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Measuring The Impact Of Business Development Training For Accountants

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Why should Accountants measure the effect of business development training?

  • To support implementation and ensure sustained deployment
  • To ensure return on investment and make the business case
  • To constantly improve the training and ensure durability

What should Accountants measure?

The classic measurement approach (primarily developed by Professor Donald Kirkpatrick), looks at four levels of evaluation;

  1. Reaction to the training
    • Often using end of course evaluations and surveys
  2. Evidence of skills learned
    • Learning can be defined as the extent to which participants change attitudes, improve knowledge and/or increase skill as a result of attending the program
  3. Evidence of a change in behavior
    • The training itself will only be one of the drivers for this change. As Kirkpatrick points out there needs to be 4 conditions for a change in behavior
      • The person must want to change
      • They must know what to do and how to do it
      • They must work in the right climate
      • They must be rewarded for changing
  4. The effect on results

While most Accountants measure at level 1, fewer measure at 2 and 3 and only a small minority measure at 4.

How and when should we measure?

When?

What?

At planning stage

Measure current alignment of skills and business goals/strategy

Before training

Measure participants’ expectations, confidence and view of own capabilities

During training

Understanding

During training

Ability and commitment to apply

End of training

Opinion of training and commitment to apply

Plus one week

Opinion of training and commitment to apply

Plus one week

Change in understanding

Plus one-three months

Change in activity (quantity, direction and quality)

Plus three-six months (depending on buying cycles)

Result

Plus six-twelve months

Change in competence

 

Measuring Return on Investment

Here are some useful indicators to measure changes in behaviour and changes in results.

This list is not exhaustive but reflects KPIs we have used with clients. Clearly it will be important to select the most appropriate KPIs for the specific situation. Select the most appropriate measures for you by looking for the measures that are relatively easy to make and which will be the most useful.

Level 4. Results

KPI

Value?

Easy?

Share of wallet

No. of deals

Average deal value ( spit by new business / existing customer)

Actual against forecast

Income

Margin

No of new clients

Rebuy rate

Growth rate per account

Rate of in-sell against target and stage goals

 

Level 3. Behaviours

 

Activities

Value?

Easy?

No. of customer visits (per week/month)

No. of proposals

No. of referrals/introductions

No. of opportunities into pipeline

% of time spent in direct selling activity

Time spent actively managing social selling

 

Concentration of Focus

Value?

Easy?

Balance of activity between prospects and clients

Use of selection criteria to ensure prospects fit strategy

Use of GO/ NO-GO points to ensure opportunities fit strategy and tactics

Number of contacts in each client/prospect

Balance of time split between different buyer types/points of contact

Balance of activity across segments (vertical markets, customer size etc.)

Balance of time between pro-active and reactive customer work.

 

Effectiveness

Value?

Easy?

Conversion ratios at different points in the sales process

Pre call/meeting/pitch preparation (time spent or % prepared for, use of meeting planner)

Clear call objectives set (main and fall-back)

Quality of approach (phone, e-mail etc)

Entry behavior

Positioning statements – yourself, your company, your products

Running the first 5 minutes

Creating openness

Asking questions to get to the customer’s real requirements

Listening

Summarizing

Structuring the meeting and controlling the flow

Forming a value-added solution

Presenting the solution to individuals and groups

Handling price challenges

Handling objections

Reading adapting to different personality types

Gaining commitment

 

Conclusion

Measurement of Business Development training is difficult but it’s important. If you’d like to look further into measuring the impact of Business Development training please contact us

5 reasons why Online Accountants should target e-commerce clients

By | Market Watch, Marketing Tips | No Comments

Be a specialist

Let’s just draw a line and move on. The days where your marketing can say:

“I’m an accountant I can be an accountant for all businesses” have GONE.

I know you can be an accountant for most types of businesses, after all 1+1=2 wherever you are. That’s not the point, the point is what does the client think. The powerbase has moved from professional to client and the younger clients believe they are very special indeed and want specialists to support them. You will flatter them by showing them you are a specialist in accountancy for e-commerce businesses.

 

#1. Growing market

Hooking on to the shirt tails of a market that is outgrowing our flat lining economy, ensures organic growth even before you outperform your competitors.

The rise in the rate of growth of ecommerce is falling, however the UK is still showing 7%-10% growth in online business. The fall in the rate of growth is inevitable and really just a consequence of the size of the market, estimated at about €180billion for 2017.

 

#2. High margins

Owners of smaller e-commerce businesses are far less worried about location and face to face. In effect they are happy to deal with you remotely and online. You are just like them!

They are content for you to be virtual, use outsourced staff, they don’t require bricks and mortar and importantly demand less of a partner’s time for menial work.

From cloudaccountant.today members, we here that their ‘new’ client base all use very similar systems and process through the likes of Xero. This is improving costs of production for the accountant.

