Year-End Letter from Chuck
I can’t believe 2019 is almost over and it is time for my year-end letter. In this letter, I will highlight trends and opportunities in your local marketing. This year-end report will give you a comprehensive framework that identifies the major marketing programs and business practices you need to be taking advantage of to be the undisputed leader in your local market.
In this report, I will identify six marketing program dimensions and 15 associated competencies impacting the performance of your roofing business. Read on to learn more about the tools you have at your disposal to level up your roofing company.
Throughout the report, I will offer “BrandBuilders,” which are point-blank questions about the implications of each section of your brand, forcing you to re-think your strengths, weaknesses, and assumptions. I ask that you keep in mind one overarching question as you absorb this information. What will it take to make you the leading brand in your local communities?
At Raise the Rank, we have one goal: to provide you with the solutions you need to acquire more clients, ensure consistent brand messaging, and maximize your return on investment through all available marketing channels. To that end, the intent of this report is to provide you with the data, research, and insights into marketing best practices that you can employ and scale to drive growth in your ever-important local market.
2019 In Review with Google
It has been the most volatile year with Google I have ever seen. Google released AI, artificial intelligence in all of its products, including Google My Business. I have seen numerous algorithm updates from Google which is nothing new or surprising and for the most, part they have all been good for us.
Everything we do has the end-user in mind and as long as we focus on the people that visit our site and Google Ads we should always be in good shape. I am going to do two podcasts that relate to this letter. One will be a shorter form and less detailed and one longer form with more detail in case you are interested in what is going on with Google and where Google is headed.
Together we basically started from a zero-sum game. SEO, search engine optimization and SEM, search engine marketing, were not being done on the scale that it is now. We now have a website with a lot of content to go after Google’s organic rankings. I will go much deeper into Google’s organic ranking in the podcast and a future YouTube video. This is an ever-changing animal and as a business owner, you really need to know what is going on in that world. Massive changes that Google is making each and every month makes the search landscape much different than it was just two years ago or even one year ago for that matter.
Which Direction Should We Be Going?
The direction we need to be going is to continue with the organic ranking with Google. Our organic rankings have climbed about like I would have expected for the time we have in at this point, which is a little less than one year. At the current pace, I see our organic rankings moving, we will be solid at some point in 2020. SEO and organic rankings are the long game. Google is not going to take us and just put us at the top of the search results pages, no matter what we do. This comes over time.
Because of the changes in Google, and what is now the mobile-first index we will be moving your new website to a totally new platform. Let me explain why. About mid-year 2019, Google moved to what is called a mobile-first index. Google indexes mobile devices first. Desktop version doesn’t really mean much anymore, so long as it is not a bad website with poor user experience. Google is after good content with a mobile-friendly interface that is smoking fast.
This is in contrast to where Google was just a couple years ago, where you needed great content, but also needed to have as much of that content on your homepage as possible. We used an Uber menu to accomplish this. The Uber menu, however, is too complex for a smooth mobile experience, so we will be going to a new platform to simplify our mobile user experience and make the site faster. We need our pages to load in under two seconds, and right now that is not happening for all pages.
The move to a new platform is not something you will have to deal with at all. I just need to inform you of what we are doing and why. The site will have the same look and you may not even notice much of a difference other than the top-level menu. I will keep you updated but we are shooting for the end of the first quarter of 2020 to make this move.
Marketing and Your Money
Now with Google out of the way, let’s talk about making money and where we need to go for better measurement of our ROAS, return on ad spend. In 2020, I would like to see you completely using SSA, so we have better tracking of leads and your money. Leads are great but they are finite. Here are just some of the goals I would like to see us going after. Conversions, conversion optimization, more granular tracking of leads, opportunities and conversions of lost opportunities, a demo no sale or a lost job. You will not close all leads. Statistically, you will close 3 out of every 10. You may be better than this and that’s great, but out of every 10, you will still have some that do not close.
What are you doing to win those lost opportunities? Again, statically 3 of the 10 that did not buy the day you met them will buy from someone over the next 9 to 12 months. We need to be winning as many of these opportunities as possible. This is another building block of a good future in your company. You must stay, Top Of Mind with these potential clients. There is a lot of money just waiting to be captured.
We are not here just to help with a website, Google My Business and run your Google PPC campaigns, we are also here to help you make more money. I would like to help with your conversions and make sure we are getting everything you can from every lead we get. Some of the buzzwords that are going around right now are post-click optimization and conversion optimization.
In the end, it is about making more money and making a solid profit for all the hard work you do. Running a roofing company is hard work and you should be well paid for your efforts. We need to make sure every job closed is making a good profit and the only way to know is to measure it. What is measured can be managed.
In conclusion I am very excited about 2020. There is an immense amount of opportunity out there right now. We just have to capture our fair share of it. I will include more pages about tracking leads, monitoring profits and keeping up with production. Please keep all of this and go through it as you can. We need to maximize every dollar we can. I want to see you make more money and save every dollar we can. There is more lost money in production than you probably realize, which we can track and manage using SSA. Remember, we are here as an asset for you, so make sure you use everything at your disposal.
