Aligning sales and marketing is one of the secrets to success, says Joseph Barnes, Director of Marketing at Yellowstone Landscape.
As the largest privately-held commercial landscaping company in North America, Yellowstone’s marketing strategy focuses less on advertising and more on equipping the B2B sales team with best-in-class materials and resources.
This kind of sales support is how they’ve steadily grown both their sales team size and average deal size year after year. With Yellowstone’s team of deal-closers comprising 50 people and the average rep closing around $950,000 in deals a year, they’re a force to be reckoned with in the landscaping space. But their proposal process needed some TLC, and it was time for an upgrade.
“A big part of our sales team’s success is due to training and offering the best resources and support - whatever the sales reps think will help them close the deal, we want to provide for them. So, when they came to us and said, ‘Hey, the proposals are great but they take a really long time for us to put together and they're feeling a little stale. Is there anything we can do?’, we started looking for a solution, and that’s when we found Proposify.”
Implementing new software company-wide was going to be a big decision, no doubt about it. But Joseph’s worries vanished once he jumped into Proposify and recreated their proposal template in a flash.
“I was really focused on not losing anything that we had in our shared drive and being able to replicate everything exactly as we had it before. Once I started working in the Proposify editor, it took me literally less than one afternoon to completely rebuild our proposal template. From never having used the editor before, to having the proposal template built in less than four hours was huge - it gave me a sense of calm about the implementation.”
From there, Joseph worked with Proposify’s Customer Success (CS) team to optimize the template based on the specific needs of the sales reps. Now they’re able to put winning proposals together faster than ever.
With Joseph’s vision as a guide and the teams in Florida and Georgia the first to be brought on board, Proposify’s CS team walked Joseph through every step of implementation. Setting up roles, permissions, and workspaces allows each team access to the specific content they need while restricting what they can change. Yellowstone’s proposals are consistent, and Joseph is at ease.
And now? Joseph has the know-how to reorganize and add workspaces as he sees fit, giving him almost limitless possibilities for the future of the sales team.
“Within the two regions we operate, we’ve got various subsets of teams. In the bigger markets, our reps will do a lot of team selling - they’ll work on large projects together and split the commissions. And while some of our reps work better together, we do have a few who prefer to work on their own. We were able to create workspaces in Proposify for different groups; some include one rep and some include seven or eight. We were able to customize it, and the ability to allow collaboration but also section it off is certainly a benefit.”
Joseph knew they had a winning tool to help Yellowstone update their entire proposal process. With clients still expecting physical proposals, though, it was important to be able to deliver their proposals traditionally. With Proposify, they don’t have to compromise modern and efficient processes with client expectations.
“I was really excited about Proposify because I realized it was the solution that we've been looking for; we’re able to produce something very quickly and deliver it electronically, but then, we still have the option to deliver it the old-fashioned way by printing out a book and binding it.”
But Yellowstone is looking to move beyond paper proposals, and bring their clients with them - with Proposify’s help, of course.
“The landscaping industry is not traditionally on the cutting edge of technology and a lot of our competitors are still operating the same way they have been for years. Even though we still have to provide physical proposals for a lot of customers, we’re excited to use the e-signature feature in our sales workflow. We’ve mentioned it to clients and their response has been very positive. So we're trying to lead the industry and show that you can incorporate technology and it does make you better as a company. We do that in a lot of areas, not just in our sales team, but this is definitely the best tool that we've rolled out to the sales team.”
With varying levels of technological abilities and workflow preferences among the sales reps, Joseph knew it would be a challenge to find a solution that worked for the whole team - until Proposify.
“We've got some reps that are really comfortable with technology, and we’ve got some who would be more comfortable scratching a number on the back of a napkin as a contract, so we had to have something that catered to two very different technology skill sets. I think Proposify does both really well.”
Yellowstone’s innovative thinking is exactly why they’re where they are today, and they’re not slowing down.
Joseph’s advice to companies thinking about taking the plunge and purchasing proposal software? Think bigger.
“I wish I had known earlier how limiting our previous processes were - that Word documents were handcuffing us not just from a file-sharing standpoint, but also that there’s just so much more you can do with a proposal if you get out of the mindset of PDFs and spreadsheets. So it's not just about copying what you have today and putting it online; it's about taking what you have today and bringing it to a new level with Proposify.”