Are You Prepping Your In-Home Sales Team With the Right Data?

How Sales Data Impacts In-Home Sales CompaniesIf you’ve been playing the marketing game, you’re probably already familiar with the power of analytics.

Data guides your marketing decisions, helps you get the most bang out of your budget, and shows you what’s working (and what’s not). But did you know that analytics can transform your in-home sales team, too?

If the answer is “no,” you’re not alone. It’s been over a decade since “big data” broke into sales and marketing, but most businesses still don’t appreciate the benefits that data-driven sales can deliver—from prioritizing leads to strengthening customer relationships.

According to a McKinsey survey of over 1,000 sales organizations around the world, 53 percent of “high-performing” organizations effectively use analytics. However, despite the countless benefits, analytics is still an afterthought when it comes to in-home sales. The same survey shows that most sales organizations (57 percent) don’t view themselves as effective users of advanced analytics. Most companies struggle to benefit from basic analytics, and some aren’t using data to their advantage at all.

Whether you’re in the HVAC, power washing, or home remodeling industry, it’s time to start prepping your in-home sales team with the right data. Data is an invaluable tool for successful sales teams: It helps your team filter out low-quality leads, reduce churn, and drive growth. It captures incredibly detailed insights into prospects and customers. These insights can change the way your sales team interacts with leads, which, in turn, can help your business increase revenue. So, how can you equip your sales team with the best tools for the job?



How Sales Data Impacts Home Services Companies

Chances are, if you’re not already prepping your in-home sales team with data, your competition probably is. Forward-thinking home service businesses are using big data and artificial intelligence for lead generation, cross-selling, and customer retention. Here’s how sales data can transform your organization from the inside out.


1. Streamline Your Lead Generation Strategy

Analytics plays an important role in lead generation, making it easier for home services businesses to identify the right customer at the right time. According to 2021 marketing statistics, 91 percent of businesses say that lead generation is their biggest goal. That’s a lot of businesses competing for the same customers, especially in saturated industries like home services. Here, data is your secret to gaining an edge over the competition.

Most businesses are already using historical market information to learn more about in-home sales prospects. Other companies are taking analytics to the next level, introducing lead-scoring algorithms to figure out exactly which prospects are worth pursuing.

Wondering how lead scoring can make life easier for your in-home sales team? It’s simple. Lead scoring combines internal data sources on a customer’s previous history with external data (i.e., social media) to provide your team with a full picture of the customer. Then, algorithms predict which factors are the most important in lead conversion so you can craft a powerful, conversion-boosting sales strategy.


2. Boost Sales Productivity

Traditionally, sales planning has relied on audience segmentation, primarily determined by historical knowledge rather than up-to-date data. Over time, traditional in-home sales models become less effective, leading companies to allocate the wrong resources to the wrong campaigns.

When it comes to resource allocation and productivity, sales data is the MVP. When in-home sales teams introduce basic analytics into the sales process, resource allocation becomes far more effective—and sales employees can start working to their full potential. 

Today, more companies are integrating email, calendar, and CRM interaction data to identify which actions correlate with conversions. Based on these findings, business owners can effectively deploy their resources to engage with high-value leads, close more in-home sales, and boost revenue.


3. Capture Every Ounce of Value From Your Customers

If you’re a jack of all trades—working hard to advertise your gutter cleaning, landscaping, and light installation services—you’re going to have a hard time finding solutions that match specific customer needs. When it comes to in-home sales, time-consuming customer interactions will lead to missed opportunities to cross-sell your services.

To identify cross-sell opportunities, companies are implementing algorithms that draw on sales data. By analyzing historical purchasing patterns, your in-home sales team can identify opportunities to cross-sell within your existing customer base and build tailored micro-campaigns around those opportunities. 

Sales data also boost customer retention. To engage customers at risk of leaving for a competitor, you’ll need to recognize the warning signs before those customers take action. That’s where pattern-recognition skills and machine-learning algorithms come into play. Predictive models help determine behavior patterns that lead to churn. Then, your in-home sales team can identify at-risk customers and engage with each one.



Using Data to Guide Your Sales Approach

Time is money. You don’t want your sales team to waste precious resources with a hit-or-miss sales strategy, so why leave them guessing about what to do next? Instead of throwing them to the wolves and hoping for the best, you’re going to give them the tools they need to succeed.

Your team needs to use data to drive their strategy. They need to collect and use specific metrics to inform every single sales decision, from customer retention to lead conversion. This way, your sales team will save time and energy, only focusing on customers who are the best fit for your services. When done right, a data-driven in-home sales approach won’t only boost productivity—it’ll also make your business more profitable.

Sounds simple, right? Implementing a data-driven sales approach is easier said than done. It’s one thing to embrace analytics. It’s another to use that data to influence and empower your in-homesales team.

Of course, there are examples of successful companies, like Amazon and Google, where data analytics has made a huge impact. But for most companies, analytics success is limited to a few tests. If your home services company is struggling to scale your sales strategy, the first step is to make sure you’re using the right tools. Data visualization tools and CRM software deliver invaluable insights and automate the delivery of analytics insights into usable, actionable formats, but these tools alone are insufficient.

To scale your strategy, you’ll need to guide your in-home sales team throughout the process. Your sales manager must shift their priorities to drive the use of analytics across their team. At the end of the day, organizations that quickly adapt to new tools and processes will be the most successful.



How to Build a Data-Driven In-Home Sales Team

To use data analytics to your advantage, you’ll need a strong foundation: a plan, a process to prioritize insights, and employee training to embrace the change. 

