The pandemic has introduced or exacerbated challenges for most businesses, including those in the roofing industry. Many contractors have felt pressure to come up with new ways to track roof leads, meet with clients, and sell their services.
Catherine Costello-Brenneman, owner of ProNail Roofing and Construction, and a GAF Master Elite Contractor*, has a few ideas. Approximately 90% of her Dallas-based roofing company's work is restoration or storm repair projects. Here, Costello-Brenneman talks about the challenges that 2020 brought, which tools have helped the most, and how the business has persevered through the pandemic.
Challenges During the Sales Process
Costello-Brenneman says the No. 1 challenge has been scheduling sales calls with homeowners. This was the case even before the pandemic, but it has been more prevalent due to shutdowns and social distancing. Sales personnel had to be available when homeowners were home, which usually meant working evenings and weekends.
ProNail has also worked to pin down a sales presentation that stayed consistent within their sales team. For the past few years, they've been using a brochure to help the sales team make their presentations but haven't formalized the presentation or what is said within.
The last significant struggle Costello-Brenneman cites is the use of technology on sales calls. Before the pandemic, approximately 5% of sales calls happened virtually. Almost all of their customers, except property owners who lived out of state, preferred to meet in person. Now, homeowners are much more receptive to virtual calls. She also notes a generational difference—she's noticed that millennials are more willing to meet virtually than older homeowners, who generally still prefer meeting face to face.
Tools to Solve Issues, Both Old and New
Costello-Brenneman says that ProNail uses several tools to help them with these challenges.
GAF Leads has been a significant source of roof leads for the company. ProNail is enrolled in the GAF Local Services by Google Program, where the company received a Google Guarantee badge by passing a Google background check. This program generates leads through Google whenever a customer searches any variation of the terms "roofers near me." These leads are sent directly into GAF Leads for ProNail to use.
ProNail uses GAF Project to organize all incoming leads and in-progress projects. The tool allows them to take a variety of information including photos, inspection reports and other documentation, and organize it by customer. Sales personnel use GAF Project to provide the structure for their sales presentations, providing consistency. "It works really well because it has a built-in signature process in addition to other features like screen-sharing, so we can do everything contact-free," Costello-Brenneman adds.
ProNail appreciates the benefits of integration between GAF and other 3rd party tools. "The nice thing about these toolsets is that they communicate with each other using API," says Costello-Brenneman. "It helps me connect to my production management system and my photos system, so you don't have to go other places and create things."
The Right Tools Make Business Happen
Prior to using GAF's tools, most of ProNail's sales calls had to be scheduled on weekends and evenings, when homeowners were available. Now, homeowners can meet sales personnel virtually any time, regardless of whether they're at work or at home. This has made scheduling a lot easier and reduced the hours salespeople have to work.
Tools like GAF Project help ProNail to drive uniform processes. From the way roof leads come in, to documentation, presenting estimates, and uploading photos, the tool offers increased consistency across the board.
"It's a very straightforward, simple platform that allows us to develop our proposals and sales presentations in a consistent matter," says Costello-Brenneman.
Costello-Brenneman also notes that embracing technology as a whole has become a necessity. Contractors trying to sell the way they did in 2019 may find problems going forward. Not only does tech help in the wake of the pandemic, but younger generations are more comfortable with it. Contractors need to be, too.
Today, roofing companies need to be open to using new tools. GAF offers several tools to help contractors achieve their goals, even in these challenging times. With connected tools that help manage jobs from start to finish, contractors are able to focus on what's most important—providing a consistent and positive experience to their customers.
*Contractors enrolled in GAF certification programs are not employees or agents of GAF, and GAF does not control or otherwise supervise these independent businesses. Contractors may receive benefits, such as loyalty rewards points and discounts on marketing tools from GAF for participating in the program and offering GAF enhanced warranties, which require the use of a minimum amount of GAF products.