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Building Products Manufacturers: Homeowner Leads: Are they falling into the contractor black hole?

Investing a bundle in branding to homeowners?

 

If you have a product with the visibility to have brand identification with residential homeowners, you know how much money you’ve put into generating that brand. It was … not a small number. And you’ve put that money in over the years; you have to keep it up.

Alternatively, maybe you have a product that you’re simply trying to market directly – Google AdWords and other search marketing techniques to push it directly in front of the homeowner.  

If your go-to-market strategy falls in either category, unless you have some pure do-it-yourself product, almost inevitably, you need the collaboration and support of the subcontractors who install your products. And … even if it’s DIY, you can bet that some fraction of homeowners will throw up their hands and call a professional for help.

So. You’re getting a bunch of leads. And you need to get them into the hands of your friendly contractors to follow up with the homeowner, quote the job, and complete a successful project.

And you’d really, really like for the process to be fast, efficient, and to have confidence that your contractor DID follow up.

 

Wouldn’t It Be Nice If Your CRM Could Help You?

 

Let’s think about the major objectives:

  1. We got to capture all those leads in a centralized database
  2. We need to respond to the homeowner
  3. We’d like to pick the best-fit friendly contractors and …
    1. Suggest them to the homeowner
    2. Engage the contractors to confirm their availability & interest in quoting
    3. Get them to commit before we give them full information
  4. In some period of time, we’d like to know the outcome!

And we need to do it fast; research shows that lead conversion rates are hugely correlated with the response time.

First, let’s capture all those leads. That’s straightforward; that’s what Salesforce and Pardot were built to do. Any form can be directed straight into the Salesforce database.

Next, let’s make sure that the homeowner knows we heard them. Salesforce can quickly generate auto-responses.

But here’s where it gets a bit sexier with Salesforce applications. Because the engine is powerful enough to build in algorithms to match homeowners to the best potential contractors. Here are the criteria we usually consider:

  • Geographic proximity
  • The contractor stated preferences for receiving leads
  • Contractor capabilities and fit to the project – product competencies, applications, project size
  • Loyalty status or ranking – your Gold or certified contractors should certainly receive leads preferentially

You can have Salesforce leverage those matches to automagically generate action within seconds, not the hours or days it would take you to do it manually:

  • Send the homeowner a customized email with a list of “contractors we think you may want to call, as best-matched to your project.”
  • Send those contractors a lead alert

Now. This is just like the rest of sales, dear marketeers – do you have a feeling your leads have plunged into a black hole? You never hear back, and you don’t know if they were pursued? OK, then you’re like most organizations. And here’s how we handle that:

  • First, only offer those contractors a teaser – “Joe in Smallville, KS has requested a quote. Will you accept this lead and commit to following up promptly”? Only then do you provide Joe’s contact information and the full lead request.
  • Second, automate those invitations for speed. Remember that study? If you don’t get three committed contractors promptly, cycle through to the next contractor on your list until you DO get three commits.

Finally, this is a sales & marketing investment. Like all other investments, you’d like to know your return. But what a chore to call all those contractors to check-in. So. How about letting Salesforce do it for you through automation – monthly send out an emailed list of “Closing the Loop – here are all the leads we sent you. Mind letting us know how it went?” With a couple of clicks 

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The Hunley Group is an amazing partner. They work with our team consistently to ensure that we’re doing our best work.

Sales Manager, Forta

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