A Story From the Frontlines of B2B Lead Generation:
It’s hard not to be skeptical of something that claims to be all pros and no cons. That low-fat version of your favorite candy bar that supposedly tastes just as good as the original never lives up to its expectations. Nor does the suspiciously cheap version of your favorite product that you ordered from an unknown website. It’s rare for something that seems too good to be true to actually deliver on its promises.
That’s why our commercial roofing client was ready to write us off when we told them we could deliver predictable, consistent leads. After four years of slow growth, their sales had plateaued, and they didn’t believe that we could make that big of a difference in their revenue. Despite their doubt, they were willing to give us a shot—and six months later, they were glad they did.
Here’s how we converted a doubtful client into a B2B appointment setting believer using our proven process.
January 2021: Planting the Seed for a Partnership
Our first contact with a Georgia-based commercial roofing company was early into the new year. Like many other companies, 2020 wasn’t exactly the year they had envisioned. Roofing projects that received the green light early in the year were pushed off indefinitely when the economy suffered. In-person inspections ground to a halt as business owners grappled with a contagious virus and sudden budget issues. After a rocky year, something needed to change.
It was clear during our first phone call that we would have to prove ourselves to this client. They had high expectations and wanted to see immediate results—something that anyone in the B2B sales world knows is rare. We explained that it usually takes a few months to see any tangible results from our partnership, and you can’t rush the sales process. They weren’t too pleased with this answer, and we hung up the phone feeling like a future was unlikely. However, we weren’t ready to give up yet, so we kept calling.
After a few conversations, we convinced our client that the long-term results of our partnership would be well worth it—we just needed some time to show them why. From there, things moved quickly and we officially became lead generation partners on Feb. 1, 2021: the first day of implementation month.
February 2021: Laying the Groundwork for a Successful Pipeline
At the beginning of every B2B appointment setting program, our team takes an entire month to prepare before moving into the sales phase. To our clients who are eager to grow their business, a month seems like a long time to wait. However, in the grand scheme of lead generation, those four weeks are nothing compared to the benefits they bring.
Why is implementation month so crucial to a successful pipeline? It allows us to steer our efforts in the right direction. Every company has a target audience they want to capture, and we home in on that audience during our preparation period. In this case, we learned that our commercial roofing client wanted leads that fit the following criteria:
- Location: With a centrally located office in a major metropolitan area, our client could easily reach clients in over a dozen counties. As long as we stayed within a reasonable radius, we were free to call prospects across the region.
- Company size: Our client was adamant that their leads needed to have a more than 10,000-square-foot roof. They also preferred to work with companies that had 60 or more employees.
- Industry: As long as our potential customers had large facilities, their industry wasn’t all that important. However, our client instructed us to stay away from retail, government, and food service leads.
- Job type: Because our client wanted to see results as quickly as possible, they were open to both roof repairs and total replacements. Repairs tend to bring in far less revenue than replacements, but it’s easier to find repair opportunities.
- Timeline: Our client was willing to wait up to six months to close a repair deal. If a lead needed a replacement, that timeline doubled.
Once we learned the guidelines our client wanted us to follow, our data team got to work compiling and cleansing a list of potential leads. This step allowed us to start the lead qualification process before our sales calls even began, which saved us valuable time in the coming weeks.
As we closed in on a month of preparation, our client was already getting impatient. So, with our expectations set and our list finalized, we put the implementation phase behind us and instructed our sales development representatives (SDRs) to start making calls on March 1, 2021.
March 2021: Focusing on First Impressions
You never know what will happen during the first month of a B2B appointment setting program. Sometimes, you hit the jackpot and set an appointment on your first day; other times, you get hung up on, yelled at, and largely ignored for weeks at a time. We landed somewhere in the middle with this commercial roofing client—our leads were receptive, but very few seemed motivated to make a deal.
It takes 39 days and nearly 10 phone calls to set an appointment with the average roofing lead, and we brought that average down during our first month by setting five appointments in less than two weeks. It seemed like we were making an excellent first impression and connecting with our client’s ideal leads. However, four of those five appointments ended up going nowhere. After a month in, we were back to square one, with an increasingly dissatisfied client.
Luckily, that fifth appointment we set in March ended up being our saving grace when it turned into a closed deal in May.
