Let's be honest: as accountants, we're generally not talented sales people. It comes down to lack of training and (probably) personality.
Passionate business owners are serious about accounting. Often, their business is their "baby", and selling outsourced accounting services to them requires a personal touch. We need to earn their trust.
We found salespeople in our business need:
- Sufficient knowledge of the services they are selling (i.e someone who is a trained accountant with experience).
- Confidence in the tools available: to be able to come up with a pricing model and a proposal quickly, the "sales person" needs to be confident that the pricing is consistent, calculated fairly, and doesn't result in a low-balled price that will get him/her into trouble with his principal.
- Talent - whether you have some or not, you'll probably know what I mean.
For years, we have struggled to come up with a pricing and proposal tool that met our needs. This has made scaling and growing our sales function very difficult because either:
- We as the principals were personally involved in the majority of sales discussions; or
- The lead time from proposal meeting to presenting a proposal to the client took too long...manually calculating a price from scratch, comparing it to pricing on other clients to assess consistency, then running it by one of the principals to ensure the price was ok.
- Tracking and follow-up of proposals was manual, and subject to human error – simply forgetting to follow up.
An app like Proposal+ comprehensively meets all our requirements. Building our pricing structures and calculations in the app means we are 100% certain of consistent pricing that is not below our minimum thresholds.
This gives our sales team the confidence they need to sell value instead of hours: clients pay for the end result of our services, instead of the process.
Fully customisable proposal and engagement templates create uniformity in our sales documents, and the need for referral back to one of the principals is eliminated.
The lead time from meeting to proposal has been shortened massively.
All of this has enabled us to significantly grow our sales function and improve its effectiveness. The same number of sales people can now handle many more proposals than before, and turn them around quicker. Our senior accounting staff now have the confidence to be sales people because they have a reliable, effective tool at their disposal.
As principals, we are much less involved in the daily detail of the sales process so we are freed up to focus on more strategic areas of the business.
I'd recommend this tool to anyone who's serious about getting their services to the right clients at the right price.