As 2022 comes to a close and landscape professionals take last looks at their performance from the year that was, plenty of discussions will arise. One of those discussions might be whether adding business software is a worthwhile endeavor.
LM spoke with Gage Roberts, national enterprise sales manager for Aspire, and Jeff Wraley, founder and CEO of Groundwork, about why 2023 might be the ideal time for design/build pros to add new software to their business.
Saving time and money
Groundwork, a virtual sales system, offers pros a way to streamline their sales and review process through what the company calls “VideoLeads,” or videos from the customer giving a video tour of their property.
“The traditional sales process comes with a real cost,” Wraley says. “It comes down to doing some simple math of how many sales appointments are truly not worth the time. We ask contractors, ‘Do you see value in providing a quicker, more convenient experience to the homeowner?’”
Wraley says the answer has been a resounding yes. Consumers’ willingness to use technology has made the integration for professionals more accessible than ever, according to the Groundwork CEO.
“When we can create valuable conversations quickly through video collaboration, close rates go up, and the expense of running the sales process goes down,” he says. “It’s a much more efficient way of doing things, and it’ll continue to be that way as the world moves to a digital space.”
Roberts says Aspire gives pros an end-to-end solution that can help them manage one of the more challenging aspects of running a business in the present: material purchasing and managing.
“You can manage materials at a granular level,” he says. “That empowers companies to maximize their buying power, ultimately giving more profit from the job. The system shows a picture of what the project will do in the next week, month and six months.”
Wraley says equipping the team you do have with efficient technology is more important than ever.
“Optimizing lead flow and ensuring that you get leads quickly and in a way that sets you apart from others is critical,” he says. “I think it’ll be a major factor in taking advantage of that spring bump and setting yourself up for the rest of the year, especially in the spring season.”
Roberts points to Aspire’s site inspection tool as a way for pros to do more with the tools at their disposal.
“It can be used as a quality audit internally and as a customer sales or satisfaction tool,” he says. “A project manager, after a project is done, can audit the work that’s been done and share that internally. Or a salesperson can go out and, while a project is taking place, take photos and put them into a nicely laid out document to share with the client to say, ‘Hey, here’s how this project is going.’”
Roberts says pros can do the same to upsell clients during an ongoing project. He gives an example of a customer who decided against an upgrade to an area on their property.
“You can say, ‘Hey, we talked about this area over here, but we decided not to do it,’ Here’s a picture of the area. Did you maybe want to tackle that now?” he says. “It’s an entryway to give ideas for enhancing that area and potentially upsell that project.”
Go all in
The most common mistake landscape contractors make when they incorporate new software into their business is not buying in all the way, Roberts says.
“When you don’t have a good process to follow the software, it won’t operate correctly,” he says. “People in our industry can be a bit stubborn with that. If you buy a system and don’t put a process behind it, it’s useless, no matter how expensive it is.”