Today, we’d like to present you the remarkable story of Bean Ninjas’ sales growth. Nope, not Leonardo or Donatello, this is about the outstanding financial ninjas Meryl and Wayne!
Meryl Johnston is the CEO of award-winning Xero bookkeeping and financial reporting firm called Bean Ninjas, a chartered accountant and passionate surfer.
Her friend and colleague Wayne Richard is a former corporate climber turned Bean Ninjas Partner and Head of Global Operations. He’s a father of 5 and dedicated, passionate entrepreneur. Together, they’re working on Bean Ninjas’ mission – to create freedom for entrepreneurs through stress-free business finances.
The company launched in just 7 days (following Dan Norris’s 7 Day Startup method) in 2015. Since then, it has grown from a ‘kitchen table’ company on the Gold Coast of Australia into the multi-national, award-winning business it is today servicing 100s of clients throughout the US, Australia, UK and Hong Kong with a distributed team spread across the globe.
Q: What is the most important lesson you’ve learned from working with your clients?
Meryl: Connection and communication are critical. Our offer is built upon a foundation of trust. This is a unique challenge to address when building a high growth, cloud-based firm with team members and clients spread across the globe.
The most important lesson learned after supporting hundreds of clients globally is to put into place unique opportunities to connect and show your clients they matter and you are there to grow alongside them in their business journey!
Q: We couldn’t agree more there! Before continuing with your sales process, let’s hear the unofficial side of you. If you weren’t working at your current industry, what would you be doing?
Meryl: Surfing is my big passion. If I’m not at home or in the office, that’s where you’ll find me.
Wayne: I’d be a boutique gym owner or barista – I’d work somewhere I can use my gift of gab and meet with lots of people.
In Bean Ninjas, leads are mostly developed through inbound marketing campaigns, client/community referrals or organic search. Afterwards, they fill a survey and connect on a discovery call to discuss pain points, expectations, and bookkeeping/reporting needs.
From the discovery call, they are either provided a proposal via Better Proposals with details of the engagement and investment or an email with details for other Bean Ninjas offerings that may be a better fit for their particular needs (self-paced training, one-on-one coaching, virtual CFO services).
Q: What are your goals for the next 6 months?
Wayne: To see our Vision finally met by successfully achieving Annual Recurring Revenue goal with our existing highly skilled team.
This means being smart, agile and anticipating our customer’s needs, scaling and automating our systems for optimum efficiency and innovating for the future while staying focused on the present.
Q: Sounds like a solid plan! What are the tools you can’t imagine your business operations without?
Q: You’ve been our customer since June 2017, could you tell us something about your experience with our software?
Meryl: Better Proposals aligns with our core purpose of “freedom”. With Better Proposals, we are free from the time-intensive administrative workflows of proposal creation, payment processing and follow-up. This gives us the time to focus on the work that we do best – providing stress-free business bookkeeping and financial reporting services.
Wayne: In about 20 mins per proposal, we are able to create beautiful, on-brand, customized proposals. Multiply that by dozens of proposals sent out each month, we are able to save hours and operate with a lean sales force. Your software has allowed for us to have an organized, repeatable, semi-automated process around proposal creation, submission, and collections.
Since our first signed proposal in Feb 2018, we have closed 70% of proposals submitted resulting in additional monthly recurring revenue of nearly $8k or almost six figures annually with a “sales team” of under 1 FTE!
Q: Thank you both for your kind words, this means a lot! Which one of our features is your favourite?
Meryl: The first one has to be the ability to create and save multiple proposal templates. With clients in various countries (US, Australia, UK, Hong Kong), it assures we are sharing proposal details that mirror the currencies and terms applicable to the customers country.
The second one is the Stripe integration. The ability to collect payment upon signature has significantly reduced the administration time spent creating invoices and chasing initial payments, providing us the opportunity to engage with our clients and get them into our onboarding sequence much faster.
Q: To conclude, what would you say to our readers, why would you recommend our solution to others?
Wayne: It’s easy, if you want to promote a professional image to your prospective customers, address their particular needs by communicating your solution with a beautiful, well-organized proposal and close your sales engagements faster while also saving time on administrative functions, then Better Proposals is a must-have tool!
We couldn’t have said it any better. Thank you, Bean Ninjas, we’re looking forward to seeing you progress even more! 🙂
Also published on Medium.