What are some of the features that make working from home and being productive possible? Is there anything that can be done from a technological or procedural level to help?
You’ll need to develop an entirely different culture in this setup, and leadership is one of the most important aspects of creating successful remote operations.
In this episode, Ruben Ugarte from Active Prospect and I, talk about his experiences in different sectors within the home services realm. We also talked about the perks of working remotely.
Learn more with Ruben’s expertise in lead generation, acquisition, and management, especially for home service industries
Find out if your Sales Operation in Scalable
Or go to Jason’s HUB – www.JasonCutter.com
Connect with Ruben on LinkedIn
With nearly 20 years of experience in different sectors within the home services industry, Ruben Ugarte is an expert in all things lead generation, acquisition and management.
Jason: Hey, what’s going on everybody so glad that you could join me for another special episode of the scalable calls center sales podcast. I have a fun guest today. I’m looking forward to this because I met Ruben through a couple of conferences.
[00:00:14] We’ve spent a bunch of time together at various shows. And so today I have Ruben, Ugarte from active prospect on here to talk with. About what he’s seeing in the call center industry from his perspective at active prospect. And so he comes at it with nearly 20 years of experience at different sectors within the home services industry.
[00:00:34] And he is literally cause I’ve seen him in action, an expert in all things, lead generation acquisition and manage. Especially for home service industries and anything to do with that active prospect. He is the director of home services and clean tech, which means he’s focusing on helping those home service-based companies, uh, and clean technology like solar and things like that.
[00:00:56] Uh, helping them succeed with their marketing and sales campaigns. Ruben, welcome to the scalable call center sales pod. Oh, I’m excited.
Ruben: Thank you, Jason. I appreciate you inviting me and having me on and congrats on all the success you’ve had in your podcasts.
Jason: Thank you. I appreciate that. And in fact, one of the things that we did that was super fun was last year, if anyone wants, they can find it.
[00:01:19] It was really valuable. I felt early pandemic for the home service industry. It was you, myself and Jamie Von back from get the referral. And we did this kind of moderated panel discussion about. Home services, lead generation referrals with the pandemic. How do you sell, how do you shift when you can’t do in person?
[00:01:39] Uh, like you could in the beginning, let’s start since that time. Cause that was really fun, but that was, I didn’t look at the date, but then we’re talking like April, may of last year, 2020. What have you seen since then in the home service industry, as far as like their sales process, their sales strategies, their marketing, the lead gen, what are you seeing from your side?
[00:02:02] Yeah, I
Ruben: think between that time, right? Which, you know, April, may, we were just still going through how long this is going to last. What’s going to happen. There was just a lot of uncertainty during that podcast with Jamie and the, get the referral to. Since then I think the main pieces that we’ve seen is just the evolution.
[00:02:22] You’ve seen a lot of home service contractors or brands, figure it out where they’ve completely let go of a centralized call center. And they’ve gone completely remote using automated dialers and remote dialing systems. And I think that’s one of the biggest takeaways is companies saying, Hey, we’re going fully right.
[00:02:45] And now in 2021, staying fully remote and being as efficient, if not more efficient, that’s one of the big takeaways, you know, on our side, uh, seeing them with different home service friends.
Jason: Well, obviously some of that was requirement of necessity. It’s interesting to see how many of them are continuing that, right?
[00:03:04] Let’s say as restrictions, lift, where people could go back to the office, how many have made that work? What are some of the keys to. Making that work. Is there anything from, let’s say a technology or a process standpoint that you’ve seen, like any best practices?
Ruben: Yes. Certainly the ability to automate your workflow, being able to feed a dialing system that allows remote workers, whether it’s three or four or five, you know, when you see, you know, a smaller contractor or a regional contractor, all the way up to, you know, some of the brands that we work with have call centers or seeds set number in the hundreds.
[00:03:42] If not thousands. And I think the main focus, honestly, what I’ve seen the differences is the leader. How you create a culture in a remote environment rather than having standup meetings, where you have everybody in person and you kind of, you know, go over someone’s shoulder or, or whatever it may be, and kind of rail rod out, uh, with remote.
[00:04:03] So you have a whole different culture that you need to employ. And so I see that as being a number one factor and really the leadership of some of these brands that we work with and out there who are like, Hey, this is a new era. We’re doing remote, uh, appointment setting. We’re also doing remote sales in conjunction with onsite over the table, kitchen, table sales, and just that embracing.
[00:04:30] This new era and to go along with just the demand, right. Home service, everyone’s in their home. So everyone’s thinking about their home. And when you spend so much time in your home and you’re like, you know what, I want to do this to these windows. You know what? I could use a skylight or you know, what our kitchen needs to do that.
