Posted by Emily Bauer
October 29, 2018
As a home service business owner, you’ve almost always got your hands full. Thankfully, there’s plenty of technology available to make running your business a little bit easier.
Just as you use home service software for handling your day-to-day business needs, you should consider using a customer relationship management (CRM) platform to manage your sales and customer data.
A CRM platform is a tool that makes it easy to keep track of sales opportunities, including new leads, open estimates, and repeat business. It stores information about your customers and handles all the data, so you can just focus on your growing business.
Among its many benefits, a CRM platform helps streamline your sales process, which can mean increased productivity, better customer service, and higher profit margins. Let’s take a look at some of the specific reasons to use a CRM for contractors and home service businesses.
Do you know how many potential sales opportunities you have on-the-go right now? Or exactly how many proposals and estimates your team has given out recently? Or how close any of those opportunities are to closing?
A home service CRM puts all of this information into an easy-to-digest visual format that you can understand at a glance. From leads to prospects to repeat customers, you can see who’s at which stage of your sales pipeline, which potential customers are closest to booking appointments, and whether you have enough leads coming through to hit your revenue targets.
As your business grows, it gets harder and harder to keep track of everything that’s happening with your sales process. The bigger your pool of leads and potential customers gets, the more reasons you have to consider switching to a CRM platform. One of the biggest benefits of a CRM for contractors is the ability to keep sales data organized without even trying.
Whether you’re currently tracking leads and sales opportunities in an excel sheet or keep an informal list of contacts you’re hoping to turn into customers, you have better things to do with your time than entering sales data into a spreadsheet.
Since a CRM allows you to track all customer communication in one place, it provides value to your team as well as your customers. A CRM gives you a better understanding of your customers, which improves the customer relationship and creates a better service experience.
Furthermore, a CRM makes it easier to share information internally. Everyone on your team can access the same information about the client, which means they’re better prepared to handle every customer interaction.
For instance, a CRM allows you to track customer requests from sales call to house call. So, if a lead mentions a specific need on an early sales call, you can make note of it in the CRM so your technicians are aware of it when completing the job.
In many ways, sales is a numbers game – and it pays to be persistent. So, always remembering to follow-up with potential prospects means you can land more new customers. If you make the effort to put together an estimate for a potential client, you sure as heck better be following up to ask if they’re ready to book.
You can use your CRM to schedule reminders to connect with open estimates if you don’t hear back from them within a certain timeframe. They say 80% of sales take five follow-ups to close (and only 8% of salespeople bother to follow-up that many times!), so a CRM can help you win new business by simply reminding you to follow-up consistently.
Sales forecasting can be tricky, especially when you’ve got a bunch of potential customers and jobs that could turn into sources of revenue – but you have no idea when they’ll close, if at all.
When all of your customers and opportunities are tracked in a CRM, you can visualize the likelihood of each deal closing, which means you can predict future revenue much more easily and accurately. Since forecasting is crucial for budgeting and keeping your business running smoothly, this is one of the most powerful arguments for using a CRM for contractors.
A home service CRM can help you uncover insights about your sales process. Since all of your sales data is stored in one central place, you might recognize patterns that you might not have noticed otherwise. You can see where each sales opportunity is in your pipeline – from new contacts and leads to open estimates and prospects you need to follow-up with to long-term customers.
Furthermore, you can easily measure and track important sales metrics. This includes metrics like average close time, average job value, and what percentage of estimates turn into deals, as well as data related to specific customers, service people, and sales reps. Tracking these metrics allows you to finetune your sales tactics to close even more deal in less time.
Not only will you gain a better understanding of your sales process, but you’ll also find new ways to optimize customer revenue. Because a CRM provides you will a bird’s-eye view of your sales pipeline, you can see where there might be any untapped opportunities.
For instance, you can use the information you have about various customers and prospects to up-sell them on higher-value services, perhaps by increasing the scope of a particular job. Or, you might find an opportunity to cross-sell complementary services related to their original estimate. This might include something like offering a preventative maintenance plan after an HVAC installation.
[potential image here depicting cross-selling and up-selling?]
Even if you figure out how to maximize your sales revenue, it’s important to ensure your marketing budget is being put to the best use possible.
Since your CRM stores so much customer data, you can identify details like the best times to reach out to make a sale and your most profitable customer types. This gives you a better idea of who to spend your marketing budget on and when to target them with ads for the best return on your investment.
A modern CRM for contractors allows your team to securely store and access your data from anywhere. All of your is data stored safely in the cloud, so your service technicians can find the information they need on their smartphone wherever they happen to be working that day. Employees with access can make notes on a client’s file, adjust estimates, request specific materials, and move opportunities from one pipeline stage to the next.
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