ALSO READ: The Lead Generation Technology Stack
To help manage and nurture leads efficiently, most service companies turn to a few essential sales tools:
1. Lead Marketplace
First and foremost, it’s a good idea to have a relationship with a lead service that can bring you quality leads on a regular basis. It’s not something you should rely on completely, but it can be a reliable source of new business if done right.
Typically, lead generators work like a matchmaking service. Service providers create a profile on the company’s site, which is already attracting relevant leads online. While those potential leads are on the site, they might fill out a form about a service they need, at which point the lead generator will alert a service provider (or multiple providers). It’s up to the service provider to contact the lead quickly and convert the opportunity into a paying job.
If you’re using a service like HomeAdvisor or Angie’s List, make sure you’re asking your customers for reviews and providing them with a direct link to do so. Good reviews will help you stand out and lower the perceived risk when customers are comparing services. Eliminating or at least alleviating these concerns can lead to an increase in jobs won.
2. Field Service Software
Field service management software can improve communication with and management of leads and customers. Most systems offer customer relationship management (CRM) capabilities, as well as lead, estimate, job, and invoice tracking. Systems range from basic small-business solutions to full-scale enterprise platforms, with features and pricing varying dramatically across vendors.
Implementing field service software brings huge benefits for sales. You can create beautiful, professional estimates that make a good impression with your potential customers, and stay organized by tracking all of your customer history and keeping accurate records of technician schedules.
Mobile-first systems allow technicians to track new leads and call them straight from a mobile app. In a recent survey conducted by HomeAdvisor, 68 percent of homeowners said they base their hiring decisions on the service pros’ responsiveness. The quicker you call, the more likely you are to win the job. And once you’ve won the job, you’ll be able to manage it seamlessly in one system (even allowing your customer to login through a self-service portal and view the status of their job and pay invoices).
3. Email Marketing and Automation
After you implement field service software, you’ll need to have a system that can send out mass emails to leads and customers based on transactional triggers and custom rules. Setting up a system like this helps you build relationships with leads and keep current customers happy through consistent communication. You’ll can use automated emails to educate customers on your area of expertise, provide discounts and promotions, or share job updates and maintenance reminders.
Signing up for an email service provider will allow you to create drip campaigns that email every new lead that comes in, for example, with little manual effort after initial setup. You can also schedule time-based emails at regular intervals to make sure you’re consistently engaging your customers.
There are a lot of free tools out there, like Mailchimp and ActiveCampaign. If you’re new to email or newsletter marketing, we recommend starting with something inexpensive to begin with, and once your list starts to grow and your needs change, you can move to a more robust system.
Boomerang is a Gmail tool that lets you draft emails and schedule them for delivery at a later date/time. If you’re on the phone with a lead and don’t want to forget details of the conversation that you’d like to include in a follow-up, you can type it up, schedule it for later, and let the system do the rest.
With the right sales and lead gen tools in place, service provider can focus more attention on other strategic parts of their business. A combination of marketplaces, field service software, and email automation will help you not only drive new business, but maintain healthy relationships with customers. Be sure to check with each of your service providers to see what integrations they offer. If you can connect all of your systems together, you’ll have an easier time managing and updating data across different departments.
What tools does your field service organization use to drive qualified leads and win new business?
Jorden Jackson is a digital media strategist at mHelpDesk, a top-rated field service management solution. She is a regular contributor to the mHelpDesk blog, a resource with actionable insights and business tips for field service business owners. Jorden specializes in marketing and social media strategy for SMBs, as well as video production and graphic design.