Outsourcing HVAC Lead Generation – Tips for Generating New Business
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There are many ways for heating and cooling contractors to gain new leads. You can either do it yourself, or turn to one of the many companies which offer lead generation specifically for our industry. When deciding to pursue a relationship with a lead generation vendor or to keep the task in-house, weigh the potential benefits to your company; if you feel outsourced HVAC lead generation would be valuable, you’ll be tasked with sifting through the various offers to determine the partnership which will produce the product you’re looking for.
Benefits of Outsourcing HVAC Lead Generation
In-house lead generation can be successful – if you have the means to do so. Not every heating and air business has a team of sales professionals available to find new business while closing the leads the company already has. When resources are limited, outsourcing lead generation proves to be a more worthwhile strategy.
Cost Savings through Outsourced Lead Generation
Generating leads in-house can be quite costly. Think of all the resources the task requires: a sales rep to generate leads, equipment to support the rep, data for the rep to utilize, a management team to oversee the rep, and so on. When you think about all the pieces involved to support just one in-house staff member to generate leads for your HVAC business, the investment is quite substantial; even more should you have a team of many. So much so that the job sold which started as a lead generated by your team may not break even.
Choosing to outsource lead generation generates a major cost savings compared to lead generation in-house. When you work with a lead generation vendor, you’re working smarter. Your resources are utilized better by partnering with a vendor who already possesses the needed infrastructure plus the skills and expertise to deliver leads.
By outsourcing HVAC lead generation to a vendor, your human resources are freed up and can be reallocated where needed most. Your team can focus on other marketing efforts for your heating and cooling business, or other tasks which take priority.
More Leads, Sooner
If your business has not previously tackled in-house lead generation efforts, it may take some time to work out the kinks in your process, costing you time and money. Plus, technology is swiftly evolving, posing another challenge to an internal lead generation team. Utilizing a lead generation vendor who specializes in multiple areas of lead generation and best practices in each area is preferred versus expecting your inexperienced internal team to deliver the same results.
Because a lead generation vendor already has the infrastructure and processes for successful lead generation, you’ll receive more leads from a vendor partnership sooner than you would in-house. This is advantageous when it comes to keeping your sales staff busy, generating work for technicians, and so on.
Selecting an HVAC Lead Generation Vendor
There are many companies which provide leads exclusively for the heating and cooling industry. Now that you’ve decided to outsource lead generation for your HVAC contracting business, how do you select a vendor who will prove to be a beneficial partner for your sales team?
Cost per Lead
When searching for a lead generation vendor, one of the first things on your mind will be cost. Quality is of course better than quantity when it comes to leads; when you pay per lead, the vendor has an incentive to send you a higher volume of leads.
Instead of focusing on how many leads you can get, look for a vendor partner which focuses on sending you quality, closeable leads. Quality leads not only are more likely to close, but your sales team will waste less time chasing down leads which aren’t going anywhere, as is inevitable when receiving high volumes of poorly-vetted leads.
When you pay for the quality of the lead rather than a quantity of leads, your sales efforts will be more successful. Look for a lead generation service that does not charge per lead; rather, find a program with fixed costs, or is paid by a percentage of total sales. For example, HVAC.com includes quality lead generation as a benefit of monthly membership; we do not charge our contractors for the individual leads they receive.
Exclusivity of Leads
When outsourcing lead generation, it is important that the leads you receive be exclusive to your company. Believe it or not, there are vendors out there who will sell the same lead to you, as well as your competition – you have enough competition naturally, why should you pay to go up against your competitors?
As you interview potential lead generation partners, you must ask about exclusivity. Ask if the leads will be exclusive to your HVAC business indefinitely, for a certain period of time, or if they are exclusive at all. You want leads which are exclusively sent to your business and not resold to a competitor a few days or weeks later.
HVAC.com guarantees the leads our contractors receive are sent to only them. We do the legwork to match homeowners to heating and cooling service providers in their area who can perform the work needed – we find a match and make the connection to benefit both homeowners and HVAC contractors.
Quality of Leads
Partner with a vendor who delivers pre-qualified leads that meet your criteria. Your vendor should get to know your ideal prospect, perform initial communication, and build a foundation for your success.
Search for an HVAC lead generation partner who will send you warm leads. When your sales staff walks into a warmer appointment, they are able to focus on closing the sale. The vendor eliminates the leg work for your team, which also saves you time and money. HVAC.com pre-qualifies leads for our heating and air conditioning contractors, doing the legwork so they can go straight into a prospective customer’s home, equipped with the necessary information and ready to sell.
Monitor your lead generation vendor’s lead performance throughout your working relationship. Every lead your business obtains should be tracked, whether the lead contacts your business directly or comes from your vendor; track these leads and note when prospects drop out. Do their email addresses bounce? When you call, have they changed their minds? Or, do you get in the home and make a sale?
If your HVAC lead generation vendor submits high volumes of bad leads, the partnership is a waste of your money and time. This doesn’t mean outsourced lead generation isn’t for you; rather, it’s time to find a new vendor.
HVAC.com exists to help heating and air conditioning contractors succeed, by providing the tools needed to increase profits – one way we do that is through quality local lead generation. The team at HVAC.com developed an online software called The HVAC.com Command Center specifically for home services professionals to help you get more leads and close more jobs, predictably and profitably. Sign up for free today to get access to tools and services that will help you grow your business!