Editor's note: The following is the transcript of a live interview with Cody Carnes with Ingage. You can read the transcript below or watch the webinar.
Heidi Ellsworth: Hello and welcome to another Lunch & Learn from Roofers Coffee Shop. My name is Heidi Ellsworth and these Lunch & Learns are for you. It's for the roofing companies out there. I hope you're sitting around right now eating lunch and watching this very informative Lunch & Learn because we have a discussion sheet for you, so be sure to download that, and we have an amazing topic today and that is creating a one of a kind customer experience. So, we have our friends from Ingage here, Cody Carnes. Cody, welcome to the Lunch & Learn.
Cody Carnes: Yeah. Hey Heidi. Thanks for having me.
Heidi Ellsworth: Ingage is the expert. You are the expert. We're so excited to hear from you about how people can really create that one of a kind customer experience. So before we get started with the great Lunch & Learn, let's start with an introduction. If you could introduce yourself, tell us a little bit about what you do at Ingage and about Ingage itself.
Cody Carnes: Yeah. Absolutely. So as you mentioned, my name is Cody. I've been in the home improvement space as a whole for about seven years now. I've been with Ingage now for a little over a year and a half. I'm an account executive here. I have actually sold in the home previously as well as worked for other software companies too. So really at Ingage, just really taking my experience from actually selling in the home as well as being on the software side of things and really just molding the two together and helping companies improve their sales process and at the end of the day, just win more business.
Heidi Ellsworth: I love it. I love it. And just give us a little bit of an elevator on Ingage overall.
Cody Carnes: Yeah. So Ingage has been the leading presentation tool for the home improvement industry for the past four to five years. We're really helping companies get rid of outdated, stagnant forms of presentations and replace that with a more modern, interactive, visually appealing presentation that is very easy for their reps to navigate in the home, very seamless and in return, allows them to increase their close rates and their average deal sizes with analytics on the back end as well.
Heidi Ellsworth: It's really changed the way roofing contractors in the sales process in their overall.
Cody Carnes: Yeah. Absolutely.
Heidi Ellsworth: Yeah. Well, okay. So, for today, you are going to help us with three learning objectives and those are creating or refreshing sales presentations, making the change to digital presentations and using sales analytics for success. So for all of you out there, be sure you have your discussion sheet downloaded and print it out so you can take notes as you go and we will be addressing each one of these learning objectives for you and for that discussion. So let's get started. So Cody, the first learning objective today is creating or refreshing sales presentations. Tell us about that 'cause contractors may have really old presentations or maybe they don't even have them. How do they go about doing this?
Cody Carnes: Yeah. So, a lot of contractors that are using us today, and even ones that we talk to on a daily basis that are interested in potentially exploring Ingage to recreate that presentation, as you mentioned, some of them are using nothing, but a lot of them are using PowerPoints, keynotes, flipbooks, brochures, even PitchBook still. I know when I sold at home I used a PitchBook as well as a PowerPoint. Bringing out a PitchBook in a home that's 100, 200 pages long can be very overwhelming for the homeowner and a little tedious for the rep to have that conversation, build that value and sell the product that they are. So our customers are really coming to us to be able to transform that into a more interactive experience. It's easier for their rep to explain their products, their services and really make themselves stand out from the competition out there.
Heidi Ellsworth: Yeah. You know what? Back in the day I helped to design and put together those PitchBooks, so I know exactly what you mean. But really the statistics out there that you have show that there is a huge increase in closing rates and deal sizes when you upgrade to a more technology current progressive sales presentation. Tell us about that.
Cody Carnes: Yeah. So I guess to separate the difference, so if I'm using a PowerPoint in the home, first of all, they're very linear. So I'm stuck to having to swipe page by page. There's not a lot of interactivity. I can't embed videos that live directly within the PowerPoint. It's a lot of words, a lot of bullets, and naturally our brains aren't programmed to retain and listen to that information in a way to get the point across to the homeowner. So, with Ingage, allowing you to be able to embed videos, allowing you to be able to navigate seamlessly throughout the presentation, pivot depending on where that conversation is going with that homeowner and also just the interactiveness, the brain reacts different when pictures pop up on a screen that you didn't think was going to come up.
