February 23, 2024


Charging for Onboarding

Hosted by

Jordan Gal Brian Casel
Charging for Onboarding
Bootstrapped Web
Charging for Onboarding

Feb 23 2024 | 01:00:13


Show Notes

Launching a consultancy.  Generating pipeline.  Breaking limiting mindsets.  Outsource vs. in-house SDRs.  Paid customer onboarding.  Daddy-daughter dancing.

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Episode Transcript

[00:00:17] Speaker A: Welcome back, everybody. Another episode of Bootstrap Web. It's Friday, it's sunny out. Daddy daughter dance in a few hours. Brian Kessel. [00:00:24] Speaker B: How are you doing? Good. You're going to look sharp. You're going to go out there with your kids. [00:00:29] Speaker A: The theme is sequins and sneakers, which is perfect. So I'm going to wear a suit with sneakers, which is the ideal. [00:00:37] Speaker B: Your sequins suit, of course. [00:00:38] Speaker A: Well, the sequins will be. My daughter's more so than myself. [00:00:45] Speaker B: I think I have mine of those, like, in a couple of weeks. [00:00:48] Speaker A: I think it's so fun. So two of my daughters, two younger ones, both go to this elementary school. So I got two of them with me tonight. One of them is not into dresses, is not into girly stuff. So I don't know what she's going to do. I think she's got a sequence plan. [00:01:05] Speaker B: My older one is sort of in that boat, and she didn't even want to do the dance, so I didn't do it with her when it was her year. But now my younger one is super into it. Okay, it's coming. [00:01:16] Speaker A: That's my younger one. Whatever is fancy, whatever is shiny, whatever's girly. That's what she's into. Unfortunately, she broke her ankle, the fibula, the little bone on the outside of the leg, all the way down by the ankle. She busted it at a trampoline park last week. [00:01:35] Speaker B: Those things are chaos, by the way. [00:01:36] Speaker A: Worst. The worst. [00:01:40] Speaker B: Yeah, there's a few around here. And of course, every kid in the class all has the birthday party there. So I'm going there, like, every weekend for a year. [00:01:48] Speaker A: Special socks. [00:01:49] Speaker B: Yes. [00:01:49] Speaker A: We have a trampoline that we bought during the pandemic. And I did all my research. I got the safest one, the spring free. All this insane, and it's still. I can barely watch. [00:02:00] Speaker B: I know. [00:02:00] Speaker A: I can barely watch. One kid here in town hit their head on their knee so hard he stopped breathing. [00:02:07] Speaker B: Oh, my God. [00:02:08] Speaker A: Yeah. So chaos. Anyway, back on track. She is going to be in crutches and her boot tonight. So I got to bring my daddy a game to this daughter. This daughter for real. [00:02:20] Speaker B: Wow. All right. You got your hands full. Yes. [00:02:22] Speaker A: How about you? What do you got going on? [00:02:24] Speaker B: Yeah, we did a quick day of skiing last weekend. Next week, we're taking the girls up to an Airbnb in Vermont for Wednesday to Friday. So we're all sort of taking off work and taking them out of school. It's my older daughter's birthday and we're going to do two days in Vermont of skiing and a little ski on ski off Airbnb thing. Should be pretty fun. [00:02:49] Speaker A: Cool. This last weekend was my birthday weekend and we were in beautiful Lake Geneva, Wisconsin, actually. Lovely place. And everyone, we went up there to ski. This is my wife's idea of a sick joke to go for my birthday. But because Daphne had her busted foot, she couldn't ski. So she and I hung out for my entire birthday, just the two of us. [00:03:14] Speaker B: Oh, it's the best. [00:03:15] Speaker A: We went, got pancakes, we had ice cream for lunch. We hung out at the big great room at the hotel. She was on her iPad watching tv. I'm on my phone and my kindle. It was glorious. Perfect. [00:03:27] Speaker B: That's great. [00:03:28] Speaker A: Yes. [00:03:28] Speaker B: Awesome. [00:03:30] Speaker A: Speaking of money, what are we doing here? How are we making money? [00:03:34] Speaker B: That's a good question. Today I launched another website in an effort, in the career long effort of trying to make some money here. It's called instrumentalproducts.com. It's like the second or third iteration of what I've been doing with this domain, but it's finally up there. I'm putting like a wrapper. I'm putting a landing page up into the world to sort of encapsulate this consultancy that I've been starting, and I've been actively consulting with clients since the beginning of the year. And this is starting to take a bunch of those learnings of who I've been working for and the best type of offering that I can put together as a consultancy and put it on a page and something to form into some kind of value proposition. And so I go into it. It's not super long, but it's like, what's the unique value that I bring as like a full stack product designer developer with founder Experience? And who is this for? I kind of lay out a couple of avatars of like, if you're in this position, I think I talked about this on the last podcast. Right now I'm working mostly with SaaS companies who want to bring me in to start up a new product or a big new feature in their product without disrupting their existing team, and bring me on to kind of fire something up, take something from zero, from concept to launched, if you will. And