Pro Installer December 2020 - Issue 93 - Page 16

Installer Support
16 | DECEMBER 2020

Installer Support

“ I WANT SOFTWARE TO SELL WINDOWS AND DOORS THAT ’ S AS SIMPLE AS SKETCHING ON A PAD . THAT CAN ’ T BE THAT DIFFICULT … CAN IT ?”

Call me sad , but I ’ ve always loved selling windows . 25 years in the industry , and I ’ ve tackled most parts . But selling windows face-to-face with clients has always been the best bit . I often joke that it ’ s a hereditary disorder ; My father sold windows for 50 years , and ( believe it or ) his father before him did too . I really had no hope .
The Framepoint ® platform was born of frustration . Frustration at trying to sell windows to customers with the wrong piece of software to hand ; software that was clunky , overly complicated but most of all dull and boring .
Surely it was possible to design a piece of software that got the customer ’ s heart beating faster and helped me win an order ?
That simple premise lead me to knock on the door of Rob Franks . Rob was my erstwhile IT Director at TimberWindows . Com ; a company I founded in 2004 and sold , to private equity , in 2009 .
“ I want to be able sketch windows on a computer , just like I do on my A4 pad ,” I told Rob . “ And have them appear in full , photo-realistic quality , priced and ready for me to take the order . And I want to be able to show a client exactly how they ’ ll look on their house too !”
That was in 2012 . I never actually asked Rob outright how long it might take to build this holy grail . But in my mind , I ’ d thought one year . The team grew . My bank account dwindled . Seven years later , with the support of a bunch of talented coders , Rob delivered .
To be fair , the goal posts moved considerably . Turns out it wasn ’ t just windows that I wanted the software to draw and quote ; I needed doors , double doors , composite doors , sash
windows , patios , bi-folds and tilt — turns too . Plus , of course , bays . Oh and by the way , the app would need to be able to configure all these products in PVCu , aluminium and timber .
Would I invest again if I knew the time and costs involved ? The problem is I was hooked ; and still am . From the first time I drew a window on Framepoint ® with my finger , and saw it render on the screen before my eyes - lifelike , accurate and in glorious technicolour – there has been no going back . After that it ’ s just been a question of chasing down every last detail from thresholds to trickle vents , packers to patterned glass – every option available to touch , tap and see .
We launched proper in November 2019 . I roped in the best two sales guys I knew and we hit the road demo-ing the product to window installers up and down the land .
By Christmas 2019 we had twenty-five companies using the platform , which felt good but didn ’ t exactly swell the coffers . Framepoint ® is not expensive . Coming from an installer background I know that margins are tight . Framepoint ® is available from under £ 100 a month so that installers of all sizes can benefit ; that commitment to affordability is important to us .
Feedback from these early adopters gave us confidence , though . There were reports of huge time savings – for some Framepoint ® was cutting quoting time in half . Also real wins for installers in minimising error . Many reported improved conversion rates and a sense of pride in presenting more professionally .
By the time of the first lockdown we were at about fifty or sixty subscribers . Like most businesses , we wondered what was
going to happen next . Then a weird thing happened ; sales and activity rocketed . Faced with the prospect of no longer being able to conduct home visits , installers turned to Framepoint ® as their ‘ virtual showroom .’ Hooking up , sharing screens and carrying out sales demo ’ s remotely saw volumes of quotes and makeovers on Framepoint ® surge through spring and summer ; In February less than £ 6m of quotes were done on the system , by June we were running north of £ 28m .
We ’ ll finish 2020 with around 250 installation companies using Framepoint ®; about 750 individual users . With Corona it ’ s been a roller coaster first year of trading , but our mission is certainly clear . We are here to help installers sell better ; to Sell with Wow . Face to face , in a showroom or remotely .
www . tommytrinder . com