May 2021: First Deal Closed
By early May, our commercial roofing client was a few days from canceling our partnership when they got a call from the facilities manager at a local church. Our client had visited their site in early April and recommended an ongoing preventative maintenance program but assumed they had decided not to move forward after not hearing back. To their surprise, the lead signed on for a $1,300 ongoing contract on May 6. This first victory convinced the client to stay with us for another month.
During this month, our SDRs continued to call new leads and nurture existing ones. When leads were reluctant to move forward with a meeting, we used the following tactics:
- Follow-up calls: It takes more than one conversation to learn about a lead and their pain points. By following up regularly, we showed potential clients that we genuinely cared about helping their business and weren’t just looking for a quick sale. After a few calls, our leads were often ready to take the next step and set an appointment.
- Emails: When you can’t seem to keep a lead on the phone, it doesn’t mean that you should give up. You never know what’s happening on the other end of the line—your lead could be rushing to an important meeting, dealing with a family issue, or scrambling to meet a deadline. Sending personalized emails is an excellent way to let your potential customers learn about your business on their own time.
- Tailored marketing collateral: When we join forces with commercial roofing clients for outbound lead generation, we typically create one custom piece of marketing collateral each month. These brochures, sell sheets, case studies, and infographics help convey value to potential customers and show them you’re a trustworthy partner.
As we moved into June, we had plenty of viable leads in our pipeline, but none were particularly close to signing a contract.
June 2021: One Foot Out the Door
Unfortunately for us, despite scheduling 20 appointments between March and June, only one of them had turned into a deal during that time. In mid-June, we got a call from our client who asked us: “Why should we stick with this program?” This is what we told them:
- A slow start doesn’t mean things won’t move quickly in the future. We spend our first few months starting conversations with as many leads as possible, and it takes time for those conversations to turn into partnerships. Sometimes, a lead comes back years later, ready to move forward. You can’t gauge a program’s potential during the first few months.
- In a little over a decade in the B2B lead generation space, we’ve partnered with dozens of roofing companies and created millions in revenue. We know from experience that it takes a while for roofing programs to pay off, but it’s more than worth it when they do.
- Two of our appointments were very likely to turn into deals within the next month. One lead had water pouring into their facilities because of a faulty roof, and they needed repairs ASAP. Another was preparing to install solar panels and needed a few repairs beforehand.
There’s no way of knowing whether our client had much faith in us when they agreed to stay for another month, but there’s one thing we know for sure: They didn’t regret their decision.
August 2021: Two More Deals Closed
As we suspected in June, two of our appointments turned into deals by the end of August. The first was a $12,000 repair contract, which might turn into a $70,000 coating project in 2022. The second was an ongoing preventative maintenance contract worth $1,500, which is also likely to turn into additional revenue in the future.
For the first time, our client called us excited about our partnership after closing these two deals. They told us that if we could keep getting them in front of similar leads, we could look forward to a long-term partnership. What they didn’t know was that by September, they would reach nearly $2 million in potential contracts.
Too busy juggling your current projects to focus on growing your roofing business? Turn to the lead generation experts at Abstrakt for help.
September 2021: $1.7+ Million in Proposals, and More To Come
In September, after a rocky six months in which we nearly lost our commercial roofing client multiple times, we were finally able to prove that patience pays off. If our client had decided to cut ties with us a few months prior, they wouldn’t have over $1.7 million in proposals with the potential to turn into deals.
These are the big-ticket projects our client currently has the opportunity to win:
- A $1 million full roof replacement for an 82,000-square-foot building
- A $410,000 full roof replacement project for two buildings totaling over 20,000 square feet
- A $300,0000 partial roof replacement for an 80,000-square-foot building
With so many qualified leads in our client’s pipeline, we only expect their proposal amount to increase in the coming months. And hopefully, with help from our sales team, we can turn more proposals into contracts.
Our client is proof that our B2B appointment setting services aren’t too good to be true—as long as you have a little faith and a lot of patience. If you follow proven steps and never let a qualified lead leave your pipeline, you’re bound to end up with a success story.
Ready to create a success story of your own? Enlist Abstrakt as your outsourced lead generation partner. Over the past decade, we’ve perfected our roofing lead generation strategy and developed a process that works every time. Plus, partnering with us is cheaper than hiring one full-time sales representative.
Get in touch today to learn more about our B2B appointment setting services for roofing companies and see if we’re available in your market.
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