[00:04:49] So there’s a resurgence in home service inquiries opt-ins and just overall revenue for a number of different brands.
Jason: Well, and I think this was fascinating to watch this and to speak with you over the last year, even before then year and a half, and just see what’s happening with the industry. Because like you said, there’s this increase in people at home, such that they’re like, I want to do these things, or they have parts they want to fix or improve.
[00:05:18] And that at the intersection of the sales process, changing completely from knocking on doors or at the kitchen table to remote virtual phone, you know, video, whatever that is in a whole new way. And I appreciate what you said too, about the leadership. Because it’s so different. And this is across all industries where it’s one thing to be management by walking around or having meetings or chatting with people and others are hearing it over the cube wall.
[00:05:49] And everyone’s getting a piece of that versus how much effort it takes an intention. To help a remote team.
Ruben: Right? Absolutely. And for those who have been in a call center or at a call center, you didn’t, you, you usually have a core group of people who are at the top, right? Just like in any sales organization, you know, kind of leading and people feed off that energy when you’re in a confined space or an actual building and you have cubicles.
[00:06:17] So in one aspect you’re losing, you know, some of that, uh, you know, by, or that audience or that pump. But on the other hand, you have employees who have far more time for themselves, for their family, for their health. They’re not having drive sitting traffic. You know, I know there’s people out there, especially here in Southern California, which is why man, uh, people who drive an hour to their work and an hour back, well, they just got two hours of their lives back and I was weak.
[00:06:45] They got a whole 40 hours back or 30 to 40 hours back. To do what they want. You know, maybe you want a counselor, you don’t want to breed and all these different things. And I think the happiness and engagement of workers being remote was something that a lot of people just didn’t predict. You know, I think a lot of people always felt like, you know, maybe you’ll get one day to remote, you know, Wednesday or Friday, but to think that you could have a whole call center five days a week, be remote and still be as productive, if not more efficient and happy.
[00:07:18] I think has really changed the game for all those brands who are embracing the remote culture.
Jason: Yeah. It’s definitely paradigm shifting. I’ll just say it. Nobody would have imagined that a call center environment inside sales service, anything would have succeeded remote. That was never a thought that it was even possible.
Ruben: Absolutely. I think I’ll add the last piece and for that question. Yeah. You have the ability on the technology side with both lead generation software, including ours active prospect as a lead management tool, along with all the other technology layers of an automated dialer, Omni channel marketing from companies like hatch or drips, and the ability for contractors to layer in these technologies.
[00:08:08] And make the process streamlined has evolved. And those who were at the forefront and really captured the market over the last year, had these systems in place. Others, uh, had to pivot, right? If you did a lot of door knocking and that was primarily your main channel, and now you can’t do that. Uh, well, you’ve been forced to adopt technology.
[00:08:31] You’ve been forced to, uh, get into digital marketing or lead acquisition. And work with potential third-party providers. So both on the buyer side and on the lead vendor side, there’s been a number of very large players and including smaller regional companies and lead vendors who have really capitalized.
[00:08:50] And, you know, everyone that I talk to on a daily, weekly basis is saying they’re having the best year of the last decade. And so, you know, to be part of that and to be supporting all these home service brands has been.
Jason: I love it. So let’s take a step back because I’d like to say I did it on purpose, but I just get excited whenever we’re chatting, uh, with you.
[00:09:10] And I is explain a little bit about active prospect. Obviously I’ve had, uh, you know, doing several episodes with various members of the team and their perspective. But share with the people listening. So maybe they don’t know, or haven’t heard of active prospect. What do you do? Because I know one of the biggest things that I was confused by in the beginning was I thought you guys generated leads and sold leads and was a lead provider.
[00:09:35] Um, so just give us the explanation of what you do. And how that works for the home services and the clean tech.
Ruben: Yeah, absolutely. I think the perception that we are a lead vendor is still out there in common. I mean, I get, uh, you know, messages on LinkedIn or emails and people are like, Hey, I want to buy leads.
[00:09:54] And like, that’s great. That’s not what we do, but we have a number of partners, you know, that we can introduce you to, in terms of active prospect, what we do. We are a lead acquisition lead management platform tool that sits essentially in between the point of lead or a data or vendor entry, including your own organic sources, whether it’s Facebook, lead ads or Instagram or web forms that you’re capturing, you know, door knocking or apps like sales rabbit, along with any third-party lead vendor queen street owned adviser and monitored.
