When working with a top-of-the-line lead generation company – for example, Home Service Direct – tree service companies find hitting their lead generation targets extremely easy.
However, most of these companies often find converting their leads into paying customers extremely hard. Not only does a company’s weak lead conversion rate increase the sale’s team lack of faith and interest in marketing qualified leads, but more importantly, it hurts the company’s bottom line.
After spending efforts and money on generating new leads, how can you make sure these leads are moving down your sales funnel and generating revenue for your tree service business? This detailed guide will focus on answering this question.
10 Ways to Boost Lead Conversion Rate
1. Understand the Buyer’s Journey
From the moment you get a new lead, your company should understand the lead progression starting from the first encounter to your end goal – which is to convert the lead into a paying customer.
Consider the buyer’s journey a trail of bread crumbs. If you are using your website to generate leads, the journey begins when a potential lead sees content that is interesting to them. After a few clicks, the potential lead may end up on your landing page where they are prompted to fill in their contact details in exchange for information or a special service.
This is the process that basic lead generation follows. Your tree service business needs to know how to pave the way to make it easier for new leads to follow the path. Once you understand the buyer’s journey, it should be easy for you to come up with ways that turn prospects into qualified tree service leads that can be handed over to the sales team.
2. Strengthen Your Company’s Marketing and Sales Alignment
It is not uncommon for sales and marketing departments to be disconnected from each other. While the marketing department is working on a new tree service launch, the sales department may be focused on growing another side of the tree service business.
This often results in the company’s marketing efforts not getting proper follow-up from the sales team. What’s more, the sales department may complain about not receiving the right support from the marketing team.
Bringing these 2 teams together is a vital success factor to increase conversion rate:
Align Their Goals
The main goal of the sales and marketing teams should always be to support each other. Whether it’s determining the market(s) to focus on or the number of leads needed by the sales team to hit the company’s target, the teams should work together to achieve their company goals. Having regular check-ins should ensure the two teams are on the same page.
Raise Your Standard for Lead Quality
As part of aligning the marketing and sales goals, ensure the definition of sales qualified leads (SQL) and marketing qualified leads (MQL) meet each team’s expectations.
If your company is currently struggling with converting leads, you may want to sit down with both teams and set a higher standard for both MQL and SQL. Keeping leads longer in the hands of the marketing team can lead to better-qualified leads – this can make the leads more likely to convert when they get in the hands of the company’s sales team.
Empower Your Sales Team
The marketing team usually has a personal interest in seeing the leads generated convert into sales opportunities that bring in revenue.
To optimize your company’s conversion, encourage the marketing team to support your sales team by educating them on their initiatives. The marketing team may also need to provide the sales team with the right tools – such as additional messaging and resources – to help them with conversion.
Connect Your CRM (Customer Relationship Management) and MAP (Marketing Automation Platform)
If you are currently trying to boost your lead conversion rate without this key systems integration, you are making a big mistake. A 2-way integration between your CRM database and MAP gives your marketing and sales teams the ability to share lead intelligence and work from a unified pipeline.
The sales team can see where your leads originated, how your marketing team qualified them, and how long they have been active. These insights help your sales reps initiate rewarding conversations with leads they are already familiar with.
Your marketing team, on the other hand, can use your CRM/MAP integration to track conversion rates and other metrics related to tree service lead closing.
3. Shorten Your Lead Follow-Up Time
The speed of following up matters. When interested leads ask for information from your company, they expect a rapid and personalized response.
If your tree service company is like most businesses, your lead follow-up time is not near as fast as it should be. Forbes notes that most companies take as much as 46 hours and 53 minutes before responding to a lead.
The optimal lead follow-up time – especially when you are doing it via a phone call – is one hour or less. According to a study conducted by Harvard Business Review, businesses that respond within one hour are 7 times more likely to have meaningful conversations with decision-makers. Following up later reduces your chances of selling to the right person.
According to LeadSimple, companies that contact their leads within the first 5 minutes often enjoy conversations that are likely to lead to conversions. However, allowing half an hour – or more – to pass before contacting the lead can reduce your chances of selling.
These stats show how vital a quick lead follow-up is when it comes to converting leads. What’s even better, if you can personalize your follow-up, you will be in a better position when it comes to converting the lead into a paying customer.
4. Nurture Leads Stuck in the Pipeline
Whether you are working alone or with a lead generation agency like Home Service Direct, lead generation consumes both time and money.
