Fixing the leaks in your sales funnel

HVAC business sales funnel

Hint: They’re not at the top

The sales funnel has become one of the most common ways to help business owners understand how leads turn into customers. The funnel illustrates the journey a potential customer takes from first becoming aware of a product or service to ultimately making a purchase. Just as a funnel shrinks from a wide opening to the narrow spout at the bottom, the number of prospects decreases as they move through each stage of the buying process. Each stage of the sales funnel requires different strategies and tactics to convert prospects into loyal customers.

Starting at the top

Most home services businesses try to increase sales by placing an emphasis on the top of the funnel. They reason that cramming as many leads as possible into the top of the funnel will result in more customers being produced at the bottom. It’s logical, and yes, it can work. But if you’ve been trying to boost sales by investing in more and more leads, we suspect you’ve been frustrated with the results you’re seeing.

Filling funnels is less effective

That’s because filling the funnel is not the most effective way to make the most of your sales funnel. No matter how many leads you try to jam into the top of the funnel, what really matters is how you handle the process when homeowners reach the bottom of the funnel and are ready to buy what you have to offer.

If you don’t do that correctly and efficiently, those hard-earned leads are just going to leak out and one of your competitors will get the work and the revenue. And if your sales funnel is leaky, much of what you’re spending to get leads is going to be wasted.

Focus on the bottom

The most successful home services companies focus more of their attention on the bottom of the funnel. They optimize their sales processes so a larger percentage of leads turns into paying customers. Put another way, they make their sales funnel far more efficient, growing more revenue from their existing leads.

A great example: after-hours business

Most home service businesses operate with what’s thought of as traditional business hours, such as from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Maybe your customer service reps clock out at 5:00 p.m. and calls after that are routed to an answering service or rotate among your team members.

But what happens if half of the calls you receive come in after 5:00 p.m. — because people are just getting home from work? Those calls aren’t being answered by the people who are the best at it … your customer service pros. (Let’s see … tonight, Larry is handling your after-hours calls. Now think about what it’s like for a customer to talk to Larry on the phone. Does Larry even understand he should be selling?)

Informing business changes

If your numbers tell you that 80 percent of your daytime calls result in revenue but only 40 percent of after-hours calls produce sales, you’re losing a lot of business opportunities. Looking more closely, you discover that 95 percent of after-hours calls come in between 5:00 and 9:00 p.m. So why not schedule one of your CSRs to work in the evening? We’re pretty confident you’ll book more appointments that way. It might also lead you to make changes in your structure and operations. You might choose to put a couple of guys on “second shift” so you can respond to those evening calls.

Concentrating on the bottom of your funnel costs less than adding more and more leads, and as we’ve seen …  time and time again … it produces significantly bigger results for companies just like yours.

Want to know more?

Learn more about Cornerstone and how your outsourced marketing department will grow your business by contacting or (317) 804-5640 #108.

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