After 18 months of huge demand in the home improvement industry, the landscape is changing. Andy Royle, co-founder and Managing Director of Leads 2 Trade, the UK’s leading provider of double-qualified sales leads to installers, gives his thoughts on lead generation for the year ahead and how the company is working with installers to provide better value.
Andy, how has the start of the year been for Leads 2 Trade?
We’ve had a very good start to the year, aided by the build-up of consumer enquiries we received over the Christmas period. To help us hit the ground running, we opened our call centre for a couple of days between Christmas and New Year to qualify the backlog for our members.
Thanks to our guaranteed appointment, no pitch no fee service, we were able to book appointments for our members with consumers for January.
Consumer enquiries are where we’d expect them to be in terms of volume and are massively higher than this time last year.
One of the real plusses has been the new take-ups from installers we have had. In the first week of January, we had a record 24 new supplier enquiries which was great to see. Installers have had
work falling into their lap, and this is a sign that intent is coming back alongside consumer enquiries becoming more consistent again.
Why do you think you have had such a take-up from installers?
There has definitely been an artificial peak and order books have been bursting at the seams, but that was never going to last forever.
With some installers reporting a definite shift to receiving fewer enquiries from their self-generated efforts at the back end of last year, winning work will not be quite as easy this year.
The problem for installers is they will have put stuff in place over the last 12-18 months to be able to manage how busy they have been, from extra resources, people, machinery, and marketing, and they will need to maintain that volume to feed it.
When demand dips, installers are left with very few alternatives – they can increase their own marketing, go door-to-door, or use a third-party lead generation company like Leads 2 Trade. Invariably, when times are lean, installers are more reliant on our services and reach out to us to help them generate the leads they want.
Do you think some installers see leads from a third-party lead generation company as lacking substance?
There is a myth that leads generated from a third-party lead generation company are cheap, lacking in quality, time-consuming and, because the lead invariably goes to three other installers, much harder to convert.
But that’s not the case with our leads. Instead of buying a sales lead, our premium appointment booking service means our members are buying a confirmed appointment against set criteria, so all our member has to do is turn up and sell.
We call the consumer, book, and confirm the appointment so the installer doesn’t have to waste valuable time calling leads up multiple times only to get a belated response that they’ve gone with someone else, or they no longer require a quote.
To make things easier, the lead is only sold to one other company, so there is more chance of winning the work, while the service is no pitch no fee, which means that a member only has to pay for the lead if they sit and pitch it.
Installers will have to work harder to convert leads into business this year and they need to look at how many leads they convert to a survey or quote, how many of those quotes get converted into an order, and the true cost of sale from that lead source.
How are Leads 2 Trade working with members to help them maintain those levels?
We are focussing on working even closer with members to provide even more value and make sure they are not only getting the best service, but that they are getting what they want from their leads to grow their business.
Each installer has a dedicated account manager, our area sales managers are drilling down into what their average order values are and what is an acceptable cost of sale for them, so we can work with them and help them get the conversion rate they need from the thousands of leads we are generating.
With our no pitch no fee booked appointment leads providing a cost of sale that’s almost three times less on average than for a standard double qualified lead that most of our competitors supply, we are perfectly placed to help installers get the best lead value and achieve an acceptable cost of sale.
For more information on joining the Leads 2 Trade network, telephone 0800 124 4308 or visit https://leads2trade.co.uk/about/premium-leads/