We’ve reached the end of our four-part series on business management software for janitorial contractors!
If you want to catch up on the first three articles, you can read them here:
- Do I need a janitorial business management system?
- 7 questions to ask before researching janitorial business software
- How to choose the right business software for your janitorial company
Previously, we’ve covered:
- What business management software is (and what makes end-to-end programs like Aspire different)
- Practical advice for identifying your priorities and researching options
- Strategies for finding the best solutions for your company
- Criteria for evaluating different platforms
Now, we’re ready to move on to the final step: the sales process.
Once you’ve narrowed your options to one or two software solutions for the cleaning industry, you’ll likely begin the official sales process with your vendors of choice. While the exact process may vary between companies, there are some steps you can expect.
The sales process normally includes:
- Needs assessment
- Full solution presentation
- Final proposal and selection
In the following sections, we’ll take a look at each stage in greater detail so you’ll know what to expect when it’s time to start the process for yourself.
Your initial conversations with any software vendor should include an assessment that helps them better understand your specific needs.
During these meetings, the sales team could ask about a variety of subjects, including the following:
- Company size and history
- Team size and structure
- Revenue and business mix
- Purchasing timeline
- Applications you’re currently using
- Your wishlist for the new platform
If you’ve worked through the priority-setting and roadmap-creation exercises from the second article in this series, answering these questions should come easy.
The more information you’re able to provide at this stage of the process, the better. It can help streamline the sales process and save time for you and the salesperson.
Once you’ve had some initial conversations, you’ll likely receive one or more demonstrations of the software in action.
Ideally, these demos will be personalized to your company based on the insights uncovered during needs assessment. They’re often targeted to specific groups or departments in your organization so all team members get a detailed introduction to the area they’re most interested in.
The sales team should show your staff how to use the software for what they need—scheduling cleaning jobs, creating work orders, conducting walkthroughs, building invoices, and using the mobile app, for example. You may also want to see how the platform handles inventory management, cleaning proposals, time tracking, cleaning contracts, credit card payments, and more.
While you probably won’t be able to see everything the software has to offer during a series of demos, they should give you a sense of whether the platform is truly a good fit for your janitorial business.
Full solution presentation
The individual demos should give everyone on your team the chance to see how their corner of the business would use the new software.
During a final solution presentation, though, you and other key stakeholders will have a “final” working session to take an even closer look at the features and workflows of the platform as a whole.
Keep in mind that the best business management platforms offer robust implementation services and continued support in addition to the software itself, so don’t get overwhelmed about set-up at this stage. Try to focus on what the fully-implemented solution would look like at your cleaning company.
While you may follow up with a couple of specific questions after this call, it’s generally the last step before deciding whether to pursue the partnership further or say “thanks” and move on.
Now that things are getting serious, it’s time to determine whether a given system will work for your business.
You’ll want to really get into the weeds at this point, asking for technical details, training schedules, references, and costs.
Your sales rep should be able to connect you with a current user who you may want to visit or call for an informal conversation. You could also talk to an industry consultant or have more in-depth discussions with the vendor about specific areas of concern regarding the product.
Before moving on to the next step, you’ll want to resolve any lingering reservations, fears, or confusion about requirements. Don’t rush it—it’s better to uncover all the answers now than to find yourself confronted with unpleasant surprises later!
Proposal and selection
If you’ve made it this stage of the process, it’s because you’re fairly sure of the solution you’re choosing.
You should receive a proposal from your vendor that includes pricing, a purchase agreement, and an implementation plan. (You may also want to ask for a product roadmap and list of integrations, if that’s not already included.)
Review the proposal carefully, and when you’re ready to accept, just sign on the dotted line.
Once you’ve officially made your selection, the final step is onboarding.
During this final stage, you’ll work with your new partner to set up a system that perfectly addresses your company’s needs. If you’re using a system like Aspire, you’ll have a dedicated implementation representative guiding your team through every step.
To start, they’ll work with you to finalize contracts and invoicing, introduce your two teams, and define your power users and key milestones. They can also help you identify important metrics and create templates to automate certain parts of the process.
Everyone’s onboarding process and timeline looks a little different, but if you’re able to dedicate a decent amount of time to setting up your software at the outset, you can be up and running (with a solid foundation for the future) in a matter of months—or sometimes weeks.
Starting the sales process can be intimidating for business owners who aren't sure what to expect. You don’t want a vendor to take advantage of you (especially if it’s your first experience with a software investment of this scale), so knowing what the typical process looks like can help.
That’s a wrap on our four-part guide to finding the best janitorial software for your commercial cleaning business. Hopefully you've seen how ditching spreadsheets for user-friendly business management software helps boost profits by offering real-time insights and streamlined workflow management.
If you’re interested in learning more about what Aspire’s cloud-based platform can offer your janitorial company, sign up for a customized demo below.