Mark Coleman, LaurelRock’s director of sales and marketing, spent decades in software sales before landing his current role at the residential landscape design/build and maintenance company. He says LaurelRock’s use of Aspire business software persuaded him to make the leap.
“In my interview process, I asked what kind of business solution LaurelRock had,” Coleman says. “I did some research on Aspire, and that was actually one of the reasons I took the job with LaurelRock, because I knew I would be able to manage and track our sales and marketing efforts to the nth degree, which would allow me as a manager to drive my team’s success and growth.”
After more than a year at the Wilton, Conn.-based firm, his enthusiasm for Aspire’s business management platform has only blossomed as the software powers accounting, marketing, reporting, and other crucial business functions.
Predicting profits and adjusting in real-time
Accurate job costing and reporting data allows Coleman to make data-driven decisions to increase the company’s profitability.
“It allows me to see and communicate to our executives how many months of pipeline the sales team has built out and ultimately start to predict what kind of profit margins we’re going to be making,” Coleman says. “This helps us build our budget, understand the direction we need to go and determine if we need to change sales plans in the middle of the year because something’s not working.”
This also helps inform marketing strategy.
“We have an agency we work with, and I can say, ‘Hey, we need to target this segment of customers because we’re seeing great results from there,’ or ‘Back off on our paid advertising for these keywords in search, because it’s just not coming through for us,’” Coleman says.
Streamlining accounting and purchasing
Aspire’s invoicing assistant enables users to quickly generate invoices according to customer billing preferences and desired payment schedules, then deliver them with a single click. The customer receives the electronic invoice and can pay it from anywhere, which often results in faster payments for a positive cash flow.
“We’re getting a much quicker return for our accounts receivables,” Coleman says.
Precise estimates and a purchasing process that requires purchase order numbers and enforces accountability result in less purchasing waste.
Providing accurate job costing and reporting
Within Aspire, mobile tracking and reporting of labor and inventoried materials help inform job costing to ensure accurate estimates.
"At the end of the week, we know how we did from a profit perspective, assuming teams have closed their jobs and followed the proper steps in Aspire,” Coleman says.
The data and reporting he receives extend to all branches of the business, Coleman adds.
“I can get any kind of reporting out of Aspire that I want, whether that be sales reporting, how my leads are doing from a marketing perspective, or how the teams are performing from an accuracy of estimating perspective,” Coleman says. “It's all-encompassing when it comes to what it allows us to understand about our business.”
Powering growth with Aspire’s all-in-one solution
Onboarding with Aspire required consolidating disparate systems into one solution.
“We now use Aspire for all our sales, estimating, lead tracking, marketing, and invoicing,” Coleman says. “It’s a complete business solution for us and has been a game-changer.”
The software solution enhanced communication throughout the business.
“There’s very little paperwork in this day and age,” Coleman says. “Interacting with our business solution while we're in the field—for example, production teams taking pictures and adding them to opportunities—is where this is really benefiting us as a company.”
Coleman calls Aspire the key to success and a lifeline for him as a manager.
“Our tagline for LaurelRock is ‘exceptional residential landscapes,’” Coleman says. “When I look at what Aspire is, I would call it exceptional in terms of its ability to stand out in the field for the business solution it provides. It ties very nicely with who we are as a business. Exceptional residential landscapes—that's what we sell every day. But it's also what Aspire provides us that allows us to do that.”
His team is committed to using Aspire as they grow their business.
“My history of being in the software marketing industry for 20+ years allows me to truly appreciate what Aspire has done in terms of having a green-industry-specific solution,” Coleman says. “The integration throughout Aspire, whether that be time tracking for teams or purchasing elements tied into nurseries, really shows that having a dedicated industry-specific business platform is the key to success.
“As a management team, we have a very high confidence level in Aspire. And that confidence level has allowed us to say, ‘We're committed to Aspire, and we're going to continue to use it for the foreseeable future because it’s the right business solution for LaurelRock.’”