[00:10:29] And we sit in between your CRM or wherever system you’re sending those leads to historically companies would post these leads or enter them manually, um, into their CRM or their dialing and not necessarily have a road or, uh, the ability to filter, to reject, to enhance, to validate. So, what we do is we have a platform that sits in between your sources in between your end point or your CRM.
[00:11:03] That gives you the ability to what I like to say is. All the leads that you are taking in, because once it hits your CRM, once it hits your dialer, you own it like that’s yours, right? It’s the lead vendors, a job to get you a quality or to get you that lead data that you requested, uh, once you’ve accepted it.
[00:11:23] And you’ve done your diligence, whether it’s outbounding or emailing or however you’re doing your outreach, hopefully, you know, all, all of those. It’s your job to either return those traditionally, which is a manual process. But with our system, you can do real time validation, verification. You can check for phone numbers, make sure they’re active.
[00:11:43] You can scrub per DNC. You can scrub for litigated, right? Blacklist Alliance, dnc.com. You can pull title for a home. So if Jason cutter fills out a web form, uh, we can check to see if Jason cutter owns that home. You can also do an experience, uh, you know, credit, uh, Experian credit score based on the zip plus four.
[00:12:04] And you can also deliver not just to your CRM, but to multiple end points, right? Maybe you’re delivering to your CRM. You also want to send it to your dial and you also want to send it to maybe a third party rehashed. Like a hat or a drips. Um, these are all things that we’re able to do in real time. And the analogy that I like to use, and really we’re essentially like a data highway, you know, lead is getting on that highway and you have a destination which should be your, your end journey or your CRM dialer, where that highway and all that highway, you can validate information.
[00:12:40] You can grab information from anywhere on the internet, via API. You can choose to on that highway, make a decision that maybe I don’t want to go to the end of this road and journey because it’s not of quality. So you have this ability on this road to get off, get on, go back, put it in reverse, but ultimately make it to your destination so that you improve the quality of the data that you’re taking in from all sources that you’re generating from.
[00:13:07] I love it. I
Jason: think that’s great. And when a company starts getting into lots of deals, Marketing and lead generation and or lead buying, right? Because you said it’s, it could be what they’re generating themselves through those channels. It could be what they’re buying. You will get to a point as a company, because I’ve seen it many times where I’ve been in and now as a consultant where there’s many sources and then it starts to get messy.
[00:13:32] And again, like you’re saying, there’s the validating, the enhancing, uh, and then the directing, what do you want it to do? Where do you want it to go? And I think that’s important. Now, one of the things that I also know to be true, and this would be for people who are listening to this, who are in home services, clean tech, something related to home services.
[00:13:50] My experience is generally like, if they’re not fully on board with technology, if they’re not running full steam ahead, like the ones that you were talking about, or they have the technology, they have all the sales tools in place that the tech stack with the marketing it’s either that, or there’s somewhere at the other extreme, which may be just spreadsheet.
[00:14:10] Right. And things like spreadsheets, maybe they have a CRM. Maybe they don’t, maybe they have a phone system. Maybe they don’t. Last time I saw you at a conference pre COVID. I met somebody who they were doing a lot of revenue per year for a roofing company on
Ruben: spreadsheets. Yeah. I like to give those people hugs and just like, Hey man.
[00:14:31] Cut bless you. You know, you’re working hard, uh, with that Google sheet or spreadsheet. So yeah, there is a lot of companies that do that, and I would say it’s becoming more rare to come across a very successful firm. That’s working on it. Spreadsheets, you know, I’ll take, you know, my, my family’s business, my family owns a roofing company in Los Angeles.
[00:14:53] So I have some construction background I’ve sold, uh, roofing, both residential and commercial. I worked for several large solar companies selling residential and small commercial solar. So I know what it’s like to be at the kitchen table. There comes a point. In your lead gen ecosystem where you can not manage effectively the data that you’re bringing in most of the time, the main goal, obviously, always the goal is to get appointments and sales.
[00:15:20] Um, so a lot of buyers who work for companies take on this perception that. As long as I’m out there buying leads and getting them into my system and the dialing team or the call center styling, I’ve done my job thought process. Doesn’t allow you to really optimize, to manage, to drive down costs of
Jason: acquisition, to
Ruben: scale affordably and safely.
[00:15:46] You’re basically up in the air and you’re able to kind of get there. And so what I see is companies who are doing anywhere between 20 to. 40 50 sales maybe can operate on a spreadsheet and it’s tough. And they have somebody full time kind of working and not really focusing, not the larger problems, but just getting stuff in.
