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Ask our users! Nick Ballinger talks about Business Pilot

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Nick Ballinger, Sales Manager, Cherwell Windows has been using Business Pilot for the past two-years. He argues the platform has been instrumental in supporting the retailer’s growth.

“I’m not from the window and door industry”, says Nick Ballinger, Sales Manager, Cherwell Windows, “I’d always worked in sales, as a principal in a car dealership, then as a sales consultant, going in and trouble-shooting businesses, their sales process, so I’d seen and used a lot of very powerful CRMs, in lots of different sectors.

“When I saw Business Pilot, I just thought ‘wow’. There are lots of bad CRMs out there – they can actually stop sales; they can be time consuming, overly complex.

“Business Pilot is the opposite. It puts each and every aspect of the sales process at your fingertips. It makes it easy.”

Business Pilot is a powerful CRM and business management tool. It mobilises the power of cloud-based technologies giving installers complete visibility of each and every element of their operation from leads and conversions to job scheduling, cost of installation, service calls, and financial reporting.

Accessible across all devices, from desktop to phone, it supports installers in running their businesses more profitably, integrating with lead generation tools, supplier ordering systems and accountancy software to bring data into one place.

“As I said, I didn’t have a background in the window and door industry. Business Pilot made my transition into it easy because dare I say it, it does so much of the work for you”, Nick continues.

“Enquiries come in. I’ll look at the enquiry, decide who that goes to; put a follow up in and assign it to a salesperson.

“I don’t need to send them and email because when they log in in the morning, they’ll see that they’ve got a new lead.

“I might also make a phone call and qualify it, and while I’m doing that I’ll probably book a demo – it all happens within seconds and its instantly there and available to the whole team.

“I’ll give you an example. We got a lead in last night. When I came in this morning I set up a follow up with a member of the sales team so that when they came in at 8.30, he put the quote together and the customer has got it an hour later. And I can see that happening in front of me in the CRM. I can see when he’s put himself down to follow that up in a couple of days. He’s changed the temperature to ‘hot’ as thinks it’s a ‘hot’ lead, and I can see and control all of that through Business Pilot.”

Business Pilot also provides an overview of performance through its Sales Dashboard. This tracks leads, demos, daily, weekly and monthly sales, plus closing ratios. “We use it [the Sales Dashboard] as the basis for our weekly meetings”, continues Nick.

“We can sit and review where we are against KPIs, the status of leads. Again, it’s there at your fingertips as a day-to-day management tool it’s fantastic.”

He also highlights the advantages delivered by the Business Pilot app. This differs to competitor systems in that it’s a single app solution for the whole installation business from sales through to fitting teams, which then allows installation businesses to turn on or off functionality according to the role performed by its users.

For example, while fitters and sales teams will download and install only a single app, what fitters see will be tuned to their role. The same for the sales team and so on, throughout the organisation, to reflect ‘real-life’ usage.

“The app is great” continues Nick. “For example, the salesman has been out this morning and I can see he’s made some notes literally as he’s making them on the app from site. He’s downloaded images while he’s been at the appointment, and I can just see it all there as he’s doing it.

“When he gets back in this morning, I don’t need to ask. I already know it’s a good lead before he walks through the door!”

Nick argues that this integration supports a far more effective flow of information, but also better communication throughout Cherwell Windows as a business – something which translates into more effective operation.

“It’s not only that processes run better but say for example we get a call from Mrs Jones, who’s about to press go on a job but wants a little bit of a deal. They put in a call and ask to speak to a member of the team. Well, if they’re out, I can still pick up that call, access the job and close out the deal for the salesperson, even if they’re not there.”

This shared visibility of the status of each and every job, plus as a native cloud-based system, the ability to access Business Pilot from anywhere, also paid dividends during COVID. “In a sense it made no difference if we were sitting in the showroom or at home. We could all still see and do what we needed to do”, Nick adds.

“It’s got to be the future of retail installation. We set up 23 leads the other day. It was done and dusted and there on the system in a couple of hours, and I can tell you now, in an instant, exactly what the status of each of those leads is.

“When you’re averaging 65-70 leads a week like we are around the country, with plans attached you need that information. We still deal with Mr and Mrs Jones but these days we also deal with some big architects and complex projects.

“I can see where everything is at instantly. It’s stopped the art of talking really, which is what salespeople traditionally do!”, Nick quips.

“We can extract everything down to lost leads. If you believe a lead has gone quiet you can mmove it from warm to cold, or back to prospect – but it’s not lost. Say for example a prospect has gone to planning and it’s going to take three months. You can schedule a follow-up.

“If you’re not using Business Pilot I don’t know how you’re going to do that. You need that management data, you need that process to run and installation business profitably.”

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