so I go into that and then I'm packaging up some services which essentially look like the main one is like doing a big product project, a big product build that'll be a couple of months, and it's like a big project. And I'll bring on a developer or two to work with me and we do our thing where we ship and concept the whole thing. Another one that I've been doing with some clients is like this planning sprint sort of thing. And so I've been working with some of those clients. I have a couple that I'm talking to now about booking in the next couple of weeks and then the rest of the year is this site is basically v one of what this consultancy business looks like right now. I'm in this interesting position where it's not really theoretical because I'm already kind of up and running with clients on it. But I am trying to go from if the first step is like, okay, let's experiment and get some very first paying clients. That was the first step, which I did over the last three, four months, and I did different iterations. I went from coaching into more of a consulting model. And now it's like step two, which is like, okay, I've got some early contacts in. I've got some early revenue in. Now let's form this into what looks like a real business. And that's the website. And now I turn to lead pipeline. Right. My next goal here is to move beyond just friends and industry contacts who are talking to me about these kind of engagements to I want a consistent flow of leads in the pipeline that I can book into this consultancy. Or maybe it comes to some sort of waiting list and booking things out into the year, but I just want to have that consistency where I'm not kind of clawing and scraping for customers on this thing. [00:07:36] Speaker A: How do you think about it? Sounds like you're now starting to focus on what channel or channels are going to generate that type of opportunity pipeline. [00:07:48] Speaker B: Yeah. And the beauty of a consultancy, really, is that you don't need a super high volume of customer flows to make it work. But I do want a healthy flow of leads to kind of whittle down to a few really good clients that come through that funnel. The way that I'm thinking about it is, I guess starting is still just working my network. I haven't even really fully done this in earnest other than talking about it on this podcast and a tweet that I put out today. But I plan to sort of make a list of all contacts that I have in the industry. So SaaS company founders who either are a good fit or could refer me to others, people who are connected to communities or funds or things that are in touch with lots of companies that would fit my ideal customer, good referral partners. The other one that I still think about are like creators who have large audiences because I have spoken to some of them who do want to launch software products to their audience, and I have some connections to people in that realm as well. That's probably my next step. And then just the other one would be getting back into the content game on the YouTube channel, my newsletter, thinking through doing a series of pillar content about how I think about products and strategies and some concepts that come up in my work on products and stuff that I can put out on LinkedIn and YouTube and Twitter. That's kind of all I have in terms of thinking through where the pipeline comes from. I mean, beyond that, you can get into more scaled out things like cold outreach to companies and stuff like that. But I think I can get pretty far along just based on the network effects. And again, in a good consultancy where we just need a handful of really good projects in the year to make this a good year one or year two, don't need a high volume, I just need a couple of really good wins in there. [00:10:16] Speaker A: Yeah, that does lend itself very well to showing who you are and how you think about this stuff to attract the people who want to work in that same way. [00:10:29] Speaker B: Yeah. And right now I'm talking to two. I have one proposal that's out and one that I'm talking to next week for a big product. Build both each of them and you're. [00:10:48] Speaker A: So you're in the market, you could get a deal signed at any minute. [00:10:52] Speaker B: Yeah, so, so it's that, it's this thing where it's like I am actually trying to build that sort of tension. I think we've talked about this a bunch, where it's like I want that good tension where it's like I just have a bunch of leads and projects and customers. And then I need to figure, because I feel like I know how to do the other stuff. I have people on staff and access to developers that I could hire to help with things. I have built out systems and processes and teams with project managers and stuff. Obviously that stuff wouldn't turn on a dime. But I also think that I'm pretty good with time management and project management and I can take on one or two or three projects and make it work while I figure out the systems and the people and the team. And in the past I have done like waitlist things, like in the early days of audience ops, I developed an early lead flow, served some good first accounts, and then put it on pause and made a waiting list and booked out more. As I figured out the team and the processes. [00:11:57] Speaker A: So it's not the delivery that's your primary concern, it's who's going to come in. Are they