Pipeline Management Best Practice for Trades

Your sales pipeline is a valuable tool for acquiring leads and maintaining business growth. Businesses offering services such as construction, landscaping, home repairs, as well as other trades face some unique challenges when it comes to pipeline management and sales operations.

Running such a business keeps you busy. You most likely have lots of competition for the services you provide. Additionally, customers often need help with urgent problems. For example, a homeowner with a leak will be seeking a plumber who can fix the problem right away. 

Let's explore some pipeline management guidelines specifically geared to trades.

Reply Promptly 

You and your team may be busy repairing a boiler, tending to a lawn, or painting a home, making it difficult to follow up with customers immediately. Trade businesses often have busy seasons alternating with slower periods. It is therefore essential to make time to stay connected with prospects and customers. If someone calls you or sends an email inquiring about your services, a prompt reply may be the difference between gaining a new customer or having them call someone else. In the digital age, people expect quick replies.

Follow Up With Prospects

Research across many industries shows that it often takes multiple contacts with prospects to sign them up. If someone doesn't hire you on the spot, they may feel differently in a week or month. 

Keep Your Pipeline Up to Date

A sales pipeline is never static. You are gaining new leads, while old ones may drop off. You should prioritise leads that are newer or that are the most promising based on previous sales. In pipeline management, it is also important to know when to drop a lead. If someone specifically tells you not to contact them, there's no point in continuing to call them. Another reason to drop them is if they can't be contacted, as when they don't answer your calls or reply to your messages.

Provide Useful Information

Giving people the information they need to make a decision helps to establish you as an authority. It also lets them know about possible services they may need that wouldn't have occurred to them otherwise. There are several ways to pass along helpful information.

  • Blog posts
  • Videos on your website, YouTube, or other video-sharing sites
  • Infographics
  • E-books and white papers
  • Free inspections or consultations

Track and Study Your Data

Every prospect you reach out to, whether they engage with you or not, supplies you with valuable data. You want to track relevant metrics so you can improve your results. By analysing data, you can gain helpful insights such as:

  • Marketing tactics that generate the most valuable leads
  • Which customers to target - You may find that different types of customers are more likely to purchase certain services you offer
  • Conversion rates of different strategies such as paid ads, social media posts, cold calling, and other actions
  • Which employees or sales associates produce the best results

Use the Appropriate Tools

Keeping track of your sales pipeline is much simpler if you use the right tools. Using a spreadsheet or writing down information manually is time-consuming and not ideal for understanding your data. CRM (customer relationship management) software is useful for managing all aspects of the pipeline, such as contact management, customer service history, employee tracking, and marketing automation.  

Main Points to Remember for Pipeline Management

  • Reply to queries promptly
  • Follow up with promising leads
  • Remove dead leads from your pipeline
  • Educate prospects on the benefits of your services
  • Use the right tools, such as a CRM
  • Consider outsourcing pipeline management

Outsource Pipeline Management to Experts

If you are like many trade professionals, managing a sales pipeline is difficult to work into your busy schedule. This is particularly the case for small or one-person businesses. You may be up a ladder or loading a truck when a prospect calls. One solution is to outsource pipeline management to an agency that has the expertise to.

Hello Hello offers a range of services, including prospecting, call answering, call campaigns, and pipeline management. To learn more or to schedule a consultation, contact us.

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Tim Hatari

Tim Hatari helps businesses improve performance, creating strategic development plans and establishing structure via the 5PX Executive Business Coaching System. As CEO and Founder at TMD Coaching, he oversees the vision setting process with clients, leading on sales acquisition, the drive for operational excellence and market leading innovation. For Tim, helping others is the most rewarding part of the role. Follow or connect with Tim on Linkedin - www.linkedin.com/in/timhatari

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Topics from this blog: Business Planning, Strategy Marketing & Sales

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