By Ricardo Regalado
July 29, 2019
Building service contractors are always looking for new ways to improve their processes and stay ahead of their competitors. Running a successful commercial cleaning company involves managing many different departments and roles. When your workforce starts growing is usually when owners generally start looking for software to manage and track their employees in the field. Whether it’s scheduling, time tracking, or payroll, these tasks can become difficult to manage. However, incorporating tech solutions for other processes can sometimes be neglected. Today, there are more solutions than ever before that can benefit your company. And not just through operations—adding technology at the very beginning of a relationship with a client through the sales process can give your company a boost as well.
Embracing innovative tech solutions for the sales process within our industry is often neglected and overlooked even though there is an incredible opportunity to boost overall efficiency, save time, and meet client expectations. Your sales process is the trigger that starts everything that happens afterwards. Implementing a tech-forward approach during your sales process can boost your profitability, increase transparency, and streamline your operations.
An initial walkthrough at a prospective client’s space is one of the most crucial steps in the sales process and is a great opportunity to begin prepping for the job when you win the contract. A walkthrough is the ultimate opportunity to demonstrate to your prospective customer that you will meet all of their requirements and needs. You want to be attentive, detailed, and engaging. You want to gather as many details about the client’s building as you can and inspect every room. There is a lot of information for a janitorial cleaning walkthrough that you want to capture: measuring and calculating square footage, floor type breakdowns, and specific hot points that the client is calling attention to.
This information in your notes can quickly turn into chicken scratch on pen and paper that even you will have trouble deciphering back at the office. Your notes are also not easily able to be saved or shared. Digitally capturing and organizing your walkthrough notes with various apps and built in smartphone features can help you create a clean portrait of your client’s space. I recommend taking as many photos as you can during a walkthrough and also creating a digital checklist/template before walking in for the meeting. This checklist will help ensure that you won’t miss anything and that you’ll be able to keep your notes properly formatted.
The benefits of a digital walkthrough are tremendous. I can easily share my digital walkthroughs with my team back at the office and they have enough information to already begin working on putting together a bid and start writing the proposal. I can quickly submit a proposal to the client since multiple people have everything they need. Details will never be missed and bid accuracy is greatly increased. I also never have to head back to the site for a repeat walkthrough if I missed anything because I have my square footage and floor type breakdowns. My floor specialists no longer have to perform their own walkthroughs for any site I have already visited.
Additionally, my entire team can review the data easily and my operations department can begin prepping after I finish the walkthrough. Cutting down on the disconnect between sales and operations can create entirely clean walkthrough experiences. For example, my op’s team greatly appreciates the photos and notes about the current state of the site’s supply closet since they will know what to bring and what needs to be done on the first day of servicing the client. We have significantly cut down on our startup and prep time with new clients. A digital walkthrough can also be saved securely in the cloud in case it ever needs to be referenced again—something that is much trickier to do with pen and paper notes. Overall, embracing technological solutions during walkthroughs helps streamline the rest of your operations and can help you stand out to clients.
A digital walkthrough can also be utilized in your proposal writing process. There are many pieces of software that exist today that can boost your presentation quality and save you time. I recommend trying out a few of them and see which one is the best fit for your company. A proposal is another way to stand out from the rest of the pack and sell a client on your services. Use a proposal to its full advantage. Specific proposal creating software can help keep your formatting clean and professional looking while also promoting what makes you the best choice for the client. I recommend including a cover page with your company’s logo as well as the client’s logo. Add in an “about us” page to also add some personality. You to want to demonstrate to the client that you are truly the best option to service their building. Include photos of your client’s space that you took on your walkthrough and attach a scope of work to the areas listed.
With this use of proposal creating software, it is easier to use every page to your advantage. For example, you could use the layout to upsell some of your services. If you noticed that an area was in need of floor servicing based on images you took, then include a quote in the proposal alongside your notes and photos. I find that most of the time the client will agree and want the additional service performed. Additionally, some software will include analytics for every proposal sent. This can include key data points such as when the client opened your proposal, how long they spent reading it, and can send you notifications to follow up with them.
While a large portion of our industry focusing on employee tracking software, it is now time to embrace tech solutions for more of your everyday processes. Whether it is sales, workforce management, ordering supplies, or focusing on your accounting, you have multiple solutions at your fingertips that can optimize how your company is run. Start thinking about the advantages technology can bring to your company by supporting your walkthroughs and generating stronger proposals. Streamlining your processes from the very first step can change the way you do business.
By Ricardo Regalado, Owner & Founder, Route