Funnel

Working with remodelers from around the country gives us here at Builder Funnel an interesting point of view.  We get to see how different remodelers handle various situations and can get sort of a bird’s eye view of the industry, especially when it comes to sales and marketing.

There’s a massive emerging trend going on in the world of internet marketing, lead generation and the transition to sales.  The term “Smarketing” has been thrown around for a couple years, but there’s a new term I want to talk about today.

Sales Enablement.

What is sales enablement?  Well, Forrester defines it as the following:

Sales enablement is a strategic, ongoing process that equips all client-facing employees with the ability to consistently and systematically have a valuable conversation with the right set of customer stakeholders at each stage of the customer’s problem-solving life cycle to optimize the return of investment of the selling system.

Sounds great right?!?  Well, what does sales enablement look like for remodelers?

Let’s look at an example:

You generate leads from your website (at least I hope you do).  Some leads subscribe to your blog.  Others download a free e-book you have available.  And some request a consultation or a quote.  They inquire directly about doing business with you.

These leads fall into three different buckets:

  1. Blog subscribers are at the very top of your sales and marketing funnel. You probably only have an email address for this person.  At most, you also have a name tied to that email address.
  2. E-book downloads result in leads that are still at the top of your sales and marketing funnel, but you’ve captured more information (most likely First Name, Last Name, Email, and Phone).
  3. Request a Consultation form submissions are leads that sit at the bottom of your sales and marketing funnel. You have probably captured at least the information you would capture with an e-book, but you may even have a short description of the project they are interested in.

I think it’s safe to say that most sales people know how to handle the Consultation/Quote leads.  Call them!  They requested to talk to you about a project.  Get going!

It’s the other two buckets that are a bit trickier.

Most sales people are great at taking a warm lead or an “opportunity” and working that lead.  They may close, they may not, but sales people know what to do.

What do you do with someone that subscribes to your blog?  What about someone that downloads your free e-book on Kitchen Design Trends for 2016?  They didn’t request to talk to you…

This is where a new skill set comes into play.  It takes a new approach: “Always Be Helping” rather than “Always Be Closing”.

Most sales people will look at a lead that downloaded that e-book and say “that’s a garbage lead”.  Why will they say that?  Because they’ve called a few before and haven’t seen success.  They called that person and said: “I saw you came to our website.  Should we schedule a time to talk about your project?”

This is bad.

Let’s think about it for a second.  If you were thinking about remodeling your kitchen, you’d probably go online and start looking for ideas.  You’d want to look at photos, find articles that talk about the remodeling process, get information on trends, styles, and much more.  If you found an e-book on Kitchen Design Trends for 2016 and downloaded it, you probably aren’t ready to schedule an appointment with a remodeler yet.  You’re just looking around!  So, don’t expect to treat these leads the same way you do with direct requests for consultations.

Here’s a better approach:

Sales Person: “Hey Debra, I just saw you downloaded our Kitchen Design Trends for 2016 e-book today.  I’m assuming you’re looking around for ideas for your home.  Most people that download that e-book find it super helpful, but they often need additional information or resources as they do their research.  Is there something I can help you find?”

Debra will go one of two directions:

  1. Debra: “Yes, actually I was looking for…”
  2. Debra: “No, I’m just looking around.”

If she says yes, you now assume the approach of “Always Being Helpful”.  Help Debra do her research.  Send Debra helpful articles via email over the next several weeks.  Send her articles on design trends, styles, the remodeling process, budget ranges, and color schemes.  Be as helpful as you possibly can.  Debra might be a year away from doing a project, but if you’re there every step of the way during her research process, don’t you think you’ll have a shot at that project when she’s ready?

If Debra says no, do the same thing.  Send her helpful content.

Is this a lot of work?  Yes.  Can you automate a lot of it with today’s tools?  Yes.  Will it help you land more business?  Yes.  Are your sales people taking this approach?  Most likely not.

Stop leaving money on the table and start being super helpful.  Today’s buyer is very different.  They want to do their own research before talking to someone.  They want to get all the data and the facts.  Then, when they are 70% of the way through the buying process, they’ll get in touch with you.  And at that point, you just need to walk them home and close the deal.

What do you think of this approach?  Are you practicing a form of sales enablement?

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