Let’s get this straight. Every business needs leads and sales to grow. These are the two highest indicators of initial business success and long-term growth. Sure, in certain businesses, once you have a solid book of business, you can slow the growth and focus on your existing customers. You’d continue to serve them and grow more organically from referrals from there. However, many businesses, don’t rely on repeat businesses. For these types of businesses, leads and sales remain the biggest indicators of success. Period. At LeadsForward we work with a lot of home service type of businesses looking for contractor leads which often come back to them as repeat businesses unless it is a higher ticket service like roofing or remodeling.
Customer Service From Start To Finish
Unless you are selling some complex product with a long and drawn-out sales process, sales can really just be broken down to this. A great customer experience is only possible with superior customer service, from start to finish. If this isn’t your current approach to the customer sales process, then take time to revamp your process and determine at which step are you tripping up. Let’s break it down.
LEAD: A lead comes to your business and you respond quickly, answer all the potential customer’s questions and explain why you are the best choice for the service they need. If you are unable to reach them, then try other mediums and/or follow up more than once. Be friendly, welcoming, and give them your full attention while in communication. A potential customer can tell when you’re not being genuine or truthful.
PROPOSAL: Usually then comes time for an appointment. Dress professionally, carry yourself well, and present some sort of proposal for services. Many times, an expert will find other areas that they can help the customer further to upsell more services and give them an even better value proposition in the final price.
ASKING FOR THE SALE: Once everything has been presented to the customer, ASK FOR THE SALE. Many people feel strange or unprofessional asking for the sale, but don’t think about it as pushing the customer into the sale. If the customer doesn’t ask for the sale, and you don’t ask, then likely you’ll both part ways with the customer saying something like “everything looks good, I’ll just think about it and follow up with you”. This will hardly ever end up in an actual sale and so by you asking for the job, even if they say not yet, you will most likely get an actual reason why are not ready to move forward yet. With that objection in mind, first, agree with the customer, and then simply ask them why to have them expand on their objection. Many times, the reason they give initially is not actually their real reason for not moving forward and so by digging a little deeper, you are providing superior customer service by exposing their real apprehension, giving you an opportunity to prove yourself to them. Maybe they can’t pay the estimated price upfront BUT your company offers financing options they’re not aware of. You’re there to be the answer to all their problems so be friendly and sell them what they NEED.
PROVIDING THE SERVICE: Now it’s time to put all that talk into action. The sale is complete and it’s time to provide the service. Make sure that everything you said is backed up by action and that you provide a great experience for your customers. Getting referrals from existing customers and online reviews to attract new customers will only help snowball the success of your business.
How Do I Know If My Leads Are Good?
Firstly, let’s make sure you don’t have a problem with the quality of your leads. If you want a full explanation of how to dig into this, we’ve put together a great article here on exposing whether you have a lead problem or a sales problem. Though, the primary position is that you need to make sure that you don’t have a problem with your leads. Leads are generally ranked based on the following factors:
Medium - Where was the lead generated from? A lead from someone searching your service in Google is much higher quality than one that randomly clicked an ad on Facebook
Exclusivity – Are these leads exclusive? If they aren’t, how many people are getting them. Obviously, an exclusive lead is going to result in a better customer experience for the lead. Not to mention, this diminishes the need for a fight-to-the-death on service price for the companies competing for this lead’s business.
Temperature – Is this a hot lead? In other words, did the lead just come through? If so, getting back to this potential customer immediately will lead to a much higher success rate. The longer the lead waits, the colder the deal gets and the harder it will be to turn that lead into a sale.
Okay, now we’ve established that you’re receiving high-quality, hot leads. Let’s get into the thick of it. What else does your business need to convert leads into sales? Well, the short answer is that you need to know your processes and have the systems in place to be successful.
Why You Need a CRM To Scale
If you’re at the point in your business where you are hiring people to provide the service and/or handle parts of the sale process, you’ll need to have the proper systems in place. Let’s be honest, no employee is going to care about your business as much as you do. Therefore, you need to be able to ensure that systems are in place for them to follow, to mirror the exact way you need your business running.
CRM = Customer Relationship Management software. In essence, it’s responsible for tracking how the business comes in and out of the company. The entire customer journey, start to finish. The CRM provides data points along the way to compare performance and automating processes for your business. EXAMPLE: A CRM measures and tracks the KPI’s (Key Performance Indicators) that are going to tell you, by the data, where your issues lie. For instance, your CRM may demonstrate:
Lead Quality. The quality of leads coming into your business from different sources. Moreover, these different sources should feed into your CRM and you’d be able to report on how much revenue different lead sources are bringing in.
Sales Performance. Whether you want to monitor your own sales performance or someone has taken this role from you, you’ll want to make sure that performance remains high and be able to correct errors immediately.
Why Is This Important In The Long Term?
Once you are not as involved in the day to day, without data in hand, a blame game can emerge between lead generation and sales departments. Whoever’s generating the leads will blame any problems on sales, and whoever’s running sales will blame conversion problems on leads. Without actual data in hand from your CRM, this can cause a divide between the two departments that should be collaborating to ensure a cohesive process from lead to sale.