[00:16:08] Once you hit that number of a thousand leads or 20 30, 40 sales, it gets to the point where you need to have tools. To help you with the reporting to help you onboard lead vendors faster, to help test those vendors quickly and to ultimately get those leads into your system and scale in an optimal time, right?
[00:16:31] Like a couple of minutes, an hour, rather than what, you know, some of them, maybe the listeners out there maybe spend days or weeks trying to get a lead vendor and their leads into your system. It shouldn’t be that difficult. You know, when you have a right tech stack, you’re able to it’s like, I like to say it’s like driving a Ferrari, right?
[00:16:51] Like when you’re buying leads, you’re driving. But when you’re driving a Ferrari, you’re able to do things. You’re able to go fast. You’re able to get things done quickly and rev up. And that’s what our technology, along with all of our marketplace partners. Do for a lot of the buyers that are out, there were a lot of the brands that are out there all the way from, you know, empire today.
[00:17:12] Terminex some of the manufacturers out there that we work with are SunPower American standard on the bathroom, remodeled side. And whether you’re a very large manufacturer or brand like the ones I mentioned or you’re like my family’s roofing company, you can really have a lot more success and time to really focus in on optimizing rather than just the process of buying, getting leads somewhere and call it.
[00:17:42] So that’s really where we come in for those brands or those organizations who are like, okay, I’m really looking for the next level of sophistication
Ruben: and abilities. So the
Jason: big thing that I see, and I know to be true is that if an organization is operating off of spreadsheets, right. And if there’s anyone out there listening or watching this, like we’ve seen it, you’ve seen an I’ve seen it.
[00:18:07] And we know that it’s possible to make that transition. But I also know, I know that that feels overwhelming right in this day and age of you’re still using spreadsheets, unless you just start. It’s the leap into a tech stack just feels like this giant thing, and you don’t have an it team, or you don’t have a staff for that.
[00:18:24] And you don’t know where to start and what to do, like what, and outside of active prospects. Cause I don’t know if that’s the first place to start. It might be. What do you see as that recommendation to help someone like go from, from crawling to walking, to running towards the Ferrari? Right? Like if they’re on spreadsheets, like what would you suggest?
[00:18:44] Like the next tools for them? Yeah,
Ruben: no, I always get asked that. I think we’re certainly at a point with our technology lead management, where there’s a few things you definitely need to have before you work with active prospect. Number one is an end point or a CRM, or what people called lead management systems, basically where you’re putting all your data.
[00:19:06] So it kind of getting off spreadsheets and putting all your leads into a central system for your sales reps, for your customer service team. For even your operations team to work those consumers, those humans, those people, the next piece that you should have a right connected to that is an automated dialer or a dialing system.
[00:19:29] Whether you have three or four people, or whether you have 150 seats. Having that CRM or that database along with your dialer will propel you to the next level of lead acquisition customer acquisition. Right? Because really nobody really cares about leads. What we care about is customers. So those two pieces are.
[00:19:54] We’ve seen people with doctor software and maybe not necessarily have those pieces and I’m talking on the buyer side and it just doesn’t work. You need to have those two, two pieces there. And then, um, once you have those two pieces and you’re growing and you’re like, wow, I’m getting more out of this, then it’s time to go.
[00:20:12] Okay. How do I optimize my process? And that’s where we fit in, right? Like, we’re right there. In the middle between all your sources and where you’re generating and your CRM and dialer. And so what we do is we help once again, like the data highway or I’ll use another analogy, air, traffic control, where you have all these leads coming in and they’re landing on the same strip with us.
[00:20:34] You’re able to really have an air traffic controller. A hub where you can direct traffic and you can say, you can land now. You know what? I’m not, you can’t land here. You’re going to need to go back and really start to direct the traffic of all your sources and all your partners, um, so that you purchase the best quality lead data with your marketing budget.
[00:20:58] So those are the three pieces. And then on top of that, once you have those three pieces, which once again are a CRM, a dialer and a lead management tool. The other pieces that I see are on down funnel on the delivery. So companies who have those three pieces in place are now optimizing their outreach with omni-channel strategies, where once the lead hits, because now it’s automated in real time.
[00:21:24] And they’re calling now, they’re doing text messages at the same time with a photo. Now they’re emailing simultaneously. So now the homeowner or the consumer. Is now getting brand awareness or a contact through methods that they want. And some people, uh, will never answer their phone, but they’ll certainly respond to an SMS or text.