the ideal person? Is it the ideal amount? Is it the ideal scenario? [00:12:08] Speaker B: Yeah, I think that the thing that most freelancers and most just general consultants tend to not do a good job of is like they get afraid of booking out too much work, so they stop marketing and they stop the feast or famine problem. [00:12:24] Speaker A: Right. [00:12:25] Speaker B: Yeah. That's what lends itself to the feast or famine thing. I'm not even trying to build like a big high volume consultancy here. I want to keep it like a small studio, just work with a couple of really high caliber people. But it's still a better situation to have too many leads coming through and you could absolutely. On a waiting list. Okay. I mean, that also begs the other question that's on my mind, and this one's going to be a little bit more difficult for me. I think if I do book a couple of these big projects and maybe the timing of them will work out where I can sort of slot them at different times in the year. But hopefully I have this good tension going in the next couple of months where I do have a bunch of good projects on the plate. I have developers that I would bring on to work under my direction. But I think at some point the way that this type of consultancy moves from literally just me personally to working on multiple big product projects, like multiple big product projects simultaneously is I'm going to need another really good full stack designer developer to work with me on stuff. Somebody who's like a higher level than the developers that I just hire to work under my direction, but somebody with design and dev skills, maybe a little bit more on the technical back end side than to sort of balance out my strengths a little bit. Yeah, I don't know what that looks like. And that type of person is probably harder to hire. They come with a higher rate. They're probably us or Europe based or something like that. Yeah. [00:14:27] Speaker A: They might be in a similar situation where they do this and they're doing something else and building something on the. [00:14:34] Speaker B: Yeah, yeah. It would probably look like, yeah, at least for a while. [00:14:38] Speaker A: That's a good way to do it. So I'm very interested to see how you handle the feast famine situation. You know, it's coming, you can see directly in front of you, you know, it's on the way. It does not mean it's easy to deal with. So I think we'll all learn on how you deal with that. [00:14:55] Speaker B: And that's sort of like, the thing that's driving me right now is like, how do I get to a point where I just have confidence that every month I know that there's a pipeline coming. [00:15:04] Speaker A: You can't wait to get to that next problem. [00:15:07] Speaker B: Yeah. [00:15:11] Speaker A: Okay, well, congrats on getting it up. I saw you on Twitter talking about the logo and having fun with. [00:15:20] Speaker B: Know we can hop over to one of your things here, but maybe to tease. The next big thing that I have on my mind here is like, moving from starting stuff up this year for me has been defined by exploring and experimenting and sort of like trying a bit of this, trying a bit of that. V one of this didn't quite work. Let's move on to v two of this idea and then landing page and researching a market and calling for those very first customers and revenue. I want to move beyond that and get to the point where I have just. The business is running. This is what it is. Yeah. [00:16:01] Speaker A: Then you just consistency. [00:16:02] Speaker B: Let's just do the consistent work doing the projects and doing content and just letting it do its thing. Clarity Flow is sort of on that level where it's like we just do work on projects and it has its flow of customers coming in and I have a person on that. But yeah, I'm trying to. Now that I have clarity flow running instrumentalproducts.com is up and full stack founder with the YouTube that's basically set up for me to get back into content. So I've got the properties out there now I just got to. [00:16:42] Speaker A: Start just doing consistently. Okay, very cool. [00:16:45] Speaker B: Anyway, what's on your end? [00:16:47] Speaker A: Okay. We spoke last week about pivoting, about communicating with the board, about communicating with the investor base. That investor update really hit everyone the right way, which feels great. The feedback was really good and very positive and kind of like, it just helped to put me at ease around that tension of like, what are they going to think? Right. Totally washed away from after last week. So one of the things that I had been talking to the team about in relation to the pivot is the challenge that all of us have that have been at the company for a long time to reset a lot of our assumptions. We talked about this on a previous episode. What I have found over the last few days this week is that while I was preaching that, and that is correct to point out to everyone, I don't think I quite realized how many assumptions and the difficulty that I had personally to do that. It was almost like I was coaching. [00:18:01] Speaker B: Myself by saying that out loud. [00:18:02] Speaker A: It was also the right thing to tell people because it's true. But as the days go by, I'm limited by the set of assumptions that I'm carrying around also. And as those start to be washed away and I actually start