How do you find new leads in the construction industry? Is there a way to accurately source new projects that are relevant to your specialty with enough information to put you in with a chance of winning that contract? Many companies and local authorities advertise jobs on procurement websites but that means spending hours creating accounts to cover each sector / local authority then going through all the results never mind trying to keep track of all the passwords / user IDs etc. To combat that headache, there are a few lead providers on the market where you can buy relevant leads in areas that work for you; Glenigans and Barbour ABI to name a couple who source local authority plus commercial construction projects. Sounds perfect; pay a small fee and have thousands of construction leads wing their way to your computer screen. Leads are then easy to sort, filter, analyse and there are teams of people there to assist with any queries you may have. Are these leads enough to bring your product to market? Can you rely solely on this information to drum up new business?
Lead generation market leaders
If you are not familiar with lead providers these are simply companies who source information from planning departments on upcoming / proposed construction projects and make the information available to people like you and me for a monthly fee. There are literally thousands of new construction leads sourced and forwarded on a daily basis. Once these leads land at your door, you can do with them as you like; call them, email them, track companies that regularly seek your kind of product. Sounds perfect and can save hundreds of man hours trying to source these yourself, but does it work?
Buying your lead pitfalls
There are of course a few pitfalls to using these lead providers. Firstly, they concentrate on large projects over a certain value. Typically only projects over £250K are researched. Other projects that fall below this value are found and listed, but no follow-up / in-depth information is communicated. For a small to medium enterprise, this can mean that the majority of leads with meaningful information cannot be applied for direct but rather watched until a main contractor is awarded and try and secure a subcontract opportunity from them.
Another thing to bear in mind is that the information sourced is all in the public domain, therefore, whether it is found through a lead provider or someone trawling through planning consent data, the likelihood is that the person listed in the contact details will have been approached by numerous other companies trying to sell their product. It certainly is not unusual to find yourself speaking to someone who has grown tired of being ‘cold called’ by eager sales and marketing people trying to get a foot in the door.
Ensuring Quality Leads
Quality of leads is crucial when relying on lead generation information. From personal experience, there were issues with the main companies and the information they published. There were occasions where companies were listed as being awarded a specific contract when in fact they were merely listed on a framework agreement and had no idea whether they themselves would get the job.
Other issues included jobs being advertised as current but had been completed years before, or the value of the work being inaccurate.
There is no doubt however that using a lead provider is a more time efficient way of finding potential new contracts. Having used lead providers for some time, there is a regular stream of enquiries received because of purchased leads but experience has taught us that timing is very important when approaching new contacts from purchased leads. Our speciality is roof glazing, therefore we need to target contracts towards the end of their construction as the roof will go on last. By targeting new projects just after planning consent is granted or at tender stage, it could be that our name gets lost in a large pile of potential suppliers. However, if we contact the contractor just a few months before the forecast completion date we stand more of a chance of remaining top-of-mind and securing the business.
Other sources for gaining business
One thing does remain clear, using a lead provider alone will not secure your success. This needs to be something in your toolbox but not your sole supply of new business. Networking events, nurturing existing customers, maintaining a good reputation for word-of-mouth recommendations are all essential but don’t take our word for it. Why not sign up for a free trial? There are numerous suppliers out there such as Glenigans, In-tend and Barbour ABI. Construction Line can be used to put buyers in touch with suppliers and can also save your company valuable time when completing PQQ documents. Also remember that there are other completely free procurement websites that are useful for local authority or government funded procurement;