OPPORTUNITY MANAGER Version 3.3 (Opportunity Interactive, www.opactive.com, 877/816-6649) is a sales process/sales management tool for HVAC and hydronic heating contractors. The solution was designed for sales personnel using a laptop during a visit with the homeowner and their managers streamlining the process of tracking prospects and closing sales. It supports the conversion of a sales call to a close in one stop. The program, which integrates and reuses information from various job development tasks, involves the customer in the entire sales process, which is often perceived by the homeowner as a value-added service.
Typically, a contractor starts with a primary module — generally " residential retrofit" — and may choose to add one or two other modules. One module addresses residential new construction in general. The other, The Home Depot module (suitable for contractors signed onto The Home Depot/Trane sales program), can create, complete and print out all required paperwork for Home Depot Sales, using Trane HVAC equipment.
Opportunity Manager's customized set-up process enables the program to utilize and feature each contractor's specific product offerings, services and pricing. The look of the proposals and other documents are customized with company name, logo and colors, as well as optional graphic enhancement to match company branding, enabling a contractor to supplement any onscreen or printed proposal with visuals as well as words.
Sales personnel at onsite calls can even incorporate animation to demonstrate how the high-end equipment and accessories fulfill a customer's needs. They can also use graphics to showcase the quality of the prospective installation.
Throughout the sales and project development process, the program integrates information from various job tasks and generates an evolving "big picture" of the target project. Various reports keep management informed of progress and details.
Opportunity Manager reporting capabilities include: detailed sales reports that can track add-ons and up-sells by each salesperson; a complete view of the sales force's performance; and a chart showing goals vs. actuals.
Job Budget reports can estimate all costs and labor for each job; generate labor budgets and goals automatically for each; show gross profit for every project; and track all spiffs and commissions.
The program can organize each project in order of installation with individual job packets that feature pull sheets with ( optional) pictures of equipment that ensure the installer has the right materials on every job. A job packet can visually communicate the correct and preferred order of installation. According to the developer, using the pull sheets saves an average of two hours on each install.
As Opportunity Manager can integrate digital photos, sales personnel have the ability to complete and clarify proposals with pictures that ensure homeowners see and agree with specified products before signing a contract. The software allows easy generation of good, better and best offerings, with automatic conversion of the selected choice into a polished, complete proposal. Sales personnel can offer and include financing on every proposal.
Opportunity Manager can save two to four hours per project and increase closing ratios and upsells, according to the developer.
Designed to run on a wide range of handheld devices and available either as an application as part of the Opportunity Manager suite of programs or as a standalone solution, Comfort Optimizer Version 2.02 load calculation software (Opportunity Interactive, www.opactive.com, 877/ 816- 6649) performs room-by-room or wholehouse load calculations using point-and-click selections on the handheld's touch screen.
Suitable for both residential retrofits and new home construction, Comfort Optimizer works with an optional electronic tape measure that facilitates both easy room measurements and easy loading of data for each room in sequence into the program.
The software permits the user to walk through each room of the house while entering data, including room dimensions, exposed walls, square footages, the type of building insulation and compass direction, resulting in a completed calculation with the push of a button. A summary page shows the total load for the home, along with room breakdowns, including CFMs for each room.
Once the load calculations are complete, the load can print directly to a compatible printer or be transferred into Opportunity Manager on the laptop or PC for printing and archiving.
Comfort Optimizer follows industry standard manuals for load calculations (but does not address duct design or layout). It is compatible with the new Microsoft operating system Mobile 5.0 and works on most PDAs, cell phones and Palm Treos.
The software has the ability to display a room's square footage on the system design report summary page and includes definition of variables such as storing the default floor selection for slab-on-grade components.
Customers often perceive room-byroom calculations as a value-added service, performing a 10-room home load calculation in less than 20 minutes, the developer notes. The calculations can also help ensure proper equipment selection and reduce warranty claims and, the developer notes, are often required for utility rebates.
Bill and Patti Feldman are freelance writers for magazines, building product manufacturers and other companies on a broad range of topics. They can be reached at [email protected]