Why having a CRM with Xero Integration Matters
In this blog post, I want to share with you why having a CRM with Xero integration can set your business apart from your competition. If you aren’t aware of what Xero is, allow me to tell you.
Xero is a bookkeeping and accounting software tool.
Oh, I can hear you moaning already.
“Bookkeeping? Accounting? Taxes? Simon, why are you even talking about this?”
Look, I get it.
As a business owner, bookkeeping and accounting sucks and it’s boring. You get frustrated when the numbers don’t add up and you have to go digging and chasing to figure out what happened.
Business is like a Sport
But, here’s the thing. Imagine your business is a professional sports player (Think Roger Federer or Serena Williams) and you’re their coach.
You are at the training center and you notice your player is looking a little off as soon as they walk in. They are moving slower than usual, their breathing is short and shallow, and they aren’t in a pleasant mood.
You walk over to them and ask them, “What’s wrong?”
“I’m not sure. I’m not feeling well today.”
You decide, “Ok, keep drinking water and let’s go to the doctors.”
Now, here’s the question: Do you take them to a regular family doctor or a doctor who specializes in sports performance?
You and your player go to the sports doctor, and you tell them what you noticed.
Your sports doctor runs through their standard procedures and isn’t 100% sure what is wrong. So they decide to run some tests and do a full health check on the player’s condition.
Your business is like a sports player, your accountant is your doctor, and Xero is…
Xero is Your Automated Business “Health” Check
Imagine having a business “health” check every week or month. How would your business look, feel, and run?
You could pick out minor symptoms before they get out of control and kick your business out of the race.
“Xero is a problem solver, it allows me to just get on with my job. It’s essentially my entire accounting office in my pocket” — Simon, Xero Customer (Not me, by the way.)
What I love most about Xero is their motto: “Beautiful Accounting Software”.
Xero is such a simple software tool to use that people have commented on how they actually started enjoying bookkeeping. (I know, weird, right?)
Where are you right now, financially?
In the early days of starting my business, I didn’t know my business numbers.
I didn’t know how much money was owed to me, or how much of the cash in my bank account I could actually use or withdraw as a salary.
I thought some days were good because I closed 2 new clients, and other days were bad because I got no sales.
It was confusing and frustrating.
I wasn’t aware of important financial issues, and it felt like I was running my business with blindfolds covering my eyes.
Are You Running Your Business Blindfolded?
Let me ask you this:
- Do you check your business bank balance on a daily or weekly basis?
- Do you know how much your taxes and bills are will be?
- Is there enough money in your bank account for these bills?
One of the most time-consuming and painful tasks was doing reconciliation. It’s when you balance out your business’s accounting records with your bank balance.
It can take hours, especially if it’s your first time (it did for me). You get better the more you do it, but it’s never fast enough and the thought of doing it pushes it to the bottom of the list.
Xero does it automatically for you! All you have to do is link your bank account to Xero.
That’s not all.
Here is a list of things Xero can do to help you grow your business:
- Balance your bank accounts with expenses, income, and other financial tasks
- Give and Control user access for accountants and staff members working with your financials
- Create and send out customised invoices
- Make it easier for customers to pay you (when you connect to a payment gateway like Paypal or Stripe)
- Get notifications when a customer pays you, or when they see your invoice
- Publish real-time reports of your financial statements
- Gives you a clear picture of your cash-flow
- Send out repeating invoices and subscriptions at the click of a button
- Send Payment reminders to customers and clients outstanding payments
If you already have Xero, you are probably nodding your head and agreeing with me.
These features and benefits are great, but I still felt like I was missing something.
And it turns out, it wasn’t just me.
What 860,000 Xero Customers have to say
Xero did a survey with their 860,000 customers and this is what they found out:
60% of invoices were paid late (more than ⅓ were at least 2 weeks late)
Let’s do some small financial calculations:
Imagine you had sold and closed 10 x $4,000 contracts – $40,000 total. You’re on top of the world.
It’s 2 weeks in, and you check your bank balance and only 4 out of your 10 clients have paid you.
You have $24,000 waiting to be paid.
How would you feel about that?
Sure, you might be thinking, “Well… that’s part of the business. That’s what happens.”
I’m here to tell you it doesn’t have to be.
Here’s a small tip: send 3-5 reminder emails.
On average, it takes about 3 reminders for your customer or client to take action and pay you.
