Grow through marketing automation

During my time as both a consultant and industry professional, I have learned that if there is just one word to describe a landscaper’s life, it is “busy.” Owners often act in a wide range of roles, from field jobs to sales. Juggling these responsibilities while trying to grow a profitable operation is no small chore and is often a topic of discussion with my clients.

Growth is the key word here, as running around putting out fires keeps your business afloat. But streamlining operations enables more efficient and productive growth. This is especially true surrounding your marketing and sales efforts as your goal is to reach as many legitimate prospects as possible. To increase your conversion rates on new business, you need to increase your marketing presence (quantity) while improving the quality of your marketing materials. Luckily, marketing automation is a possible solution to this problem.

Automation Basics: The World of Marketing Technology

A customer relationship management (CRM) tool is a must. Pen, paper and Excel will no longer do the trick. Excel cannot automatically send out thousands of email sequences to prospective clients, but a CRM can. There are many options out there, but the best will have automatic workflows that trigger emails based upon the values of a potential customer. For example, this could be an irrigation email triggered to someone who clicked on your irrigation page, or a consultation scheduling email sent to someone who submits a form on the contact page.

Increased Efficiency Means More Done in Less Time

The goal of marketing is to reach people who may need your services. Without marketing automation, gathering these leads is a painstaking process, and one that takes up valuable time.

In an ideal world, they spend time closing new revenue for your business, which can only happen when the top of the sales funnel is full and still filling. Data sourcing tools can gather hundreds of contacts for you to outreach in a matter of minutes. Hours later, your salesperson could have used the CRM to send out thousands of email sequences with professionally templated marketing materials.

With the ability to get out this much information quickly, your conversion rates can be the exact same, generating more business than if your salespeople manage everything individually. Even better, conversion rates are sure to increase as email builders within your CRM can help you generate Fortune 500-quality content without a graphic design or even tech background.

Scheduling and Gathering Client Information

Now that you have a list of prospects and email sequences, it’s time to create an intake system. Rather than phone calls where your salesperson manually inputs relevant information, an online scheduler can hold a required form where everything from the number of irrigation clocks to zoning can be input and stored.

Your online calendar can be integrated into your scheduler, and this same potential client can instantly book a time for a consultation. Before you speak to this individual on the phone or by email, they have been driven through a professional sales funnel that is easily scalable to grow your business. This work on the front end pays dividends over time and lets your salesperson focus on selling.

Refining Processes with Reporting

With all of the data you have gathered, any CRM will have reporting features that automatically compile data into relevant reports. These dashboards will help you establish more accurate and attainable key performance indicators (KPI) and track deals, win rates and revenue. Salespeople will be able to track both activity and results-based KPIs, which will hold everyone accountable. Based on this data, you can create more accurate forecasting.

Here are just a few more examples of the metrics you can track:

  • Average deal size
  • Average time to close
  • Sales forecast accuracy
  • Lead response time
  • Follow-up rate
  • Leads generated
  • Opportunities
  • Calls made

Marketing automation not only increases margins by helping salespeople win more business in less time, but it also improves business intelligence with the wealth of information your team now has at its fingertips.

Cream of the Crop features a rotating panel from the Harvest Group, a landscape business consulting company.

September 2022
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