On this bonus episode of The Home Builder Digital Marketing Podcast, Kevin speaks with Shari Morton of Shared Drive at the 2022 Home Builder Digital Marketing Summit.
Shari says, "So, Share Drive is an online sales and marketing firm. We outsource online sales people and we also do social media website marketing as well. We are the first company in the industry to outsource online salespeople.
So, what we do is we go into your organization, whether you have an existing online program or not. We'll either revamp it or create it for you, and we'll stick our people in and we'll train them, manage them, and then manage the whole system as well. So, for the most part, OSCs are probably the champion of your CRM, so we have our team monitor it. We'll also train your salespeople. As you get new salespeople on, we'll train them how to use their CRM and the sales process as well."
Listen to this bonus episode to learn more about Shared Drive.
About Shared Drive:
Shared Drive is an online sales and marketing outsourcing company that offers turnkey online sales solutions. At Shared Drive they are passionate about helping you achieve your goals. For them, it’s not just about setting the appointment or making the sale; it’s about making a personal connection with your buyers and creating a better customer experience.
Greg Bray: [00:00:00] Hi everyone. This is Greg Bray with Blue Tangerine. At the 2022 Home Builder Digital Marketing Summit, we were grateful to have Shared Drive join us as a platinum sponsor. While we were there, Kevin took the opportunity to speak with Shari Morton, the Chief Marketing Officer, and OSC at Shared Drive to learn more about them. We just wanted to share that conversation with you today. Hope you enjoy.
Kevin Weitzel: All right. It is my honor to introduce founder and owner Shari Morton of [00:01:00] Shared Drive. Shari, thank you for joining us. Thank you for being a platinum sponsor.
Shari Morton: Thank you for having me.
Kevin Weitzel: Can you tell us a little bit about Shared Drive?
Shari Morton: So, Share Drive is an online sales and marketing firm. We outsource online sales people and we also do social media website marketing as well. We are the first company in the industry to outsource online salespeople.
So, what we do is we go into your organization, whether you have an existing online program or not. We'll either revamp it or create it for you, and we'll stick our people in and we'll train them, manage them, and then manage the whole system as well. So, for the most part, OSCs are probably the champion of your CRM, so we have our team monitor it. We'll also train your salespeople. As you get new salespeople on, we'll train them how to use their CRM and the sales process as well.
Kevin Weitzel: So, do you have an optimal size client or a type of home builder that would best be suited for your services?
Shari Morton: When I first started, I used [00:02:00] to think it was about size and it really, there is a certain size. If you have less than 50 leads, realistically, your sales team should manage it. Over 50 leads and it starts to make more sense, and we also have to think about how many homes do you build off those 50 leads because you know you are staffing. So, it has to make sense in terms of ROI. But the most important thing is, if your focus is not your customer and it's about the commission and you're not trying to create a great customer experience, then there's really no value in an online salesperson.
Kevin Weitzel: So, does a home builder have to adapt and buy a certain CRM? Do they have to use a certain ERP to be able to couple with Shared Drive?
Shari Morton: No, you just have to have a good process, and you don't necessarily have to have a good process 'cause we'll go in there and we'll do it for you. One of the biggest things is, when you have someone come in and build things for you, they walk away, and [00:03:00] sometimes when people walk away, things break down.
So, unless they're coming and checking in with you, like maybe every month, every three months, it's hard to keep up systems and have everything work. But when you outsource with Shared Drive, we're in it day to day. So, when we're making tweaks and changes, we're right there with you. So, if something breaks or if something needs to pivot, we're most likely the ones that are doing it for you.
Kevin Weitzel: And you can service any builder in the country, whether they're in Wyoming or Michigan, or California?
Shari Morton: Yes. We are a 100% remote company. So, we service international as well. I mean, we've serviced people in Mexico, Canada. So, as long as you pay us, we'll do it. Honestly.
Kevin Weitzel: That should be my new motto. As long as you pay me, I will jump through hoops.
Shari Morton: Sarah, can you change our motto? As long as you pay us, we'll do it.
Kevin Weitzel: What's the timeline for implementation? You know, is this where you can just walk in and hit the ground running, or is there a learning curve that the builder has to go through?
Shari Morton: Sure. It depends [00:04:00] on who you are. Some builders go faster, some builders take a little bit more time. I find traditionally the first 90 days we're going in and we're retweaking, revamping, educating our own people on your vernacular, your culture, how you speak to people. I would say the first six months is when we establish, this is the baseline, and that's what I find in the builders that I go into.
They often don't know what their conversion rates are. They don't know what's happening with their leads. So, we're spending a lot of time helping them figure out, what is truly your lead count. What is your lead viability? What's your conversion rate? And from there, we can set better conversion rates and we try to up that every quarter.
Kevin Weitzel: I sure hope that other peoples' souls literally just hurt when you heard that there's builders that don't know their conversion ratios.
