In the plumbing and HVAC industry, companies must be able organize a great diversity of parts on offer and provide great customer service. With this in mind, many companies adopt a business intelligence (BI) solution to keep ahead of the competition. BI empowers companies with a real-time view of operations. Managers can use this precious insight to develop strategies that will enhance business performance to drive revenue. In this blog, we’ll discuss ways you can leverage your data to increase plumbing and HVAC sales.

Plumbing and HVAC customer service

BI offers real-time, actionable insight into customer buying patterns and spending habits. This enables the sales department to truly understand the preferences and needs of your customers. Understanding your customers enables you to adapt by adjusting inventory and distribution processes to accommodate these needs. This way, plumbing and HVAC companies can be assured they will always have enough air handlers, heating coils, condensers, or furnaces in stock to meet customer demand.

Complete visibility into your business and allows you to better serve customers, while permitting your team to deal with seasonal fluctuations and identify new trends and sales opportunities such as ductless systems or green products.  

Give your plumbing and HVAC sales team relevant information

A sales manager’s job is to guide their team to success. Providing a sales team with personalized dashboards that display metrics relevant to product, pricing, and customer intelligence data, will likely result in increased productivity and a less stressful workload. Armed with critical insights, team members can focus their time and efforts on the most important tasks. For instance, a sales rep can see when a customer is purchasing outside air dampers, but not air handlers. This may be an excellent opportunity to offer the customer a cross-selling opportunity.

Another team member may be struggling to sell roof top units, while their colleagues have increased their sales of these products. A sales manager can use this information to offer some additional training in the benefits of the product.  Having a well-informed and unified team is the surest way to increase HVAC and plumbing sales revenue.

Plumbing and HVAC cross-sell and up-sell opportunities

Upselling and cross-selling techniques motivate your customers to increase the amount or value of what they purchase. To use the cross-selling technique, determine which of your products complement each other. Next, identify your customer’s needs to pinpoint which products are uniquely valuable to them. For instance, an HVAC contractor may make a steady purchase of air conditioning systems, but would also benefit from including air diffusers with their A/C package.

The increased demand for environmentally friendly HVAC products offers several upselling opportunities. For instance, the sales team might suggest upgrading from a standard thermostat to programmable thermostats as a way for their customers to save costs and increase the environmental friendliness of their homes.

Stock green products 

Keeping green products in stock will ensure your company is ready to meet the new demand from customers who care about climate change.  “Air conditioning accounts for nearly 50% of the energy use in the United States during peak summer months, and air conditioning is responsible for nearly 100 million tons of carbon dioxide emissions every year.” - Rocky Mountain Institute. As consumers grow more concerned about the environment, HVAC companies have plenty of options regarding green heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems. In addition to protecting mother earth, some countries are offering financial incentives to consumers in the form of tax credits for updating or installing qualified HVAC products.

For instance, many consumers are upgrading traditional furnaces to heat pumps because they are considered one of the most environmentally friendly heating options. Because heat pumps transfer energy instead of generating it through electricity, they save more energy, and money, than a traditional furnace or A/C unit. During the cooler months, heat pumps collect heat from the outside and transfer it into a home. To cool a home in the Summer, the heat pumps move heat from inside the home to the outdoors.

Hybrid heating systems are another environmentally friendly option to cool and heat the home. Like the hybrid automobile, hybrid heating systems are able to shift between gas or electric energy sources based on the weather conditions outside the home. Programmable thermostats adjust the level of energy the home is consuming by arranging the HVAC unit's on and off cycles with a schedule, which allows for more control over the temperature within the home. HVAC ducts are made from recycled materials to create a healthier living environment, increase energy efficiency, and decrease installation time. Be an industry leader and educate your clients on how to be more green.

Use BI to optimize eCommerce for plumbing and HVAC

As consumers rely more on the convenience of eCommerce to make purchases, it is critical that businesses keep up with the ever-improving eCommerce technology.  To increase both traffic and sales through eCommerce sites, many businesses are turning to BI solutions to gather intelligence, optimize the online shopping experience and direct buyers to the right products based on previous online behavior. 

Another important function of BI is the ability to track e-commerce performance and analyze e-commerce sales. BI can reveal who is buying which products? What patterns can be identified to help you better understand your customers and their online behavior? How fast are goods being shipped? How is inventory holding up? Understanding and tracking the e-commerce component of your business is key to its ongoing success. Industry specific BI like Phocas is one of the best ways to make sure your e-commerce business continues to grow. Phocas has worked with HVAC and plumbing supply companies for more than 15-years and is easily accessible to all members of your team.

For more information about getting more visibility into your plumbing and HVAC business download a copy of the 'Ebook: Seven benefits of BI for HVAC and plumbing'.

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Tags: Business Intelligence Basics, Job Role - Sales, Industry - HVAC/Plumbing

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