We’ve all forgotten to do something until someone reminds us to do it.
2. Small Business Owners Spend 10% of their Work Time Creating, Sending, and Chasing Invoices
Let’s do some time-based calculations:
- If you work 40 hours a week in your business – that’s 4 hours of creating, sending and chasing invoices.
- If you work 60 hours a week in your business – that’s 6 hours of creating, sending and chasing invoices.
- If you work 80 hours a week in your business – that’s 8 hours of creating, sending, and chasing invoices.
Imagine what you could be doing with that time:
- Plan your next business goals and implement marketing strategies
- Focus on getting more leads and sales
- Hire new staff to handle some of your tasks and todos
- Going home and spending time with your family
The list is endless.
You could go home early and watch Netflix if you wanted to. The point is you are getting 4, 6, or 8 hours back to focus on your business and life.
Tackling the 2 Big Financial Problems
I want to share some similar experiences of my own. And it wasn’t just me or the 860,000 Xero customers, these are common business problems.
Here is something I didn’t know: When you receive a financial report from your accountant, it is showing you numbers from 2-3 months ago.
This is especially true if you only do a financial report once a year – just at tax time.
Picture yourself buying a PowerBall lottery ticket.
You find out what time they do the draw and you make time in your busy schedule to sit in front of the TV.
You watch as the beautiful assistant presses the Powerball button and the balls start flying around in the machine.
She starts calling out the numbers.
“7” “39” “2” …
You get a puzzled look on your face. They are calling out the same numbers on your lottery ticket.
Your eyes start to light up with anticipation and hope.
“Oh. My. God. Please let me win…”
“19” “42” “23”
Oh, the suspense…
“And, the Powerball number is… “21”.
They called out all of your numbers! You shout at the top of your lungs and start jumping hysterically up and down.
“OMG! I WON! I’m a millionaire! I’m a mill-”
“And.. those are last week’s lottery numbers.”
Right numbers, but wrong time.
When you get reports that are 3 months behind, you’re unable to make good decisions, especially ones that relate to your cash flow.
When I had my first business, I remember getting off a sales call with clients who were eager to move forward with their project.
On a good day, I would send off the invoice within 10 mins after the call.
On a bad day, I forget and it’s not until days, or sometimes a week later, that I send out the invoice.
In fact, there were times when I lost sales because the lead “had some time to think about it” or “got a better deal from another provider”.
“The deal isn’t done until the money is in the bank”
I realised the faster I sent the invoice, the faster the deal was secure.
I needed a way to send these invoices quickly and move on knowing it was done.
It should take me 1-minute or less to send an invoice to a client.
Both these problems with reporting and sending invoices were creating bottlenecks in my business to function optimally.
This is when I searched around for an accounting software tool and found Xero. So, I gave it a shot.
Xero Gives You More Control and Power
This is going to sound cliché, but it’s true.
Xero gave me more control of my business.
By knowing my numbers, I grew more confident about running my business.
I could tell if my business was making money or if it was in a bad shape.
For example, one thing I noticed was that I was confusing “cash in the bank” with “profit in the business”.
There might be $10,000 sitting in there but if there is going to be $7,000 of expenses over the next 30 days, it is helpful to know so don’t pull out $5,000 in directors wages.
I started to see how it fed into everything that I did in my business.
Being crystal clear about my numbers helped me focus on the revenue-producing tasks and helped me with my sales calls with qualified leads.
I felt more drive and motivation.
How I found $6,700
After a week of integrating Xero into my business, I realised that I had $6,700 of outstanding payments from clients.
“Wow… my clients owed me $6,700?”
When you’re a small business, every dollar counts.
I reached out, re-sent their invoices, and set up payment reminders to those clients.
They paid me promptly within the week.
I finally had a system for chasing late payments from clients. This would save me time, money and, worst of all, stress.
Get Real-Time Financial Reports
Getting real-time financial reports are super easy with Xero.
All I have to do is grab my phone, open my Xero app, and it would tell me where my business is – growing or decaying.
Every month I sit with my financial numbers and I plan my business 3-4 months in advance.
Knowing my business “health” made decisions easier.
It also helped me with preparation for my taxes and bills.
Every month I used to do my reconciliation by hand and it would take me hours to do.
What took hours for me, suddenly took minutes.
Xero saved me hours of frustration. It does reconciliation automatically and told me how much money was coming into the business.
