New Year’s Resolutions to Sell to Builders Better
January 7, 2020
It’s the new year, and the perfect time to reset goals. We won’t advise you on personal resolutions (though we do support eating more vegetables), but we’ve got thoughts on the top resolutions to increase your building product sales this year.
Resolution 1: Find new customers better
Oh, have you heard that one before? Find new customers? Well we don’t think you should just find new ones, but find them more efficiently, with better organization and with more strategy. To us, that means:
Align marketing and sales. Marketo has a great article on this so we’ll let them do the talking: “When sales and marketing align, revenue increases, the sales cycle shortens, and conversion rates improve along with forecast accuracy.” In fact, alignment can lead to a 32 percent increase in year-over-year revenue growth (Aberdeen Group via Marketo). With aligned marketing and sales teams, both marketing communications and sales reps will be on the same page and providing the right messaging to the right prospects. That means less redundancies, less wasted time and more results.
The easiest first step is to start communicating more openly. Marketing: Make sure sales knows everything you’re doing and has easy access to all the materials you create. Sales: You have more direct conversations in the field — let marketing know any feedback to help shape brand messaging.
Stop chasing bad leads. When it comes to leads, it’s quality over quantity every time. Instead of chasing never-going-to-convert leads, take this new year to focus on efforts that have a chance of paying off. By better aligning sales and marketing, you’ll start generating better leads, which will help feed better opportunities to sales reps.
But we know that can also take time, and most sales reps are “go get ‘em” types who are constantly looking for their own opportunities. So, we also recommend learning good data from bad data. The definition of both will vary depending on your needs, but you’ll know which is which when you’ve developed target customer personas that allow you to score leads as they come in. That way, you can focus on the hottest leads first.
To start, what kind of builder is most suited to your product? What kind of projects? Where and with what types of builders do you already have market presence, if any? What type of builder/project is decidedly not a good fit?
If you can’t answer those questions (and they require more work than it might seem), then now’s a good time to set the course straight for the new year.
Because this is relevant, we’ll also take a second to explain how we help our partners find new business. With our just-released Builder Discovery feature on HomeSphere-IQ® (our online platform for manufacturers), our partners can find completely new business opportunities by searching for demographics and behavioral data they are most interested in. We want our partners to really think about what makes a good lead and then pursue only the relevant prospects.
Not yet a HomeSphere partner?
HomeSphere manufacturer partners have access to the largest community of home builders in the United States.
Resolution 2: Retain your current customers
Keeping customers should be considered as important as gaining new ones, but often it’s not, and we’re not entirely sure why. We’ve previously written about the importance of retaining customers, and we’ll once again pull this noteworthy statistic: it costs 5 to 25 times less to retain a customer than capture new ones.
Just think about their potential. You have the opportunity to gain their continued business (and the upsells and cross-sells that entails) while also creating brand advocates who recommend your products to other builders. And as relationships-based as the construction industry is, word-of-mouth is invaluable.
So, in this new year, start considering your current customers what they really are: one-half of an important relationship. And don’t forget that relationships need to be nurtured. Once a sales rep has closed with a builder, that contact should be placed in an ongoing communications campaign and periodically assessed for additional opportunities and their level of satisfaction with your brand.
At HomeSphere, we also help our partners understand existing opportunities with their current customers. Our reports within the HomeSphere-IQ platform let them know how much of a builder’s business they have. That way, they can evaluate the additional outreach needed to get that builder exclusively using their brand.
Resolution 3: Leverage the data available to you
Using data to really understand your target customer is a popular idea. But for a lot of companies, it’s more appealing in theory than practice because of the effort required to make sense of the numbers and details.
But based on our 20 years working with manufacturers, it’s absolutely worth the time.
So, what data are we even talking about?
For manufacturers, it’s the latest stats on the residential construction industry and an understanding of the issues builders face so you can approach prospects with expertise and the right context. It’s knowing what homebuyers want and the latest design and innovation trends so you know how to sell and market your products.
It’s also the customer data you can learn, like where your customers are located, what types of houses they build, how many houses they typically build a year and more. All of this information will help your company across the board to make better decisions and sell products that home builders truly want.
Data gives you the opportunity to provide the best solution.
And in our last shameless plug, we’ll let you know that finding this data doesn’t have to be hard. We provide all of this information in HomeSphere-IQ. Our partners can access where their products end up, down to the neighborhood. They also have the tools to learn even more about their customers and potential customers.
If you’re not a HomeSphere partner, you can still access our articles on industry trends and builder reports.
If you’re a current partner and want more information on how to better use HomeSphere-IQ, let us know in the form below.
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