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5 Tips to increase the conversion of Quotes into Sales

Conversions are the bottom line of business – the end goal.

Granted, there are no shortcuts. You have to produce well-structured quotes and tenders that provide compelling reasons to choose your company, and you have to do it consistently over the long haul.

But no matter how well prepared your quotes and tenders are, they never hit the mark 100% of the time, so there’s always room for improvement. There’s also the issue of prospects taking their time to sign on the dotted line and make your proposal less than a pressing priority.

So, how do you strike the right balance, and increase the conversion of quotes into sales? Here are five tips to boost your trustworthiness and your conversions.

1. USE CRM

A good knowledge of your prospects enables you to develop quotes that target their specific need, but where do you get, store and sort information about your contacts? A customer relationship management system can be a powerful tool in your quote-to-sale armoury.

MYOB EXO CRM Module and other similar solutions can offer you complete visibility and let you record your prospect’s quote likes and dislikes, their location, their spending patterns, age and gender, tastes, needs and buying habits. This will give you a detailed picture of their spending power, giving you the opportunity to modify your quotes and devise them according to their liking.

2. LEVERAGE CUSTOMER MANAGEMENT SOLUTIONS TO ADDRESS LEADS EARLY

An article published in The Harvard Business Review pointed out that leads addressed within the first sixty minutes are seven times more likely to develop into meaningful conversions. Prospects may have questions about quotes, product features, the stock available, etc. These need to be addressed quickly if you want to see an uptick in conversions.

Doing all this requires a unique customer management solution, such as the one found in EXO finance. Companies can use it to manage all the customer contact details to manage quotes, invoices, orders, stock, inventory and more, along with sales and marketing activities. Such solutions can help you comprehensively understand your customers and manage your companies and quote contracts; the sales staff will love the real-time stock updates as it will enable efficient addressing of prospect queries.

3. IMPROVE QUOTES BY USING OLD PROJECT JOBS AS A TEMPLATE

You can manage the profitability of your projects and jobs in real time by providing direct visibility of all your process, input and time costs, including labour hours, materials, equipment hours and consulting hours.

This is possible through job and project costing solutions that enable you to identify any variances and make appropriate quotes. And by reviewing previous jobs in areas like job resources, cost types, cost groups, job types, job resources and, most importantly, quote terms, you can save time on complex projects.

4. INTEGRATE SALES MESSAGES

Integrate marketing and sales messages into your proposal. Since quotes are a part of the sales process, you need to reinforce the reasons to choose your company versus one of the competitors.

If you don’t provide them a reason to choose you, you could end up being a textbook example of a poorly handled sales proposition. So ensure that your prospects don’t simply base their decision on the quoted price.

5. INVOLVE THE KEY DECISION MAKERS

Once you identify who key decision makers are, talk to them and involve them in the sales process in order to expedite the quote for the prospect. This also lets you handle any avenues for buying objection with the prospect involved.

Once there is an agreement, send the quote document promptly in a professional manner. Talk it through with the person who is responsible for the ultimate decision. While it’s not always possible to do this, it doesn’t hurt to try getting input of key decision makers.

How to successfully implement a change of Accounting Systems

Your accounting system effectively documents all the activity in your business and provides critical information to make good business decisions. If you’ve outgrown your accounting system and you’re moving to a new and improved model (like MYOB Exo!), it’s absolutely necessary that the transition is as seamless as possible so no information falls through the cracks.

To successfully transition to a new accounting system, you need to consider these factors:

CHANGE MANAGEMENT

A smooth transition starts with preparing your staff for change and guiding them through the process. First, communicate why your firm is moving to a new accounting software system. While the transition might require a lot of work on behalf of some key staff members, explain that your business will benefit from the new system in the long run.

Once you’ve explained why you’re making the transition, train your staff to implement the change. Schedule some time and verify that your current accounting procedures are documented. Work with your software provider to create a plan of conversion. Ensure that all stakeholders (accounting and finance staff, operations, senior management and even sales if your accounting system is linked to your inventory or job costing functions) are involved in planning the conversion.

UNDERSTANDING YOUR UNIQUE BUSINESS

Your company has processes that are unique to its particular industry. A retailer, for example, accounts for inventory. On the other hand, a manufacturer must account for raw materials and work in progress. You need to consider your unique business processes and how they link to your accounting structure in order to implement a smooth software conversion.

