Sometimes being the first one doesn’t mean you’ll always win, but more often than not in landscape design, being first gives you a huge advantage; generally it means you set the bar for what other companies need to beat in their designs and proposals – the first designs get potential clients excited for what they are seeing and it gets them attached to your ideas.
One of the major reasons why customers are selecting the first company to submit an estimate is because of today’s consumer behavior. In this instant gratification world with mobile apps giving us everything in a second, waiting just isn’t in a consumer’s mind. So, much like many other businesses, landscape companies need to cater to this ‘right now’ generation. That means finding ways to get their designs and proposals completed faster, so they can be the first to provide an estimate.
How to be the first proposal
What many landscape companies are doing is implementing software, technology and processes that will:
- Cut down on design time
- Reduce estimate to proposal time
- Remove manual data entry
- Deliver fast proposals to customers
Landscape design software mixed with business management software has been able to drastically reduce many outdated processes for landscape companies. Most importantly, it delivers that final bullet point of getting proposals to customers faster and being the first estimate on a project.
If you can cut down on the time it takes to manually hand-draw each element of a design, you have a better chance of being first. Or taking that computer-generated design and having your business management software pull out all the information and add costs from your cost book into a proposal, you are again, saving time. Each step on which you save time improves your chances of being the first company through the door.
Make the sales process worthy of your time
One of the key elements of this new trend is that it doesn’t drastically change your typical sales process. You still need to gather requests, complete on-site evaluations for the scope of the work and come up with a proposal to send to your clients. That part doesn’t change, regardless of the method you use. If you are going through this process and at the end, you are 80% more likely to win the opportunity because you were first, it makes it extremely valuable to be first – more so than you may consider.
Regardless if you win or lose a job, many back-office staff, from sales people to estimators, to surveyors to designers are all getting paid for their work. The overhead is still there, but if you get the design out first, there is a much higher chance of recovering that overhead through a successful proposal. Whether you are first or last, you are still completing the same amount of work. With there being a considerable advantage to being the first company through the door, it’s worth thinking about ways to maximize the number of times you are first and how to be first more often.
Put your proposals in the best position to succeed
If you can’t be first, being the best is generally what some landscape companies follow. But why can’t you be both? Whether first or second or last, having a beautiful, professional-looking proposal is going to win you more jobs, regardless of position. The best part of using landscape design software, however, is that you get the best of both worlds. Not only can you create stunning landscape designs in a fraction of the time it would take you to do it by hand, but also, you can get an amazing design to your customers first.
That’s the real power behind landscape design software with an integration to business management software. It’s taking those sales and design processes you already excel at and reducing the unnecessary amount of work to get a proposal out. Instead, you are getting automation in your proposal process with cost books, automatic overhead recovery and analytics on each job. That puts you in the best position to not only win a proposal, but scale your business, cover all the overhead on the job, and earn a higher profit.
The best position to succeed is to be first and be better. With landscape design software, you can accomplish both and be in front of your competition weeks before they are ready to present their ideas.
Vital to your success
Proposals are vital to any landscape company’s success. With landscape business management software, track proposal acceptance rates and see where you won jobs and perhaps most importantly, how and why you lost. Were you first, second or last? Did a client not follow up? Did your proposal come in too high? There are many different reasons that you could lose a job, but without tracking them, the only statistic you know of is that you lost. While that might be good enough for some, knowing exactly why you lost will help you make better business decisions later to win more.
Working with landscape design and business management software will change how you see your proposal process. You can’t improve what you can’t measure, so start tracking your jobs from the start of the process to the end. Get proposals out faster and put yourself in the position to succeed. You can do that by removing processes that slow down your proposal process.
Contact one of our Account Executives today for more information about how DynaScape can help you automate your proposal process, and better track your jobs.