It’s, however, very common for companies to spend money and time on generating new leads and ended up with leads that remain stuck in the sales pipeline. The good news is that a homeowner who has already expressed interest in the tree services you offer is much more likely to convert than those who haven’t entered your sales pipeline.
In other words, your tree service company is currently sitting on an untapped potential that only needs warming up a little longer until you fully gain their trust or the time is right for them to order your tree services.
Here is an example of a nurture stream you may want to take advantage of:
- First Email – Start your nurture process with an educational thought leadership email on a topic related to tree maintenance.
- Second Email – Follow up with an analyst report explaining why the topic is relevant and how the potential customer can choose an ideal solution (ideally, ensure the email ranks your tree service company high).
- Third Email – Send a customer case study or a testimonial from a customer praising your solution.
- Fourth Email – End the nurturing process with sales messaging. The fourth email should explain why your company has the most ideal tree service team.
By the end of your nurture stream, your sales team will be more than happy to take over.
5. Go Beyond What Leads Expect
The way you treat your leads shows them how you will serve them when they convert and become paying customers. Therefore, you need to go above and beyond for your leads. Also, pay special attention to the leads that fit your company’s ideal customer profile.
Going beyond what they expect can include things like extra relevant content that was unexpected, offering discounts, etc.
6. Use a Lead Scoring System
A lead scoring system is an ideal way for your tree service marketing team to scale and quantify targeting requirements.
A lead scoring system assigns each lead a numerical value based on the data acquired during lead capture and the actions the lead has taken. While some companies may handle the lead scoring system on their own, at Home Service Direct, we take care of this whole process, making things much easier for tree service businesses.
Examples of actions Home Service Direct uses in the lead scoring system include:
- Browsing behavior
- Email engagement
- Social media shares
When a lead reaches a specific numerical threshold, Home Service Direct passes him/her to your company’s sales team for follow-up.
When you start using a lead scoring system, you may notice a slight decrease in your lead volume. However, you should start seeing an increase in the percentage of your qualified leads. This will, in turn, boost your sales conversion rate.
While being choosy may not seem like a good idea, it pays. In a study published in 2013, 68% of marketers reported that lead scoring improved their revenue generation.
7. Capture the Right Lead Information
At Home Service Direct, we take a look at lead entry points:
- Gated downloads
- Landing pages
- Web forms
Our lead generation team also ensures it is getting the right information about each lead from the outset.
One thing Home Service Direct has noticed is that this process can be tricky for companies with minimal experience in lead generation. This is because making too many demands can make you lose your prospect over privacy concerns. However, if you fail to get the right information from your leads, it will be incredibly hard for you to allocate the leads:
- Do you place the lead in a drip campaign or start following up immediately?
- Are they interested in your services, content, or both?
Typically, web forms feature 3 to 5 fields. For this reason, you will need to choose your questions very wisely. Name and email are generally non-negotiable, so 2 are already accounted for. Companies, therefore, need to be creative with the remaining fields to ensure they capture all the right information.
8. Use Targeted Content in Your Lead Generation
Content is how your company communicates with leads and prospects. This is how your tree service business offers value and tells its brand story. According to the 2015 CMI benchmark report, while 86% of companies do use content marketing, very few are doing a good job.
The best content does more than just get a bunch of social media shares and attract visitors; it educates readers and uses their priorities and goals to shed some light on their latent buying needs.
This means that you will need a fairly stout library featuring content written to specific buyer personas and tailored to varying stages in the sales funnel.
9. Re-Engage Your Past Leads
When your tree service business reaches the end of the year, you may start wondering, “what can I do to drive more revenue with the very little or no remaining budget?” One way our team at Home Service Direct has found effective is to focus on the currently existing leads.
Get your company’s sales department to hand the leads back to your marketing team for re-engagement. Lead re-engagement is one of the most powerful ROI (Return on Investment) tools you can take advantage of. This is because you will be getting more out of the money you spent previously by going deeper into the opportunities you already have.
10. Work with a Reputable Lead Generation Company
It’s fairly common for tree service companies to purchase leads from third-party providers – this could be a lead generation service or a marketing agency. A study published in 2014 showed that 61% of large companies and 46% of small companies utilize a combination of purchased and generated leads.
If your tree service business is struggling to acquire high-quality leads through its programs, outside lead generation may be an ideal way to keep your sales pipeline full. However, you will need to be cautious.
You will need to partner with a lead generation service that accommodates your company’s targeting requirements and also has a track record of success. A good lead generation service should have a case study detailing its level of success.