TEST YOUR NEW SYSTEM

Ideally you should have a transition period in order to test the new system is tracking data in the same way as the old system and avoid missing anything out. Run a set of transactions concurrently through your current and new system and review the results to ensure they are accurate.

Consider a denim jeans manufacturer for example. They decide to run transactions through their new system, at the same time, they process data through their existing (live) system. If their new software is operating properly, they should get the same accounting results as their current system produces. In this case, that means that the same dollar amount of denim is moved into production using both accounting systems. Both programs also post the same number of units, the same sales intake, same profit figure etc.

A FINAL SET OF TRANSACTIONS

Before you implement your new system, generate a set of adjusted financial statements at the end of a particular period. That “clean” set of financials will be your starting point for a new system. At the end of October, for example, you print a trial balance and post your accounting adjustments. Once you’re satisfied with your adjusted trial balance, you generate October financial statements (balance sheet, income statement, etc.).

GOING LIVE

Say you decide to go live with your new accounting software on November 1st. You’ve communicated the November conversion data to your staff. Each person in the organisation has provided his or her input on the implementation process. Your staff has a new operations manual and has trained on the new software.

At various points after software implementation, you analyse the results that are generated by the new software. You use your October 31st accounting data to ensure that November accounting activity is posted correctly.

These tips can help you have a smooth transition to your new accounting system.

WORK WITH AN EXPERT

Consider working with an accounting software expert to help you with the implementation process. We are available to talk through your particular situation with you and provide advice to help make your software switchover seamless. Contact us at (08) 9328 1678 or via our contact form and we’ll get in touch!

5 reasons you need a Mobile CRM

As a business owner, two of your main goals will be to improve communication with your customers and to streamline your business practices. If you want to succeed in business, then you need to be able to contact your customers quickly and effectively, while at the same time making your business more efficient.

Luckily, there is a new technology that helps you to do both. Its name? Mobile customer relationships management software – or mobile CRM for short.

Mobile CRM takes advantage of the fact that clients are now on smartphones or tables, and wish to communicate quickly immediately with suppliers – they want to know the status of their order or your stock levels there and then – mid-meeting, not once you’ve travelled back to the office to check it out.

If you’re looking to grow your business or to improve your customer communications, then you need to consider mobile CRM, and here’s why:5 reasons you need a mbile CRM

Increase your revenue quickly
As a first benefit, you can quickly increase your revenue and bottom line. With mobile CRM you can give customers the answers they require quickly – finalise projects and deals before you even leave a meeting.

You can access the information straight away, rather than waiting to get back to the office. The faster you can communicate with customers, the faster deals get done. Simple!

Faster response times for clients
Fast response times to clients equals good customer service. Mobile CRM means that no matter where you are or what you’re doing, you can respond to a client. What’s more you can also solve urgent or important matters instantly.

Clients don’t like waiting for you to get back to them. If they have a problem and you don’t respond, it’s often not long before they consider taking their business elsewhere.

Don’t lose clients because of avoidable delays. Embrace mobile CRM and start providing outstanding customer services that your clients will rave about.

Stronger relationships with clients
Fast response times by themselves are not enough if you don’t have the right answers. When you respond you need to have all relevant information about the client at your fingertips. This way you can go into detail about their account, and also discuss current issues or projects that they have.

It’s customer service 101 – when you provide these two elements together you show your customers that you care about their business – you’re up-to-speed on their account and your business processes are tight and controlled.

Mobile CRM allows you to do this by giving you quick access to your client’s full account history right there on your mobile or tablet app! You could be at a trade fair in Perth CBD and your colleague could be on the road making a sales visit in Bunbury. No matter where they are, all staff will have access to customer account info.

Improved organisational skills
The beauty of mobile CRM is that you don’t actually have to be that organised to use it!
Not only does it help your clients via excellent customer service, it also helps you run your company, and improve and integrate your procedures.

Mobile CRM options – such as our mobile CRM plugin for MYOB Business Process Software – allow you to integrate your existing accounting practices and business practices with mobile CRM.

If you have staff in multiple offices or staff out in the field they can undertake their accounting, stocks and ordering while on the road. This improves effectiveness and efficiency of your business dramatically.

