Talkin’ bout lead generation

Leads 2 Trade has been leading the way on providing double-qualified sales leads to installers operating in the home improvement sector. Here, Andy Royle, the company’s co-founder, and Managing Director, discusses how sales leads have changed over the years, how Leads 2 Trade has been able to provide installers with the work they need to build their business – and why its new premium lead service delivery has taken lead generation to the next level.

From door-to-door interactions to social media, lead generation has changed over the decades. But what hasn’t, is a company can live or die by its ability to sell.

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Through each change, innovations have created new ways for home improvement companies and smaller installers to get in front of potential customers. And as markets have grown broader, and competition has grown greater, they have proved vital in connecting businesses to their target markets.

It wasn’t too long ago that leads were based on referrals and door-knocking was the lead generating method of choice.

As most installers just served their local area, word of mouth was essential to create a thriving business, but this was time intensive which made it difficult to scale.

The rise of print allowed businesses to put their message out to thousands of people over vast distances and generate new business in different areas, while all businesses needed was a telephone and a phone book to generate leads and target specific individuals.

The direct route was also helped with direct mail, allowing businesses to get their message into thousands of homes around the country without needing someone in person.

Lead generation changed all over again with the rise of the internet as consumers could now be reached globally and instantaneously for a fraction of traditional advertising and in an even more targeted way.

Websites could generate traffic and leads with SEO, Pay-per-Click (PPC) allowed businesses to pay for traffic from specific searches, email marketing meant millions of people could be reached for practically nothing, and social media platforms meant businesses could use a more personalised approach.

Lead providing

Lead providers now play an important role for installers, whether assisting regional companies to hit their target of leads per week, or helping smaller installers top up their lead flow in their local area.

Having spotted a gap in the market 15 years ago that would provide red-hot double qualified leads for companies, we set about creating a national network of reputable home improvement companies known as Trusted Local Suppliers who are referenced, and credit checked that could offer consumers a free, no obligation, quote before building a UK call centre where staff could immediately react to the web enquiries and qualify them before being sent out to their members via email and SMS.

Investments have allowed us to continually improve our service to members. We acquired Compare Companies in 2013 and CloudGlaze in 2018 to compliment the creation of our consumer facing brand Trusted Local Suppliers, and our comparison quote websites help to generate more than 2000 enquiries per week.

Using a third-party lead generation service like ours allows our members to reach consumers on-line who they wouldn’t necessarily be able to reach with their own brands as we market ourselves as a comparison service for consumers, which is what more and more consumers want when it comes to their home improvements.

To keep providing our members with the lead quality they expect, we have had to constantly develop our lead generation process, introducing several developments over the years, including premium lead delivery methods such as pre-qualified hotkey telephone leads and a revolutionary appointment booking service.

Ensuring that leads are phone qualified to guarantee the consumer has a genuine interest and requirement and is wanting a quotation means installers don’t have to waste their time chasing leads and has allowed them to decide when they want them.

A premium service

We have always prided ourselves on our ability to adapt to our members needs in terms of not only what they want from a lead but also how they want that lead delivered, while keeping the comparison service the consumer wants.

On reopening after lockdown 1, we looked at the industry and consumer environment post-COVID and adapted our business model to suit, launching a new ‘no pitch, no fee’ with confirmed appointment service for members that only sees them pay for a lead if they sit and pitch it, saving installers time and money.

Instead of the traditional model of providing the consumer with up to four no obligation quotes from installers, with a requirement for them to co-ordinate visits from the referred installers from their local area, we now provide just two.

For the consumer it means only two appointments in a much more controlled environment and, importantly, for installers it means they are only competing against one other company for the job instead of three, meaning there is more chance of them winning the work.

We listened to our members frustrations that customers could be tough to get hold of; they were unable to contact the lead as quickly as companies with a call centre; and they were paying for leads when they didn’t even get to see the prospect.

Generating leads has been an ever-evolving process and today it’s about being able to meet installers needs in a fast-paced world and provide them with the leads they want as quickly as possible.

The premium lead service has proved a huge hit with our members as it provides them with the best opportunity to convert leads into revenue.

To take advantage of Leads 2 Trade’s premium lead service and boost your business, telephone 0800 124 4308 or visit www.leads2trade.co.uk