Let’s assume your enterprise is a design firm operating in the architectural, engineering and construction (AEC) industry. Your customers see you as an engineering powerhouse with solid design capabilities and an unmatched skillset. However, without these key accounts, your revenue would plummet. You’ve increased leads with new prospects, but they’re not getting converted.
You have a leaky sales funnel that can end up costing you valuable revenue, market share and customers. In fact, that leak has extended to your existing customers. Competitors are starting to encroach on your existing business and you can no longer afford to do nothing. So, what must you do to stop the bleeding and get back on track?
1. Take a High-Level View of Your Sales Processes
Take a step back with your AEC marketing and sales team and look at your entire sales process. What does it take to generate a lead, qualify it, nurture it and convert it? What is your sales cycle time? Can your digital marketing strategies reduce that time? Finally, after you’ve won that design contract, are you immediately engaging your new customer in order to become that all-important incumbent vendor?
Using a whiteboard to document your buyer’s journey will help you outline your sales process. Your operations, sales, AEC marketing, and your engineering/architect teams, will then be able to define the flaws in your sales process. While the shortest distance between two points is a straight line, it’s not uncommon for companies to build their own roadblocks and course alterations without knowing it.
2. Focus on the Top of the Funnel
What goes in must eventually come out, but if the quality of your incoming opportunities is less than stellar, then it won’t matter what you do once they enter your funnel. Your leaks may be an indication that you’re attracting the wrong prospects and why those prospects aren’t easily qualified and converted. The top of your funnel is an important part of lead generation. Focus on generating the right opportunities with the right prospects.
3. The Black Hole: Where Leads Quickly and Easily Disappear
That AEC whitepaper may be a great, free download that generates quality leads, but if your team isn’t responding in a timely manner, why bother? Speed of response wins business. Waiting until you have all the relevant data before contacting your customer can mean the difference between making a great first impression and allowing your competitor to steal your lead.
In this case, your sales funnel leaks may be self-inflicted. Establish key performance indicators (KPI) that define reasonable response times on lead generation, information requests, and proposals. You may want to review building and construction codes, regulations, and previous designs before contacting that new prospect. But, if you wait too long, your discussion will no longer be relevant.
4. Upgrade Your Lead Tracking, Nurturing and Conversion Strategies
Leads sometimes disappear because they aren’t easily tracked internally. This may occur when companies rely upon labor-intensive lead tracking and nurturing processes. Investing in a customer relationship management (CRM) tool can help you better manage your leads. You’ll have a record of all customer discussions, correspondences, emails, and proposals, which will allow you to plan how and when you engage your audience.
A common functionality with CRMs is how they use a digital lead management and nurturing platform that continually keeps your customers engaged and your sales team motivated. Updates, reminders and follow-ups are used to prompt your sales and AEC marketing team. Leads are less likely to fall through the cracks when you have a real-time platform that helps to move your customer’s along the journey.
Rarely do architectural, design, engineering or construction companies assess how their sales process works. Most assume that incoming leads are properly handled and accounted for, but it’s common for some to fall through the cracks. Don’t allow that to happen.