Improves your sales force effectiveness
If you have sales managers who are constantly on the road, you can see amazing benefits from mobile CRM.

Rather than coming back into the office to process sales, they can do them automatically from location. This means faster processing times for clients, and more time for your sales staff to be out their making sales. Win-win!

In short, every business is constantly looking for ways to improve business practices, customer service, and increase sales. With mobile CRM you can do all three!

Contact us today, to learn more about what our mobile CRM solution – Exo-on-the-go – can do for your business.

Time to upgrade your business accounting software?

The decision to change from manual accounting systems to an umbrella system depends on the same criteria that influence people to upgrade residential infrastructure: old systems are inefficient, cost-prohibitive, appear old-fashioned and need frequent troubleshooting.

Current systems and spread sheets work fine but manual accounting systems generate payroll expenses for office staff, increased accounting fees, inefficient inventory-ordering practices and lost opportunities to optimise leads, leverage social and business trends and uncover waste, theft and fraud.

Clues that you might benefit by replacing your existing system include:

  • Reports and documents contain frequent mathematical errors.
  • Inventory-carrying costs generate cash-flow problems.
  • Loss of data and slow response times scuttle business opportunities.
  • Poor analysis of business trends, contract terms and unavailable contract templates limit sales staff’s ability to close deals in the field.
  • Crucial business data gets lost due to a lack of storage capacity and databases contain out-dated information.
  • Figuring profitability by department, product and employees requires authorising dedicated research projects.
  • Expense creep cuts into profit margins.
  • Security breaches cause you to lose money, customers and the time needed to address the problems.
  • Incomplete or disorganised records trigger financial audits.
  • Incomplete records that fail to match best business practices make it difficult to get financing for expansion. A new system that offers comprehensive management solutions generates substantial investment costs, but your current system probably costs more in lost profits, waste and inefficient uses of resources.

Upgrading the accounting system helps you position your company for accelerated growth, meet the challenges of global marketing and integrate your business with the current financial practices of most vendors, clients, social agencies and tax authorities.

Before choosing a new system, consider the following points:

  1. Take time to study what you need to do the job. Most systems offer scalable modules that you can add as your business grows, so you need not buy more than you really need. Talk to your production, sales and office staff to get their input on what they need to do their jobs more efficiently.
  2. A complete business audit justifies the time and expense by identifying current needs and IT solutions for immediate growth.
  3. Remember that some accounting systems might require staff training, new or updated hardware and technical advice about implementing them into your business with minimal disruption.
  4. Your wish list should not only include the new features you want but also preserve the bits of the old system that perform well. New systems often cause problems that the old system handled perfectly well.

Your accounting solution will impact every department in the company, so choosing software solutions works better when you make it a group effort. Involving each department manager in the decision will help you find the best solution and encourage loyalty among employees, who often resist changes to systems that have always worked adequately in the past.

The new software should meet the following criteria:

  • The system should improve cash flow by streamlining inventory, empowering collection efforts, reducing fraud and waste and eliminating duplicate work.
  • Accounting software facilitates custom reports that let you track profits, costs, closing ratios, employee efficiency, seasonal performance and other financial information. Choose software or systems that give you complex reporting tools.
  • Programs with cash-management software create more options for revenue-generating ideas and taking advantage of investment opportunities.
  • The system should provide analytical data that helps you and company managers make better decisions.
  • Businesses trade on timely information, so make sure you choose a system that strengthens your intelligence-gathering abilities.

Contact us to find out how MYOB EXO, MYOB Advanced and Horizon Business Systems can help your business achieve all of the above (and more!) today.

Stay connected to MYOB as you grow

 

As a business grows, so does its complexity. Connecting the varied processes and operations to it can be a challenge.

Understanding your business processes and having your business management system built around them can transform your entire operational approach – and deliver real, quantifiable business benefits.

Like having easy access to the information you need to make critical decisions, gaining a deeper understanding of the efficiencies that drive your business and that all-important big-picture view – along with the ability to drill down to the details when it matters.

MYOB Enterprise Solutions offer a suite of enterprise systems covering finances (ERP), business operations, inventory control and client management (CRM), employer services (payroll and HR)– giving you the ability to make smarter connections across all aspects of your business with a fully integrated management solution built around your individual operational approach.

See the full article MYOB Enterprise Stay Connected