Every pest control operator knows the importance of bringing in new customers, but not every business owner recognizes just how directly their sales process impacts a prospect’s choice to schedule service or take their business elsewhere. Capturing leads, moving them through the sales process, and addressing their needs efficiently can make or break a deal.
Without a clear process in place for capturing and responding to leads, the stellar customer service you’re committed to providing may never get an opportunity to shine. Streamlining your sales process ensures that leads see that commitment to their satisfaction from the start so you can grow your business effectively.
Manage All Aspects of Your Business With One Integrated Solution
The lead-to-cash process is one that relies on marketing, sales, account management, service, billing, and accounts receivable to achieve success. Any disconnect between these components creates holes where leads can slip away, so it’s essential that pest control operators unify their business management processes to enable a seamless workflow and convert leads into new revenue streams.
Having a system in place to monitor leads and move them through the sales process is crucial to ensuring that they don’t slip through the cracks. This can be achieved through a system that works for every facet of your business, from the back office to technicians. When your employees need to track leads between different systems and toggle between different interfaces, opportunities for error quickly present themselves. This can effectively put a hard stop on progress for a given lead. In fact, 70% of customers report that a seamless process that focuses on smooth transitions along with engagement that builds on past interactions is very important to securing their business1, so a solution that eliminates stumbling blocks along the way is crucial.
Keep Things Moving to Close More Leads
Your potential customers are used to technology in their everyday lives, which means they’re also used to instant gratification. Studies show that speed is crucial when responding to leads, with the highest closure rates being attributed to businesses that respond to leads in five minutes or less. The longer it takes you to get back in touch, the higher the chance of a lead choosing another company. Studies cite that the odds of sealing the deal plummet by up to 99% by the time half an hour has gone by.
This is doubly important considering many of your potential customers will be reaching out to you in direct response to an immediate pest issue. If a lead is calling because they’ve spotted pests in their home or business and they can’t get in touch with you immediately, chances are that they’ll reach out to another pest control company—one of your direct competitors—almost immediately.
Your plan for managing leads must include a solution that ensures leads are seen and addressed in a timely manner no matter where they’re coming from. Online leads need to be registered and organized for quick response, and the same is true for phone calls. It’s worth noting that 25% of sales opportunities come in outside of regular business hours and that fewer than one in four callers will even bother to leave a message, so ensuring that those calls are handled properly is instrumental in securing those customers.
Whether it’s by forwarding business calls to your team’s mobile devices or to a phone answering service on your behalf, it’s crucial that you plan for handling after-hours and overflow calls appropriately. With a professional answering service like Slingshot, you can work with a team that knows your industry, services, and processes to enable immediate appointment scheduling and ensure that after-hours leads get the prompt attention they deserve.
Hone In on the Human Touch
Customers may increasingly prefer contactless options and digital interactions, but they still want the feel of a personalized experience; no one wants to feel like a number in a spreadsheet. Determining which contact points can be carried out online and which are best handled through direct interaction can make all of the difference.
Giving every lead the attention they deserve by listening to their input and tailoring your responses and proposals is key. According to recent customer satisfaction surveys, the vast majority of customers ranked being treated as a person rather than a number as being “very important” to winning their business.
As for keeping customers happy and securing recurring revenue, over 40% of consumers have reported changing businesses due to a lack of trust or personalization. It all goes to show that a commitment to personalized service remains as much a priority after you’ve signed a customer as it is while winning their business in the first place.
Stay Focused on the Sales Funnel
The sales funnel is a visualization of every step an individual takes on their journey from being a potential lead to becoming a bonafide customer. Focusing on your sales funnel via a dedicated dashboard enables you to monitor where you’re attracting new leads, as well as where you’re losing those leads—or even your existing customers. Studies have shown that less than one in three businesses have identified or attempted to track a sales funnel for their business. While this number may be surprising, it also accents the immediate advantage you can gain by equipping your business to properly track leads as they move through the funnel.
Marketers note that nearly four out of every five leads fail to convert to sales, in large part due to a lack of tracking and following up during the sales process. Ensuring that your team is equipped with a dashboard to easily view and monitor your sales funnel is crucial to moving leads through the process in a timely manner and preventing potential sales from slipping through the cracks.
Prioritize Your Customer’s Experience
The quality of the service you provide sets the tone for your customer relationships, and the bottom line is that customer service is always especially important. First time service quality forms the foundation of the customer relationship, consistent service quality establishes a pattern of care and dependability, and your most recent service defines your customer’s current thoughts on your business.
It’s well-documented that consumers will pay more for service they associate with a better customer experience, which is even more important when you consider that even small increases in customer retention can snowball into significant increases in profits. Keeping your customers happy to avoid churn and encourage positive sentiment should always be a top priority. From first contact with a lead to the latest service provided to a customer, there’s no room for subpar customer service.
Each of these elements is important in its own right, but only through implementing all of them in a cohesive, unified strategy can you showcase your business in the best way possible. Once you do, you can transform the way your pest control business converts leads to secure new customers, win new opportunities, and bring more revenue into your business. To see how the right approach to managing your leads and sales can help your business grow by making your efforts go further, explore WorkWave Sales Center today!