Fresh Office is an office cleaning company that has been cleaning offices in Cracow, Wrocław, Warsaw, Katowice and Rzeszów since 2016. At the beginning of its cooperation with Casbeg, there were two salespeople involved in acquiring customers.
“The quality of our services is high, but customers often prefer a cheaper offer” — this problem appears frequently in sales and isn’t at all easy to address. The situation at Fresh Office was no exception. Moreover, the scale of the challenge in their case was far greater. On the one hand, the company provides a service that is needed in every company. On the other, as a rule, nobody wants to pay for it more than the bare minimum.
The problem was not that the company was unable to deliver above-average sales results — it has done so in the past. The challenge was to stop it from happening sporadically and have Fresh Office systematically achieve such results and gain more control over them.
How to be remembered better than the competition
In a situation where choosing a supplier often comes down to collecting many offers and then choosing the one with the lowest price, there is not much room to present your advantages. Therefore you need to find out as soon as possible what concerns and expectations drive an office manager who is looking for a cleaning company. Ideally with the right questions asked at the very beginning of the sales conversation. What questions should those be was identified during the mystery shopping test and the test business conversation.
It turned out then that one of the salespeople:
- reacted quickly to the submission,
- asked for information needed to prepare an estimate (size and type of the spaces, type of cleaning tasks),
- sent the estimate promptly.
The question that helps to better understand the attitude of the potential customer in this situation and thus accurately emphasize the right advantages of the offer is:
Why did you quit your previous cleaning company?
It was important to ask it at the very beginning — before a longer meeting in a potential client’s office. Businesses are looking for a different cleaning company mainly because the previous one discouraged them. If, for example, strange streaks visible after cleaning the floor have broken the deal, it is worth letting the salesperson know about them as soon as possible. And as soon as possible, they could show why the client and his floors don’t need to worry about any strange streaks, because Fresh Office not only uses better floor washing liquids than the rest of the market, but also the results are checked by a dedicated coordinator anyway.
When you care about the cleanliness of your clients’ offices and the effect exceeds market standards, it is crucial not to sound like “another cleaning company” when negotiating with a potential client — that is, talk as little as possible about the features of the service, and as much as possible about how the client’s office will look like after Fresh Office has cleaned it. And that employees will stop complaining that “the floor smells strange after the last wash” or “someone displaced my cup again!”. During the sales audit, it turned out that in the sales pitch and the PDF offer there is still room for more frequent use of the fact that the customer doesn’t want to buy a hammer — they want a nail driven in. For example:
- instead of communicating that Fresh Office uses Karcher, Numatic and Ecolab equipment, the client is more interested in the fact that they won’t have to worry about too much noise, a vacuum filter that doesn’t catch harmful dust or a machine that cleans the floor but removes only a small percentage of the dirt.
- instead of information about ecological cleaning, the customer is more interested in the fact that the cleaning won’t generate unnecessary waste and the company won’t accidentally contribute to harming the environment.
The conclusions collected during the mystery shopping test not only contributed to the improvement of salespeople’s work, but also set the direction for our first marketing activities. On their basis, we’ve defined the brand communication style and prepared guidelines for creating new content for the Fresh Office website in a way that will distinguish the company’s offer from the competition.
No mess in data
Even the best sales and marketing tactics can push a company in the wrong direction if they are implemented without data support and properly configured CRM. It is worth knowing, for example, what type of customer has the highest level of average monthly subscription revenues. At the beginning of the cooperation, we indicated which system of funnels, stages, own fields and reasons for losing potential customers is easy to implement and later makes it easier for the company to answer the question “what do we need to change to acquire customers more effectively?”.
Team operation hygiene
During the cooperation, the team was strengthened by 2 people: a salesperson who worked remotely and a pre-sales.
It was the first time Fresh Office had one of the salespeople work outside the office on a daily basis — during the cooperation, a salesperson was hired who spent most of his time in a different city from the rest of the team in order to be closer to customers every day, be able to visit their offices faster and present the offer as soon as possible. That’s why we’ve developed good practices with the team that will minimize the difficulties resulting from the fact that the employee and the rest of the company will be separated by several hundred kilometers. These include:
- remembering that a person who doesn’t work in the office on a daily basis with the entire team may feel that they are missing out. It’s natural, because they will miss a lot of chats in the kitchen and spontaneous conversations at the desk: “hey listen, I have an issue, do you have 2 minutes?”,
- conversation > video call > phone call > Slack / e-mail. It’s worth remembering about this hierarchy and discuss the most difficult topics during real conversations. On a daily basis you should try to have phone calls and video calls with such an employee as often as possible.
When the number of leads increased by about 15% in the second half of the year, there was a need to hire a presales, i.e. a person who will be responsible for the first contact with a potential customer and help salespeople focus on key negotiations. It isn’t difficult to collect a lot of resumes from people you don’t even want to invite to an interview during the recruitment process. The key is to attract the attention of the strongest and most available candidates at the moment. That is why, together with Fresh Office, we focused on:
- recruitment promotion in those channels in which the chance to find strong candidates is the greatest — that is through a network of contacts and a job portal dedicated to a specific profession,
- creating an advertisement that tells something other than “we offer work in a dynamic team and offer the possibility of continuous development”.
This is what the short job offer version looked like on Facebook:
The section usually called “we’re offering” looked the following way in Fresh Office’s case:
The proven recruitment practices indicated by us: looking for candidates in the right places and an eye-catching job advertisement helped Fresh Office find itself in a situation in which the choice was in practice selecting “the best of the best”.
At the same time, we worked on creating a marketing department and recruiting the first specialist with this profile to the team. Until now, marketing activities such as SEO and SEM were handled by external partners coordinated by the CEO himself. Supporting the optimization of campaigns on an ongoing basis, we started the process of recruiting a marketing specialist, which ended with hiring and onboarding a new employee.
All those actions contributed to measurable increases in sales effectiveness:
Sales in the second half of 2019 increased by 35% compared to the previous year.
Sales effectiveness in Q4 increased by approx. 20% compared to the previous quarter.
The sales result, which previously managed to be achieved sporadically was achieved in 6 consecutive months.
A PDF offer was created, which tangibly emphasizes why it isn’t profitable to save on the cleanliness of the office.
Adding to the sales conversation the question “why did you stop using the services of the previous cleaning company?” let salespeople know more about the concerns and expectations of a potential customer.
A salesperson working remotely began to achieve results similar to the rest of the team in the third month of work despite the fact that sales are only part of their duties.
The pre-sales specialist began to be a real sales support in the first weeks of work. Already in November, when the number of leads was approx. 50% higher than usual, their presence helped the team not get jammed by the record number of inquiries.
Cooperation with external marketing agencies is coordinated by an employed specialist, thanks to which the CEO has more time for his main task, i.e. running and developing the company.
Thanks to the presence of a marketing specialist, the company has enough resources to work on launching new marketing channels, which in the future is to result in more inbound leads.