing a mortgage loan is no mean task. It is hardly an over-the-counter product where you can hand it out to the next person who walks in. A mortgage in the US is a high risk, high cost, and volatile product that needs tons of background checks, credit checks, borrower credibility checks, and collateral in case of delinquency. 

Mortgage lenders of the past might have tried to deal with this elaborate and quite tedious process manually. But it has led to many errors and an increased risk of identity fraud. That is why many mortgage lenders turn towards mortgage loan origination software to make the whole process simpler, automated, and error-free.

So, what is a mortgage loan origination software anyway? 

What is Mortgage Loan Origination Software?

A loan origination software (LOS) is a tool that allows lenders to manage different stages of their loan servicing cycle – right from application to disbursal. It is a digital solution that provides centralized access to all data, resources, and teams. The primary purpose of LOS software is to help lenders process loans faster. The LOS that caters to the mortgage industry is called mortgage loan origination software. 

LOS is quickly adopted by lenders over the world to expedite their loan disbursal processes. The LOS market is estimated to be worth 5210 million US$ by the end of 2025. The USA is the largest consumer of loan origination software, taking up 44.06% of the global market. The market is full of loan origination software, and lenders have a lot of options with them. Still, bringing operational efficiency remains a concern. 

A better solution for end-to-end mortgage loan management is using LOS with mortgage CRM software. 

How a Mortgage CRM Works with a LOS System

To streamline your mortgage lending process, having a LOS system is not enough. You will need a mortgage CRM that can work well with your loan origination software to ensure that there are no lead leakages or setbacks in your lending process.

Let’s look at how a CRM and LOS work hand-in-hand throughout the stages of the loan origination process.

Pre-screening

A lender might attract potential borrowers to their website in numerous ways. It could be through paid ads, real estate partnerships, social media campaigns, third party listings, and more. Once the lead visits the website, there is usually an eligibility check that they fill before they even apply for the mortgage.

This form captures details like employment status, annual income, bank statements, or tax returns that speak for the borrower’s credibility. When the lead doesn’t fit or fulfill the threshold criteria, then they are rejected right away without having to go through the whole process. A CRM will quickly mark disqualified leads so that your sales team does not waste time following upon them.

lending CRM - seamless application processing

Mortgage Application

Once the borrower passes the screening, the second step would be to complete the mortgage application. Before the era of loan origination software, in most cases, the applicant would submit a lengthy paper form, which might include false information. A LOS, on the other hand, will automatically capture all this information, validate them, and make it easier for your credit team to process the application. 

By integrating your CRM and LOS, all the application information, with both current and historical data, is captured in one place, where you can easily access it whenever needed. 

Application Processing

Once the LOS registers a new application, it quickly analyzes it for missing information, incorrect data, or other inaccuracies. Instead of having a whole team of people poring over long applications, a LOS automates and simplifies this process so that what took days, or even months, is now completed in a matter of minutes.

With a CRM integration, you can quickly route incomplete applications to your call center team, who can then follow up with the applicant to persuade them to complete the application. Additionally, they can also set up tasks and reminders to ensure that they follow-up with all leads.

Mortgage Underwriting

Underwriting for mortgages is the single most crucial step in your entire loan origination process. Underwriters receive the completed and verified application from the mortgage CRM software, who then assesses the risks to create a loan proposal. 

An underwriter will typically check an applicant’s credit history, identification, income statements, cash reserves, equity investments, financial assets, and other risk factors. A CRM can also help you keep track of the underwriting status so that you can quickly view the prospect’s stage in the funnel. 

A CRM can fetch data from LOS, CIBIL, Experian Hunter, Perfios, NetBanking Connect, and PDF Statement Analyzer to automate borrower qualification & offer generation.

Lending CRM - offer generation engine

In the US, underwriters usually follow the guidelines set down by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, that oversee the mortgage market. Most LOS and CRM software integrates with these two entities to help automate the underwriting process. 

Credit decision and Quality Checks

After the underwriting process is complete, the mortgage lender will have all the information he needs to process the mortgage. They will look at the applicant’s risks and then decide whether the application can be processed, rejected, or modified. If an application is approved, then the creditor can determine the principal amount and the annual rate of interest, depending on the applicant profile. A CRM will then import all this information from the LOS so that the applicant profile remains up to date.

After this comes the quality check process, where the quality control team audits the application to ensure that it meets both internal and external guidelines. It is a vital step in the loan process, as it helps mortgage lenders avoid any lawsuits in disputes.

Loan Disbursal

The final step in this process is sanctioning the mortgage once the parties sign the documents. After funding the mortgage, the borrower is considered closed in the LOS.

But with a CRM integration, you can continue to keep track of the borrower even after mortgage disbursal. You can keep track of monthly payments, changes in interest rate, amortization of the principal, and more by setting up simple workflows within the CRM. In the case of delinquency, you can also send reminders to the relevant loan officers to ensure they quickly take remedial action.

Conclusion

With COVID 19 suddenly uprooting the way the world works, many businesses are adapting to the new era by going digital. The mortgage industry is not far behind, by quickly adopting productivity tools like loan origination software and mortgage CRMs. 

When choosing a suitable mortgage CRM, you must look for one that can integrate well with your LOS so that you can manage mortgages from one centrally connected system. Here are some benefits of integrating your CRM and LOS:

  • Quicker loan disbursals
  • Reduced acquisition costs
  • 360-degree view into borrower information
  • Optimized operational costs
  • Faster underwriting
  • Increased borrower engagement
  • Reduced collection costs 

Pairing your mortgage loan origination software with your CRM is the best decision that you can make, and reviews say that LeadSquared’s mortgage software is one of the best in the game. Why don’t you check it out?


Loan Origination System FAQs

What does loan origination software do?

A LOS helps lenders centrally manage and automate various loan servicing lifecycle stages, right from application to loan disbursal.

What are the types of mortgages?

There are six types of mortgages for homebuyers:
1. Fixed-rate mortgage
2. Adjustable-rate mortgage
3. Conventional mortgage
4. Jumbo mortgage
5. Balloon mortgage
6. Interest-only mortgage

Who originates mortgages?

A mortgage originator is an institution or individual that works with a borrower to complete a home loan transaction. It can be either the original mortgage lender or a broker or banker.


Further reading: