Marketing Automation for the SMB HVAC Business
A revolution is underway in how businesses treat customers. Competitive companies work with customers on an equal footing as coaches, co-creators, nurturers and trusted advisors. This implies a consistency of communication, couched around a message that their satisfaction is first priority. Content management and SEO efforts are widely accepted methods now. CRM and marketing automation exist at relatively few HVAC businesses. Having everything in one affordable, accessible system that is matched with the business methods has a wealth of immediate and long term benefits for a relatively small investment. TO READ THE FULL WHITE PAPER CLICK HERE.
If you play tennis or golf you will quickly learn how great the sweet spot can be. The ball comes off the racket or club and sails away almost effortlessly. The professionals make it look easy. Having been in Fortune 500 sales for 15 years selling mainframes, CAD/CAM and workstations, I can recall times when I breezed by annual sales goals in the first quarter. I can also recall literally having seizures early on while giving my first corporate overviews to prospects. I was self-conscious and had only a shred of product knowledge despite the corporate training.
As time went on, my sales skills improved as did my product knowledge. Those two elements, combined with qualified prospects spelled the sweet spot. How we get these elements to coalesce in a marketing automation system is the challenge. The development of this model relies on replacing the sales person and imbuing the system with their sales skills and product knowledge. Eric Keiles and Mike Lieberman authored ‘Fire Your Sales Team Today: Then Rehire Them As Sales Guides In Your New Revenue Department’ and is a definitive tome for this approach whereby a new order of reality is created and traditional sales people become ‘sales advisors’ engaging with contacts that have been pre-warmed or jump started by engaging with the system prior to personal attention.
Businesses that are service oriented and have recurring revenue opportunities such as maintenance agreements to support warranties can especially benefit from this approach. Automation can be used to facilitate reminders and easy renewals with e-commerce links for payments. This can be taken a step further and on site visit protocol can include equipment audits that ascertain the manufacturing dates. End of life predictions based on the make and model can be easily done and legacy automations can be setup to remind customers when end of life is near to harvest replacements. Service oriented companies such as HVAC dealers can also leverage the system for requests for reviews (review automation).
Email marketing is by far the most cost effective way to acquire a new customer. Importantly, marketing automation systems now have sophisticated methods for extending the life cycle of the customer and generating incremental revenue through automation. Define your business tactic and create the automation.
A few examples automation is perfect for;
• Interest in a specific product (gleaned from site tracking or form).
• Engagement tagging (Engaged or Disengaged)
• Abandoned cart reminder
• Upgrade incentive
• Service reminders and payment processing.
• Customer Win Back Sequence.
• Blog Posts.
• Failed Bill Reminder