to overcome them, all these new ideas are starting to pop up. And I find myself super energized because right now, after the pivot, it's not like we moved from checkout to this personalized offers marketing type of a tool. It's like we gave ourselves this new start at looking for product market fit. And that requires a tricky balance between not looking outwardly too much, meaning what we have right now, we have people interested like you. We have a contract out through Signwell. Shout out to Ruben. And so that signature can come back any day, right? Come back while we're talking right now or it might be next week. And that'll be our first closed deal with that five k upfront element. So we don't need to do anything new in order to hit our short term goals like the projections that we've set out, the expectations that we've set, our internal plans, all of it. We don't need to change anything about the product and we don't need to change anything about who we're going after. [00:19:38] Speaker B: What were some of those limiting beliefs or things that you were kind of carrying around that your whole worldview has changed? [00:19:48] Speaker A: Okay, I'll give you maybe the most extreme example. The most extreme example is industry. I have been staring at ecommerce for ten years. So one of those huge assumptions that I thought was basically in stone and that I didn't even have to bother challenging it was e commerce. That's where we're aimed. So what I'm saying right now is our current product that works on Salesforce, commerce cloud and magento and commerce tools and bigcommerce, we don't need to add any new features in order to close deals. At the same time, that doesn't necessarily mean that that's where product market fit is going to click. And so one of the most basic assumptions of the industry and the type of customer that we're going after, I thought that was in stone. And all of a sudden along comes a completely different opportunity from a national scale Fortune 500 franchise that says to us, hey, we are interested because we have services being booked throughout the country, but we make a tremendous amount of our margin of our actual revenue that ends up as profit from upselling and cross selling. At the point of checkout when someone books our service, we sell these products and we can mark them up because of our relationship with the customer at that point in time. And we're really interested in what you're doing around the checkout. And that is dangerous because you can't. [00:21:28] Speaker B: Keep your eye off the different. But in a way, definitely industry wise, it's different. It's kind of sidestepping to selling the same product to different types of customers. But in a way, it's solving the same core problem. What you're describing here, without getting into specifics, is the main thing that you're solving now with rally is these post purchase upsells and these drive additional revenue through the checkout. Yes. Targeting businesses that really care about that additional revenue capture and that's core to them, that makes, it just drives the pain level up. [00:22:16] Speaker A: Yes, that's right. They're focused on margin at that point in time and those products that are much more high margin than. [00:22:24] Speaker B: It's the difference between, I don't know about if this is a correct example in your world, but like a clothing store who, somebody's shopping for clothing and then they might want to add like an accessory, but that's sort of like a nice to have thing. Whereas a business where most of their revenue is driven by these upsells in the shopping cart. [00:22:43] Speaker A: Yes, we see it in different ways in ecommerce. We see a hero product that costs $50 that they're making $5 on in margin and then selling something that goes along with it for $10 that they make $8 in margin. So different products have these different margin. This contribution margin type of approach is much more popular in ecommerce. I think what you're describing is like going up one level from what does the product do to what does the business do. So the product helps you add new revenue and average order value at the point of checkout in your ecommerce online retailer store. But what does the business do? It helps generate new revenue from existing customers. Right. That's like more general. So the reason, and I don't want to go too deep into this because it's like my next topic to talk about, but the reason this came up for me is because we are now hiring a new SDR. So we decided to eliminate the senior SDR position, and that meant letting go of two people. And now we are looking for a more junior SDR. We still want to do outbound, but it didn't make sense. And there was one element. I'm having a bunch of conversations, right. We're interviewing people we're also talking to outsourced vendors to just see what's out there and learn more. In my conversation with an outsourced SDR vendor, he said something. The founder came on. We had a few calls with them, and then they kind of brought me in, and the CEO was like, I want to join. This sounds like a good opportunity for us. So in his explanation of his journey, like, how did he end up running an SDR vendor? He talked about the previous company that he ran the SDR program for, and it got to 70 sdrs. And he was talking about the things that went right and things that went wrong