Minneapolis-based software company SalesStryke’s online sales and marketing solution has helped haulers succeed in increasing sales, margins and profits and has elevated the customer experience in the waste and recycling industry.
The TrashBolt software gives the hauler’s customer the ability to sign up and pay for new services online. It deploys directly on a hauler’s website, allowing customers to “pay at the pump” at any time.
“Using sophisticated mapping technology, TrashBolt geolocates the customer to determine whether the customer lives in a service area,” says K. Ryan Hasse, SalesStryke Software CEO. “If yes, then TrashBolt displays relevant information such as the day of the week trash service occurs, the price specific to location, terms and conditions of service. The customer can sign the agreement and pay. Data is sent to the hauler’s software systems.”
TrashBolt’s online sales platform helps haulers increase customer efficiency and growth for their companies.
“It’s been our pleasure to work with our clients. They are, we believe, at the forefront of the waste services sales and marketing best practices,” says Hasse. “They have remarkable growth with unusually high density, running their trucks at higher than average capacity. They see how TrashBolt brings PCI [payment card industry] compliance to the purchasing process and how data efficiency increases customer response times. And, most of all, our clients are providing their customers with the buying experience today’s buyers demand.”
Waste360 recently sat down with Hasse to learn how TrashBolt has helped haulers succeed in increasing sales, margins and profits and the overall customer experience.
Waste360: What services are available through the TrashBolt software?
K. Ryan Hasse: TrashBolt will grow a hauler’s business while lowering cost of sale. TrashBolt is a(n):
- Portal that allows sales reps and customer service representatives (CSRs) to pull up the correct map-based agreement in order to close business over the phone.
- Sophisticated marketing tool, allowing a hauler to target in-route address for marketing campaigns.
- Search engine optimization (SEO) strategy/website design firm.
- Mobile sales platform for outside sales/professional door knockers.
- Platform that allows customers to buy via a QR code (placed on a cart, realtor refrigerator magnet, etc.).
- Managed marketing firm offering: direct mailers and Google ads based on in-service maps.
Waste360: How has TrashBolt enhanced the client experience?
K. Ryan Hasse: The setup and deployment of a system like this is highly specialized. This is why we’ve created a customer experience that is “turnkey.” Most haulers do not have the staff required to set up and maintain a system like this. So, we do it all for them. With their direction and data, we create the maps, set up the online agreements and even deploy the “buy now” button on their website for them.
This is different from many software products across many industries. In most cases, extra staff is required to set up and maintain a software this sophisticated. That’s not our model. Instead, we set up and deploy the software, and we maintain it. We even maintain our client’s integrations to their other software systems. If a hauler has a route change, an acquisition of another hauler, price changes, tax changes, etc., we do the work. Just send us an email, and consider it done.
In this way, deploying TrashBolt is like renting/outsourcing a very talented and dedicated staff. The value for a hauler is incredible.
Because of this, our clients are experiencing vast success with TrashBolt. Once we deploy, our haulers often see their first online sale within two hours of deployment. We had one client close their first sale through TrashBolt in the first 21 minutes. The results are amazing.
Waste360: What benefits have your clients experienced?
K. Ryan Hasse: TrashBolt will result in an increase in sales and decrease in cost of sale, all while increasing data/operations efficiency and, most importantly, giving the customer the buying experience they want and expect. Let’s break this down a bit.
Increase Gross Sales
Think about this. How do you buy? Amazon? eBay? Expedia? Domino’s Pizza online? Jeff Bezos is the richest man in the world (trading back and forth with Bill Gates) because he made buying stuff easy. Haulers must do the same. Let’s consider a few scenarios:
Scenario 1: It’s Friday evening. A new home buyer has just moved in and is looking at a mountain of trash piled in the garage. “Agh! I forgot to get garbage service.” The current paradigm would have that customer call and leave messages to several haulers or fill out an online form and then wait for a response. Monday ... it’s a hauler foot race. Whomever can get to that customer first is most likely to get that business. One in seven homeowners move annually. So, this is a common situation.
Scenario 2: A customer Googles “trash service near me.” Six haulers show up on the first page of search results. Who gets the business? The one with the “buy now” capability or the five others who expect a customer to call in, leave a message, fill out a form, etc. That’s inconvenient. Our haulers sell their regular rack rates online because it’s simply an easier, more time effective, less intrusive way (who wants to talk to a sales rep?) to purchase.
Scenario 3: You’re a donor of a charity for years. You receive the charity’s e-newsletter each month. You notice this month that there’s an offer to “buy now” from a hauler. Switching service results in a donation to your favorite charity.
Scenario 4: You receive an email that says you can receive a free month’s service for each neighbor you sign up. All you need to do is enter your promo code and use your mobile phone to sign up your neighbors.
The sheer number of ways TrashBolt increases gross sales is endless. The system dashboard shows a hauler who’s viewed a quote, signed but not paid and signed and paid for an agreement. This is an example of some live data. Note the ratios. Most people who view an agreement complete the agreement and pay for it.
