The CP team recently participated in the Virtual Self Storage Show’s Beat the REITs virtual conference. Together, experts in the industry held sessions outlining the most important steps to outperform the REITS. Covering topics ranging from lead acquisition, to latest technology, to operational changes stemming from the pandemic, the conference offered tremendous value in showcasing the latest and greatest ideas in self storage.
Our very own Peter Spickenhagel, VP of Business Development, joined in to discuss how operators can optimize their sales cycle through technology. As an owner and operator himself (at one time overseeing the operations of over 85 locations), he speaks from personal experience on how the market is shifting to better suit customer needs while solving operational issues simultaneously.
As a recap of the conference, we’ve pulled the top 3 key insights from Peter’s session to better your operational processes and truly “Beat the REITs."
1. Managing Your Leads
As fancy and glamorous as we think storage is, it’s not a desired service for those that aren’t in the market for it. Unlike retail this allows managers the mindset that every lead is a hot lead and therefore requires a sense of urgency. However, it also leaves room for error that could potentially affect closing rates. Properly managing your leads is the first step to addressing customers’ needs and keeping staff organized. As new technology emerges, we continue to see traditional systems are slowly leaving the industry as new technology emerges to supplement existing processes.
From the first ring, CallPotential’s DIY Contact Center tool tracks and records incoming and outgoing calls so on-site staff can shift their focus to providing excellent customer service and capture customer information. With real-time inventory, pricing, and specials at hand, employees are prepared with the necessary tools to close the deal, while operators are empowered to make justified marketing and operational decisions to optimize each lead.
2. Follow-Up Verification
As important as lead acquisition and management is, following up is arguably the most impactful step in the closing process.The general rule of thumb is that follow-up should occur 10-15 minutes minimum after each inquiry. Because it’s such a timely task, operators need assurance that it’s not only being done by the store team, but that it’s being done properly.
Before our technology emerged, validating the completion of follow-up and collection tasks was nearly impossible. Tasks could be marked as “done” without calls being made, letting employees bypass the system. We designed our Lead Manager and Collections Manager modules to provide insight on the back end that can reveal potential to improve sales and offer reasoning behind declined numbers. Both modules feature automated omni-channel communication like text, call, and email to eliminate the guesswork. With trackable metrics, you can assess your closing rates more effectively and remove tedious follow-up from your standard procedure. The tools’ customizable scripts and workflow ensure a tailor-made process that can fit any location.
3. Incentivize and Encourage Employee Performance
The on-site staff are, undoubtedly, the backbone of the industry, which is why it’s important to offer ongoing training opportunities and incentivize their work. Oftentimes employees are looking for new techniques to optimize their performance, learn new skills, and teach colleagues the same.
CallPotential tools work as a checks and balances system. Trackable incoming and outgoing calls can be used as a valuable assessment tool for good performance, and offer insight where more training is needed. Our DIY Call Center features an in-system call feature that measures if, when, and how long calls are made to provide accountability and improved time management. With visibility into day-to-day tasks, managers can set realistic goals for the team to achieve.
The overall addition of operational technology as an accessory to any property can improve organization, time management, and accountability. In the midst of a global pandemic, there’s no price on peace-of-mind.