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Tuesday, February 8, 2011

A Successful Sales Story “Selling Software as a Service” PlanWell Collaborate

One of the fastest growing and most successful, privately owned, minority Class ‘A’ general contractors in the US Mid-Atlantic region, has made the commitment to invest in PlanWell. This progressive GC has the proven abilities and track record to take on some of the most challenging of construction projects in the area. They are committed to meeting their clients’ goals by making investments in education, technology and their employees, so they are able to avoid costly delays, keep projects in budget and deliver high-quality work.

Solution Selling Process:

This GC was interested in online construction technology. When they were initially contacted, PlanWell and BidCaster were discussed. However, after doing a thorough and complete needs assessment of their company and total document workflow, the sales consultant found a further opportunity to also introduce PlanWell Collaborate.

 The client was quick to realize that many of the current administrative processes that they were engaging in on a daily basis were antiquated and needed to be overhauled. This administrative workflow was taking focus away from their core focus, which was delivering high quality projects within budget.

The client immediately saw how PlanWell Collaborate (PWC) could help in their project and document workflow. Prior to the actual product Solution presentation, the client obviously researched the application in some detail. During the initial presentation of PWC, the client actually stepped through each of the main points of PWC and explained how it would be used and what benefit he would receive from it. In fact, the client more or less presented the application to the PlanWell Reseller instead of the other way around. It was a most interesting (yet refreshing) demo!

Besides using PWC, the client still intends on using both PlanWell and BidCaster throughout each project for most current set tracking, addenda and bulletin tracking as well as bid solicitation functionality.

Sales Objections and Solutions:

The sales consultant demonstrated Planwell Collaborate and Planwell / BidCaster to show them all the attributes each application had to offer their company. There were so many things the GC’s employees could utilize from PlanWell that they did not know where to begin. For example, should they phase in their network system? Do they get Collaborate in first? Would bringing in printing equipment at this stage be premature to their work flow needs, to mention just a few.

 Eventually it was agreed that the GC needed PlanWell Collaborate right away because of all their immediate needs to order prints and to move/organize files. When the sales team discussed them using Bidcaster and staffing opportunities (staffed FM) for their bid packages they loved the idea of us putting a person (staffed FM) in their office to help with administrative process of PW/PWC we thought they were going to flip out. They said “can we start on Monday”!

 So the solution for them after the initial PWC phase was implemented was a manned FM with new network system, new computers, small format printers and a Color Wave 600 to run all their design build packages.

The great thing about establishing a partnership with your customers is that once they see your product, they realized the potential in convincing their clients to use your solution. In fact, this GC was so positive about the workflow and the benefits that they brought one of their clients in to sit in on Planwell Collaborate presentation. They too were blown away by the product, so much so, that they are trying out the product and if all goes well, they too will be purchasing 15 seats.


PlanWell Collaborate has tremendous versatility as it can be used in all phases on a projects life-cycle, in this case the GC found great benefit in using PWC in helping them to manage the following processes:
  • Project E-mail storage and archive
  • Daily project logs and project specific calendars
  • Virtual storage location for meeting minutes, owner and architect information, prime contractor information, payment records, RFI, ASI, etc.
  • Storage location for all project documentation with integrated file viewer
 Opportunities with Account:

PlanWell Collaborate was just the beginning with this account. As noted above, this account has turned into a staffed FM, which will include PlanWell Collaborate, PlanWell / BidCaster, and printing services as well. In addition, the reprographer will be providing both large format and small format printing equipment as well as a complete network structure (including servers, backup devices, etc). Furthermore, the GC has already gotten the PlanWell Reseller in front of other clients to present PlanWell Collaborate and those clients have initially committed to a trial working.

Today many reprographers are finding out that talking to customers about workflow and technology solutions, that solve real business problems, can provide significant opportunities to grow market share and revenues, are you ?


Shaun Meany

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