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How joined up is your approach to adopting & implementing apps for your clients?

Uncategorized Aug 11, 2020

Over the coming weeks, you’ll start to attend cloud accounting app/digital sessions of all types.

We’re going into that type of season, normally they are physical but this next lot will be virtual!

And in my experience, this is how the process tends to go with apps & cloud adoption…

You go to these events. Everything looks shiny, and new, and exciting, and in your excitement you sign up as app partners with a few apps. 

You head back to the office, wearing your free swag, and you schedule some training sessions with your new app partners. 

6 months later, you look back, and nothing has really changed, so you stop your partnership or subscription with the app using some excuse that “my clients just didn’t need it”. 

So, what went wrong? 

In my experience, two things:

  1. Your firm didn’t create any services or processes to take those app solutions to your clients
  2. Your firm looked at the apps individually rather than collectively for a client

Let’s delve into an example of what I mean by the above...

Looking at an app partnership process, credit control for example, but it could be invoice automation, expense management, invoice approval, payments, cashflow, reporting, etc.

  1. Your firm signs up to a credit control solution
  2. Your firm completes the training
  3. Your firm gets the swag
  4. Your firm doesn’t setup the services, e.g. 
    1. Implement/train/support credit control solutions or processes 
    2. Virtual credit control supplied by your firm. 
  5. Your firm doesn’t agree the processes/pricing for the services above
  6. Your clients are none the wiser to your new found knowledge and service - no one has been tasked with telling them or if they have they haven’t been held accountable by the firm so hasn’t happened
  7. Nothing changes but you still have good swag
  8. Your firm stops the partnership/subscription
  9. Your firm states either of these two reasons for why it didn’t work out:
    1. Our clients don’t want this app
    2. The app didn’t work for us

I’ve seen this happen time and time again, and it’s incredibly frustrating.

Secondly, if you do this for multiple apps then we see a strange approach to engaging clients. 

Firms start running multiple educational pieces (webinars/blogs/demos) for their SME clients and prospects - with any of the below:

  1. Better bookkeeping (Invoice Automation & Bookkeeping)
  2. Better expense mgmt (Expense solutions)
  3. Better invoice approval process (Invoice Approval solutions)
  4. Better cashflow (Cashflow solutions)
  5. Better ??? - you get the idea..

Essentially any app that has a specific feature within the finance function kicks off a series of very specific problem areas.

But in reality, a business rarely has such a specific problem with their finance function. For example, if their expense process is poor (manual/not efficient) then it’s likely the rest of their finance function is in the same state...

So why not approach your clients with their whole finance function in mind rather than pick a solution based on what you’ve recently signed up too?

You can still educate in certain areas but ensure you educate them where else can be improved rather than that sole area.

This is called a joined-up approach and it’s what SMEs need rather than individual app demos....

So, ask yourself, how joined up is your approach?

 

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