Being able to click into a viewed agreement and follow up with the customer to close business is a huge benefit to our haulers. Marketing is expensive. Leads are expensive. So, it’s important to maximize each lead’s sales potential. Establishing key performance indicators is another way we help our haulers succeed.
You will hear me say it again and again: “You can’t manage what you don’t measure.” So, we work with our clients to set up proper measurements. How many leads do you get in a month (do you have Google Analytics on your website?)? How many close? How many are lost? Why are they lost? How many shift to self-service? How many move-outs/move-ins do you recapture (recapture rate)? All of this is important to measure if you’re going to maximize every lead.
Decrease Cost of Sale
Online self-service sales reduce CSR time on the phone. We find that up to 40 percent of our client’s business will shift from phone-based sales to online self-service sales. That’s huge. While this could result in a top line savings (reduced staff hours), we recommend to our hauler clients that they use this newly found CSR time to focus on top of the sales funnel activities such as:
- Develop charity relationships
- Develop email campaigns
- Call back leads generated by TrashBolt (ideally in a customer relationship management (CRM) system)
- Seek partnerships with the county fairs, parades, community events (donate dumpsters/carts for a place on their website with a “buy now” button)
Getting more gross sales from the same sales staff overhead is the best way to lower cost of overall sale. But, there is another important way: data efficiency. TrashBolt captures sales and transaction data at the point of sale, the customer self-service event. This data can be automatically sent/imported into a CRM/billing/routing software to reduce data entry, a further reduction in cost of sale.
For those who’ve followed TrashBolt, you may have heard us say this before: “80 percent of customers expect to be able to buy products and services online, 24/7/365,” according to Forbes Magazine. Today’s customer will become quickly frustrated by phone wait times, leaving messages, filling out online forms or playing phone tag. This is just not how today’s buyers want to buy. They expect transparency in product and pricing and the ability to purchase without talking to a sales rep. Period. Haulers are not immune from this. TrashBolt is a hauler’s way to connect with online buyers.
Waste360: How has it been beneficial for haulers specifically?
K. Ryan Hasse: Our haulers are seeing phenomenal success with TrashBolt. Not only does TrashBolt increase gross sales, there’s a shift of how those sales are captured.
- Up to 50 percent shift to customer self-service. This statistic is huge. If a CSR spends, on average, 10 minutes per sale, then that’s six sales an hour, 48 sales a day. CSRs don’t get 48 sales a day. We’re seeing more like 20 to 25 sales a day. The rest of the time is spent playing phone tag, writing emails, updating a CRM or entering new orders in a software system. So, if TrashBolt can shift 50 percent of that work load, that’s a huge savings for a hauler.
- Up to 40 percent shift to after-hours sales. This is another huge stat. Think about this: 40 percent of 50 percent is 20 percent of gross business. These after-hours sales (weeknights, weekends and holidays) are sales that the hauler may have never closed. What’s your chance of capturing the phone message left on Saturday? Or the online form response? Plus, the CSR could be chasing “out of service area” business. This inefficiency is expensive. TrashBolt solves that. The 20 percent after-hours sale is almost all gross business increase and definitely cheaper to sell via self-service. For this reason alone, TrashBolt has a three- to six-month return on investment.
- Boost website SEO. TrashBolt was designed to deploy on a hauler’s website and keep the user session on the website. Unlike other software (some in our industry), we do not shift the user session off of the hauler’s site. This is extremely important. Google ranks websites relative to search/keywords based on user “dwell time.” A customer signing up through a hauler’s TrashBolt system increases dwell time, helping our hauler clients' websites rank higher in Google’s search results in their respective market. This increased ranking drives more customers to your “buy now” button, further driving SEO—it’s a positive cycle. Advice: Avoid software that shifts your customers away from your website.
Waste360: How have your clients helped the software evolve and improve?
K. Ryan Hasse: We were once a hauler providing residential municipal solid waste, recycling, roll-off, commercial service—you name it. So, our staff has practical, real-world experience. But, as in any industry, different companies have their own way of doing things. So, we have dedicated ourselves and our products to be as flexible as possible to accommodate these differences.
Secondly, because we see these differences and we see what works and what doesn’t, we are able to help guide haulers to “what works” in any particular situation. We’ve led many haulers to website design, SEO strategy, business, policy and financial strategies and even route analysis. The goal: drive buyers to the TrashBolt “buy now” button and fix downstream data flow inefficiencies.
Third, perhaps most importantly, our customers keep us focused on what’s important to them. We know our clients by name. They know our team by name. It’s personal and friendly. So, we create our enhancement and development roadmap based on what our customers want. This is not always possible, even if it’s intended, in software. Many software systems are based on aged platforms that make moving the product forward, customer-driven enhancements, impossible or too costly. Due to the foresight of our talented development team, and our Chief Technology Officer Martin Euerle, we are not in that position.