– D-Tools CEO, Randy Stearns
Would you like to shorten the sales cycle? How about eliminate the need for proposals revisions? What would it mean to your business if you could eliminate the competition? These are, of course, rhetorical questions, but achieving these results were just some of the ambitious goals D-Tools had in mind when mapping out our vision for Mobile Quote 2.0.
Mobile Quote 2.0 is a native iPad companion app designed exclusively for industry salespeople. The broader set of problems with the traditional sales process that Mobile Quote 2.0 set out to solve include the following:
- Incomplete and Hard to Read Handwritten Notes – Most salespeople resort to using a notepad when recording information in meetings with clients regarding their project. Some may have created an intake form in an attempt to standardize the structure of the data collected. Mobile Quote 2.0 is essentially a digital intake tool designed to efficiently and accurately capture system design requirements as well as pricing guidelines, room details and even site images, all of which are then automatically passed along for further design development.
- Answering the Question “How much will this cost?” – Designed to create an accurate project scope and budget in real time, Mobile Quote 2.0 offers salespeople the ability to display price breakdowns by system, by room and even as equipment vs. labor using attractive tables and graphs, eliminating the uncomfortable unknown that haunts many salespeople (and clients) as that initial client meeting comes to a close and both parties walk away wondering whether the proposal price will meet the stated budgetary parameters.
- Removing the Threat of Competition – When the salesperson and client part after that initial client meeting, regardless of how well the meeting went it is presumed that the client will meet with competitors while he awaits your proposal. However, if the client signs off on your scope and budget, he will feel that he has made a decision and be less inclined to waste his time speaking with others. Mobile Quote 2.0 is designed specifically to seek and obtain client approval and, in the process, prevent the threat of competition.
- Lengthy Sales Cycle – I am of the belief that when a prospective client indicates that he is ready to meet to discuss low voltage systems, he is actually ready to make a decision. The problem is, more often than not, this initial meeting merely sparks the beginning of what can be a long and tedious sales process. Mobile Quote 2.0 gives the client exactly what he wants, the ability to sign off on the low voltage systems decision so he can move on to the hundreds of other decisions related to his project. Of course, viewed through the lens of the systems contractor, reducing the length of the sales cycle in this fashion also drastically improves the efficiency of the sales team and drives top line growth.
- Multiple Proposal Revisions – Since developing the project scope and budget in Mobile Quote 2.0 is a collaborative process in which the client can view the price and, if desired, engage in a value engineering process on the spot, generally the client will have a comfort level with the result achieved so when a formal proposal is presented that matches what they agreed to previously, the likelihood of requiring revisions is markedly reduced.
- Design Inconsistencies – Left to their own devices, salespeople will discuss and even specify a wide range of solutions that may or may not comply with the company’s preferred design guidelines. When Mobile Quote 2.0 is set up with packages that represent only the company’s approved vendors and system design requirements, it reduces the salesperson’s ability and inclination to design one-of-a-kind creations.
- Design Oversights – Not all salespeople are well-versed in system design, so often system requirements come back from the field that are incomplete. Through the use of pre-established packages, the likelihood of design oversights is diminished.
- Lack of Pricing Transparency – After a salesperson leaves a client meeting with a view into the client’s financial wherewithal, the client may become concerned about being taken advantage of in the form of unfair pricing practices. But when the price is calculated right in front of the client in the same software used for all other clients, that fear, whether conscious or subconscious, is instantly dispelled because the client knows she is getting the same price as everyone else.
- Time Consuming Proposal Generation Process – When starting from scratch, proposal generation can be time consuming. But when all client information, system design requirements and even site notes and images are pushed from Mobile Quote 2.0 into D-Tools System Integrator, generating a proposal is merely a matter of reviewing and refining the current design, and then packaging it for presentation. There’s no double data entry so the time required to generate a proposal should be at least cut in half.
Developing an elegant app that solves all of these potential issues with the traditional sales process was no small feat, but Mobile Quote 2.0 delivers these results in three easy steps – (1) quote set-up, (2) item entry, and (3) scope and budget approval. Further, the salesperson can collect a design retainer or contract deposit on the spot, and even select how that payment amount is calculated – fixed fee, X dollars per square foot, or percentage of the estimated total.
It is D-Tools’ hope that Mobile Quote 2.0 will forever change the low voltage systems sales process in significant and beneficial ways. Future versions of the app will expand its capabilities to become an all-in-one sales tool.