5 Minute Read
If you want to grow your field service business and increase your profit margins, your first thought might be to increase your marketing and bring in new clients. That’s a valid strategy, but it requires you to cover customer acquisition costs and increased marketing expenses. It can also take time to bring on new customers, and your team will need to field questions, possibly have several discussions with interested leads, and then spend time onboarding new customers.
While it’s always important to focus on customer acquisition, your existing accounts and customers can be an equally promising source of increased income. There are several advantages to focusing on growing your existing accounts. Your customers are already familiar with your work, upgrading services is convenient for them, and hopefully, you’ve already started to develop customer trust in your business. These elements leave you well-positioned to provide customers with additional solutions to make their lives easier, growing your existing accounts in the process.
In fact, according to Invesp, it costs your business five times more to attract a new customer than it does to retain an existing customer. You also stand a far better chance at successfully selling to an existing customer than to a new customer; the probability of making a sale to an existing customer is between 60 and 70%. When you’re selling to a new lead, that probability drops to 5 to 20%.
But understanding how to grow existing accounts is also essential to your success. These tips can help you and your sales team to upsell, sell service contracts, and more.
Develop a Plan with Your Team
Before focusing on growing your existing accounts, sit down with your team, including your sales team and field technicians, and develop a process. All of your team members interact with customers at some point, so they need to be prepared for the sales opportunities they might encounter.
Share your strategy about the types of sales you’re hoping to make. Are you trying to upsell customers to a high-end new product? Are you focusing on upgrading your customers from a base service plan to a higher tier plan? Define your goals and discuss what a sales conversation might look like. It’s also important to write out the steps to closing a sale. For example, if a field technician closes a sale, will they have access to a sales contract to have a customer complete during the appointment? Or, should the technician connect the customer with your sales department to upgrade the contract?
This plan also needs to include a process that addresses follow-ups. Suppose a field technician has an initial conversation with a customer about a service contract upgrade but isn’t able to close the sale during the appointment. In that case, your sales team will need to follow up with that customer. Develop a process that allows the field technician to flag this need in the appointment notes.
Automated notifications can help ensure these follow-ups aren't overlooked. Have defined dates for your ideal follow-ups, and assign those follow-ups to a member of your sales team. When you’re using field service management software, your team members can enter updates and notes, so no matter who speaks with the customer, they have all of the necessary information.
Train Your Whole Team on Your Products and Services
Selling will involve your whole team, so provide training to all of your staff on your products and services. During this training, focus on each option’s benefits to your customers, and highlight some key points that your staff can use to help close sales.
It can also be helpful to determine which of your service contracts and products bring you the greatest profit margins. This can help you and your team to determine which offers to prioritize the most.
Use this training to verify that all of your staff know your pricing structure, too. Consider providing a document with all of your prices that staff can refer to, both in the field and the office. Having solid, accessible prices helps avoid staff misquoting rates during a customer conversation, so the sales process can go smoothly.
Train Your Field Technicians in Sales
While your in-office sales team is likely already confident about selling, your field technicians may be less comfortable with the idea. However, they’re also in a unique position to identify products and services that your customers may benefit from, so sales training for your technicians is likely a wise investment.
Discuss situations where technicians might suggest a product or service, like if they notice a customer’s equipment will need significant service in the future, or if they know that an equipment upgrade is available. Remind your technicians that their suggestions will help customers save them money, prevent equipment downtime, and make their lives easier. “Sales” often develops a negative connotation, but your field technicians may be more receptive to the idea when you highlight how helpful their sales suggestions can be.
Focus on Ideal Customers to Target
Discuss which customers are your ideal focus for certain sales, like upgrading a service contract. You might want to start with customers who have been with your business for years, but who haven’t ever upgraded their contracts. Alternatively, consider pulling a list of customers who had service calls last year that weren’t covered by their contracts. Suggesting an upgrade that would cover that service would be a natural fit.
You might want to implement a process where your office team reviews the history of customers who have scheduled service calls. Your team can add notes to the appointment about their observations, such as if a customer’s equipment is nearing the end of its expected lifespan, or if the customer had previously downgraded a service contract and might want to upgrade again. These notes can help your field technicians discuss the best solutions for customers.
Find Ways to Provide More Value
If you want to sell service contracts, it can be helpful to revisit your existing contracts and look for ways to offer more value with your higher contract tiers. This might mean offering greater repair coverage or installing upgraded equipment at a discount.
When deciding on these additions or changes, focus on elements that customers will appreciate, but won’t cost your business significant money. Options like increased repair coverage can pay off well since only certain customers will take advantage of this benefit in a year, but all customers will enjoy the peace of mind that it offers.
Surveying your customers can effectively identify what’s appealing about your current contracts and what items customers want to see included. Your customers might have suggestions that you hadn’t thought of. Surveying them helps them to feel heard and valued, and you’ll be able to design more appealing contracts.
Incentivize Your Team
Employee rewards and recognition can encourage your team to invest themselves in selling and growing your existing accounts. You might want to consider offering perks for employees who reach a certain monthly or quarterly sales quota. Use these incentives to remind employees about the importance of selling each month.
Be sure to also celebrate successes. Acknowledge those team members, or those teams, who meet or exceed sales targets. Learn from their successes and ask them about the most successful strategies they’ve been using. Don’t be afraid to take feedback and revisit your sales process with improvements. This can help to show your staff that you value their input and that you fully support them.
Make Signing Up Easy
When you’re selling service contracts, you need to make the signup process as easy as possible. Have contracts prepared and ready for signing, ideally digitally and from any mobile device, so customers are encouraged to complete the process on the spot.
If you’re selling equipment upgrades or other products, be sure that you’re able to promptly schedule those installation appointments. If you have smaller equipment that your technicians can carry on their vehicles, encourage them to offer the installation on the spot, if time allows. This prompt installation - especially any same-day offers - is highly tempting and can help close a sale.
Support Your Team with the Right Software
To effectively grow your accounts, your entire team needs to be able to quickly access customer information, staff notes, and any other important details that can better inform the conversations they have with customers. Having the right field service software makes this possible.
Your field service software plays a key role in sales. It can help to make critical project information available to your staff. With software, your field technicians can access previous appointment information and details about a customer’s system to make the best recommendations. Your office staff can access digital copies of contracts, email them to customers, and facilitate the process of closing sales.
Products like D-Tools Cloud and D-Tools System Integrator can help to support your sales process, and also increase communication, provide you with detailed metrics, automate customer communication, and more. Find out which D-Tools product is right for you.