Monroe Systems for Business has a legacy like few other companies. The inventor, manufacturer, and supplier of commercial calculators was founded in 1912 by Jay R. Monroe. Today, the 104-year-old company is a household name to accounting professionals.
Monroe has earned the trust of Fortune 500 companies, non-profit organizations and government agencies, including the likes of NASA.
Even Hollywood has recognized the strength of the Monroe brand. Their products have landed on major television networks and hit series including the show Mad Men. Today, Monroe continues to innovate and their Monroe UltimateX, is the most advanced adding machine available on the market.
Jason Marsdale, Senior Sales and Marketing Manager at Monroe Systems, shared with us what the business looks like today and how Close.io helps the deal count go up, daily.
Then and now: The original Monroe G calculator and today’s Ultimatex model.
Over 100 years ago, in a small New Jersey factory, nine men operated a lathe and two small presses, bringing the first Monroe calculator to the business world in 1914. At its peak in the 1980s, Monroe had 300 sales and service branch offices in the United States.
Eventually, things started to change. Businesses started to rely on computers more and more. Plus, low cost electronic calculators became available in the US. Even though these low cost products were inferior, sales started to decline.
But for many businesses in the financial industry, such as high-level accounting firms and financial firms, printing calculators still remain the most efficient tool.
In this digital age, the calculator is a device that lives outside of any network, keeping data safe from hackers. Even better, they require no system updates and the sole purpose of the device is calculations, free from interruptions. That’s why Fortune 500 companies, government agencies, and other accounting professionals continue to rely on products from Monroe Systems for sensitive financial information.
Jason explains, “People are returning to devices that live off the grid. A calculator is an independent device that is extremely efficient, and that’s something that contributes to their appeal.”
The end of manual data entry
Jason joined Monroe Systems in January 2016 to spearhead the sales and marketing efforts for Monroe. Soon, it became clear that they needed more control over, and visibility into, their sales process.
Lacking a streamlined sales process
Before Close.io, the sales process was fully controlled by the individual sales reps. While the process was functional, the data was a mess. The system in use, a glorified Microsoft Excel program, was missing follow-up reminders or any form of activity tracking, such as calling or emailing.
When Jason joined Monroe Systems, he started asking questions. No one knew the average length of the sales cycle. No one knew what the pipeline looked like without combining tons of data. It was extremely time consuming, if not impossible, to answer questions regarding the sales process.
Lacking a concrete explanation of how the sales reps managed their time and what they aimed to accomplish, he knew that they needed a better solution.
At his previous company, Jason had been introduced to Close.io. While he was exploring various solutions for Monroe, Close.io’s ability to eliminate manual data entry and significantly cut down admin time made the decision easy.
Seamless transition from their old CRM to Close.io
Most of Monroe’s employees have been with the company over 10 years. With that comes routines, a certain way of doing things.
Typically when you want to introduce new technologies and processes into that kind of environment, you’re met by resistance. But not at Monroe. Jason proactively led the transition over to Close.io and made sure everyone understood how this would benefit the entire team.
He could quickly demonstrate how our inside sales CRM would improve their workflow, make them more productive, allow them to easily see sales activity reports, and help them close more deals in less time.
To help with the transition, Jason provided his employees with a training manual that catered to their internal processes. Outlining every single step of the process using screenshots, the employees learned everything from making a call, adding tasks and creating opportunities.
The result? Within a week everyone was completely fluent in the Close.io platform.
“Close.io has saved us a considerable amount of time not only from a data entry standpoint, but also when it comes to internal communications. Everything is available to everyone, so no one is ever left in the dark.”
Hitting the numbers
In their first month of using Close.io, almost 27,000 people were contacted. Senior management and employees alike were in awe.
“It was incredible. Previously, we just didn’t have the ability to a) email and call people in a scalable way and, b) track our performance.”
By using Close.io, they were able to speed up the sales cycle and get in touch with leads and customers that normally wouldn’t hear from them until months down the road.
Utilizing the bulk email feature and integrated calling, Monroe experienced a huge spike in sales in the first month.
One of the sales reps experienced a staggering increase of 50 percent in his personal sales while others saw an increase of 10–20 percent. Jason confirms, “These numbers have been relatively consistent because we sped up the sales cycle significantly.”
Calculating the benefits of Close.io
When Jason was looking into Close.io, he did his homework.
He anticipated price to be the biggest objection, so he made sure to do the math. He wanted to clearly demonstrate to his team what the time savings would be, and that the cost of Close.io could easily be generated in sales within one week.
He calculated that each sales rep was spending 3 hours and 13 minutes on prospecting and figuring out who to call when in their lead lists. They would then make an average of 20 calls per day, per rep.
The amount of time spent doing calls, entering notes, writing and sending emails, and placing orders needed to be cut down significantly.
During his Close.io trial, Jason found that determining who to call went from 30 seconds down to 5 seconds or less. Leaving a voicemail using voicemail drop, went down to 5 seconds. Emailing dropped from 5 minutes to 1 minute. Entering notes dropped from 30 seconds to 10 seconds.
In the end, Jason got those 3 hours and 13 minutes down to just under two hours.
In actual revenue terms, Jason then anticipated that the time saved would approximately be another $5,000 a month. For each representative, that would be approximately $60,000 a year.
The best part according to Jason, even apart from the spike in revenue, was the increased visibility. Having an overview of the entire pipeline, and seeing exactly what stage each lead was in and who should be contacted next, was something that hadn’t previously existed at Monroe.
“I’m able to track the duration of the phone calls and say alright, how many meaningful conversations did we really have today? It’s a seemingly small feature that provides huge insights.”
Jason could not stress the importance of visibility enough, saying it creates a healthy sense of internal competition in the office. “The sales reps can see exactly where they’re at at all times, and they always know what to do next in order to drive additional sales.”
A more personalized sales process
Recently, customers have been given a survey for their experience with Monroe. On a scale of 1–5, there was not one response below a 4.
“Thanks to Close.io, the selling process has become more personalized than ever. Our representatives know who is calling them, when they last ordered, if they’ve seen an email, and other important account information—all on one screen.”
They’ve tailored their Smart Views to their organizational needs, giving their sales reps another level of granularity when it comes to looking at the opportunities and ability to grow the company.
“My team loves when they can look at their territory and instantly see things like customers who have yet to call or email them back, or customers they haven’t spoken to in 60 days.”
Jason continues, “Many of the things that relied on our team keeping track in their heads are now programmed into Close.io and viewable with a click of a mouse. This means we can now focus 100 percent on the customer experience and closing those deals.”
Next, Jason is looking forward to experimenting more with how their workflow is set up and create even better ways of reaching the right customers and empowering his sales team to create more value for both customers and the company.
Want to see what our inside sales CRM can do for your sales team? Try Close.io for free for 14 days.
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