Three Counties Windows started using Business Pilot in January this year, delivering an ‘epiphany moment’ on conversion rates.
“We were using systems that we’d developed over the last 13 year’s or more, multiple spreadsheets, multiple databases. We were doing a lot of things, twice, three times, four times”, says Simon Claxton, Owner, Three Counties Windows.
He continues: “Thames Valley Windows aren’t very far away from us. They’re a very sharp well run business and when I found out about their involvement in Business Pilot it made a lot of sense. They live and breathe our pain!
“If Business Pilot made life easier for them, it would make life easier for us.”
The product of a partnership between Cherwell Windows, Thames Valley Windows and their digital partners, 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.
“The impact has been massive”
continues Simon. “We’ve been one and a half people down all year and busier than we ever have been.
“We were looking to replace them, but we’ll now look to develop alternate roles. Business Pilot seems to have filled that gap.”
In addition to bringing more structure and control to Three Counties’ operations, Simon argues it has also highlighted opportunities to manage enquiries and contacts more effectively, driving a higher level of conversion.
“We thought we had a pretty good conversion rate. And in a sense, we did and do. We’re good at converting leads and winning business. Our problem was that in a sense that was an illusion.
“We were only recording leads from the point that they were assigned. We weren’t tracking contacts and enquiries – they were falling away and being lost”, he says.
“That may be less of a problem in the current climate. The sales guys are flush with leads and maybe they had too many to deal with?
“But if someone has taken the trouble to contact us, we need to be asking ourselves why we aren’t taking them to lead status and converting them?
“There may be answers for that. We’re based in Surrey and we may be generating contacts from Scotland, where we don’t work, or it may be receiving enquiries for a product that we don’t supply – but we should be understanding why those contacts aren’t being converted.”
Business Pilot provides an overview of performance through its Sales Dashboard. This tracks leads, demos, daily, weekly and monthly sales, plus closing ratios. It also tracks each prospect contact from the moment it’s made.
Simon continues: “I was reliant on a lot of very antiquated systems and on the sales team to update them.
“What Business Pilot has given us is transparency. It’s put everything into one place from start to finish so that you can extrapolate information clearly.
“We don’t necessarily need more leads right now but that doesn’t mean that we should stop caring about how we manage contacts and our conversion of them into leads. We need to have the discipline in place.
“If we can get some extra sales out of it now, great. In the future if those sales aren’t as easy to come by, it could be critical. We need to establish the right processes now.”
Business Pilot’s Status Dashboard also allows installers to see the value of leads in the pipeline, the number of jobs that are currently quoted for, plus the value of quotes that are followed up or are waiting for a demo. That’s in addition to the value of jobs with completed surveys, ones that have been confirmed for installation but also those that have been put on hold or have been cancelled, supporting effective cashflow forecasting.
It’s Status Progression tool also allows them to manage the lead to sale pipeline, establishing process and automating tasks.
“We’re now tracking those enquiries”, Simon continues: “If they haven’t been touched in three or four days by the sales team, we’re going back and revisiting them whether that’s an email or picking up the telephone. They aren’t being lost.”
In addition to allowing installers to map their lead-to-contract process, Business Pilot’s Status Progression Tool also allows them to do the same for contract-to-delivery, something which has been instrumental in supporting Three Counties Window in navigating its way through the home improvement boom.
“We’d done a sort of ‘time and motion’ study to try and understand our processes from the point at which we had the contract in our hands to installation. It turned out that we had 44 or 45 processes – far more than I thought – to get a contract to installation”, Simon continues.
“Multiply the time involved by however many contracts you do in a month, and you see very quickly how much time was going into a very basic but overly complex process.
“We were just touching the same bits of paper time and time again and entering the same data over and over because all these spreadsheets didn’t talk to one another.
“Business Pilot has changed that everything’s in one place and it happens automatically. We’re busier than ever before but we have more control. We’re a better business.”