What Can Fully Utilizing SSA DO For You?
SSA Managing & Tracking Leads
OK, let’s dive into some lead tracking. If you enter all your leads, prospects and clients into SSA you will be able to track everything. Check out this leads report on a salesman/project manager.
We can see every lead this salesman had for the month of November. Now, let’s look at where they came from and who paid for them.
So, we see that 12 of these leads were paid for by the company. Now we need to track which ones get a contract and which ones closed.
This way we can see what our ROI is on each lead source.
Now we can also see what leads went into the extended drip campaign and find out why.
If a lead is not moved through the sales cycle to prospect within 72 hours you probably missed them.
The question is are you following up?
How are you even keeping up with them to follow up? If you are not following up on a regular basis, you are missing deals.
It’s not even reasonable to think you will follow up on all of them manually.
You need an automated platform for this.
Now What About the Money?
Check out this closed deal report.
Now we can see what this salesman closed in the month of November and match that against his leads.
Ok, now we can see how he is handling his leads.
This salesman had a pretty good month but what about the ones he missed?
What is happening to those leads?
What Does It Look Like In Accounting?
Here is what it looks like in accounting. A rock-solid deal. So, now let’s reverse engineer the lead and see where our money came from.
Where Did That Lead Come From?
Google My Business, right where we love to see them come from.
OK, now we can see all the effort put into GMB is well worth it.
But this goes for every lead source, it doesn’t matter if it is Google Pay Per Click, GMB, Google LSA, referral, door knock or a yard sign.
We need to know where every dollar is coming from.
When we know all lead sources and what money is coming from each one it makes budgeting the ad spend easy. Go where the money is.
SSA Job Production
This is a big word in SSA. What can SSA do for you in production?
The first thing you want to start with is a work order.
This is something that everyone can see, salesman, admin and your crew.
Your crew will only see their job on the calendar, and it is easy for them to get to their job and see what you have for them on a particular job.
This is how your crew will see the job calendar. This makes it easy to see which job is theirs.
Now all they have to do is click view trade and they have all the information they need about that job including Google Maps to find the job site.
Crews will, of course, not have some of the information you see here like job totals.
From the work order we go to the order.
Your work order will be saved and carries over to the order form.
So, when you get ready to send the order to your supplier, just make a quick edit to be sure all materials are on the order that you need and hit send.
The email addresses to your supplier are automatically entered in the email field for you.
Now your orders are saved to each job and you can track if and when the supplier opened the email to make sure they got it.
We know this order was made and that the supplier got and read the email.
Now, how does this look on the jobs calendar?
On your dashboard, you will easily see the first “yes” on the job. This means the order has been placed.
This makes managing orders extremely easy!
This job is complete, so the second yes means the material returns have been sent to the distributor.
On this job you see “NoCR” (No Credit). This means that the supplier has not given the credit back on your Job.
Now you can easily see this on the calendar, and when it looks old you can call your supplier and get your money.
There are thousands of dollars to save or lose over the course of a year in supplies.
Don’t let the suppliers keep your money because you aren’t keeping up with returns.
This is what a material return looks like in SSA.
This will also auto-populate from the order form to make filling out the return easy. It will also automatically send the return email to whoever the order was originally sent to.
Here is what it looks like in accounting.
Now we know exactly what percentage of the job total our materials were.
The blue icon is a PDF of each ticket. You have an image of this in accounting and SSA automatically downloads a copy in the Invoice folder for you at the same time.
Materials are a huge chunk of your job total; it needs tight control.
You can see this job alone had over $500.00 in returns. Do you think your supplier cares about getting those returns and making sure you get your money back?
Absolutely not! You are the only one that cares, or is at risk, when they don’t issue you your return.
You can also run an Order Summary Report.
This will help when negotiating rebates and matching up what the supplier has in their system.
Managing orders and returns are huge, let SSA do the heavy lifting for you.
Using SSA to Manage Profits
We are adding new reports to SSA right now. SSA community involvement is great to help us know what you guys are looking for.
Let’s look at a few reports and what all they can help you with.
Let’s look at the job status report and what it can tell you.
Let’s check out the month of November for one salesman.
Look at what all this report does.
You get the client, job name, job status, number of squares ordered, the job total (sale of the job), commission paid, the job’s net profit, the percentage of net profit from the total sales amount, any balance due and how the lead was generated all in this one report.
Now let’s look at how this salesman finished up the month.
Not bad! He sold 350 squares, grossed $129,823.00, made himself $13,584.60 in commissions and made $43,399.93 in net profit for the company.
Now you can take this same report and drill into any job you want.
If you are a guy or gal that likes to drill deep, you can download a CSV file and use that in Excel if you like.
Now let’s look at a leads report.
This is one you really need to be tracking.
We can take that same salesman and look at all of his leads for November and see where that money came from.
There were 7 leads given from the company website. You can click into each of these leads from this screen and drill into how each lead was handled.
You can even run a user’s activity report, which will tell you how many minutes each user is in SSA working each week.
If you do not see enough time in SSA to be doing their job properly you can address that situation.