I'm not sitting there reading words and not listening to what you're telling me. I'm going to listen to that, retain that information more, and then naturally our customers are seeing three to 10% increases in their close rates and then nine to 12% increases in their average deal sizes by being able to create that better overall experience in the home between the rep and the homeowner.
Heidi Ellsworth: I think it is. I think really when we're looking at it, in this new age we expect it. As homeowners, as consumers, we expect technology, we expect it to be done in a way that makes us feel good. And so, there's a lot of reasons that, I think that's number one, the customer, but there's also some backend reasons of why refreshing or creating a sales presentation using a platform like Ingage is so important. One of the ones being a marketing person that I just love is it helps the communication between sales and marketing like nothing else. Kind of go through some of that on why that distribution and management of content is so much easier and also helps with those closing and deal rates.
Cody Carnes: Yeah. One of the biggest ones is really the distribution of it. A lot of times messaging can change, content can change. You always want to keep things up to date as a marketing side of the business, but then getting those updates to the sales side of the business can sometimes be very tedious. So for instance, going back to other forms of presentations that companies might be using, if it's a PitchBook, if I update a PitchBook every quarter while I'm having to reprint those, we know paper costs a lot of money, if I have typos, if there's missing information, I have to redo that all over. It's very tedious. Same things with PowerPoint, keynotes, PDFs. It's very tedious to push those updates out to the team and then also track and make sure the team is actually utilizing the updated version and not still using the out of date version.
So, with Ingage, we allow you to very seamlessly push updates. It's cloud based. So as soon as you go in from, let's say I'm a director of marketing, I come in, make an update to a new product that we're selling or a new messaging, that update will be published and pushed to everyone that has access to that presentation immediately and automatically for you. And then we also give you, as I mentioned earlier, the analytics on the backend so that you can actually track and ensure that that messaging is being communicated the way that you intended it to be.
Heidi Ellsworth: Yeah. I think that's really important too 'cause sometimes if you don't have a solid communication between sales and marketing or even the company and sales, they may not know that a product has changed or that something has happened. And so being able to really control that messaging where they just bring their iPad out, they go through it, it's automatically updated for them. And also sometimes you can lock the pages. You can really make sure that the sales rep is doing and following that format.
Cody Carnes: Yeah. So, if I'm using something other than Ingage, I don't really have control over my team being able to modify that and then that's going to create an inconsistent message across the board between my salespeople. Obviously from a marketing standpoint, that's not what we want. We want everything to remain consistent as possible. So, within Ingage, you have full presentation control, but you can also go down to a page level. So let's say you want 98% of your presentation to be locked down, not allow your reps to be able to make any changes or modifications to those pages, but let's say there might be two or three pages within your presentation that you do want that rep to be able to cater that conversation specifically to that specific homeowner so that you can allow them to modify down to a page level for when it makes sense for them to be able to do that.
Heidi Ellsworth: Kind of makes everybody happy.
Cody Carnes: Absolutely.
Heidi Ellsworth: I love that. And the one thing to that I want to point out is that manufacturers can also be updating their information so that when you talk about the content manufacturers, we just went through it. They might not have certain colors or they may not have certain styles right now. That can be modified from the manufacturer standpoint also, helping to keep everybody current.
Cody Carnes: Yeah. We have a ton of partnerships from the manufacturer level in the space to not only make it easier for our customers to get up and running more efficiently, but to ensure that those manufacturers, that their messaging and their branding stays on point as that information is passed from the manufacturer down to the dealer itself.
Heidi Ellsworth: Yeah. That's great. That's great. Well, Cody, let's go on to our second learning objective and that is going to be making the change to digital presentations. So it's not easy making changes in a company, especially when it comes around technology, there's always a little bit of resistance. So talk a little bit about, in this learning objective of making the change to digital presentations, talk about the adoption rate. How does that look for a roofing company?