Without a strategy in place, you’ll never see the ROI of any data-driven initiatives. A solid foundation will help your home services business move beyond the hope of “we’re going to use analytics to drive sales” so your in-home sales team can hit the ground running.


1. Build a Distinct Sales Process

Your in-home sales team should follow a distinct sales process. Think of your sales process as a handbook that each member of your sales team follows to close a new customer. When you build a step-by-step sales guide, you can pinpoint exactly which steps are working and which steps aren’t. By repeating the same process across your entire team, you can figure out where to track new KPIs and sales data.

Although it might be tempting to ditch your current process to “fix” everything overnight, it’s best to make slow, gradual changes. Start with one change at a time. This way, your team can adjust to the changes, and you’ll be able to see which changes are benefitting or hurting your in-home sales process.

Once you’ve perfected your sales process, you can start dividing your strategy into different plays for unique opportunities. By identifying groups of micro-markets—or “peer groups”—your in-home sales team can effectively tailor their messaging to each sales opportunity.


2. Track All Prospect Interactions

When it comes to prospects, every interaction should be treated with equal importance. Whether that prospect never responds or becomes a repeat customer, every interaction can give your in-home sales reps insight into what’s working.

Prospect interactions can provide some valuable information—from where the prospect came from to how your sales rep made contact. After the initial interaction, you can also track either 1) the sales cycle for that specific process, or 2) which competitor you lost the prospect to. You can also gather demographic characteristics for each prospect to strengthen your company’s unique buyer personas.


3. Work Closely With a CRM

If you’re not using customer relationship management (CRM) software, this is your sign to start. When it comes to gathering analytics, a CRM tool is invaluable. Our clients use CRM tools to replace cluttered spreadsheets and mismatched data with helpful, easily digestible sales reports.

A CRM tool can track all prospect and customer activity. It keeps all historical data in one place, making it easier for in-home sales reps to manage customer relationships. On top of that, you can use CRM to bring multiple departments together (i.e., sales and marketing) to connect teams with the same data. That’s right: You can create a customer-centric experience and promote cross-team collaboration—all on the same platform.

Plus, it can automate monotonous tasks, like email follow-ups and contact updates, to boost your team’s productivity. It also keeps your in-home sales team on the same page, ensuring all of your sales data are equally accessible. 


4. Only Engage With Qualified Leads

A successful, productive in-home sales team doesn’t waste precious time or resources pursuing low-quality leads. Instead, they only pursue leads and prospects that prove to be good-fit customers. 

To do this, your team needs to effectively utilize its data. Once you qualify high-quality leads, your team should know what data to look at. Maybe you’ve defined a high-quality lead as a customer who has visited your website multiple times—or who has shared and liked your Facebook posts. Regardless of your criteria, encourage your in-home sales team to focus their energy on quality leads.


5. Communicate What’s Working—and What’s Not

In any industry, communication is the key to success. Maybe one of your sales reps has identified a new way to tap into sales data—or they’ve found a new approach to guarantee a prospect response. A data-driven sales team should constantly share their best practices for converting leads, identifying good-fit customers, and building customer loyalty.

Similarly, you should encourage sales reps to share strategies that didn’t quite work. You can share this information through team-wide meetings or one-on-ones with sales managers and reps. Then, you can tweak your sales strategy accordingly.



Empowering Your In-Home Sales Team With the Right Data

Implementing an effective analytics-based strategy is notoriously tricky. As your home services business starts collecting more data, it’ll become easier to lose your way. Maybe you’re already feeling overwhelmed by endless rounds of analytics. How can you figure out which data to inform your sales strategy?


1. Get Creative With Your Existing Data

Don’t limit your sales team to new data. For a comprehensive in-home sales strategy, you should be using the data you already have on hand. You might be surprised to find that your existing data has all the answers you’re looking for.

Let’s look at Harley-Davidson as an example. In 2017, the company analyzed existing customer data from their CRM system to isolate the defining characteristics of high-value customers. Then, using AI, the company created micro-segments, ran test campaigns, and predicted the campaign variables that were most likely to convert different audience segments through different digital channels. Using old customer data to inform its strategy, Harley-Davidson increased New York leads by an incredible 2,930 percent.

Before diving into new data, analyze your existing sales data, including any information you have about past customers and prospects. Share the existing data with your sales team, and then use that data to inform new strategies.


2. Keep It Simple

Too much data is overwhelming. If you don’t keep reports simple, your in-home sales team isn’t going to get the results you’re after. Of course, crunching data isn’t an automatic tool for success—not any more than simply creating a website will generate leads. 

Your goal is to provide your in-home sales team with easily digestible, high-quality data. You don’t want to waste valuable time sorting through all the data you’ve gathered, so what do you do? 

You use a CRM tool. By implementing machine-learning approaches and complementing internal data with external sources, CRM tools extract valuable insights—even from poor data. There are countless free CRM tools out there, but a CRM is worth the investment. The benefits of CRM tools are crystal clear: they empower sales reps with actionable data, helping to streamline the sales process, convert more leads into paying customers, and generate more revenue.



Unlock the Power of Sales Data

Analytics isn’t going to identify a whole new way of doing business. Instead, it’ll provide your in-home sales team with insights and opportunities to sell more and do so more efficiently.

Ready to streamline your sales process with powerful, detailed data? Start by reviewing your existing data, getting organized with a CRM, and aligning your sales team. If you run into any roadblocks when implementing a data-driven sales approach, our team can help you craft an effective strategy.

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