The roofing industry has been notoriously slow to adapt to new sales and marketing methods, primarily because the traditional methods have worked for so long. However, now it takes more support, insights and strategies to win valuable contracts and gain profit margins than it did in previous decades. Saturated markets, shifting customer expectations, burdensome regulations, increasing overhead and shrinking margins have led forward-thinking companies to search for new solutions. As these industry leaders become savvier in their selling techniques, the gap between them and the "regular guys" continues to grow, making it harder than ever to catch up.
Today's leading companies know they must leverage technology and modern marketing techniques to earn a position at the top. It's more crucial than ever to provide sales teams with the best technologies, training and strategies to sell better and faster and close bigger deals.
Get to Know Your Customers
One of the best ways to determine who your future customers should be is to know who your ideal customers are now. Use the historical data from your CRM system to create profiles of the clients that add the most value to your company. Consider their lifetime value, not just the contract amount. Sometimes, your best customer will only provide moderate revenue upfront but will become an excellent source for long-term income through referrals, reviews and testimonials that convert future customers.
Expert Tip: If you don't have the in-house expertise to complete this analysis, hire a reputable data analytics company that specializes in the roofing industry. Ideally, this team will use a combination of artificial intelligence, machine learning, algorithms and advanced analytics tools to gain deeper insights into your customers. The company should also provide high-quality data to fill any information gaps and create complete and accurate customer profiles. The roofing industry is unique, so make sure you find a company that understands your sales process, audience, and any regulations you need to follow.
Predict Your Next Customer
With your top-performing customer profiles in hand, analyze your market to determine which leads look the most like your best customers. These property owners are the most likely to convert into sales. By prioritizing those leads, sales reps can close bigger deals more quickly and stop wasting time with people who are uninterested or won't add enough value to hit your revenue goals.
This type of analysis requires quality data about properties and property owners. Most roofing companies are familiar with purchasing lead lists from various sources. However, it's critical to remember that the quality of the data can make or break the success of a campaign. So, ensure you choose a reputable data company to partner with. Insufficient or inaccurate data is one of the leading reasons why sales and marketing efforts fail.
Expert Tip: Since purchased lists are commonly shared, you're using the same information as other companies in your market. Thus, the likelihood that you'll get a leg up on your competition is low. To outperform other companies in your market, you'll need to get better data or more innovative strategies.
An investment in custom-built data will give your business the advantage. With advanced, personalized analytics, sales reps can stop chasing after the same leads as everyone else. Instead, you can accurately predict your next customers and send your sales team to the property owners who are most likely to convert and bring in significant value.
Support Your Sales Team 24/7
Even the best sales teams can become more productive with additional support through training, technologies, strategies and marketing efforts. To break through the limitations of work hours and the size of your sales team, make sure you have processes in place to convert your ideal leads even when your sales team isn't working.
Your marketing efforts should support your sales team 24/7, providing pre-set appointments so they don't have to knock or call to get every prospective customer. The data you collect will also help your marketing team determine how and where to communicate with your ideal leads. Which pitch they use, the offers they promote, and the channels they advertise on can all be customized based on the data you collect to boost conversion rates and drastically improve ROI.
Expert Tip: Most companies have some marketing efforts in place. The most common are email campaigns, social media, advertisements, sponsorships and direct mailers. However, it's crucial to streamline and automate as much as possible for marketing efforts to be truly effective. Successful marketing will actively enable your sales team to perform at its peak.
Invest in Technology to Increase ROI
Investing in the right combination of technology and marketing tools should be a priority for all companies. The ideal suite of tools will automate and synchronize your marketing and sales efforts, so your team sells to warm leads, gets pre-set appointments and achieves better close rates on more high-value contracts. The upfront investment of money and time will be worth the ongoing lift in sales and the brand recognition you get from always staying in front of your audience and following up on time. Quality data combined with intelligent, integrated marketing tools is the secret to making your sales engine operate smoothly and maximizing results.
Expert Tip: Once you have your insights and technology suite in place, consider revisiting particular strategies that fell short in the past due to a lack of information. The right combination of data and technology is a game-changer for companies previously disappointed by various marketing efforts. You can leverage these new insights and integrated systems to book pre-set appointments and attain high appointment-to-contract conversion rates while saving significant money and time.
For example, some companies that adopted a data-driven strategy previously gave up on direct mail efforts, believing the costs were too high and ROI was too low. However, with the right insights, they cut costs significantly by only targeting property owners with a high probability of becoming customers. They also tailored special offers to recipients' unique interests, enticing them to convert. As a result, data-driven direct mailing has become a vital part of marketing strategies for many of today's leading roofing companies.
Continuously Seek Opportunities
Sticking with the same-old approaches to selling will stifle your growth, especially as more companies embrace innovative sales and marketing methods. Data unlocks the key to significant opportunities, and technology helps get you to the next stage of your company's development. But it's up to each business leader to see the potential, invest in their future, and set their sales team up for success.
The ability to adapt and respond to changing business climates, leverage new technologies, grasp opportunities, and invest in the future is what distinguishes leaders from followers. As the Harvard Business Review notes, "Senior leaders of companies that follow these steps will be far more likely to differentiate themselves from their more cautious competitors. They will distinguish themselves as innovators who will shape the future of their industries . . ." Now that the time has come for the roofing industry, the question is, will you lead the pack or struggle to catch up?