Finding potential customers for any business is a tough chore, but even more difficult for a small contracting business. Searching for potential customers means less time doing the work that pays the bills. The easiest way to increase profits without spending more time finding customers is improve your customer sales conversion process. Changing your conversion percentage by just a few percent can result in a significant profitability increase.
Here are three ways to better track your customers and improve your sales conversion rate.
Use CRM or Job Quoting Software
Using CRM (Customer Relationship Management) software or job estimating software like JobFLEX, you’ll have a much better way to keep track of customers, your sales team and your sales process. These solutions are very effective at managing your relationship with customers and potential customers. It may seem like software is overkill for a small business but that couldn’t be further from the truth. With limited time and employees, staying on top of everything concerning potential clients is nearly impossible. Keeping track of open quotes will allow you to follow up on sales opportunities that otherwise might die on the vine. JobFLEX (and other software solutions) can generate reports on open quotes so you can regularly check if your sales people have profitable opportunities they should be following up on.
If you have a sales team, your software should also provide reports you who’s effectively closing deals (an example of JobFLEX’s sales performance report is below). If you’re putting significant resources into your sales team, you need to know who’s closing deals among your sales team and who isn’t.
One of the best features of CRM and sales quoting software is the ability to track customers and customer needs. Every piece of data about a potential or existing client is stored for easy retrieval. By collecting data on potential customers, you can make more tailored sales pitches to potential clients and have better success converting them to sales.
Track Your Lead Channels & Advertising
If you are currently spending money on advertising, you’ll want to know which ones are generating quality leads. So, for example, you may be running online advertising and radio ads. When you first speak with a customer you should always ask how they learned about you and track it. Just like you’d track your sales team to see who can close deals, you’ll want to know if your advertising dollars are bringing in leads that convert into sales. So, for example, if you see that leads from radio ads are converting into sales at 35% and online leads are converting at only 10%, it would be wise to either alter your ad, move those online ad dollars to radio or potentially experiment with another form of advertising. Dealing with low quality leads is nearly as big a problem as not having leads at all.
Funnel Your Sales
Improving the process of turning your prospect into a customer will improve your conversion rate. One way to do this is to adopt a sales funnel process. While some of these funnel processes can be quite detailed and even complicated to implement for a small business, there are simple funnels as well which can help you categorize where potential customers are in your sales process.
One sales funnel that would be appropriate for small contracting business is the Awareness-Interest-Engagement-Purchase-Repeat. After you create awareness of your product through advertising, you need to turn that awareness into interest. Your website can be effective at doing this. Once interest is captured, you can use your CRM or job quoting software to track engagement with potential customers. You can use your closing skills to convert an engaged customer into an actual customer. The repeat phase is all about following up with previous customers to sell new services to them.
Put Them All Together
If you can utilize these three strategies for improving customer tracking and sales conversion, you will increase profitability without additional work within the sales process. You can spend your time doing the work that truly pays the bills.