Our mission at CrowdReason is and has always been to give you, our customers, the digital tools that will help you thrive. In our view, that involves a whole lot more than just selling software.
The best way we know of to help you succeed is to become your partner, which we do by gaining a thorough understanding of your business needs (yes, literally yours!) and using that information to continuously make our product and service better. This blog series highlights the CrowdReason processes that support that partnership—and the individuals who make our customer experience exceptional.
Our first few posts centered on product development, implementation, and customer support. Here, we’ll explain our philosophy around sales and show you what to expect when you engage in the sales process for our property tax software solution.
Our sales process centers on you: How can our property tax software solution solve your problems?
Our sales and marketing associate Giselle Kretzschmer doesn’t view her role as a transactional one. For her, it’s about people—understanding the specific challenges prospects are facing and determining how CrowdReason can help solve them. An important component of that process is building trust in our product and our company. The discovery process is where it all begins.
The Discovery Process
Discovery is the first phase of our sales process and the part Kretzschmer views as most important. Why? Because it helps her uncover your main property tax process challenges and what you need most in a software tool. Different from a traditional RFP (request for proposal) process, discovery sets the stage for a more personalized, meaningful conversation about our services and products, rather than a canned sales presentation that simply addresses some bullet points on a page. “That time is so important to me because it helps me understand and identify the things that are important to that prospect’s process so I don’t assume anything. If we don’t discuss what the challenges(s) are, then it’s hard to know what to focus on and how to solve these.”
Many of the people Kretzschmer talks to are struggling with various tax function optimization issues. Most have difficulty managing large numbers of property tax filings because they’re still doing things manually, like using Excel as a management tool, they have individuals or teams to do data entry, and/or use Post-it notes as a reminder system. Reporting also poses a challenge. Tax teams are looking for ways to gain back control over the process and simplify it at the same time. As someone who has property tax experience herself, Kretzschmer understands their position and works to focus the discussions on how our products can help.
The Next Step: A Deep Dive
Discovery sets the direction for the demo, which Kretzschmer likes to call a “deep dive” into the software.
In general, she usually breaks it down into two parts: an explanation of how our property tax software solutions work together (TotalPropertyTax and MetaTasker) and how one (or both) can address the prospect’s challenges specifically. To make these deep-dives specific and relevant, these areas are primarily driven from the discovery discussions. She’ll then add explanations with property tax scenarios relevant to the prospect’s own tax filings, for instance, payment discounts in Florida or installment payments in some northeastern states.
Your deep dive may look different than someone else’s—we meet as often as necessary to make sure all key stakeholders’ questions are addressed (executive, management, analysts, IT, etc.). Each stakeholder group usually has its own requirements, and we’re happy to provide clarification on all aspects of our software and services. For example, some companies want to dive deeper into system functionality as it relates to their specific business or industry; others have more IT-related questions. In both those cases, Kretzschmer pulls in a Sales Engineer from our team to help. “It builds trust when we can talk in detail about technical aspects of the software, security issues, or industry-specific practices and solutions. Prospects can relate to those conversations, and having those answers makes them feel more comfortable with their decision.”
At the end of every deep dive, Kretzschmer creates a timeline so that prospects get an idea of when they could be up and running with the new application(s). The timeline serves as a guide for outlining and meeting future milestones. She also likes to offer her assistance for what is likely the next phase: selling the idea internally. “It can be a difficult thing for someone to come off our deep-dives and then have to create that ‘buy-in’ to their management team. I know what that process typically looks like and can help with anything needed. We can work together on any of the resources requested, whether it’s references, presentation materials, or anything else.” Kretzschmer is always happy to welcome any interested parties on the deep-dive calls, especially if it will help their understanding of how the applications can solve their teams’ challenges.
From Prospect To Partner
We’re always thrilled to welcome a new customer, but we also always want you to feel confident in your decision to partner with us. Throughout the sales process, you’ll meet one or more of our team members (we’re all in the same Carrollton, Texas office!) and get a taste of what it would be like to work with us long-term. We promise we’ll always provide thoughtful, prompt responses to your questions and keep an open line of communication with regard to feedback. (We’re always trying to make our product better.)
Even though Kretzschmer is technically responsible for the initial stages of sales, she likes to remain part of the process for as long as possible. “At some point, sales becomes a team effort, but even at the contractual stage, I try to stick around. The kickoff call is where I usually do the official handover and introduce the full team. Of course, I’m always there if you need anything. A successful sale is not just another deal to us. It’s the beginning of an exciting journey!”
Meet CrowdReason’s Giselle Kretzschmer
Giselle has been with CrowdReason for three years; before joining us, she worked at a property tax consulting firm.
She wasn’t always in sales, but the role has allowed Giselle to grow professionally—and she thoroughly enjoys it. “CrowdReason is an awesome company to work for. They really do have our best interests at heart, which is important to me and my family. And everyone on the team is helpful and intelligent; I’m always learning something new.”
Giselle enjoys spending time with her family traveling to new places and being outside. When she’s not at work, she loves listening to music, reading (when she can sneak it in), and occasionally, painting.