All in all an e-comms client delivers higher margin.

 

#3. Your value proposition

Your familiarity with the nuances of e-commerce businesses is where your value proposition lies. Xero, Freeagent, EU VAT, duties, Trading platforms, expected returns, funding and more are all aspects and nuances which, if you promote well, can become good sales messages. You might even encapsulate it in a strap line. e-commerce business do better with Rosenwald accountants

#4. Ease of service

Your new eCommerce clients won’t even have a shoebox full of receipts to wade through,  their processes and payment gateways will already be digitalised waiting for you just to log in and manage  and of course wherever they are in the UK they will be more than happy to hop on to Skype for that first meeting making htem easy clients to win, manage and successfully support.

#5. Digital revolution

I know it goes without saying that the digital revolution has allowed you to become a cloud and remote advisor. However we are only really at the start, the big AI or machine learning and integration is about to begin. As a driver it is only going to make e-comm clients more valuable and exciting.

Finally, thank you for reading, I hope it proved worthwhile. The markets we talk about are the markets we can help you reach.

If you’re interested in targeting the eCommerce sector click here to learn about our e-com pro service pack.

Or call 01392 247 207 today

New Case Study – 3 Simple Steps To Search Engine Domination For Cloud Accountants

By | Campaign Ideas, Featured Campaigns, Marketing Tips, Resources | No Comments

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If you are currently marketing your cloud accounting services and are looking for ways to dominate the search engines then this short and concise no nonsense guide is for you.

Included in the download are simplified instructions so you can understand the principals of what needs to be done and  why plus a case study so you can see exactly how we have secured multiple top spots in google for a lead generating phrase that is perfectly suited to our client base. (You!)

We have purposely kept this guide short, concise and give real life examples so you can easily digest this without a degree in SEO.

Click Here to Download The Guide Now

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Click Here to Download The Guide Now

3 Amazing Website Themes For Cloud Accountants

By | Featured Technology, Marketing Tips, Resources, Technology | No Comments

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In this day and age there is no need to redesign the wheel when you want to build an amazing  website for your amazing cloud accounting practice.

Simply install WordPress which is a free universal website platform and then install a theme to brand as your own.

If you are looking to have a website built for your business then drop us a line on 01392 247207 or email contact us here but in the mean time check out these amazing templates that wont break the bank.

Accounting – WP Business theme for Accountants. Click here to see this theme live

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The all new Accounting theme is a WordPress business theme. Perfectly suited for your Accounting, business, consulting or financial company. Bring your clients closer to you! With Visual composer, revolution slider, multi-language ready and advanced admin panel it can be used for any kind of business but and with excellent support you cannot go wrong.

There are even 6 preloaded and pre coded styles to get you up and running in no times.

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Building your themes will be a breeze, give it a go!

Adviser | Finance & Accounting WordPress Theme. Click here to see this theme live

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For those financial companies who wish to establish reputation of trust with their clients, we crafted Adviser WordPress Theme based on clean business design that will perfecftly match their brand. The theme is perfect for firms who provide financial, investment, tax-related or legal help. The layout offers comprehensive staff presentation and full service description. Along with that, we have build a recruitment page containing latest hiring announcements, where potential employees may send their applications right away. And for your clients’ comfort, we’ve integrated lease calculator they can use before making an appointment.

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WooCommerce ready, full shortcodes and widgets pack, numbers of plugins compatibility – the comfortable and user-friendly functionality will be appreciated not only by the website’s visitors, but also by the company’s owners, since the business operation becomes so much easier with Adviser!

 

Partner – Accounting and Law Responsive WordPress Theme. Click here to see this theme live

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Partner is perfect for professional services and consulting businesses to elevate their online presence.

Ideal for law firm and accounting practice websites, Partner strikes a the balance between personality and professionality.

Packed with an array of colour schemes, font options, icon packs and layouts, Partner makes it quick and easy to build a professional site that fits your brand.

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Of course, Partner includes Visual Composer, allowing you to quickly and simply assemble pages and edit content to shave hours off the development time of your next project – without sacrificing code cleanliness and readability.

Partner suits any consultancy firm, from a full-size legal practice to a single lawyer, financial firms specialising in tax, accounting, high finance and capital investment. Human Resources (HR) companies and recruitment agencies will also fit right into Partner’s friendly, professional style.

If its time to revamp your current cloud accounting website with a pure focus of lead generation then make sure to contact us today to learn more on 01302 247 207 or email us at info@cloudaccountant.today

3 Campaign Ideas For Cloud Accountants And How To Win Them As Clients

By | Campaign Ideas, Featured Campaigns, Marketing Tips, Resources | No Comments

1) Digital Product Vendors

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Selling your services to already tech savvy prospects will be far easier to win as new cloud accounting clients than traditional offline businesses who do not have a current need.

