Compare Results – Take Action
It’s easy to set these targets. It’s another thing to set up a tracking system to record and analyze the data. Many of today’s business management software providers, such as ServiceTitan, FieldEdge, or TRUST PRO, come ready-built to record leads and track sales results.
If such software is not available, you can create a spreadsheet and your sales coordinator can manually enter the data and create the reports. Regardless, reviewing the data as often as daily will give you the information you need to immediately recognize when things are going well, and when you need to take corrective action.
For example, it’s January and your revenue-per-lead is plummeting. Your sales report shows that your close rate dropped 10 points and your average job declined by more than $1,500. This is alarming and is worthy of immediate attention. So you call a sales meeting and your comfort advisors point their fingers at the lead sources, all coming from online bid services. Or they blame price-shopper customers, the relatively mild weather, the economy, and lead-setters who schedule all ‘single-leggers.’
Types of Action
It’s true that your technician leads have all but dried up by now, and it’s true that internet bid sources tend to attract price-shoppers, and the weather is mild, the economy is sketchy, and getting both ‘decision-makers’ to commit to a two-hour sales call is tough at any time. It’s January, and this has happened before. It will happen again.
The first problem to solve is comfort advisors’ attitudes. They have bought into all of these ‘excuses’ for not closing sales. They need some timely resources and encouragement to help make sales. This will turn their attitudes around.
The lower close rate indicates a lack of urgency among customers. At this time of year, it’s common for homeowners to choose to repair vs. replace.
The lower average job selling price indicates your comfort advisors dropping prices or selling the lower end, a reactionary decision when they believe homeowners are looking for lower prices.
When sales are slow, retail businesses promote Zero Percent, 60-Months financing to overcome objections about waiting. When tech leads slow down, you can review Repair Vs. Replace strategies with your technicians, and maybe double their spiff for 30 days on all sales leads that sell.
With your service department being all caught up, this is the perfect time to send out a direct-mail post card offering a Precision Tune-Up Special.
Or my favorite, if you have been following NCI guidelines, this is the perfect time to send a letter to your service and maintenance customers with equipment more than 10 years old and high static pressure readings.
Measuring Finds Improvement Opportunities
Often your measurements are on track, but you know you can do better. Let’s say your sales results are right on plan and you’re headed toward a successful year.
If you have several comfort advisors, you can compare their individual results. If their revenue-per-sale results are similar, but one has a higher close-rate accompanied with a lower average job price, then there could be an opportunity with that comfort advisor to change her proposal strategy and produce higher sales.
It’s not uncommon for comfort advisors to fall into mindset patterns, believing they have figured out the sweet spot where a certain product mix at a certain price will sell more effectively. This cannot be true as all customers and all homes are unique, but the comfort advisor has convinced herself it’s true, nonetheless.
You can discuss this with her and encourage (require) her to get back to offering a ‘best’ full-system approach, using the discovery and measurement techniques she has been trained to do. She can then show the customer the benefits of solving fundamental design and installation problems uncovered. Getting your comfort advisor back on track will prove to her that she’s making an assumption that’s not valid and producing less as a result.
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