Tips on how to use Data Science to inform Your Lead-Buying 

We are closing in on the end of 2022 which means you’ve probably finished (or at least started) your 2023 planning. You’ve reviewed your goals for 2023. Maybe you’ve even created a 6-point plan on how to reach those goals. As part of that process, you likely sat down with your marketing and sales teams to talk about their expectations for 2023. But what does success look like and how will you know if you’re trending in the right direction – or not? 

When it comes to measuring success with marketing and sales, you need to look at your key data metrics, sometimes referred to as KPI (Key Performance Indicators). 

We can probably guess the metrics that you review to determine if your team is performing. 

Not only do these metrics apply to the back end of your sales and marketing goals, they also apply to the front end – i.e. your lead sources. Therefore, it’s important to look at these key metrics with your lead providers. Metrics such as: 

  • Cost Per Lead
  • Cost Per Appointment (Total Lead Cost/Appointments)
  • Demo Rate (% of leads that result in a quote)
  • Close Rate (always important)
  • Marketing Cost (Total Lead Cost/Gross and Net Sales)

When you measure these KPI over time you can track vendor performance and compare vendors against each other as well as against your other marketing strategies. The hope is you are able to refine your sales and marketing strategies for success year over year. Of course, that’s easier said than done. 

Measuring in the Dark

One challenge with evaluating your KPI is – how do you know what’s good and not? It’s hard to measure success if all you have is your own data, especially when you’re unable to benchmark what is “typical” or “atypical” for a specific area or industry. What’s the industry average in your area? Are all sales teams struggling during a specific time of year? Perhaps your sales team is struggling with their rates, but they may not be the only team experiencing that problem.

It’s hard to know what you don’t know, which is why it’s important to get information on industry trends from outside your organization including marketing trends in your industry. We recommend that those sources include companies in your industry in markets that are similar to yours and industry groups that track the data submitted by their members. Industry conferences are a great place to access both resources. Keep in mind, that especially as third parties, your vendors can also be a great source of industry information.

Pro Tip: Consider attending one of these key conferences NKBA and KBIS. The KBIS conference is coming up! Check is out:  January 31 – February 2. 

Finding a Strategic Partner

A great vendor is a strategic partner, and a strategic partner will help you define and build success. They don’t need to know everything about your business, but they should know about your industry. A strategic partner can use the data they receive from their other clients to benchmark your KPI data against what they are seeing across the industry. Are all sales teams struggling during a particular time of year? Is your team meeting its goals but leaving money on the table? The right partner can give you insights into these answers.  

Choosing the Right Time 

Investing time in finding and bringing on a new quality vendor can be a great investment in your future success. Consider looking at your last six months of business. Are your close rates offsetting your marketing costs? How about your set rates? Marketing is an investment, yes, but the right marketing investment will yield positive results. And although no marketing team should ever guarantee closed deals (that’s the role of your sales team), they should be either A) Pushing your name to the right clients and/or B) Bringing in the right leads for your team to run with. 

At Home Appointments, we have our pulse on lead generation for Home Improvement contractors. And by analyzing data from all of our lead generation campaigns, we are able to improve performance, lead disposition and measurement for all of our clients. The result? The data from each client becomes a benefit for all. 

If you’re looking for more industry insights from a strategic partner, check out Home Appointment’s co-founder, Matt Burkinshaw, presenting “Scaling your Business Through Lead Buying (Do’s and Don’ts)” at KBIS. You can find his discussion on the Voices from the Industry education track in January! 

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