Five Lessons We Learned From QuickBooks Connect 2015
By David Baars, Marketing Manager at PipelineDeals
It’s been a week since we were at the QuickBooks Connect Conference and we’re still energized from the event. For those who are unfamiliar, QuickBooks Connect (QBC) is Intuit’s annual user conference. In addition to sessions focused on QuickBooks and accounting practices, QBC was an opportunity for business leaders to network, learn, and grow their business.
— JP Werlin (@jpwerlin) November 2, 2015
We were excited to launch our integration with QuickBooks Online on the apps.com marketplace, and we were also able to connect with hundreds of small businesses. We learned a lot – and we’re ready to book our tickets for QBC 2016!
Below are five key takeaways from QuickBooks Connect 2015:
1. Small Business (Still) Drives Job Growth & the Economy
Business journalists and analysts tend to focus on what’s happening in large enterprises and hyper-growth startups, but small and medium-sized businesses (SMB) continue to drive the economy. Intuit CEO Brad Smith’s keynote shared that 60% of new jobs in 2015 came from SMBs. Regarding overall payroll, QuickBooks payroll software has processed more than $19 billion this year thru the end of October.
The SMB market remains vibrant and is growing fast. If you’re a leader in a B2B company, don’t discount the impact of selling into the SMB sector. Hypergrowth company Zenefits is a great case study on the value and opportunity of selling into the SMB space. Their average customer size is 16 to 18 employees, and they’re currently valued at $4.5 billion. SMBs drive the economy, and they can drive your business’s growth too.
2. Focus on your “highest revenue generating activity”
One consistent theme we heard at QBC was that business leaders wore many hats at their business. It can be tempting to micromanage every part of your business and to give equal weight to all your management activities. Inevitably though, your business reaches a point in which you must prioritize and make hard choices about what actions to take.
— Jennie Tan (@tanster) November 4, 2015
Poetic voice speaker and entrepreneur Sekou Andrews delivered a powerful keynote at QBC in which he spoke directly to leadership’s challenge. Sekou states, “Everyone in your company should be doing the highest revenue generating activity that only they can do.” If you’re a leader at your business, or even if you’re brand new in your role, what can you uniquely do in your role to propel your business forward?
3. Are paper invoices costing your business?
As sales and account management teams have moved to use online software, many accounting teams continue to rely on paper invoices. Although more than 1 million customers use QuickBooks Online, many businesses continue to rely on paper invoices at their business. According to Intuit CEO Brad Smith, 68% of all invoices in 2015 were paper invoices. Intuit estimates that processing these paper invoices costs the average SMB 138 extra hours to create, send, track, and process. That’s nearly 4 weeks of lost productivity!
What could your business do with 4 extra weeks of productivity? One way that you can reclaim this lost time is through electronic invoices. Integrations like PipelineDeals integration with QuickBooks Online help smooth the transition from sales to accounting and help your business regain the productivity you lose from inefficient paper invoices.
4. Stop putting out fires and start growing your business
One key theme that emerged from our conversations with accountants and small businesses was the value of existing customer relationships. Many expressed the concern that they felt like they were often focused on putting out fires with their existing clients, and that they were unable to gain new clients as a result.
— JP Werlin (@jpwerlin) November 3, 2015
Great account management software, like PipelineDeals, that helps you organize your tasks, coordinate communication, and stay on top of your deals is key to growing your existing customer relationships. Once you’re on top of your existing clients and not putting out fires, you can focus on growing your sales pipeline.
5. Sales and Accounting alignment will result in revenue growth
Many businesses have historically focused on the alignment between their sales and marketing teams, but have not focused on the benefits of alignment between sales and accounting. Intuit released a study at QBC highlighting teams that use integrated sales and accounting software. In 2015, businesses that used integrated sales and accounting software boosted their revenue by 25% in comparison to their non-integrated counterparts.
That’s why Intuit put together the apps.com marketplace, to help SMB find software that tightly integrates with QuickBooks online. You can find apps to manage your sales and account management (like PipelineDeals), apps to assist with time-keeping (like T-Sheets and When I Work), and much more. If you’re interested in increasing your alignment between sales and account, check out our integration on apps.com.
If you attended the QuickBook Connects conference in San Jose, what did you learn from the conference? Let us know in the comments below.
David Baars is a math teacher turned marketing nerd. He runs marathons, enjoys exploring the outdoors, and loves learning how to build things.