Take an industry with a largely manual contract delivery method, add a highly competitive bidding process, and a global event that puts all eyes on you – and you’ve got a sticky situation.
For many sales teams in the cleaning services industry at the beginning of 2020, that’s the reality they currently find themselves in.
But for Sean Hassan, Franchise Developer and Brand Leader at the JAN-PRO development office in Raleigh, North Carolina, where many of his peers saw a hot mess, he saw a hot opportunity.
One where he could put his team’s revamped digital sales process to the ultimate test.
“With Proposify, not only are we continuing to award franchises, we're doing it from the comfort of people's homes. Other competitors of JAN-PRO in the Raleigh market have basically shut down. With the combination of Proposify and Zoom, my team are now able to do virtual proposals where we don't even go to a client's site.”
In other words, Proposify helps Sean and his team mop the floor with the competition.
JAN-PRO is a commercial cleaning organization with locations across the US and around the world. They’re also one of the most recognizable names in the industry.
Sean runs the JAN-PRO development office in Raleigh, where he leads a team of 7 sales reps and administrators.
Their job is twofold. First, they meet, assess, and award JAN-PRO franchises in their geographical region. Second, they find new clients for those franchisees.
Ideal clients for their franchisees are facilities that need ongoing commercial cleaning. While one-time cleaning jobs are no problem for JAN-PRO, Sean has a fiduciary obligation to secure clients that need their facilities cleaned at least once a week.
“Proposify is integral for developing that business. When we award franchises to the unit franchisees, and when we secure contracts with facilities, there’s a lot of paperwork that all parties need to review and sign. Having those documents in electronic format has not only allowed us to continue but really distinguish ourselves from the competition, especially right now given the COVID-19 situation.”
Despite Sean’s two very distinct clientele, potential franchisees and facilities needing cleaning services, Proposify makes it easy to stay on track and get the correct material into a new proposal quickly.
“The simple drag and drop interface for pretty much anything is what's made it realistic. I mean, one of the toughest things about pivoting is designing and transferring data from old templates to new templates. The ability for Proposify to embrace pretty much near anything is, I think, one of the key reasons to pivot to Proposify.”
Alongside bidding on cleaning contracts and onboarding new unit franchisees, Sean uses Proposify for more than just sending proposals and getting contracts signed.
“Since we're doing a lot of our electronic training over Zoom, the certifications that our franchisees now sign is now being done through Proposify as well. So we actually have evaluation with fields where they can, on Proposify, select what they want to put in for the evaluation for training. We're even debating using it for the final test."
In the days before he found Proposify, like much of the commercial cleaning industry Sean and his team had a highly manual proposal process. Sure, it gave them control over certain aspects of the sales cycle, but it was slow, expensive, and impossible to scale.
Proposify let them take the best parts of their existing sales process and kick them into overdrive while overhauling and cleaning out the excess clutter.
“Before Proposify, we had a very traditional, and I'd say old-fashioned, method of onboarding clients: We would create proposals in Microsoft Word and deliver them in person. The reason we delivered proposal in person is because we felt that by emailing a PDF attachment, you lose the control that is very hard to maintain in the sales process. Buyers tend to want to remove control from the seller. So hand delivery was the way we fought that.”
But hand delivering a proposal meant reps had to visit facilities for a second, third, even a forth time. For many of Sean’s prospects, those extra trips were unnecessary.
“We would need to go to a customer’s site again, take more time out of their day and say, ‘Okay. Now we want to come out and sit down with you and show you this.’ There were a lot of proposals that weren’t delivered simply because customers are like, ‘You've already come out, you've already measured the facility, you've already got all the data you need. Why do you need to come back?’”
With Proposify, Sean and his team don’t only remain in control of their sales process, but they have access to insights and data that they never dreamed of before.
“Proposify allows us to create a proposal, submit it, and through the tracking, gauge which pages client’s are looking at and how much time they're spending on each page. And not only that, but get notified when customers open our proposal and know what they are looking at in real-time. Before, our customers were viewing a simple PDF. Now, they are viewing an active web page that is able to transmit back the behaviours and metrics of that client or prospect.”
Those vital notifications and proposal metrics mean Sean’s reps can follow up at the perfect time, when the proposal is fresh in their client’s mind.
The ability to eliminate return visits and nail client follow up kickstarted a chain reaction for Sean’s team.
Less time on the road meant sales reps could spend more time prospecting and closing deals. That lead to a higher close rate, which let Sean grow his team to include a sales administrator to handle data entry and creating proposals, which freed up even more time for Sean’s top reps to get their proposals to their prospects faster.
“We will even get proposals signed on the same day as the initial visit, sometimes within a few hours. We even have an acronym we’ve created: SOS – Sign On Same day.”
For the record, Sean says SOS used to stand for Sign On Spot. But now because his reps don’t see their clients in person, they’ve adapted. Adapting is a running theme for Sean and his team, a theme that’s paying off.
And Sean’s customers are noticing. One of their recent reviews praised Sean’s team for their ability to come out, quote services, and sign an agreement with them on the spot.
Alongside prospecting for more clients, Sean and his team have been using that extra time Proposify frees up to experiment and optimize their proposal process.
“If we have an idea on creating something, we just do it because Proposify is that easy to work with. So we end up spending more time to be trying to figure out how to be more creative in our proposal development process. The barrier to test is very low. From a user experience standpoint, Proposify has improved dramatically just since we started, both with the improvements that the Proposify team has made, and how receptive they’ve been with the improvements we need.”
Largely on the back of Sean’s advocacy, more and more regional JAN-PRO franchises in the US, Canada, and even as far away as Colombia and Australia are adopting Proposify to transform their sales process and secure more cleaning services contracts, faster.
For the independently owned and operated franchises, the level of adoption is something Sean only sees when software, processes, or systems are mandated by JAN-PRO international.
So what’s the biggest benefit Sean sees in Proposify?
“I’ve figured out a way to increase revenue generation and at the same time reduce expenses and payroll and the cost of onboarding clients. That's the biggest benefit that Proposify has given me.”