Shari Morton: And if you don't have an online sales team, you don't know truly what your conversion rate for leads to appointments to sales are because nobody's tracking that, and oftentimes, even if you have a [00:05:00] CRM, those conversion rates can be wrong. If you don't have people going through each and every single one of the leads, you can think you have, and we had a builder who thought they had 10,000 leads.
I charged them for 10,000 leads and after 30 days, I'm like, you have 2000 leads. Because the rest of it was vendors, junk, duplicates, and no one was going through it. So, when they ran the report, they're like, we average about 10,000 leads, and we found within the first two weeks, it's like going through every one of your leads, most of it was spam. You truly have about 2000 leads to work with.
Kevin Weitzel: When you get an unsophisticated builder, and there's plenty of us out there, that doesn't have a marketing team, they don't have a full-fledged sales system in place, how can your team come in and help them establish that? Like, can you give them guidance on what CRM to look for or what options to look for in a CRM or even in an ERP?
Shari Morton: That's one of our favorite things to do. So, we do launches. Depending on your needs, it could be 30 to 60-day launches where we [00:06:00] go in and we completely advise from your website, how you use your forms, how it feeds into your CRM, and I try to be incredibly agnostic about what I suggest. And more importantly, because I know we are going to live in it, I have to make sure that I make the right suggestion for the builder.
Everyone always asks me like, Do you have a favorite CRM? And I'm like, I have favorites because I know that they work, but it depends on how you function as a builder and what's important to you and what your ERPs are, what your text stack is, how are you gonna use it? So, there's a lot of things that come into deciding your entire text stack and how you use it.
Kevin Weitzel: So, what happens when you get a builder that hires you into place and then you decide that it's not a good fit? Does that ever happen?
Shari Morton: Oh yeah. It's a big deal for me. One of my personal missions and the reason why I created Share Drive is because I wanted to create a space for online salespeople to have fun, have work-life balance, [00:07:00] create efficiencies to where they're still producing at the rate that they normally would, but through leveraging technology, they get some time back.
That's one of the biggest things that I help builders realize is like, working harder is not the answer. Working smarter, figuring out how your systems work, but then when I find out that they're not interested in the customer's experience. They're not interested in protecting or caring for their people. Sometimes it's just a matter of cost. It's like, you know, the markets changed. They're such a small builder that it's difficult. We have in our contract, if it doesn't serve you and it doesn't serve us, let's walk away from the relationship.
Kevin Weitzel: And because you're remote and because you are offering a team, does that mean you can throttle up or throttle down the amount of help you're giving to that builder?
Shari Morton: Absolutely. That's one of biggest things that I love about Shared Drive. We had somebody who got COVID and he was hospitalized for three weeks and the builder knew about it, but they [00:08:00] didn't because we're like, Hey, you know, this person is sick.
The way we're layers, we have our junior OSCs are OSCs and our executive OSCs. The executive OSCs, they do the launches. They don't really pick up the phone, but when their team gets sick, they're the ones that fill in. They're doing work that doesn't require you to have to do all of these things or pick up the phone. So, they reserve that energy to where if someone does get sick, they can fill in, and you're fill in is someone who's at a higher level of skillset. So, you're not settling for somebody who doesn't understand the process or understands your system.
Typically, it's your executive OSC who has designed your program, understands you intimately. With that being said, we don't live in a vacuum. I have had situations where it's like all of my executive OSCs are sick, their child's sick, and I'm like, How do we have 10 people and everyone is sick? So, I try to also educate my builder. It's like, I'm not gonna be able to cover you [00:09:00] 100% of the time, but when you think about hiring a single OSC and they get sick, like what do you do? We're built to take care of your online system way better.
Kevin Weitzel: So, one concern a home builder might have is that you are coming in with a systematic process. You have an ability to use their system, your system, implementation training, but what about the simple nuances of what community attributes there are, and what areas of interest or points of interest are near the builders various communities? How do you address that?
Shari Morton: This is a really huge topic amongst my professional colleagues. For me, I feel like if you know how to utilize technology, like how many people have looked up Google Maps and just tried to look for shipwrecks. These things are very detailed. You can go in and travel the community through Google Maps. You know, you can read reviews of certain restaurants.
We have our OSCs, in the first 30, 60, 90 days, really research the [00:10:00] area, and if they live within driving distance, they can drive it. I would say 70% of my programs, our OSCs have never stepped foot in the state. They live in a completely different state, and I see them. Like, I hear the recordings where I know they're on Google Map and they're like, Do you see that McDonald's on the left-hand side? Make a right. But they're looking at Google Maps. They're not physically there.
Kevin Weitzel: So, if somebody wants to get ahold of you, what's the best way to do that?
Shari Morton: Look up Shared Drive. There's brochures all over. We're, we're OSCs. We're the easiest people to get in touch with, so.
Kevin Weitzel: And you pick up the phone.
Shari Morton: And we pick up the phone. Yeah.
Kevin Weitzel: Well, thank you for being a platinum sponsor.
Shari Morton: Yes.
Kevin Weitzel: We really appreciate you. I know that the attendees have appreciated your input as well.
Shari Morton: Thank you.
Kevin Weitzel: Thank you.