Illustrating these capabilities to win the contract is only half the battle. Once the bid is secured, BSCs must make good on the obligations set forth in the proposal in order to retain their customer’s business. Unfortunately, this is where many BSCs fall short, according to software providers.

“One of the most important factors in client retention is involvement or input from your operations team,” says Pyne. “A sales team might have a separate CRM (customer relationship management) application to track prospects and proposals, but they might not have a system that’s updating them with operational data, such as how long it takes to perform services.”

Because production rates are dynamic, it’s important to bring sales and operations under one platform, according to Pyne. In this way, the sales team can avoid miscommunications and ensure that the company delivers on the promises of the contract.

Michael Brown, co-founder and CEO of Swept, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada, knows firsthand the dangers of communication gaps between contractors and their frontline staff. As the former owner of a cleaning company, he was surprised when one of his clients called to fire him over a problem he didn’t know existed.

“The client told me that my team was showing up late and leaving early, and they were missing things,” says Brown. “They said I hadn’t connected with them, and it wasn’t their job to manage my cleaning company. I was completely caught off guard.”

The incident was a wakeup call that led Brown to develop field management software for business owners to connect with their cleaning crew and identify issues before they became customer problems.

“You can’t just clean the contract anymore,” says Brown. “You have to build confidence and trust in the sales process — and that’s the role that software plays. Now, you can prove to your customer during a walkthrough how you’ll manage something when it goes wrong.”

Additionally, equipping team members with software tools improves communications and increases efficiencies, preventing many of these mishaps from occurring in the first place.

“The shame of the industry is that because turnover is so high people don’t train cleaners well or set them up for success,” says Brown. “With the software, the cleaner can communicate with other crew members and access instructions, videos and pictures if needed. They know where everything is and what’s expected of them, and they can report any issues.”

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