The future of lead generation
Jo Trotman, marketing manager at The Residence Collection, explains how the company has developed a bespoke, automated lead generation system that’s been designed to realise the full potential of its consumer marketing activities. Nominated for a G23 Award for Business Initiative of the Year, it has generated 1,500 leads for installers since launch.
The Residence Collection has always enjoyed a proactive and unique approach in marketing to homeowners, unlike other system houses which have always focused predominantly on the B2B (business to business) sector.
While this has enabled us to build a strong brand awareness with consumers, it has until recently relied on a manual system to follow up on lead generation with homeowners and installers. Sometimes we would not necessarily see the outcome of these leads, and therefore we were unable to identify a full, clear picture of the whole customer journey and whether leads were won – or lost.
This sometimes resulted in confusing leads that were still in progress, or even duplicate leads, where homeowners would go to several different installers to get quotes.
We would have leads coming in from our website landing pages, brochure downloads, leads from live chats, internal showroom visits, and leads from our NSBRC stand.
There was no clear overview of all these end-consumer enquiries in one place and it took time to manually move them through the process and follow up. It also meant time spent on the phone chasing installers for updates, in order for us to see the benefit of our marketing.
We realised that we needed to introduce a better, more efficient system, one that would allow us to identify and locate all our leads in one place, and then follow them through to our installer and fabricator partners using automated emailing – a system that would radically improve our daily admin, and that of our installers, and provide a clearer overview of leads and potential business.
We were then introduced to a CRM system called HubSpot, which was originally designed for either B2B or B2C (business to consumer) applications. It was a great system, but we needed something that would work across the B2C2B model – and after a huge amount of work, that is what we have developed.
It’s an entirely bespoke, fully automated programme that significantly extends HubSpot’s capabilities to create a one-of-a-kind lead generation system.
How did we do it?
As you can imagine, we have invested a huge amount of time and resource into developing such a sophisticated system.
We started by identifying the sources of end consumer leads from our website, creating a ‘journey’ for those leads and the various actions that are required for them along the way.
We also integrated our own social media platforms and activity, including a ‘live chat’ function, and we cleansed the database for all our Residence Collection installers and fabricators so there is now one key contact and email address at each company that receives all communication regarding leads.
These contacts, addresses and companies have been exported into HubSpot, creating individual HubSpot IDs. These IDs are critical across our platforms so that all installers are linked to their fabricator partners, and using APIs allows all our systems to communicate with each other. This means the full lead details are now sent automatically directly to the installer, as well as their fabricator, and an update to the homeowner.
Every company has also been assigned to a dedicated Residence Collection contact, so when the lead is created, the Residence contact has access to the full lead information on an app, and can view any active or current outstanding leads on the spot – which is handy when they are out on the road!
Now, when a homeowner starts their journey on our website and completes a form on one of our installer’s landing pages, the information is automatically created as a lead in HubSpot, pulling in all the installer and fabricator contact information automatically, with no input from us.
The automated emails start the workflows built into HubSpot, deciding who receives each lead, and what timeframe the emails are to be sent and to who, with a carefully planned journey for the homeowner, installer and fabricator at every stage of the customer experience.
We’ve even created a simple online form that is completed for offline end consumer leads, for example those generated at homeowner exhibitions, via phone calls or showroom visits at our head office, which again, automatically creates a lead in HubSpot.
The new automated system has introduced a number of key advantages for us at The Residence Collection. We have vastly improved our overview of conversions and ROI, as well as our supply chain management.
But it has also introduced greater support and customer satisfaction for homeowners. For example, if they don’t receive a reply from their chosen installer, this is now automatically highlighted and actioned with an alternative company.
In fact, from the moment the homeowner interacts or completes an action on our website, a network of automated emails are put into place to the homeowner, installer and linked fabricator. The homeowner receives follow up emails, asking a simple ‘Yes’ or ‘No’ question.
If they respond, this will automatically move the lead to the next stage and the same principle is applied to our installers and fabricators.
When leads are lost and won, a survey is sent so we can get feedback, both positive or negative, to review, follow up and improve. The feedback has also enabled us to generate additional marketing content, photography, case studies and social media content.
It has transformed the way we generate and manage leads, but we’re not resting on our laurels. We continually look at what works and what can be improved, and we have immediate access to implement any changes.
It has allowed us to continually evolve around the needs of our business, supporting our installers and fabricators with the best information we can, and allowing them to follow up and generate business through qualified leads.