Get me in front of the right people and I will generate revenue. Sounds simple enough, but the key is finding enough of the “right people. That’s where marketing comes in.
Though it can appear to be more art than science, marketing is a process, like anything else. Understand your vision, core values, and how you differ from your competition, then find the best places to carry that message.
Tracking the Lead Source
Start by keeping track of why people call you. Are they a past client or a referral? Did they see a job sign or a company truck? Did they find you on the Web? You can use customer relationship management (CRM) software to do this (prices range from $50 to thousands of dollars), but a spreadsheet might be all you need to record the lead source as calls come into your office.
Be sure to track multiple lead sources. At Case Design/Remodeling, we have at times mistakenly abandoned certain marketing efforts because they appeared not to be generating any leads. But as we dug deeper, we found that this marketing was in fact generating leads, but that it was difficult to tell because we weren’t collecting enough information during the incoming calls.
Now our company not only tracks multiple lead sources, we specifically like to know how the prospect first heard of our company and their latest source for calling us.
A simple graph like the one below makes it easy to see fluctuations in lead sources over time. Instead of wondering why the number of calls coming into your office is changing, the graph helps you to zero in on why leads are up or down. If referrals are trending down, you will catch it in time to take corrective action.
Measuring lead sources this way will also tell you which ones are worth more focus and investment and which ones are not. Adjust your marketing plan and mix based on your results and on your business plan.
Keep in mind, though, that some things can’t be measured based on lead flow. For example, 15% to 20% of our efforts go toward “branding.” The goal is to get our message out in the hopes that it will generate leads in the future.
—Bruce Case is president of Case Design/Remodeling. firstname.lastname@example.org.