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BuildMapper Blog

Selling Beyond Your Personal Referrals in the Building Supply Industry

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Building supply companies often rely heavily on personal referrals from their sales teams to generate business. While this method can be effective, especially in a booming market, it can leave companies vulnerable during economic slowdowns. To ensure sustained growth and stability, it's crucial to develop a comprehensive sales strategy that goes beyond personal referrals. This article will provide sales teams and sales managers with actionable insights on diversifying their business development efforts, focusing on both inbound and outbound sales strategies.

 

The Pitfalls of Over-Reliance on Referrals

Many contractors and building supply companies rely on referrals, which works well when the market is hot. However, when the market slows down, this reliance can lead to a lack of new business opportunities. A well-rounded sales strategy can prevent this by ensuring a steady flow of prospects regardless of market conditions.

 

The Sales Process: A Comprehensive Overview

Understanding the sales process is critical for any sales team aiming to grow beyond referrals. Here are the essential steps:

  1. Prospecting: Finding new leads.
  2. Making Contact: Initiating communication with potential clients.
  3. Qualifying the Prospect: Assessing the prospect's needs and potential.
  4. Nurturing the Prospect: Building a relationship over time.
  5. Presenting Your Offer: Showcasing your products and services.
  6. Overcoming Objections: Addressing any concerns or hesitations.
  7. Closing the Sale: Finalizing the deal.

 

Building a Strong Brand

A strong brand can attract new customers and build trust in your company. Focus on developing a consistent brand identity that communicates your company's values and expertise. This includes:

  • Professional Website: Ensure your website is user-friendly and informative.
  • Social Media Presence: Engage with your audience on platforms like LinkedIn, Facebook, and Instagram.
  • Content Marketing: Publish valuable content, such as blog posts and videos, that addresses the needs and concerns of your target audience.

 

Inbound Marketing Strategies

Inbound marketing involves attracting customers through content and interactions that provide value. Key tactics include:

  • SEO (Search Engine Optimization): Optimize your website to rank higher in search engine results.
  • Email Marketing: Send newsletters and updates to keep your audience engaged.
  • Webinars and Workshops: Host online events to demonstrate your expertise and connect with potential clients.

 

Outbound Sales Strategies

Outbound sales are more direct and involve reaching out to potential customers. This approach is especially effective in the B2B market. Strategies include:

  • Cold Calling: Reach out to potential clients directly to introduce your products and services.
  • Networking: Attend industry events and trade shows to build relationships with builders and developers.
  • Sales Outreach Campaigns: Use targeted email and direct mail campaigns to connect with potential clients.

 

Leveraging Data and Analytics

Tracking and analyzing your sales efforts is crucial for continuous improvement. Implement a CRM system to:

  • Monitor Sales Activities: Keep track of interactions with prospects and clients.
  • Analyze Performance: Identify which strategies are working and which need adjustment.
  • Forecast Sales: Predict future sales based on historical data.

 

Balancing Inbound and Outbound Strategies

Both inbound and outbound strategies are essential for a well-rounded sales approach. Inbound marketing builds your brand and attracts leads over time, while outbound sales generate immediate opportunities. By balancing both, you can ensure a steady flow of new business.

 

Conclusion

Growing your building supply company beyond personal referrals requires a comprehensive sales strategy that includes both inbound and outbound efforts. By understanding and implementing a structured sales process, building a strong brand, leveraging inbound marketing, and executing effective outbound sales, you can create a sustainable business development model that ensures long-term growth and success. Start by assessing your current sales strategies, identifying gaps, and taking proactive steps to diversify your business development efforts today.

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