[00:21:47] Others are like, Hey, I’m too busy. I get to my emails at eight o’clock at night, and that’s what I’m going to answer. So really serving up an outreach approach. That gives the consumer the ability to accept your outreach in the terms that they want to
Jason: pay. It’s Jason here, we’ll be right back to the podcast in a moment, but first, are you ready to help your inside sales team close more deals?
[00:22:10] In my experience, there’s a certain percentage of your team that acts more like order takers than sales professionals. The first step to creating a scalable sales. Is to equip your reps with the right mindset and proven strategies to transform them into quota breakers, to build a team of authentic persuaders that will crush their goals.
[00:22:27] Email firstname.lastname@example.org or go to www.Cutterconsultinggroup.com. Okay, so to recap what you said, which is great, meta a CRM. Some warehouse, some bucket that everything is going to go into, uh, so that it can be dealt with. And there’s a ton of different options, which is great. A lot of people hear CRM and they think HubSpot, they think Salesforce, they think this giant machine like this, this giant project, and there’s easier ones.
[00:22:56] I always recommend, like, if you really overwhelmed, start with one. If I’m out
Ruben: there, when we connect, we can take in any lead from any source and we can deliver to any CRM, any end point that’s out there in the
Jason: coast. And there’s tons of great ones up. Yeah. And there’s a lot of simple ones focused on each industry, such that like it’s meant for you, whether you’re in roofing or solar or whatever it is.
[00:23:20] And then just makes it easy. Don’t have to worry about having a programmer on staff for things like Salesforce, which is a beast. It could be great, but it’s usually not the best place to start. So the CRM. Some kind of dealer something. I would
Ruben: just give a shout out to Acculink on the roofing vertical, who’s done a phenomenal, the job of building a CRM and really having a large customer base or roofing base Aurora, you know, is another one on the solar side, which is top of mind and one that all the majors use.
[00:23:48] So the design tool piece. You know, another one is hover, uh, shout out to the Hubbard team who has a 3d modeling software that a lot of people are adopting, but yeah, a lot of design softwares for different verticals have a CRM component and also a lot of manufacturers, right? Some power for their dealers, Owens Corning GAF.
[00:24:09] A lot of these companies have some type of system. That those contractors can use. So you don’t necessarily have to go to the Salesforce or show hose, and if you can afford those and you have the ability. Great. Um, but there’s a lot of very specific CRMs
Jason: that are out there that are appealing. It’s so funny hearing you talk about those brands, because literally I can visualize all of those from the last time I saw you.
[00:24:32] Like I mentioned, pre COVID when we were at ire in Dallas, literally right before that was like February of 2020, and seeing them and meeting them and seeing their booth. So it’s funny because I can visualize all of those. So somebody has gotten some technology in place. They have these things going on.
[00:24:49] They want to add this, you know, lead superhighway. You know, the lead conduit type of platform in there. And you’re looking at this for home services based on your experience, just from like a analytics and numbers, standpoint, optimization standpoint, what are you seeing in the metrics that companies.
[00:25:11] Aren’t tracking enough of that. You like, you know, that if they track certain things, whether it’s the leads, uh, you know, on the sales side, whatever that is, that it’s, it’s a game changer for the companies who are still evolving. Is there anything that comes up?
Ruben: Yeah. You know, I’m going to take it back and kind of like with the simplicity of it.
[00:25:30] Is cost of acquisition in real time, on a daily basis, a lot of companies spend money in a given month. And then at the end of the month, they’ll take the number of sales divided by their media and go, Hey, we did really good last month or this month, or, Hey, we need to make some changes that will only get you so far, because at that point you’ve either failed.
[00:25:57] And are dealing with that after the results, or you’ve missed opportunity to scale in week one or week two or whatever it is, uh, because you weren’t tracking it in real time or on a weekly basis. So I think the big piece is being able to have as a buyer or as a marketing director, as a call center director or VP or whatever your title may be, the ability to, with confidence to know today’s cost of acquisition.
[00:26:23] Is it. This month’s cost of acquisition as this month, over month, year over year, this is where we’re at as compared to them. This is where we’re forecasting to go, to be able to have that vision of where you’re at today. Is a game changer. Uh, the reporting capability that you have will empower you to make better decisions for your team.
[00:26:48] And so that’s a big piece that I feel is simplistic, but it’s so relevant. There there’s so many brands, very successful brands that we work with that sell hundreds of deals. But couldn’t tell you. What their cost of acquisition by channel or by sub vertical is, and that’s a problem. So we also help with that.
[00:27:10] And on the reporting side, you also have many tools like in the CRM that can potentially help you there. But I think that’s one of the biggest ones is having the ability to do day in, day out a morning, any evening, cost of acquisition, and be able to know. I know, running a call center, Hey, between 11 and two, it was far better to call leads.
