Published February 22, 2019 | Updated April 6, 2021
Feeding the top of the funnel with new opportunities is a priority in every business climate, so equipment sales teams are always on the hunt for prospects to keep the pipeline full. With the market set for a strong recovery in the months to come, it’s tempting to put even more of your attention there. Is your team and your marketing focused enough on picking up repeat business, particularly for customers with equipment at end-of-life (EOL)?
EOL can be one of your best opportunities to drive sales, and if you leverage this moment right, you can sketch out sales months and years in advance. But a surprising number of dealers miss the opportunity. In fact, in a survey of more than 900 dealer sales teams, only 14% made the end-of-life event a primary marketing focus.
Here’s some insight into how your team can drive results at the top of the funnel and when customers are ready to replace their equipment.
Help your customers understand they need to plan.
Most businesses lack real planning when it comes to managing their commercial equipment purchases. In fact, more than two out of three replace equipment in the break/fix moment. By waiting until the point of failure, business owners will encounter inefficient and higher-cost operations. But you can help. With your equipment expertise and detailed understanding of their business, you can create an acquisition plan for your customers. Help them understand upfront when a good time might be to replace equipment, setting the expectation of the replacement/upgrade cycle. Even your leasing customers who are bundling supplies and maintenance may not truly understand the importance of this lifecycle planning. If you make this part of each sale, customers will appreciate you are looking out for their best interests beyond today’s deal.
Track your data.
Once you have the equipment lifecycle plan in place, warehousing that data is similar to building a treasure chest of sales opportunities. This data management activity is less sales management and more like making and improving the value of an asset sitting on your balance sheet, which has a real, long-term monetary value. Don’t take this activity lightly. Your long-term success may be tied to it.
83% of dealers with more than $150 million in revenues actively manage the end-of-life and renewal process. The bigger guys have gotten to be the bigger guys for a reason. And this is one of them.
Get the business.
Now that you have the sales behavior engrained in your team and the data for these end-of-life events build marketing, you will capture residual sales. While there are many ways to do this, keep it simple. A very low-cost or no-cost email campaign connects with the customer 12, 6, 3, and 1 month before the end-of-life event with easy reminder communications. You can offer:
- A simple reminder of the end-of-life date
- Information on escalating operating costs of used equipment
- Information on the newest equipment
- Promotions and incentives
- Finance options
Based on who engages with the email, follow up with sales calls throughout the year prior to the event and follow up with everyone 30 days before.
At LEAF, we make your equipment easier to buy. We also make it easier to sell, wherever a customer is in the sales funnel, with customized finance solutions to solve real problems, like putting an end-of-life marketing campaign together for you.