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Service Sales 101: the Dos and Don’ts of Increasing Revenue at Your Service Organization

Mar. 22, 2023

When it comes to developing revenue for your service organization, there’s no such thing as too many qualified prospects. You might feel comfortable with your current level of business, but the fact is, with increased competition—and the threat of an oncoming recession—building new opportunities for your sales team should always be top of mind. We were lucky enough to connect with industry expert, Woody Woodall, and benefit from his 47 years of experience on what goes into creating revenue opportunities for your service organization. 

KPIS Are King

Let’s start at the beginning. Before you even think about expanding your sales opportunities, you have to define clear markers for the success of your sales team. Some common KPIs include: 

  • Number of touchpoints achieved per month
  • Average turnaround time of proposals
  • Target markets for your business—are you targeting the right leads for your company?

Focusing on these numbers will help the rest of your team see the importance of tracking data and making operational decisions based on a standard that exists across the entire rest of the organization. 

These numbers, which are now being tracked across your sales team, can be further enforced by:

  • Identifying the strengths and weaknesses of your team
  • Supporting your team with the right set of tools to get the job done. 

The bottom line? Your team will always work best when functioning as one cohesive unit. You need to find out which attributes bring your team together and identify which tools, physical or managerial, that they need for continued success. 

The Average Lifecycle of a Sale

The foundation for learning how to turn an opportunity into a win is understanding the basic lifecycle of what goes into creating a sale. 

  • Touches: come in the form of cold reach-outs, follow-ups, responses to inquiries, etc, and are essential for sparking interest in your potential leads. 
  • Meetings: this is where you make your pitch, identify a problem and introduce them to the product.
  • Opportunities: this is your opportunity to provide a solution to this new potential customer.
  • Proposals: now it’s time to put it all together. Create a full rundown of how the product or service will alleviate the pain points identified when you originally spoke to the customer. Demonstrate the long-term benefits of doing business with your organization. 
  • Sales: new business won.

The secret is to avert your attention away from your expected number of sales, and refocus on the numbers outlined above that will lead to those eventual sales. These are the numbers that it takes to get a single win:

  • 8 to 10 calls to get 1 meeting
  • 3 to 5 meetings to get 1 opportunity
  • 4 to 6 opportunities to make 1 proposal
  • 2 to 5 proposals to get 1 win

Defining Your Own Benchmarks

Once you understand traditional industry benchmarks, it’s time to create your own. By applying your own average numbers to these benchmarks and using them to measure improvement over time, you can identify where your team needs to focus their efforts in order to improve performance. This can help you identify pain points in the sales process and make adjustments to improve success.

Some of the conversion rates you can use to define these benchmarks include:

  • Calls to meetings booked %
  • Meetings to sales opps %
  • Opps % to proposal %
  • Proposals to new deals %

Increasing Proposal Acceptance

When selling to a prospect, it is important to identify their pain points and propose a solution for that pain. Selling on value, rather than price, can help create a more meaningful connection between the customer and your product or service. Providing a resolution for the customer’s pain point is the key to successful sales, and can help build long-term trust and loyalty.

Your Secret Weapon

Your historical performance is a goldmine when it comes to targeting potential prospects. Pulling reports on the most profitable industries, job types, and customers will help your sales team narrow down the field of potential prospects and equip them with the ammunition they need to target businesses with the highest likelihood of success. Using data you’ve already collected is a great way to improve your sales team’s efficiency and success rate when targeting new business opportunities.

The right field service management platform can provide you with the data analysis necessary to identify:

  • Your most profitable services
  • Your most profitable prospects

With these key pieces of information in mind, you can work to narrow your sales pipeline and go after the most profitable new leads. 

When looking to maximize your profit margins, you can think about it in one of two ways, generating new income, or optimizing your operation to encourage recurring business. Personally? We believe you should be concentrating on both. 

Remember, it costs five times more to acquire a new customer than it does to retain an existing one. Focusing on your sales pipeline is good for both injecting quick cash flow into your business and expanding your client portfolio. At the same time, optimizing operations such as maximizing profit margins, insulating the business from labor gaps, and protecting against recession, directly impacts customer retention.

Detailed KPIs for Improved Success

Now that you have a better understanding of your target market, there are several other key performance indicators that you can focus on to improve your business. These include:

  • Turnaround time on repair work
  • Turnaround time on replacement work
  • Facilitating client budgeting
  • Sourcing new leads
  • Sourcing information about new clients
  • Nurturing existing client accounts 
  • Communicating existing and potential client needs across your entire team

Remember, improving customer service and streamlining your company processes are just as important for keeping existing business as it is for going after new leads. If you’re looking for more info on how to bolster sales at your service business, check out the full webinar here, or visit the BuildOps product page and find out how our platform can help position your service organization for future success.