[00:27:34] And I might be knowing that you might say, Hey, I’m going to buy more leads during that time. And on the opposite side of that, Hey, maybe between four and six in my region. We get the least amount of demos and sales. So I’m going to pull back on spend. And so those types of things are really what allow you to calibrate your marketing team, your call center, and just your outbound ability for your brand.
Jason: love it. I think that metric, I completely agree with you. It was so important that that cost of acquisition cost per acquisition costs for acquiring a new client. Um, and yeah, as you’re explaining that, one of the things I tell people when it comes to the reporting is imagine. A professional sports team without a scoreboard.
[00:28:18] And then at the very end, then all of a sudden, the scoreboard shows who won or lost and what the score is. Right. And it’s like what? We’re kind of keeping track in our head, but we didn’t really know and didn’t know the stats. And then all of a sudden you find out and that’s a huge difference, huge difference.
Ruben: And I think as you implement technologies, you have more time because you’re not in the weeds or on the day to day. You know, trying to get leads into your CRM or filling out a spreadsheet or all this stuff. They, you know, traditionally people do when they start up a lead gen campaign or an affiliate program.
[00:28:50] Once you start getting to the level of reporting. Now you can start to challenge maybe the way your organization thinks about cost of acquisition. There’s a lot of brands and companies out there who have a fixed cost of acquisition. So I’ll give you an example in solar and I’ll speak for California historically having a 2000 or $3,000 cost of acquisition.
[00:29:10] Was acceptable over time, it’s gone down to 2000. Now you can have it at 1500, but it was always a fixed cost of acquisition that people would strive for. And they wouldn’t take into account. The size of the system. So a hundred thousand dollars deal would be acquainted at the same cost of acquisition as a $30,000 deal, which just isn’t fair.
[00:29:33] It doesn’t make mathematical sense because certainly the revenue on the 70,000 plus revenue on the a hundred grand deal versus the 30 K deal should allow for that cost of acquisition to be higher. And so I think getting out of the fixed cost of acquisition mentality and moving to either a cost per mile, Or a cost per square for roofing or whatever your sub vertical is.
[00:29:54] And being able to tie in the cogs or cost of goods on the operational side to your marketing can really be another game changer for organizations where they are not just evaluating it on how much their media spend is. Or, uh, for those organizations who are, are more sophisticated, they’ll take their media span, they’ll take their labor for their call center.
[00:30:17] I was on a call earlier with a company who was like, yeah, we even throw the tutor equipment in there and the lease for the call center. And then we bake it in some organizations, take the sales directors commission, or a sales reps comp and include it in. However you do it. Always have an evolving, uh, philosophy.
[00:30:36] And you can do that when you have all the right reporting and you can say, Hey, maybe it’s our organization. We don’t look at it this way, but we look at it that way. Are we looking at both ways? And so I think as you have better reporting, you know, it’ll help you evolve, uh, help you be confident in representing your department and your division, and ultimately give you confidence when you’re going in front of your CFO or your accounting team, your CEO, whoever you report.
Jason: Yeah. And with that reporting, you can then look at your cost per acquisition in the moment, in the day, in the first half of the day, second half, and then also by media campaign. Right? So how is one lead source doing versus another, you know, Facebook ads versus the web leads you’re buying or whatever it looks like.
[00:31:18] And then also by salesperson or whoever you have in your call center is how are they doing. That mass calculation at the end of the month, looking at okay, today in the first half of the day, this rep is doing well on these leads. This rep is doing well on these leads. What kind of adjustments do we need to make to just, just absolutely win, but without changing too much of what you’re doing.
Ruben: Correct. And then once you get through all those pieces that you understand, then you can get into some of the higher levels of KPI reporting where you’re, you know, you’re looking at how many dials per channel and how many dials per rep, and then you’re servicing your leads and routing, right. Uh, based on, uh, some of those metrics or for some of the more sophisticated brands that are out there using demographic, appends like, uh, zip code or equity or income for homeowners and saying, Hey, this fits our profile.
[00:32:15] We’re going to do far more dials and invest far more in outreach. Than we are with this consumer who necessarily doesn’t fit our, uh, you know, closed one profile or, uh, consumer behavior. So really knowing who you’re going after, you know, you can really evolve your entire marketing team to have a much more.
[00:32:35] Uh, precise sniper type, uh, ask strategy rather than historically when people think of call centers, you think of just like, like dialing and someone’s like, Hey, you know, like you’re just the more dials you put in the more you’re going to get out. And that just philosophy just doesn’t work or resonate as much as, as it did in the
Ruben: or early two thousands.
