How Good Is Your ‘Speed to Lead’?
A Question Every Home Contractor Needs To Ask… “How Good Is Our Speed To Lead?”
Because If You Don’t Reach Out FAST, You Are Losing Sales
Everyone seems to have the approximate attention span of gnats these days. If you’re a home remodeling contractor, that includes your potential customers.
Now we can complain all we want about decreased attention spans (including our own!). And we can worry about how difficult this makes it to connect with prospects and close them.
But all the complaining in the world is not going to change the reality of our hyper-fast environment. It is the landscape we live in, and it does not look like it is going to slow down any time soon.
Here’s something to think about, though. If you look at this from a different angle, this can actually be a tremendous opportunity for contractors.
BUT… only for those home contractors who are willing to adapt and increase their “Speed To Lead.”
What Is ‘Speed To Lead’ And Why Does It Matter?
“Speed To Lead” means just what it sounds like. How fast do you connect with someone who raises their hand and says they are interested in your services?
More and more, contractors are seeing two kinds of scenarios that clearly demonstrate the need to get better at “Speed To Lead.”
Scenario #1: The Prospect Has Already Moved On By The Time You Reach Out
In the online world where we all live now, you know how it goes. Something you want to accomplish pops into your head. You jump right onto Google or some other search engine and plug in some keywords about what you want to get done. In just a few clicks, you can be filling out a form requesting more info or asking for a quote.
It is so easy and fast that it allows us to do it without friction, so we take that first step.
Then just a bit later, something else comes to mind, and we are onto that new thing, and our focus on the original issue gets deprioritized. We have become used to instant answers online and expect immediate engagement, or we’re on to worrying about something else.
This is how many prospects behave online now. So how does this scenario impact contractors? It’s kind of obvious, right? Contracting businesses that can reach out fast and consistently are going to win more sales. That’s just common sense.
But what might not be as obvious is HOW to get that edge – how you can be faster and more consistent with immediately following-up with leads.
We’ll return to that question in a moment, but first let’s talk about another common scenario.
Scenario #2: One Lead, Multiple Contractors
Another online scenario with a huge impact on contractors is the presence of lead aggregation sites like Angi and Modernize. These sites can be a double-edged sword. They can produce leads that are actively looking for the home services you provide. But many times, these leads are going to multiple contractors, who then are all competing for the same sale.
It is pretty clear that the contractor with the fastest and most consistent follow-up with these types of leads are going to win more than they lose. If you’re slow out of the gate or only send one communication, and then you are done, you are going to get beat. Often.
So again, fast and consistent follow-up is the answer. But what’s the best way to do it?
The Secret To Better ‘Speed To Lead’
Let’s talk about what won’t work first, so you won’t waste time on the wrong thing.
Creating your own manual system that relies on a combination of spreadsheets and manual human action will fail. For one thing, it is just hard to keep your employees motivated to do the tedious communication and follow-up necessary.
You also need to think about how this system will work as you grow (or maybe you are already at that point). You will either have to add way too much payroll to keep up with all the manual tasks, or you will just waste more and more leads when your process can’t keep up.
The other thing to avoid is investing in the wrong kind of CRM. There are a lot of general CRM choices on the market that don’t work well for contractors. And then there are some that say they are for contractors but are very weak on real-time lead tracking and automated communication with prospects.
However, this actually points to the right solution…
CRM Software For Contractors That Makes ‘Speed To Lead’ AutomaticHere’s the truth about reaching out to leads quickly. A human-based system will never be able to compete in ‘Speed To Lead’ with a top-quality CRM software with tools made specifically for contractors.
Solution: the whole key to ‘Speed To Lead’ is this—choose the right CRM.
With the best CRM made specifically for contractors, you enter the lead once, and then it is tracked in real-time all the way through your sales pipeline. And you can set up automated messages to be sent as text messages or emails, or both. And those messages can be sent the instant you enter the lead into your system.
You also totally control the frequency of the messaging. Although there can be nuances for different contractors, generally the best practice is to send messages through both text and email channels, and to send messages more frequently at first.
It’s all about getting that engagement before the prospect’s attention is distracted by something else, or they’re satisfied with the appointment or appointments they’ve already scheduled with another contractor.
With top-quality online sales management software, it’s also easy to change the frequency and content of your messaging. This allows you to continue to optimize your outreach to maximize conversions without breaking a sweat.
So automated messages make your life easier and improve your business, but you want to be careful to not use a separate system for text messaging your prospects and customers.
Headache Recipe: Using Something Other Than Your CRM To Send Automated Messages
If you enjoy hassles and headaches, use a separate program for sending automated messages instead of your CRM. Because two things will inevitably happen if you do:
- Your SMS software will be sending automated messages based on out-of-date information about the prospect or customer. Your CRM is where you track all the information about your customers, and it requires manual intervention to adjust your messaging in your SMS tool. This will lead to mistakes.
- Your CRM is where anyone should be able to look for the latest on all communications with customers. If you’re using a separate tool for SMS, you will constantly be flipping back and forth between two different apps to put together the full picture.
Your CRM should be the one place you can go for complete, reliable, and up-to-date information on every lead. It is also the best place to know which automation and follow-ups need to be triggered next.
Two Pro Tips For Message Content
Now that you know how and why to send messages frequently and consistently, you need to think about what to say in those messages. The exact content will vary based on your specific services and your sales process, but here are two simple tips to keep in mind:
- One, shorter is better. Especially with text messaging, people want and expect messages to be short. Resist the temptation to tell your prospect everything you want them to know. Just get the conversation going and get them engaged.
- Two, the best way to engage is to ask a question. So always end your first automated outreach to prospective customers with a simple question. Examples: “Would you like a quote on your project?” or “How soon are you looking to get this done?”
A Zero-Risk Way To See This In Action
It is one thing to think about all this in theory. But contracting business owners tend to be very practical people and want to see for themselves how this could work in their business. We get it, and we agree. That’s why we offer FREE demos to show you how a robust CRM built specifically for contractors can improve your business, including how to reach your prospects faster and more consistently.