One of the biggest questions in running any company is how to increase sales with minimal added costs. Whether you help run an independent company or a company with a national or corporate affiliation as an agent or franchisee, it is increasingly challenging to break through the clutter of brands and options for consumers. This white paper will outline ways to improve your sales process and get higher quality leads in order to differentiate your company to ensure that people develop an attachment to your brand and you increase sales.
During the Great Recession, home services trends were bleak. Each year during and now after the recovery, the trend shows more people are moving, upgrading features of their household, and adding on to their household. With this increase in home services comes a ripple effect among many other industries. It is essential to capitalize on the trend toward this additional consumer spending.
As a company working to convince someone to spend money with you, you are already fighting an uphill battle. The average consumer household spends its money across needs involving transportation, travel, food, insurance and pensions, entertainment, apparel, housing, health care and other items. The lion’s share of this amount is spent on housing and home-related services. Getting to the consumer first is imperative in making them understand the benefits of your company. In addition, getting to them first, it’s important to show them very quickly online, over the phone, or in person that yours is a reputable company. In person this is fairly easy, depending on the people on your front lines. Over the phone and especially online this is harder. We’ll focus on online strategies but touch on in-person strategies as well.
First, you need to do identify all the pathways that consumers can travel to get to your sales funnel. How do you generate the best leads? How can you ensure that you’re only spending money on your highest quality leads? Next, you need to identify the ways that consumer travel through your company’s sales funnel. We have some tips first for helping people get to your sales funnel and in generating those high quality leads.
1) Establish brand recognition and loyalty for your company.
Brands and logos are everywhere. We live in a time-pressed world where people have seconds to look at a logo and register either a good or bad feeling for that company. Make sure that when they look at your logo, they have a positive association.
First, take a moment to evaluate your logo. How does it measure up? Make sure your logo tells a story about your company that is unique and thorough. If it doesn’t measure up, you can use crowd-sourced graphic designers to design a logo for less than $200. One of the best places for this is crowdSpring.
Next, think of how you are representing your brand. Your brand starts with how people originally heard your company’s name, extends to your website, and finally to all of the people who the customer interacts with in your company. Are these messages consistent? Are they unique? You can start by talking with your employees and asking them what they think about your company culture and why they come to work each day. Use their observations and interactions to put together your thoughts on company culture and how you can reflect that to consumers within an About Us page online, marketing materials, and the home page of your website. A good book to read is by Zappos CEO Tony Hsieh called Delivering Happiness.
2) Reach out to your area’s mom bloggers.
Moms are an important audience for many companies, as they usually are the key decision maker for a household. It’s important to effectively reach out to this target audience of women who are 25-54 years old. Find the mom bloggers in your area with a Google search and reach out to them offering to do a guest post, an interview for their blog, or offer a free gift. Remember to tell your message about what makes your company unique and create something that is of value to them. They, in turn, will be excited to partner with you.
3) Meet partners in your area.
Think of other companies as potential partners. As crazy as it sounds, there might even be competitors in your area that under the right scenario are a partner. Let’s focus on real estate agents for a moment. They are in touch with a lot of people who are in the midst of a major life change surrounded by a lot of spending. Couples and families become very close with their real estate agent and will rely on them for recommendations surrounding their move. Companies related to moving might want to reach out to the real estate agents in their area and offer to bring breakfast or lunch to one of their staff meetings. There they can hand out business cards, shake hands, and tell them about what sets you apart. Your company, if it is a consumer-focused company, is either focused on something that is affinity-related (examples include cooking or decorating) or it is something that is search-related (examples include moving or home repair). Make sure you know where your company is and make appropriate partners in your area to help with getting higher quality leads.
4) Buy leads from reputable sources.
There are a lot of options to purchase leads and you will want to pick the most reputable sources. You can purchase leads through Google Adwords but the clutter on “search engine marketing” is such that you’ll want to add other options for purchasing leads. Beyond Adwords you may want to find specific industry-related lead aggregators. Make sure they have implemented data validation so the leads they are passing along are of the highest quality.
5) Work with Google Adwords, specifically a free Adwords expert.
Google Adwords is an important part of driving leads to your business. When you first sign up for Google Adwords, you will see in the interface that there is an option for working with one of their free consultants. These people work for Google and are there to help get people set up in the Adwords system. Be sure to use their help, as they are experts in driving an audience to your website.
6) Sponsor and get involved with local sports teams in your area.
You can become better known in your community by sponsoring local sports teams in your area. This is a great way to get in front of moms – again, a great audience of key decision makers – by sponsoring their kids’ sports teams. Sports team sponsorship is a more cost-effective way of getting in front of these families so you will be top of mind for their next move.
Next, we want to help you make sure that consumers stay in your sales funnel once you have made the effort and paid for them as a high quality lead. Make sure to thoroughly evaluate your sales funnel as it exists today. Is there a point where most people are leaving before making the sale? Is there a place where people are almost always advancing? Make the effort to truly evaluate what is going on in your sales funnel.
1) Create a road map for your customer.
Position your company, and all the places where the customer might interact with your company, as an expert. Think of ways to ease the customer’s pain throughout the process in ways that don’t cost extra money. Whether the customer is working with you to decorate their home, fulfill a home repair, move, or get new clothes, you can be the expert to give them what a plain Google search can’t give them. If you can over deliver for them in ways that they perceive as taking care of them, in way that doesn’t cost you extra money, this is the sweet spot. Think of the content, resources, and lists that you can offer to assist the consumer that you can offer online. Think of any concierge service that your labor force can provide to the customer. Based on your vast experience running this company you know the hurdles they will face and the tips that will help them. Use this knowledge to help educate the consumer and hold their hand through their move. Your help will pay off in referrals to the person’s list of family and friends and nothing is better than leads from positive word of mouth. You can use Salesboxer as a way to bring in leads through your own website and then embed these tips within an email marketing campaign for the consumer and differentiate your company from any of your competitors.
2) Help the consumer get to know the people involved in your process.
Remember, your brand extends throughout the interactions that the consumer has with all of the people at your company. This includes the receptionist, the sales person and the operators. Make sure they have the chance to experience your company culture and brand through all of these team players. Think about how you would like the consumer to meet everyone. Is there more that you can do to make sure they have positive interactions with everyone in your company?
You can create a more streamlined process that outlines your brand, a road map of suggestions, and introduction to your team players. Or you can let Salesboxer do the work for you.
3) Provide consistent analysis of your sales funnel.
As you are making changes within your company, make sure to consistently and continually provide an analysis of your sales funnel. Are certain “cracks” in the funnel closing up so that you are increasing sales without any additional costs? Make sure you have a central repository where you can evaluate where a lead stagnates, where it accelerates, where it typically falls through or usually changes into a sale. Salesboxer can help you with this central analysis just by keeping your leads in a central location.
It is important to take the time to step into the shoes of the consumer and continuously evaluate your sales process. We wish you the best success for your company.