It helped me with payments to my employees – all calculated and sent right into their bank accounts.
Xero is Great, but it’s Not Enough
Look, I’m not trying to sell Xero to you.
Here’s why I wrote this blog post about Xero – business owners think Xero is a CRM tool.
There have been times when I was doing sales calls with potential leads and this how the call goes:
Simon: “Do you currently use a CRM in your business?”
Lead: “Yes, we do.”
Simon: “Ok. What CRM are you using?”
Simon: “Xero? The accounting software?”
Lead: “Yeah, it keeps our client and customer information. We can access all of our records from there.”
When I first heard this, I was puzzled.
But, the more I heard clients and customers telling me this, the more I saw it as a gap in knowledge.
Xero is a great accounting software tool but, it shouldn’t be used as a CRM.
It lacks the features to easily access client information, send out emails, create automatic email marketing campaigns, and more.
Xero handles an important part that CRMs lack – the financial side.
But, imagine what kind of system you could have in your business if you had a CRM integrated with Xero.
This is what I wanted to share with you.
CRM Integration with Xero = 2 Full-time Staff
Having a CRM integrated with Xero is like having 2 full-time staff members on my team (or 1 talented staff member).
You have one staff member who handles the bookkeeping and accounting.
- Balancing out your finances and making sure they are consistent with your bank balance.
- Tell you about upcoming bills and taxes
- Send out late-invoices to remind customers and clients to pay.
- Creating financial reports and statements to show your business health.
- And much more.
The other staff member handles the customer service and marketing side of your business.
- Sending out Emails for promotions, customer feedback, getting testimonials, and monthly newsletters.
- Finding customer/client information and details
- Giving you the customer’s history with your business (what they bought, when you last spoke to them, etc.)
- Tracking where your leads are coming from
- Scheduling your calendar and organising your tasks and to-dos.
- And much more.
Picture what your business would look like if you had 2 extra full-time workers on your team doing all these things every single day.
That’s what having Ninjodo’s CRM integrated with Xero would be like for you.
How to send a Xero Invoice in 30 seconds from Ninjodo
Sending a Xero Invoice is super easy, but it would still take me 10-15 mins to do it.
Here’s why I think it is vital to send out your invoice as soon as possible.
10-15 mins might not be a lot of time for you.
But, it’s a long time for your client or customer.
Especially if it’s a brand-new lead who might still have some unspoken concerns in the back of their mind.
Think about it, what can happen to your client or customer as they wait for your invoice?
- They get interrupted by a problem in their business and they have to handle it.
- They go out to lunch, and when they come back, they have other “fires to put out”.
- If they are working from home, and their children suddenly create a mess in the house. They have to quickly go clean it up, then they realise it’s lunchtime and need to feed the kids. So, they go out to their local cafe.
There are numerous possibilities of what could happen in 10-15 mins.
But, this isn’t the point.
Here’s what happens when you can send your invoice as quickly as possible.
- It demonstrates that “you mean business”
- It shows professionalism
- You get the commitment from your new clients when it matters most
Sending invoices online is a miracle. Clients can pay much faster, and your cash flow is better.
Of course, there will be a few times where they forget to pay – but there won’t be many.
So, how can you send an invoice in 30 seconds? Let me show you.
Here’s what happens after I get off a call with a qualified lead:
- Get off the call (Sometimes I do it during the call)
- Go to their Person’s file
- Select the appropriate Invoice
- Press a few keys
- Send it off
(Tip: Have a “Pay Now” button on your invoices. You’ve seen them before. This is a marketing and advertising technique to get people to take action.)
That’s it. I use Stripe as my payment gateway, so clients can easily and effortlessly pay online in a matter of minutes.
This is what saved me so much time.
I didn’t have to chase them up as well.
I set up automatic, personalised reminders for them to pay their remaining balance.
In fact, here’s a video of how you can integrate Xero with Ninjodo and send off an invoice.
Ninjodo’s CRM with Xero
(and a question for Xero Users)
I want to leave you with this final picture:
Imagine Ninjodo is the engine of a bullet train, and Xero is the train tracks.
Sales and leads are your fuel, and they must be fed into your engine to get your business train moving.
Without a train engine, you would be pushing it from behind.
Without train tracks, the ride to your destination will be hard and slow as you sink into the sand.
They compliment each other.
Ninjodo and Xero.
The question is…