M&T Bank Catapults Its Close Rates

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When Joseph Semrani found himself dodging cubicle corners shouting, "Hot lead!" he knew it was time for a more "robust" means of communication with his inside sales team.

As regional customer service and sales manager in the mortgage division at M&T Bank's West Region, Semrani needed to find a way to prioritize, route, and follow up on Internet leads.

After management vetoed the use of a predictive dialer, Semrani suggested Leads360's Dial-IQ, which integrates the Leads360 consumer sales automation platform M&T was already using with an intelligent telephony solution that promises to boost lead conversion rates by 77 percent.

Semrani calls himself a "big advocate of Leads360," having also used the product to maximize inbound and outbound campaigns in a prior position at an online mortgage lead purchasing company.

"Leads360 says, 'Let's start with something that the loan officer or sales agent has control over' such as how fast you call, how often you call, and how you qualify a lead," Semrani explains. "We needed transparency, and I needed more robust reporting. We also learned that it takes a very disciplined salesperson to respond to and successfully convert an Internet lead."

After M&T Bank added Dial-IQ last spring, there were noticeable results within just two months.

"Our contact rate went from sixty percent to ninety percent," Semrani notes. "The speed to contact was cut down by half."

The team had hovered around a 2 percent closing rate, which increased almost immediately to 4.2 percent.

As a manager, Semrani had to look at the gap in time from when a lead posts to when a team member first tried contacting that high-priority lead.

Using Dial-IQ's Shotgun Connect feature—which rings all phone lines when a hot lead comes in and subsequently assigns the lead to the first loan officer to pick up the phone—added a sense of urgency and real results to M&T mortgage operations.

"The gap was, on average, three to four minutes, because [loan officers are] notified by an email pop-up, but they could be busy at the time," Semrani points out.

Using Shotgun Connect coupled with blind pull distribution, or allowing users to take leads only when they are ready for them, instantly cut that timeframe down to about 20 to 30 seconds.

In addition to speeding up the contact rate of his loan officers, Dial-IQ was beneficial to Semrani in his own day-to-day workflow. Semrani estimates the system has freed up 70 percent to 80 percent of his time daily to channel his energies into things like marketing and sales management instead of monitoring leads and doling them out to sales reps.

"We spend over one million dollars a year purchasing leads…. If I spend that kind of money…I want to make sure they're being worked the way they're supposed to be worked," Semrani adds. "Leads360 helps us understand what needs to happen and provided us with the tools to make it happen."

Dial-IQ helps the team succeed by incentivizing the right behaviors.

When a phone rings and a loan agent knows it's a very high-quality lead, the interest level goes up, says Semrani, and people "get excited" to hop on a call.

The Payoff:

By using Leads360 dial-IQ, M&T Bank was able to achieve:

  • a 90 percent contact rate;
  • a minimum 3.5 percent closing rate with rates as high as 4.2 percent; and
  • a 50 percent reduction in speed to contact time.

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