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Modern Tools for Service Contractors, Part 3: Outbound Sales and Marketing

Shawn Mims
November 11, 2015

Unlike residential field service companies, commercial service contractors rely heavily on new sales for growth.  For the residential contractors reading this post, please skip to the section below about MailChimp as it contains insights that apply to contractors on both ends of the spectrum.  For commercial contractors, this post lays out a handful of sales tools that are not only easy to use, but also extremely powerful across the entire lifecycle of new sales from prospecting to closing.


Google – Discover Great Prospects

Let’s start at the beginning of the sales cycle: Prospecting.  Who are you trying to sell your services to?  Google makes it extremely easy to find the best prospects if you know how to take advantage of it’s powerful search features.  For example, if you are a commercial HVAC company trying to find the best restaurants and restaurant groups to sell to, here are a few different search techniques you could employ:


LinkedIn – Find Contact Information

Now that you’ve targeted the companies you would like to pursue, it’s time to find the correct contact and their information.  Start by using LinkedIn’s advanced search to search by title, company name, location, and any relevant keywords.  Much like advanced Google searches, you can use quotation marks for exact string matches. You can also use “AND,” “OR,” “()” operators.  For example, you could search “president OR CEO OR owner” in the title field or “(facility OR general) AND manager” in the title field to find the facility manager or GM.  Once you find the profile for the person you need to contact, use a Google Chrome extension such as Email Hunter or FindThatLead to unearth their email address.

Note: LinkedIn can also be used to find prospective companies by using relevant searches.  For example, searching for “Restaurant Group” in the keywords field, “CEO OR president OR owner” in the title field, and limiting to relevant locations returns very useful results.  For more information on using LinkedIn in the prospecting process, check out our blog post Lead Prospecting Guide for Tech-Savvy Contractors.

PipeDrive/Pipeline Deals – Manage Sales and Prospects

Customer relationship management (CRM) platforms help organize and manage your sales pipeline. An entry-level application such as PipeDrive or Pipeline Deals is perfect for companies new to CRM, while platforms like SalesForce and Infusionsoft will be a better fit for larger, enterprise sales organizations.  These platforms house all sales related contact information and tasks to ensure that nobody drops the ball in the sales process.  Email integrations makes it easy to log communications so that no one has to dig through emails to understand the last or next steps in a deal.  When properly managed, these applications help any sales rep handle more prospects, deals, and opportunities.

MailChimp – Build Value with Customers

MailChimp is a first-in-class entry-level email marketing platform.  Setting up your first email marketing campaign is a breeze with their simple interface that takes you from contact list to beautiful email in no time.  Because of it’s widespread use, MailChimp integrates with many other applications including WordPress to collect contact information on your website and the CRM’s (like those mentioned above) so that your company can easily broadcast marketing messages to prospects or customers.

Email marketing provides service contractors with an incredible opportunity to build tremendous value with both their prospects and customers.  Simple, targeted emails can endear you and build trust.  This is especially true when you:


Take a close look at your sales organization and ask yourself if you have the visibility and productivity you need to reach your personal and company goals.  If sales is an integral part of your growth plan, these tools will not only make your life easier, but also accelerate your business development.  Every single tool listed above is either free, or extremely cost effective.  Your only commitment is the time it takes to learn a new tool which I guarantee will be far outweighed by overall sales performance improvements.


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