Lead generation evolution

Andy Royle, Leads 2 Trade’ co-founder and managing director, discusses how sales leads have changed over the years, and introduces its new premium lead service delivery has taken lead generation to the next level.

While lead generation has changed over the decades, a company can still live or die by its ability to sell.

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 been 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.

Lead generation changed all over again with the rise of the internet as consumers could be reached globally and instantly for a fraction of traditional advertising, and in an even more targeted way: websites could generate traffic and leads with SEO; pay-per-click 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 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 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 members via email and SMS.

Using a third-party lead generation service like ours allows our members to reach consumers online 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 an appointment booking 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 how they want that lead delivered, while keeping the comparison service the consumer wants.

On reopening after the first lockdown, 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 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.

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.


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