Cody Carnes: Yeah. So as you mentioned, making any sort of change in a business can be tedious and a lot of us are scared to take that leap and make those changes. We try to create a seamless and efficient experience for our customers so that once they sign up with Ingage, they get the necessary help that they need so that we can get them onboarded and have their reps out in the field using this in a timely manner. Our average onboarding time is between 30 to 45 days and we really have two different routes that you can take there. We have a ton of experience. We've done this with hundreds of customers over the years so we know what it takes to make a customer successful with a good presentation.
So we have designers on our team that if you take Route A, which is our team helping you, our team's going to hold your hand, you'll have meetings with our team, they'll tell you maybe tips and tricks that they've seen other customers do and use that can help you be successful, and really ensure that you create the most professional interactive presentation that's going to be best for you and your business, but then we also have an option to where you can actually just hire our team and all we need is your website, your logo, your color and your branding. If you want to give us content, great, that's going to help us, but we have a team of researchers that actually go and find content and build you a one of a kind presentation that's going to match your business 95% done within the first two weeks and then we can collaborate and make changes and edits to put the final touches on it as well.
Heidi Ellsworth: That's amazing. And you can use some of the existing content that they have if it's still relevant because when you're starting to create a new thing, contractors may find that, "Oh, our past information or our past content isn't really as streamlined or relevant in today's world."
Cody Carnes: Yeah. A lot of customers come to us with a PowerPoint, with PDFs, whatever it may be, and all they really have to do is just take that and transform it into the more interactive version within Ingage. So if you already have content, it makes it a lot easier, but there are customers out there as well that have limited to no content that obviously our team is there to help more with those.
Heidi Ellsworth: And your team, like you said, they can help if there's a marketing person in the company, they can work with them to do it, or like you said, do it yourself. You also have a quick start and you may have mentioned this, but let's make sure we mention that quick start because I think that's important. Sometimes people, they just want to get going.
Cody Carnes: Yeah. We've, over the past six months to a year, really focused on how do we enable our customers to get up and running on their own as quickly as possible? So we've created really two key things. First thing was the marketplace. The marketplace is where all of our samples and templates live. So, if I'm a new Ingage customer, download the app on my device, I go into the marketplace, let's say I sell roofing. As soon as I come into the marketplace, I find a roofing sample presentation, I download that into my account, and then I can just go in and just change photos out. So specific photos of work that I've done, specific branding and logo for my company, and I can be up and running very efficiently.
We also have quick start templates that think of it as filling out kind of like a form. So, you're going to put in specific information, answer questions, put in photos, put in videos and then that quick start is actually going to create a presentation for you and then you just download that into your account and then you're able to present it from there.
Heidi Ellsworth: That's exactly what companies need from do it yourself 'cause you have a marketing person, and they can fit the logo in, they can go to the content marketplace, which I love by the way. I think that's so cool. Taking their own stuff up, all the way to Ingage building it for them and really understanding and researching and helping you put together the best current presentation. So let's talk a little bit, still under this learning objective, about the sales team because this is a big change, this is a big adoption. How do you work with the sales team to train them?
Cody Carnes: Yeah. Once everything is built out from a content perspective, so once you have all your presentations done, but we're also available to meet with the sales team, do trainings with them. We have tons of resources also like a YouTube channel. We have tons of training and videos inside of there. We have tons of webinars that we've done, but also if they need that one-on-one interaction, so let's say a sales team of five or six people, you could set a meeting, Zoom, be virtual, and cover any questions, go over how they're going to be using it in the home, cover all the hotspots, all the interactivity and stuff, and it's so that once they start running appointments using Ingage, they feel very confident and comfortable with it.
Heidi Ellsworth: One of the most important things we know when it comes to sales is practice. Practice, practice, practice. So, this gives a great opportunity to be very comfortable with the Ingage platform and the new presentation before they ever step foot in the home.
