8 Ways To Improve Lead Quality

You see, door-to-door sales associates have a habit of routinely submitting inaccurate sales numbers. The root cause? Most door-to-door salespeople don't record every single sale they make as they happen. They leave out sales here and there, forget to note them in the system, or plain screw up what numbers go where—and it adds up.

Solar companies in the US are worried.

They're worried about whether they'll be able to break through with consumers who stubbornly cling to traditional energy sources, even when faced with higher utility bills than ever before. They're worried about the discrepancy between the number of door knocks they make and how many sales they close. And more than anything else, they're concerned about removing their sales reps' blind spots—how to get rid of any disconnect between door-to-door efforts and sales that go into their reports at company HQ.

You see, door-to-door sales associates have a habit of routinely submitting inaccurate sales numbers. The root cause? Most door-to-door salespeople don't record every single sale they make as they happen. They leave out sales here and there, forget to note them in the system, or plain screw up what numbers go where—and it adds up.

And door-to-door salespeople only capture a tiny portion of the market: those customers who answer their door and agree to hear their pitch. This means that door-to-door salespeople often turn in incomplete reports of how many people they contacted throughout the day. And that doesn't paint an accurate picture for solar companies, which need every sale accounted for if they're going to partner with you over your current utility company. Eventually, these missed chances come back to haunt door-to-door reps when new hires ask questions like, "Well, how much door-knocking did your salespeople do per day?"

Unfortunately, door-to-door sales associates are usually left to their own devices to record sales information. It's an easy task; all they have to do is enter the date and time of each door knock into their CRM or marketing automation system. But its frequency? That's up for interpretation. This leaves door-to-door sales reps with many leeway when accounting for how many doors knock they made—and how effective these door knocks were in getting people to consider solar energy services.

But what if door-to-door sales reps could conduct every sale at the door? What if there was no wiggle room between actual outreach efforts and reported sales outcomes?

Or door-to-door sales associates could take a step back and consider how door knocking measures up to other lead generating channels that may be more effective—like marketing automation or print advertising, for example. Admittedly, these two channels can also be hard to measure, but at least door-to-door sales reps have some time behind them to develop an accurate picture of their effectiveness in the field.

In other words: door-to-door salespeople need to treat each door knock with greater scrutiny if they want to accurately track their lead generation efforts against marketing automation efforts like email blasts and retargeting. The only way door-to-door sales associates can do is by keeping better records of door-to-door sales, and here's how:

Set As Many Appointments As Possible

The door-knocking process doesn't end until a door knock has yielded an appointment. Suppose door-to-door sales associates aren't setting any appointments during their outreach efforts. In that case, they're not doing it right—and they're certainly not giving themselves enough time to conduct enough door knocks to turn inaccurate sales reports at the end of the day. This brings us to step number two…

Write down every single door knock—no matter what.

If door-to-door salespeople make one hard rule about recording all door knocks, no exceptions, they'll be more likely to stick with this task by the time the clock strikes 5 o'clock.

Treat door knocking as a sales opportunity, not just another lead gathering task.  

It's easy for door-to-door salespeople to think they're doing the right thing by recording every door knock and setting appointments—when in reality, they're treating door knocking like an afterthought: something that can be thrown around carelessly at the end of the day without consequence. But door knocking deserves proper attention; door-to-door reps don't want customers leaving their pitch feeling like this was just another useless moment of small talk (or worse). And if door-to-door salespeople treat door knocking as seriously as they would any other sales call, then they'll be more likely to put in the proper time, effort, and entry hits required to close sales with door-to-door prospects.

Find out what results they're getting at the door.  

If door-to-door sales associates are recording each door knock with no real sense of how many appointments they're sitting or which door knocks were most effective, then it's time for them to start paying more attention to their primary activity on the job. The only way door-to-door reps can get a better idea of what door knocking is all about is by knowing the results each door knock yields. If door knocking works less than favorable results (i.e., few appointments set per day), then perhaps it's time to embrace marketing automation or entry knocking more effectively.

Get rid of door-to-door sales associates who aren't putting in the time.  

If door-to-door sales associates aren't recording every door knock, then perhaps it's time to review how much door-knocking they're doing—and whether or not they should be considered door knockers anymore. Forcing door-to-door sales reps to do something that isn't giving them positive outcomes (i.e., few appointments set per door knocked) will only hamper their performance down the road. If this means getting rid of underperforming salespeople, then so be it, but at least door-to-door sales managers can rest assured knowing they've done everything within their power to improve door-to-door lead quality.

Don't take door-knocking for granted, and don't think door-knocking alone is enough to get the job done.

Business owners should know door knocking as one of the most effective ways to meet customers at their door. Still, door-knocking alone won't generate sales without marketing automation efforts like email blasts and retargeting ads influencing prospects before they even know to pick up the phone (or open their door). Door-to-door sales associates need to make sure they're engaging prospects with marketing automation initiatives well before they ever get a chance to knock on doors. If they want to ensure maximum lead quality: this way, by the time door-to-door sales reps come knocking door-to-door, customers will be more likely to stop what they're doing and pay attention.

Educate door-to-door sales associates about lead quality expectations.  

For door knocking to have a positive impact on lead generation, door-to-door sales reps need to know precisely what they should expect from this calling: namely, that door knocks should result in actual appointments being set face to face with local customers—not just random door knocks resulting in no follow up whatsoever. Door knocking might seem like a waste of time at first glance (especially if door-knockers aren't setting any appointments). Still, it all becomes worth the effort once door knocking starts increasing sales numbers above and beyond other marketing channels.

Make door knocking sound fun and exciting with door-to-door sales training.  

One of the best ways to get door-to-door reps enthused about door knocking is by arming them with door-knocking sales training; if they know what the job entails and the results they should expect, then there won't be any reason left not to embrace door knocking as a top marketing strategy—in other words, door-knockers will be able to see exactly how much time and effort door-knocking can save them down the road (in terms of increased lead quality). Before opening up their doors, homeowners will already be familiar with door knocks coming their way; this means that those who go out on these calls will more than likely get a warm reception and more door knocking opportunities—which, of course, also makes door-to-door sales tactics that much better.