Digital vendors already have a pressing desire and an existing pain point  to over come accounting issues such as VAT MOSS and processing the  larger volumes of transactions that occur daily  in an efficient way.

Source them via sites like Munch Eye, JVZoo and other digital payment gateways and direct them to a landing page offering sound advice on solving their VAT Moss pains.

We have been there ourselves and they most certainly need help.

2) Ebay, Amazon and Etsy Sellers

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There is a sharp rise of small one man bands who have hit the jackpot with a pipeline of regular sales online who have been caught off guard with their books.

Building a database of Ebay, Amazon and Etsy Sellers  sellers in your country of residence could deliver you an endless list of targeted prospects hungry for your cloud accounting services.

Direct them to a landing page offering 5 top xero add ons that can help with their inventory and book keeping like xero add ons such as @tradegecko @TidyStock, @TradevineTeam

3) Online Training Coaches

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Online training is becoming one of the fastest rising markets on the internet. Now coaches can deliver quality training and resources to their pupils 24 hours a day 7 days a week and their businesses are exploding.

Try to source clients via Udemy, send them to a landing page and offer them support on continuity programs and set up.

Click here to learn more on how we can help with marketing for cloud accounting practices.

The Ultimate Lead Generation Platform For Cloud Accountants

By | Campaign Ideas, Featured Technology, Marketing Tips, Resources, Technology | No Comments

 

If you are looking to win new clients for your Cloud Accounting services then you need to do 3 things.

  1. Talk to us,
  2. Create an account with LeadPages,
  3.  Send us your log in details for LeadPages and we will handle the rest,

Leadpages generates  the essential lead generation  pages that you need to increase your inbound leads and sales for your business on the web, in emails, via text messaging, and on social media to grow your cloud accounting practice.

It allows you to quickly and easily create multiple pages for the multiple  sectors you want to target when promoting your cloud accounting services.

If you are not yet doing sector specific targeting and leveraging lead generation pages for them then you are missing out on the greatest opportunity that the internet has given you to develop your business online.

The process would work a little like this;

1) Identify your sector specialism and most suitable client – 

2) Create a 2-3 page PDF that provides something of great value to your suitable clients 

3) Create a Landing page using leadpages on your website that offers the pdf to be downloaded in return for their email address

4) Email, Tweet, blog, share, promote the landing page online to a database of pre identified  suitable prospects

5) Call any one who downloads the content to introduce yourself personally and sell your services too.

It works and it works well and LeadPages is one of the driving forces behind the process.

Make sure to visit LeadPages

 

 

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6 Great Content Ideas For Cloud Accountants

By | Business, Marketing Tips, Resources, Watch/Listen | No Comments

Here are 6 great top level content concepts that Cloud Accountants should be creating content for.

#1 Benchmark Reports

Benchmarking is the process of comparing one’s business processes and performance metrics to industry bests and best practices from other companies. Dimensions typically measured are quality, time and cost. In the process of best practice benchmarking, management identifies the best firms in their industry, or in another industry where similar processes exist, and compares the results and processes of those studied (the “targets”) to one’s own results and processes. In this way, they learn how well the targets perform and, more importantly, the business processes that explain why these firms are successful.

Decide on your sector and publish essential key figures that your target market will want to read

 

#2 Create a Top Ten List

People love reading lists, they spread like wildfire around the internet and they are very quick to do.

Create a top ten list of your favorite XERO plugins, Cloud solutions, SaaS or even tax laws that your clients should know about.

 

#3 Interview Industry Experts

You can can send people simple questions to answer via email, do the interview over skype and create a video or even do an online webinar. Different markets will engage with different media. Not only will you set yourself up as the cloud accounting specialist in your niche but its a great way for added publicity for your website or blog.

 

#4 Write a Detailed Product Review

What cloud services do you offer, what do you know about them. By creating content on a particular piece of tech may score you easy clients by looking for information for a problem they have.

 

#5 Add your Slant to Industry News

Commenting on any main stream news offers the potential of 10000’s of extra hits to your website in days. It is a strategy that works and works well. Think Huffington post. Ask your self what is happening in the specific sectors you service, how does this effect your potential clients and make recommendations accordingly.

 

#6 Create a Checklist

People love simple and well refined checklists to help organise their day to day. Perhaps create a downloadable checklist of sensible accounting procedures for typical activities. Onboarding new clients, VAT returns, Annual overview etc What do they need to do and why.

 

In all cases wherever possible make sure to push out links on social platforms to your content and create a call to action to the bottom of very post you need to a offer your readers essential information that will benefit their business.

 

In our case here is ours – Make sure to now read ‘How To Generate New Business For Your Cloud Accounting Service’