There are many reports you can run in SSA. We are adding reports every time we have a suggestion that works for everyone.
Use SSA to track and manage your money.
Other than proximity, Google reviews are the number one ranking factor you can be working on to help with your Google organic rankings.
We need to work together and develop a plan to gather up more Google reviews.
You must have a monthly goal that is obtainable, but will also push you to ask every client for a Google review.
Having more reviews is going to help you convert leads to clients and the number of clients purchasing upgrades.
This all leads to more money and more profits.
Of course, our first goal is to be consistent with gathering more reviews.
Our first number may sound overly aggressive at 200 but check out this next statistic.
Look at the average business after they reach the 200 mark. Pretty amazing!
Some are afraid asking every client for a review will get some negative reviews. It will.
We are all human, if you deal with enough people, you will get a few negative reviews and that is just fine.
A few negative reviews will show your leads that the reviews you have are real. You just need to make sure you do not have what is called review blindness.
Review blindness is when you think you are perfect, and the client just didn’t understand the process, and are impossible to make happy.
It is our job to make sure every client has a great experience. When they don’t, a great company will find out why and fix anything in their process to make the client experience excellent.
Real, honest reviews about your company process coming from Google.
This is what you want and need to get more revenue.
Let’s work together in 2020 to develop a good plan of action for more reviews for your company.
Simple but lethal title.
Video is helping sell every product and service out there including roofs.
In 2020, which is here, 50% of all internet traffic will be video.
Watch this simple 50-second video we did for Roof Crafters in Baton Rouge.
The number of views for such a short and simple video was incredible.
This simple post reached 7,470 people and had 1,329 people play the full video and there was only $100.00 spent with Facebook to gain this reach. Great performance.
This data can be used for creating custom audiences as well as retargeting campaigns.
Now check out this one.
Only $50.00 spent on a simple flat roof inspection to reach 3,220 people and get 658 play-throughs.
These are very simple videos to shoot and people love to engage video when there are real people in them.
All of these views are more touches to your leads.
These videos are great for top of the sales funnel awareness.
Videos like these are what we need from you for your Facebook and YouTube videos and ads.
Video is too big to ignore; you must be in this game and be in it deep.
The Client Experience
How much thought, time and preparation do you put into your client experience?
The client experience does not begin when you start the roof build, your client experience starts when the potential leads hear hello this is ___________ roofing how may I help you.
Who answers your phone? Are they trained? Have you listened to some of your client calls?
You should be constantly tearing your entire client journey apart and making sure you’re giving your client a 5-Star experience.
This is another part of the process SSA can help you with.
Check out this stat. If you don’t give your client a 5-Star experience how can you ask them to leave you one on Google
Everybody thinks they have a great experience, but do you have a plan? Do you, as a team and company, discuss how you do everything from answering the phone to prepping that lead for your salesman to meet them?
What about after the demo is run, what then? If they sign a contract, what are you doing at this point to get them ready for the build process?
There is a lot going on with the build, are you making sure they are ready?
Statistically, this is likely to be the client’s first roof, while you have probably done hundreds maybe even thousands.
How do they know what to expect unless you let them know? Do you have a pre-job checklist to get them ready for the install?
There are hundreds of things to take into account in your day to the day roofing business.
These are all things we are experienced in. Let us walk through your process with you and make sure you do not have holes in your client experience process.
Let me let you in on a little secret, everyone has holes in their process. You just might not have found yours yet.
This is a mouthful right here.
There are literally a ton of things going on in the sales process.
From capturing the lead, from the phone call, to the contract.
According to Google, over 50% of all phone calls to SMBs, small to mid-size business go unanswered.
Your phone is very important and so is every call coming to you. How are you handling phone calls?
Do you have someone dedicated to answering the phone and setting appointments?
Do you set two-legged appointments?
The number one reason a home improvement sale is not made in the home the day of an appointment is one of the two decision-makers is not present.
This stat shows the importance of two-legged appointments.
This is just one aspect of the sales process, but what about all the others?
Leads, tracking leads, tracking phone calls, salesman reports?
These are all things we do and SSA does. The only way to track any of these pieces of the sales process is to enter them in a system.
Let the tools in SSA help you do the heavy lifting.
Fully utilizing a CRM will give your roofing company up to a 30% increase in sales.
SSA can help you track leads and profits, along with helping with production and collecting your money.
Let us help you get fully involved with our roofing CRM.
Being omnichannel does not just mean online channels.
Being omnichannel means online and offline.
You want to be taking advantage of Google, Facebook and all the related channels with Google-like Google My Business and Google Local Service Ads.
But, you also want to use offline channels like email, mail-outs, and postcards as well.
Using SSA and setting the correct status for each lead, you can track and market smartly to your leads and prospects.
SSA can help you stay organized and make full use of all these channels.
Use the reports feature in SSA and build a list of leads not closed, send out regular drip campaign emails, letters, and postcards along with regular follow up calls.
Make sales in this valuable bucket list of leads you already have.
Are you and your sales team following up with leads not closed?
This is another area our team at Raise the Rank can help.