Breakout Session - WTS 2021
This year, Josey Parks will present with a look back into how Cognitive Contractor began, as he spent over a decade exploring technology solutions and various strategies in order to optimize the sales and marketing efforts for his many companies. In Josey's words, the goal has always been to "get in front of the right person at the right time." Josey's efforts paid off and now take the form of his first tech-startup: Cognitive Contractor. During his session, Josey expands into 4 knowledge goals that will help contractors take the lead in 2021.
• Find High-Value Homeowners
• Engage More Effectively
• Appeal to Homeowners
• Get There First
Join Josey on Friday, April 2nd at 1:00 PM in room 211-213.
Storming with Data - Target the Best Leads and Maximize Revenue
Imagine, the first big storm of the season hits and contractors throughout the US begin to mobilize. You send in your first responders to gauge the extent and reality of the storm damage, asking those important initial questions like; how big was the hail, how strong was the wind, what areas were encompassed by the swath, and is the damage severe? It's the real thing, the first big storm of the season. Let's dive in!
Locate high-value homeowners worth your time and effort.
3 days later, you have mobilized with boots on the ground. 25 sales reps and 50 canvassers all ready to go and your production crews are on the road, arriving in 2 days. The storm swath has provided you and your team some initial geographic data but you know that information is reliable only to an extent. For the most part, it is up to your reps and canvassers to choose neighborhoods for themselves and start knocking every door. Here's the first big problem. It is difficult and exhausting to spend the time necessary to knock every door, taking weeks to make a dent in the total area impacted. Conversions are inefficient as many residents are not at home and when they are, not qualified to make a decision about the property, as in renters. In time, canvassers become disheartened under the stress and start to drop off, making your turnover and training regimen a great burden.
Storming with Data solves this first big problem, as long as it is started well in advance of the storm. Also, you must have a data-driven mindset at the core of your business strategy. Are you already aware of Big Data? Data is everywhere and there is a great deal of data available on all of us, roughly 250 million Americans. Do you know how to gather it, how to procure it, how to use it to make decisions and uncover powerful insights for your business? For contractors, it will answer the biggest question; Where are all of the homeowners that look identical to your most valuable previous customers? In order to know the answer to this question before the storm hits, you must plan ahead and have already built a data model based on previous customers from your other active markets. That way, you can apply your ideal customer profile to any new geographic region where a storm has fell and successfully identify all of the high-value homeowners.
With a data-driven strategy, sales reps and canvassers no longer have to knock on every door. Instead, they can focus only on the doors that have been identified by the data as high-value and likely to convert. You'll recognize the power of this strategy first by how excited and impassioned your reps become as the quality of each homeowner interaction improves. Reps find themselves getting to homes before the competition and talking with actual homeowners, real decision-makers instead of renters. From a business perspective, the conversion rate of canvassers setting appointments and sales reps closing deals will skyrocket. Typically, you will also see the average contract amount increase as high-value homeowners are more likely to opt-in for additional services and upgrades.
Engage more effectively with prospects using a multi-channel strategy.
Have you ever heard of the marketing rule of seven? In theory, you must engage with a prospect 7 times on average before they will buy. Imagine how hard it must be for canvassers to close if the homeowner has never heard of your company or is completely unfamiliar with your brand. Now, imagine that in the days leading up to canvassing for a new storm or in a new neighborhood, your marketing efforts begin to deliver mailers, emails, online ads, streaming service ads, and outbound calls, all of which only target households likely to convert within your prescribed geographic area. Can you see how much more likely those homeowners will be inclined to confirm an appointment or close on the spot?
The power of this type of targeted marketing is that it truly optimizes your budget by not wasting any marketing spend on low-value prospects while simultaneously supporting your D2D efforts. The value compounds in this manner as it also drives website clicks, social traffic, and inbound phone calls. You'll see a spike in automated appointment setting through social messengers, website forms, and automated phone attendants. In reality, this type of strategy gives every individual a choice to use their preferred communication channel so that not only is the marketing offer personalized, but how they choose to respond to that offer is also personalized. This level of multi-channel marketing attracts the widest range of potential customers and maximizes the ROI of your marketing budget.
Appeal to homeowners using the right pitch with the best offers at the perfect time.
Data also provides insight into the buyer persona of your prospects. What will motivate the homeowner to select your company? Will they prefer email over standard mail? Do they use social networks? What type of offers interest them? What type of personality or belief system do they have? How will they respond to the personality of your rep who meets with them? With the answers to these questions, you can eliminate a multitude of objections before they ever arise. Also, you should create unique marketing content for unique customer personas, personalizing the value and offer to suit insights gained from the data and also from the experience of marketing professionals who are already used to creating collateral in this manner. As mentioned in the previous section, you can further personalize the customer experience and maximize your appeal by engaging through their preferred marketing channels, identified based on the data. The final step is to determine the best time engage. Data-based insights can help you determine the best time of day to send an email, the best day of the week to knock on the door, or when to show a CTV video ad to a prospect in need of your service. The good news is that you don't have to figure out all of this technology, hire a data scientist, or figure out all of the moving parts on your own. Work with us here at Cognitive Contractor and we will set up everything in a way that fits your budget and surpasses your business objectives.
Dominate your competitors and win the sale.
Is your revenue predictable? How much depends on the storm, the size of the storm, or whether or not there is a storm this year? Truly, an effective data-driven strategy is not dependent on a storm event. And yet, there are those who already have a data-driven strategy but are not experiencing the results mentioned in this article. I challenge you to take a close look at your process and see where you might expand further.
Storm swaths provide geographic data that helps you target your sales efforts within a defined area, but this level of data utilization, on its own, does not get you in front of the homeowner first, or put you in the position to close the deal as a recognized and reputable company in the eyes of the homeowner. Household and consumer attributes provided by some software platforms can provide you with some basic demographic or behavioral insights that might help you filter out a small percentage of prospects, but it will not precisely identify the doors you should knock and the doors you should skip, and which homes you should engage in targeted marketing. Expanding well beyond this low-level of data utilization is necessary to truly dominate your competitors. Consider implementing the ideas we have covered above into your organizational growth strategy overall, to include long term expansion and budget allocation. With a tech-enabled mindset and a data-driven growth strategy, the flow of leads, prospects, opportunities, and customers is always on, always consistent, and achieves predictable revenue. Does your competition have predictable revenue? Have they expanded their business strategy to include a data-driven sales and marketing suite of solutions? Probably not. Those who do, dominate!
How do I get started?
You are probably already sitting on a gold mine of data? Have you been keeping opportunity and customer data in your CRM system over the years? Perfect! That's a great place to start but not absolutely necessary to get started with Cognitive Contractor. We suggest that you determine your specific goal or business objective. We can help walk you through some of the most common objectives we help contractors solve. But ask yourself honestly how committed to growth you are or if you are content with the current strategy and the status quo. Ask whether or not your subjective idea of your ideal customer is accurate? A data-driven approach with Cognitive Contractor will accurately define who your ideal customers really are and predict with great accuracy who your future customers will be.
Contact us to schedule an appointment or leave a comment below.