Cody Carnes: Absolutely. And then once their close rates go up, they're naturally going to want to continue using it even more.
Heidi Ellsworth: Yeah. 'Cause this is what homeowners are looking for. It's so true. So that really leads us into our third learning objective, which is using sales analytics for success. And I have to tell you, I love this part. I love the fact of really being able to get the analytics and understand it. So, Cody, talk to us about Ingage’s analytics, how you can see how the sales team are using it in the home, how the homeowners are engaging with it, and really, I know you just put out 2.0. So, what's this new analytics platform look like?
Cody Carnes: Yeah. So, we've, over the past few months, been meeting with a lot of current customers 'cause we always want to understand what do you like about Ingage, but also what can we do differently so that we can not only meet your needs, but also continue to grow and meet the needs of new customers that we bring on in the future as well. So we did recently just launch Analytics 2.0, really to give a more modern feel and make it easier to be able to build and look into analytics because before it was a little cumbersome and not as easy to use so we wanted to make it as easy to use as possible. But really it's pretty simple. So, every time your rep in the field launches the Ingage app when they're in a home and goes through their presentation, we're tracking all of that session data and then we're allowing you on the back end to be able to come in and mine that data exactly how you want to.
So let's say I want to look at last month, look at what my team did. I have a team of five as a sales manager. I had one top performer and then maybe I had two people that struggled. They didn't really hit the metrics that we wanted them to. So, I want to take and build an analytic feature to look at to be able to compare those three reps to each other, which you can do inside of Ingage, just to see what the trends are. So what is that top performer doing in the home that differs from what those two who are struggling are doing in the home? And then how can I coach and train those two reps that are struggling a little bit to then do what that top performer is doing to kind of close that gap?
You can also do virtual ride-alongs. So tracking that session data, you can see exactly how long the rep presented in the home. So let's say they had an appointment yesterday at two, John presented to these potential customers. I can see he spent an hour and 20 minutes in the Ingage presentation and then I can get a granular page by page walkthrough of exactly what he presented in the home, what was the flow and how long did he spend on each part of our process within that presentation as well.
Heidi Ellsworth: That's invaluable to a sales manager or an owner, to really understand what's working and what's not working.
Cody Carnes: Yes. And obviously the better presentation in the home helps with close rates and average deal sizes, but when our customers really start to use analytics the way that they're intended to be, that's really where they start to see their results skyrocket.
Heidi Ellsworth: Yeah. And understanding the analytics is one thing, but also then the training, being able to use that as a training tool for the sales team and for new hires into sales I would think where they could actually watch it. They could see what works and what isn't working. Talk a little bit about that training aspect.
Cody Carnes: Yeah. So there's two ways it's really big from a new hire perspective. The first way is Ingage is actually becoming more of a sales enablement tool. We're not just a presentation software anymore. Obviously, ways of sending out presentations prior to appointments, also being able to use Ingage as a training tool. So, the same way that you think of Ingage in the home as creating that better experience, helping that customer gain the information and retain that information, it's the same as in a classroom training setting. A lot of our customers prior to Ingage were using PowerPoints, the same stuff they were using to sell in the home to train on, the reps were taking four weeks, six weeks, eight weeks to get that information, especially if they were new in the industry. Whereas our customers that are using Ingage as a training tool are able to cut their training time in half.
So we have companies going from four weeks of training to two weeks of training, but then also they're able to create homeworks to where the reps can actually go through training on Ingage for maybe what they learned in the classroom setting that day at home and then me as a training manager or sales manager, I can actually see what reps are actually spending time at home going through that information. Who's serious about this? Who really wants to learn? And then on the flip side, if I have people who are very new to the industry, I can also use those analytics when they start selling in the field to see what they're doing compared to people who have been in the industry for a long time and then coach and train around that to get them where they need to be.