Jason: So I know that you’re really good at what you do. Because you really want to help companies succeed. Right? Like, I didn’t even know that it came from the fact that your family had the roofing company and that was like in the way background for you. But that comes through when I’ve heard you talk to companies, when somebody doesn’t sign up with you though, or doesn’t want to move forward with active projects.
[00:33:21] What’s usually in their way or what do you wish they knew, right. If there’s people listening is now and you’re just like, Hey, you want to whisper in their ear? Like, here’s just what you wish they would change or what, what is that? Cause I can imagine that happens and it’s frustrating when, you know, you could help somebody, but they’re just not ready or not.
Ruben: Yeah. Yeah. I think, uh, obviously in sales you are not going to get every sale and that’s kind of part of it. I think the big thing that. I like to, I mean, ultimately customers don’t waste my time. I wasted their time. Right. And I never feel like when someone doesn’t sign or someone doesn’t move forward, that they just don’t get it.
[00:34:00] Right. Like, I never feel like, oh man, they, they, and they just don’t care. Right. Or if they go to the competitor, I always self-reflect and go like, what could I do? Right. Look in the mirror and not up the window. And I always feel that. From a technology standpoint, if you’re looking at active prospect as just a technology.
[00:34:18] Yes, we do all the things that I mentioned. Uh, yes, we have phenomenal tech, but ultimately I feel the active prospect brand and myself, you know, we’re really a partner. Like I enjoy connecting our buyers or, or even our sellers. And connecting them with other partners, whether it’s integration partners, design software, outreach software, you know, if you’re a seller connecting you with buyers for the leads that you’re selling and then ultimately buyers connecting them with sellers and ultimately getting people, uh, in a situation where you’re a connector, right?
[00:34:54] Like, you know, I’m amazed that I’m trying to really get people together. And some people want that and see value and go, Hey, this is kind of a full service technology agency approach. And then others are like, listen, I have your tech, I have another tack. I have these. And I’m like looking at this number.
[00:35:12] And, and so it just really varies. But I think the main thing I would tell people who don’t buy today is I’m here tomorrow. And if it wasn’t the right time, or if we didn’t do a good enough job today that down the road, we’re here to service you. We’re here to support you. We have a very unique position in the lead acquisition software ecosystem.
[00:35:33] We’re one of the only companies that has both the compliance TCPA solution, as well as a lead management tool that has a real-time bidding pink post capability. And we have some of the largest sellers and largest buyers who trust. To really handle their business, right? Like we’re at the very top of the funnel.
[00:35:52] And if we stop working, you can hope that the CRM, the dialer, your salespeople, everybody kind of all stops. So there’s a lot of trust that comes in working with us. And I truly understand that and I value that. I think the big thing is letting them know, Hey, we’re, we’re growing. We’ve gone from when I got here three years ago, 25 folks based on good old Austin, Texas, all the way to about 120 people worldwide.
[00:36:17] We have thousands of customers who have trusted us, including some of the largest brands like lending tree, home advisor, and Unilever all the way down to, uh, some of the local regional solar companies and roofing company. That are in Southern California, New York, New Jersey, you know, uh, Portland. So, um, I enjoy working with everybody.
[00:36:37] I think the biggest piece for me. Is seeing a company or brand who evaluates our technology really buys into the concept that I’m, that we’re selling. And it really goes, you know what, I’m going to stand up a lead acquisition channel and affiliate channel. And seeing them go from buying a couple of hundred leads or a thousand leads to them buying a hundred thousand leads and going from 10 or 15 seats to 50, 80 seats, and a matter of.
[00:37:05] 12 months, 24 months like that for me is like, that gets me excited because those are people who those are real jobs, you know, a good telemarketer, a good appointment setter. Um, depending on what industry you’re in can make anywhere from 70 to a hundred thousand dollars. If they’re setting appointments and getting sales, uh, and you know, traditionally a call center, you know, occupation is maybe not as glamorous, right?
[00:37:32] But there are some phenomenal, and I always believe the most important person in an organization is the appointment center, because they’re the ones who do everything for everyone, right? They’re the first contact. They’re the first reflection of your brand and your company and your services. And without them doing their job, Nothing else matters.
[00:37:53] So I take a lot of, uh, pride and it makes me happy to see organizations who use our tech scale and grow. And I don’t know if you knew this, but before coming on board with active prospect, I was a client of active prospect for about five years. I worked for a solar company called horizon solar in Southern California.
