I was helping a friend a few days ago. We were looking at his website and he was telling me that he was getting some really unusual enquires. He has his own powder coating business and loves to win contracts for coating in high volume, but he was getting calls about powder coating motorbike frames.
We took a good look at his website and upon finding the likely cause, it reminded me of a very similar situation a few years ago.
(Check the end of the blog to find out why he was getting bike frame enquiries!)
The Puzzle Of Too Many Low-Value Leads
A couple years ago I was looking at the statistics and KPIs on our sales enquiries and could see that the volume of enquiries was up, but the average value and the conversion rate had fallen over the last quarter.
It was an unusual situation and not one that I was happy about. So, I walked across the office and shared my findings with some sales and marketing colleagues. They were as perplexed as I was; business was generally good, but the figures painted a worrying picture for the longer term.
Never one to leave a puzzle unsolved, this troubled me, but we didn’t have a great deal more data to investigate and scrutinise.
The next day, I overheard a conversation between two of the team in the sales office, talking about the number of quotes that they had to do.
The conversation went along the lines of “I’m sick of all these little domestic projects we have to quote. They’re all really complex and we never win any, we’re too expensive.” Intrigued, I asked what the problem was.
From the response, I got the clear impression that we had seen an increase in private, domestic sales enquiries in recent months. But this was not our target market, typically the enquires were low in value, had less detail than professionally prepared tenders, more technical support and input was required on our behalf and the chances of winning the order was slim.
Finding The Root Cause
It looked like I had found my problem, but this was unexpected, and I wanted to find out why we were attracting these leads and get to the root cause. What had we done to make this happen?
No one could understand why we were generating these leads. We hadn’t changed our sales and marketing strategy; we weren’t deliberately seeking enquiries like this.
I had to find the answer quickly and I knew exactly what to do now. I went back to the sales desk and asked for a new enquiry. I picked up the phone and called the number on the lead. I thanked the man for his enquiry and drummed up a great conversation about his project and what he was trying to achieve. While we were talking I asked where he had found us. “Oh, I saw you on the Internet” he replied.
“That’s interesting,” I said. “What were you looking for?”
He said, “I was searching for contemporary fascias for houses”. I thanked him for his enquiry and time, advised that we probably weren’t the right company for his project, but suggested a couple of companies in his area that may be able to help.
I fired up my browser and ran a few searches about contemporary fascia and houses. I couldn’t see our website ranking highly in many searches, but I noticed that photographs from our website were appearing in the images search results.
Great SEO Was Hurting Us
Clicking one took me to a case study on a recent project. Yes, it was a domestic property, a stunning job where our products had recently been installed. It was clear why the job fitted the bill for a case study. A prestigious client, beautiful location and an interesting backstory. The page had been well constructed from an SEO perspective and the images were ranking well.
The images screamed – we make contemporary fascias for houses, look we’re really good so send us an enquiry!
A closer investigation on Google Analytics showed that it was pulling in some good levels of traffic. The problem for us was that it was sending out the wrong message about our service and the type of work we wanted to do. This was giving us a headache.
To solve the problem we changed the copy, clarified the information about cost and highlighted the information we needed from a client to be able to price this type of work. Our sales and technical teams were briefed to point poorly aligned enquiries towards other companies who we believed were better suited to service this type of work, we even negotiated a finder's fee from one company!
The result was immediate. Within a week the number of poorly fitting leads fell dramatically, and we soon saw our sales enquiry KPI’s starting to recover. Importantly, our sales team were happier and had more time to help the customers that we were better suited to help.
Don’t Attract The Wrong Enquiries – Check Your Website
The lesson was clear, it is easy to inadvertently attract the wrong type of work on the Internet. Your website is a powerful sales resource, working 24/7 and consistent in the message that it is giving out.
Unfortunately, if the information is not clear about the products and service you are offering, then you will either attract the wrong type of lead or miss out on the work and customers that you really want.
It’s true that a picture says a thousand words – The key thing to check is that your images clearly reflect your work that you really want to win. Ask yourself these 7 questions to make sure your photos are painting the right picture:
- What will the viewer see and think when they look at your image?
- Do we actually make these products?
- Are these products profitable for us?
- Do we want more of this type of work?
- Are we really good at servicing this type of work?
- How does this image help us achieve and reinforce our wider company goals and mission?
- Do you have another image that will do a better job for you?
So, take some time to review your site, page by page. Ask yourself the questions listed above and a few more that you can think of.
This simple exercise could make the world of difference to your business, changing the profile of your enquiries and improving your win rate and profitability dramatically.
If you would like an objective opinion of your site and what signals and messages it is conveying, then we would love to help you. The team at Insynth are construction marketing experts and are able to provide clear strategic advice on how you can grow your sales by marketing smarter and more cost-effectively.
So, contact us today, because Insynth could help you dramatically grow your business in 2018.
Oh, the bike frame puzzle. My friend had an image of a powder coated motorbike frame on his landing page for powder coating enquiries – simple.
He’s taking a few photos of products on his powder coating line that he would like to do more of and will be updating his website very soon. We expect the type of enquiry he will receive in future to be a better fit for his business.
If you want the details of a great powder coater drop me a message – as long as it isn’t for your motorbike frame!
Insynth Marketing is a leading UK construction marketing consultancy based in Shifnal in the West Midlands. Insynth employ the latest inbound marketing techniques to help building product manufacturers grow their businesses by aggressively driving sales lead generation activity.
As the only HubSpot certified agency to major on construction marketing, we bring together digital strategy, website design, SEO, content marketing, email marketing, sales automation, marketing automation and CRM implementation to produce successful campaigns and great results for our clients.