How Successful Home Improvement Companies Do Lead Management to Increase Sales
The first step for any home improvement company to have success is to generate leads. Generating leads for your company, however, is still only the first part of the battle. Chances are that you will be competing with other companies to sell to those same leads. Undercutting on price is not a viable strategy for growing a successful business, so you need to track and manage your leads effectively and efficiently in order to sell to them, especially at scale. In this article, we are going to discuss how to track and manage those leads most effectively to help you increase sales, profit, and customer satisfaction, all at the same time.
Every single lead you get is worth hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars to your company. Letting even one lead slip through the cracks is wasteful for your company resources. If you’re not doing everything possible to manage each and every lead and prevent them from slipping through the cracks, you are missing out on enormous opportunity and profit. It also might mean that this lead will end up buying from someone else with inferior products and services to yours. The good news is that we are going to share with you a tried-and-true process for tracking, managing, and nurturing your leads.
Each lead that you receive into your company should flow through a series of statuses (also commonly known as stages). This set of statuses is often referred to as a pipeline or a funnel. A lead starts up at the top of your funnel, and hopefully you manage them through all the way to the bottom where they come out a paying and happy customer.
It is important to track your leads through these different statuses because the types of communications and follow-ups will change depending on the specific status of that lead in your funnel. Without this detailed set of statuses, it is very hard to know who needs to be followed up with and how they need to be followed up with. Without carefully ensuring that your leads are always updated and in the correct status, you are similarly undermining your capability and effectiveness with communications and follow-ups. So, it is incredibly important that you have your detailed lead statuses established and your leads are organized in the correct status, otherwise you will not be successful managing your leads through the funnel. A good CRM will help you immensely with tracking the status of a lead (especially with automation), as well as with all the follow-ups.
Without further ado, here are the lead statuses that you should implement for your company today:
*Note: The order in which these statuses are listed is very important, as you always want to track how far down in the pipeline your lead has progressed. Remember, it is like a funnel where they start at the top and hopefully make it out the bottom before leaking out. If your lead continues to progress positively through your funnel, we like to say they are on the happy path. If they leak out of your funnel, we refer to this as an escape.
- 1. Lead Received
- This is the very first status in your pipeline. It should consist of warm leads that have expressed interest in your products and services in one way or another. You should be trying to set appointments with everyone in this lead status.
- 2a. Appointment Not Set (Escape)
- This is the first escape that we have in our pipeline when we fail to set an appointment. At some point, you may give up trying to set the appointment. For those cases, leads can be moved here.
- 2b. Appointment Set (Happy Path)
- You set the appointment – good job! While you are waiting to run this appointment, the lead can remain here.
- 3a. Appointment Cancelled (Escape)
- The customer has cancelled their appointment. It happens sometimes. Depending on why they cancelled, you should try to set another appointment.
- 3b. Appointment Confirmed / Lead Issued (Happy Path)
- Hopefully you are calling to confirm your appointments. Once the appointment is confirmed, they can be moved here.
- 4. Appointment Run / Demo’d (Happy Path)
- Move the lead here once you run the appointment. This should only be a brief holding status while waiting for the next step of sending a proposal or contract – which should happen quickly!
- 5a. Not Interested (Escape)
- If you ran the appointment and the customer was unqualified for any reason, you can put them here. You will not be sending them a proposal or contract. If you have a lot of leads landing here, that likely indicates a problem somewhere earlier in your process.
- 5b. Sale in Progress (Happy Path)
- You sent the customer the proposal or contract and are waiting on them (and hopefully following up with them) to get agreement or signature.
- 6a. Sale Lost (Escape)
- The customer decided not to buy from you.
- 6b. Job Sold (Happy Path)
- Hooray, you did it! The customer signed and hopefully gave a deposit. Next, we move on to production! We track some production statuses with our leads just to keep everything tidy and help us to manage our production workflow a bit.
- 7. Job Cancelled (Escape)
- There is one last escape from the happy path, even after you sold the job. Depending on your local laws, customers may have a right of rescission period where they can cancel the contract. If they cancel during this period, or if they cancel later with your agreement, you can move them into this status.
- 8. Job in Progress (Happy Path)
- You may choose to move your lead record to Job in Progress once you’ve ordered materials, or perhaps once you’ve scheduled their job. This will just allow you to separate out these leads that have past the right of rescission and their job is now in progress in one form or another.
- 9. Job Complete / Customer (Happy Path)
- Once the customer’s job is complete and they’ve happily paid in full for the service you’ve provided, the customer should move into one final status indicating that their job is now complete.
- Following this process will drastically increase your sales and conversions because you’ve taken all of the appropriate steps to follow up with your leads in a timely and effective manner. It will increase your profit because leads can be expensive and you will no longer be wasting the opportunities. It will also increase customer satisfaction because more than anything, customers are looking for their contractors to be responsive and communicative, making it a win-win when that happens.
- This article only scratches the surface of how to track and manage your leads. We wrote a detailed white paper on this subject with much more guidance about how to think about each of these lead statuses, what your goals and approach should be for leads in each of these statuses, and also the most important metrics that you will want to pay close attention to based on how your leads progress through your funnel. A few examples of some of the most important metrics to track through this process include closing ratios, appointment set rates, net sales per lead issued (NSLI), customer acquisition costs, and a lot more.