A Connected Funnel: Uniting Sales and Marketing


Of all the potential hurdles and challenges in mortgage lending, time and expertise around lead engagement are the biggest constraints for loan originators.

Lenders want to move the needle in their organization in order to better serve their marketplaces but are more often than not saddled with an $8,000 cost per unit, most of which is found in sales and marketing efforts – as high as 60% for banks and pushing 70% for independent lenders.

Luckily, optimizing production costs still provides the biggest bang for the buck – and sales and marketing are the best areas in which to optimize. 

While its fashionable to focus on digital – and indeed the last 48 months have seen a significant investment in digital and self-service options – the mortgage industry is unique in terms of customers requiring a balanced – and appropriate – combination of the digital and human experience. Providing mortgage loan originators with digital tools that drive higher touch with higher efficiencies could change the customer journey: building a high-touch experience without being intrusive, with the high-tech environment when consumers demand it.  

Changing the Customer Journey

Integration among disparate systems can unify the mortgage loan originator experience. This single pane of glass system is a critical driver towards LO efficiency. Well-integrated systems that present a single view of customers and processes can help resolve both the efficiency of loan originators and the experience for customers. An average loan originator operates across at least three different systems, often moving data or waiting for data to be moved within CRM systems, product or pricing platforms, LO POS and LOS. This is without counting the productivity systems and company portals, IVR systems, and company portals for financial, HR etc. 

Whether by design or by omission, most lenders view email as a marketing activity, not as a sales activity. Nine in 10 lenders do not have personalized mortgage loan originator-driven marketing activities.

In addition, five out of 10 lenders do not execute a closing call by the LO – this singular exclusion results in a 50% drop in the “willingness to do business again” indicator. 

Lenders tend to take a loan-centric view of their ecosystem which percolates into the way different departments steward the loan process. Because of this, lenders can miss out on stewardship of the customer experience. It is possible to influence consumer behavior through a well-engineered journey that keeps the focus on that consumer. This requires integrated communication interfaces between systems to share status, data and messages, as well as intelligent automation that reduces the orchestration required as control moves between channels.  

Indeed, a well-integrated solution would need to support multiple channel models with multiple broader financial services LOBs: at least two to three major departments with different outlooks towards the process they operate would need to be supported. Any solution must have the flexibility to support integrations to diverse systems, both internally and externally, throughout the customer lifecycle. A scalable, performant and secure method that makes it easy to deploy, manage, maintain and tweak for variations in the customer process.

The human element must be combined with a sophisticated digital experience delivered at the right time, with insightful and engaging components. Lenders can change the customer journey with high-touch and high-tech while reducing the sales and marketing costs that continue to drive the largest part of origination costs. 

Raj Menon is chief marketing officer for Tavant, a technology firm that delivers AI-driven customer experience solutions to the mortgage lending industry.

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