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3 Commercial Service Sales Strategies to Outsmart Inflation and Stick to Revenue Goals
Inflation, supply chain problems, and continued disruptions caused by COVID-19 are posing challenges for your commercial services sales team. As costs have increased, your sales reps’ wages have risen as well, making an already competitive hiring situation even more cutthroat—and making it unlikely you’ll be able to add more staff. In spite of all of this, you still have annual revenue goals you need to reach. How can you get there?
Inflation and its associated stumbling blocks don’t have to trip up your sales goals. With some creative reimagining of your sales process, you can hit your revenue targets. Here are three strategies to help your reps achieve efficient growth this year.
1. Match High-Value Targets with High-Margin Products
Increased logistics and personnel costs mean that you need to focus on sales quality over quantity wherever possible. Rather than chasing down a large volume of small sales, focus your reps on moving your highest-margin products first.
Determine your high-value verticals
Which verticals tend to buy reliably? Matching up those high-value businesses and industries with your high-margin products is the best way to sell efficiently and profitably.
If you’re not sure where those opportunities lie, your CRM can help you determine which industries have historically brought in the most revenue for your business. Surface that valuable information among your sales team so they can make knowledgeable decisions about which verticals to target first.
Pre-qualify prospects by assigning lead scores
Once your team is aligned on the right industries to target, you can help them further prioritize their outreach efforts by pre-qualifying prospects and assigning lead scores. When your reps know more about a property before they reach out, they have a greater chance of establishing a connection and closing the deal.
Pre-qualify prospects by choosing a set of criteria each property needs to meet before a rep starts outreach. Your team should determine those criteria internally, but to start, look for details such as:
- The location, type, and square footage of the property: Will this building fit well in your techs routes and fill their day?
- Past permits showing the work done on the building: Do they have a history of buying from peers in your price segment?
- Whether the property is occupied by the owner or a tenant: Will the DM be on site? Will a property management company make the decision?
- Contact information for the property’s decision-maker: Do your reps know whom to go after immediately? What’s their next step?
Then you can drill down further. Has a rep made contact with someone at the company? Does the property fit the profile of a sales target? Use that information to create a lead score.
It can be time-consuming to dig up this information and assign a lead score for each new prospect. Commercial services market intelligence software can speed things up by helping you spot prospects based on your company’s criteria and making it simple for you to assign lead scores. You can also use the information in your CRM to help your reps engage in data-driven selling—that’s using analytics, past conversations with prospects, and internal knowledge to anticipate a prospect’s or customer’s needs before ever reaching out to them.
Create targeted campaigns
After you’ve pre-qualified your prospects, create targeted outreach campaigns. Reps following a targeted campaign prioritize their cold calling and other outreach based on which leads score the highest and represent the most opportunity for your company.
Ensure your reps are keeping track of their results in the team’s CRM or sales software as they run through their target list of contacts. You may find chances to shore up the sales funnel by looking at deals that couldn’t be closed. Those lost opportunities can offer learning experiences for your reps to improve their closing skills, or they could form the basis of your new list of prospects in your team’s next targeted campaign.
2. Find Opportunities to Cross-Sell and Upsell
Cross-selling and upselling to your larger clients can increase your reps’ productivity and create uplift for your department. Selling more to your loyal customers offers a more reliable source of revenue than prospecting new leads from scratch. While the odds of closing a new sale range from 5 to 20%, your reps’ chances of upselling to an existing customer can skyrocket to 60 to 70%.
Reaching out to existing customers with new opportunities is a great way to boost your ROI. In fact, we’ve seen service providers increase their returns by as much as seven times using this approach.
Organize your cross-sell/upsell efforts for maximum impact
Cross-selling and upselling is an efficient way to hit your revenue goals — if it’s done well. To achieve success, you need to centralize your customer information and create effective campaigns and strategies to focus on high-value/margin items and to further densify routes. Here’s how:
- Ensure that you capture all relevant information about your customers and their engagement in one place (service history, tech notes, equipment information, latest changes to org charts and people on site, tenants who have moved, etc.)
- Establish a cadence for your reps to review their book of business holistically to better define strategies and plays with the existing base
- Based on your install base and existing service engagement, identify the ideal customer profiles where attach rates will be high for your products and services
- Build targeted campaigns (with a start and end date and measured outcomes) that engage your sales teams to drive the best outcomes
3. Plan More Efficient Routes
If you want your reps out on the road making more contacts and closing more sales, you need to help them conduct their outreach more efficiently. You can do this (and bump up your reps’ productivity by 10%) by increasing their route density—including a higher number of stops that follow along with their existing route.
Find new prospects along existing commuting routes
The best way to build an efficient route is to start out with the existing customers your reps and even your techs are already planning to visit. As they map out those customer locations, look at the surrounding neighborhoods for properties that fit in with your pre-qualifying criteria.
Creating a route is simple using custom Google Maps, but collecting detailed information on each property can be a little trickier. You should try to find basic information about the property type and size before your reps go out on their routes, and having the name of the decision-maker will go a long way toward creating a smooth introduction. Some of this data, such as the name of the building owner, is available via public property tax records. You may also be able to find current and past permits issued for a specific address using your local municipal government’s website. Or you can make things simpler with data-rich sales intelligence software like Atlas.
Streamline Your Sales Process with Convex
Convex helps commercial services teams apply property intelligence to accelerate revenue growth through our Commercial Services Platform (CSP). Sales reps can leverage its pipeline generation and management Atlas software to:
- Identify high-value targets and pre-qualify leads based on your criteria
- Keep track of customer progress through each stage of the sales cycle
- Integrate with your CRM so your team can stay organized and spot opportunities to cross-sell and upsell
- Create geographical heat maps of prospective properties so your reps can follow efficient sales routes
In addition, the CSP’s property and market intelligence solutions deliver critical insights through a complete and unified view of people, businesses, and properties so you can uncover whitespace and prioritize the most valuable opportunities in your market.
As Chief Operating Officer, Sven Linsmaier is responsible for the day-to-day operations and people management at Convex. Prior to joining Convex, he had both client-facing and operational roles at Boston Consulting Group, leading large teams and executing go-to-market transformation work for his clients, and at Siemens in their Energy Services business. Sven holds a graduate degree from MIT, and an undergraduate degree in Economics from Friedrich–Alexander University Erlangen–Nürnberg.
Originally published on March 17, 2022 Updated on August 1, 2022