[00:38:13] I was one of the first 30 employees who worked at that firm and we went from 30 employees to over 1,070. Uh, VC acquisitions. And during our peak, we were selling over 500, uh, solar installs on a monthly basis. And we went from having one or two people calling the leads and me kind of buying leads to having a floor of 50, 60 folks and purchasing anywhere from 15 to 20,000 leads a month in a matter of 12 months.
[00:38:44] And people would always say, man, you guys are growing. You’re doing so great. But in actuality, It was the technology stack that we implemented, right. It was the lead management tool. It was the dialer, it was the CRM optimization. It was the communication between those two systems or those systems that really led to us being able to scale affordably and safely, which is my goal with everybody.
[00:39:08] I love it.
Jason: I think that’s amazing. One final question I have for you is looking at where things have been in the industry, home services, cleaning. Over your career, right. To this point. And then we have. What happened over the last, let’s call it 15, 18 months. Right? We’re recording this in late July, uh, 2021.
[00:39:30] Where do you see, or what trends you see coming up for these industries that you focused on the rest of 2021 going into 2022? What is Ruben’s crystal ball kind of seeing that’s on the horizon for them or things that they should be aware of or mindful.
Ruben: Yeah, I think the big things are the changing homeowner and the age of consumers and how they are willing to accept and buy.
[00:39:59] And for companies who are very successful home service brands who have been successful since the seventies and eighties and nineties, a lot of folks have this mentality of like work. Then, then it’s going to work now and we’re going to plug away the way that we’ve done it. While with the evolution of cell phone capabilities, social media people be wanting to visualize things.
[00:40:21] I mean, shoot, you have 3d technology. You have AR you have VR coming down. The companies who are positioning themselves now to outreach, to design and to sell. And obviously you can install virtually, right. But, uh, to do all these things, In the way a consumer wants, which is instant now on my phone, I think that is the big takeaway that I’m seeing.
[00:40:48] And I see evolving is your average age of homeowner is becoming younger and younger, and those who are 20 or in their thirties, they want to do things on their phone and unless your brand is willing to compete. To making that a strategic, uh, goal and being able to do things in a more automated, streamlined fashion, your market share in your region will go away.
[00:41:15] And the brands that I see who have adopted this and who are at the forefront using 3d model design tools and no longer kind of doing the old school home service kind of thing. You know, Jed, I kinda, you know, you know, kitchen table stuff, which is kind of what home service brands are known for our home contractors and have made the process of purchasing a roof, windows, doors, fencing, solar have made it not only clear and transparent.
[00:41:50] But educational in a timely fashion. I think those companies are elevating their game, going to continue to grow and will give regional companies who historically had to stay in their region. We’ll give them the ability and confidence to expand the way you’re seeing companies like a developer roofing or a power home solar, or a sun pro solar momentum, solar, all these companies started regionally and have now expanded and are offering across
Jason: multiple, multiple states if not nationwide.
Ruben: So I feel that is the big takeaway and the companies who can adopt that. They they’re they’re top of the funnel, uh, process. Aren’t going to crush it.
Jason: Got it. Love it makes sense. I’m just visualizing. Augmented reality on the phone, in the house or whatever it is and looking at things that’s super cool.
[00:42:44] All right. So if people want to find out more about the company, I know they can go to active prospect.com. If they want to find out more about you or get in touch. I know one of the best ways where you’re super active is on LinkedIn and I love your LinkedIn URL. People can search it. Uh, Rubin G a R T E, but what’s funny is your URL is Rubin solar junkie.
Ruben: junkie. Yeah. I’m a solar junkie. I love solar and it’s really fun to not just focus on solar companies, but now we work with all types of roofing companies, window companies, flooring companies, manufacturers. And so for me, As a home service, kind of like, you know, someone who loves the industry and who really wants to see people grow.
[00:43:28] It’s been awesome. Um, yeah. Please hit me up on LinkedIn. You can always message me whether you’re a buyer, whether it’s seller, whether you’re someone who’s just interested in understanding our technology more. By all means, please let me know. Let me know that you, you saw this podcast with Jason and I appreciate you, Jason.
[00:43:44] I think what you’re doing here is phenomenal. Keep on doing what you’re doing and I’m just, you know, I’m really thankful for giving myself time, as well as active prospect
Jason: to be here with you. Thanks for that. And of course, thanks for being here. Uh, like I said, early on, it’s been great to get to know you through different shows and conferences and whatnot.
[00:44:02] So it’s been super fun. Thanks again, Rubin for coming on here and sharing everything. I appreciate it. A ton.
Ruben: Thank you so much. Appreciate it.