Heidi Ellsworth: I love it. It's an insight that has never been there before that Ingage has just brought to companies that is just changing, like we said earlier, their closing rates and their deals. So let's talk just real quick about that. You mentioned the pre-appointment confirmation. I love this. So, one of the things that, I think this is relatively new, but that companies are sending out an Ingage presentation to the homeowner before they come out for them to walk through 'cause we know a lot of homeowners, people in general nowadays are doing so much more research. That makes so much sense and then in the backend in the analytics, you can see which pages they stopped on. So talk about that.
Cody Carnes: Yeah. So the pre-appointment is actually one of our quick starts 'cause we know, if a company has 10 reps, you don't want to have to spend the time to create that presentation 10 times over.
Heidi Ellsworth: Yeah.
Cody Carnes: So, you can do the quick start, put the information in, it can spin that presentation for you really quickly. But our customers are using this. So let's say I have a team and we just set an appointment for Wednesday at six o'clock. We're going to call and confirm that appointment tomorrow let's say around two or three. Once that appointment is confirmed, so Ingage presentations can be shared out via a link via text and/or email and it would just take that homeowner to a web browser on whatever device they're looking at, whether it's a laptop, tablet, iPad and it's also available on phones as well. But I want to introduce the rep that's coming to the home. So in that pre-appointment presentation, I have a picture and a bio of the rep. Our customers have found that that initial interaction tends to go a lot smoother.
When that homeowner opens the door, they already know what that rep looks like, they already know their name, they know they love dogs, they're allergic to cats, put the cat away, whatever it may be. But then as a company, I can give them specific information on maybe specific products I sell. Maybe I want to see if they'll get pre-approved for financing before I even show up to the home. Maybe I want to get them really excited about how we could transform their home by doing this project by showing pictures and videos of work that we've done. And then as you mentioned, you can also get analytics into that. So did that homeowner open that presentation and where did they actually spend their time so that we can have some insights before we ever even walk into the home and run that appointment.
Heidi Ellsworth: Yeah. I just think that's incredible. From a sales perspective, I look at that and I think, "I now know what they're interested in." And I love the safety part too. They know me when I knock on that door. That is huge. So, Cody, just to kind of finalize and sum up what we're doing, talk about the relationship between your customers, your roofing contractors out there and Ingage and how it's really helped grow the businesses and also mentor and train inside both sales and marketing.
Cody Carnes: Yeah. So, I wouldn't call Ingage a normal software company. A lot of software companies out there pushing their software, they want people to sign up, grow their business, they're not really focused and worried about the customer, whereas from the moment you sign up with Ingage, we want to create that hands-on consultative partnership with you, that white glove experience so to say, to ensure from day one you get onboarded in that 30 to 45 days in a timely manner and we help transform your sales process to, again, increase your close rates and your average deal sizes, but even as you're a current customer of ours, like we've been doing recently, we reach out and say, "Hey. What's going well? What's not going well? How can we improve Ingage so it can be a better fit for you, but also new potential customers that we might have in the future as well?"
Heidi Ellsworth: I love that. I think that's what every roofing company wants out there, that kind of partnership, that kind of technology at their fingertips, and someone like Ingage who's going to make it easy for them. So Cody, thank you so much for being on today. Great information. Great Lunch & Learn. Thank you so much.
Cody Carnes: Yeah, absolutely. Thanks for having me, Heidi. It's always a pleasure.
Heidi Ellsworth: And for everybody watching this, you can get this information on the Ingage directory on Roofers Coffee Shop, Metal Coffee Shop and Coatings Coffee Shop. So be sure to check it out. Find who you can talk to, what you can do because this is something you really need to be looking at for 2024. If you already are using technology for your presentations, think about upgrading to a platform like Ingage that will give you all those analytics that you really need to really make it successful. Be sure to download your discussion sheet if you haven't already. Make some notes and send a picture, show us a picture of you eating lunch, watching this awesome Ingage Lunch & learn and we will send one of you a free lunch. So thank you again for being here today and we'll see you next time on Roofers Coffee Shop, Lunch & Learn.
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