and how his new outsourced SDR company is trying to learn from that experience. The thing that struck me is 70 sdrs. [00:24:49] Speaker B: Yeah. Because what kind of volume. [00:24:54] Speaker A: Okay, volume is one question. But the question adjacent to volume is, how big is your goddamn market that you can have 70 people full time banging the phones and email? I want that. Yes. [00:25:13] Speaker B: He was giving you the example of his previous business where he was using that to sell something else, not sell the SDR. [00:25:19] Speaker A: Correct. They were selling, I think it was software or service or something. It doesn't even really matter. But it stuck with me as I'm thinking through these assumptions and through these industry things, and you kind of go about your day and you get these little tidbits of information that you kind of are synthesizing. You're walking away from your desk and you're going to do dinner and you're washing dishes, and these things are just like synthesizing, swirling around to give you these new ideas and insights based on all these things that you're pulling in during the day into your brain. [00:25:55] Speaker B: I think that this is still an underappreciated success factor from what I can tell from where I sit in terms of one business compared to all other businesses. And I hate these sort of generalizations, but this is just one that I keep seeing year after year all the time, is high demand, high volume, high demand businesses versus ones that sell and have a lot of consistent customers. But there's just not enough people in the world to make it to fill 70 seats with sdrs. [00:26:35] Speaker A: And there are not enough online retailers to have 70 sdrs. And something about that truth made me uncomfortable. I don't like that factor, that there is never a big enough market with enough. [00:26:53] Speaker B: I just feel like, again, I feel like there is all this advice around our circles, around getting to product market fit. I feel like it doesn't do that question justice enough. I really think that a huge success factor in most businesses is choosing the initial market and the initial customer really well before you get to anything else. [00:27:23] Speaker A: Yeah, it's tough once you're already in business and then you're on the hunt for it and you don't. [00:27:28] Speaker B: That's a super tough thing because easy is definitely the wrong word, but it's easy enough to build a business to a couple of hundred customers of whatever you're selling. It's a lot harder to be in the right business. That's just going to have thousands upon thousands of volume every single month. [00:27:50] Speaker A: Yes. This week has felt like an opening up of my mind a little bit as the investor communication is out of the way as we're kind of settling into this thing. It's so funny to have a huge sense of urgency and still need to remain patient. The product's not out. Next week is the release where the product now works in this way that I'm describing? Standalone product. [00:28:25] Speaker B: Where are you at on the SDR thing? Is it like you've let them go but you're filling that position, you're looking at different options and how is your actual sales process changing? Maybe you're going to get into this. [00:28:40] Speaker A: Later on, but yeah, let's just jump into it now. I don't mind. You go. Okay, so here's my initial set of assumptions. My initial set of assumptions is we need someone more junior. We need someone with a fresh set of eyes and assumptions. Instead of we confused our sdrs, they came in, they started pushing one product, then we pivoted, then we're going this way, then it's both, then it's just one. And by the end, they had been with the company for a little while. [00:29:09] Speaker B: I see. So it's sort of like you need junior because there are still going to be changes. So it's like you or whoever's in leadership is leading this exploration into different directions, different industries to sell to. And the junior level SDR role should be able to sort of like plug. You should be able to plug that process in and adapt it as you go. Whereas you bring in the big guns, the higher level sdrs. When it's like this machine works, let's blow it out. [00:29:41] Speaker A: That's one element of it. When I think junior instead of more senior, the real issue there was less thinking, less strategy, less operations. [00:29:55] Speaker B: That's what I mean. [00:29:56] Speaker A: Systems. Yes. [00:29:57] Speaker B: Because that strategy that adapting is like you and your leadership team, right? [00:30:04] Speaker A: Yes. So this is what we went in and then the assumptions around hiring in house was how is someone outsourced, possibly going to know our product. How are they going to understand the industry? How are they going to understand our customers? We need someone with us day to day, super tight with the team, loves the company, loves the product, understands what's happening, communicates tight feedback circles, messaging, all of that. So this is the set of assumptions that I was walking around with and half my mind still thinks that way. I went into a conversation with an outsourced SDR company, the one that I'm alluding to, someone that I really respect, that consultant that go to, marketing consultant that transformed the whole company. She recommended them, so she recommends them. We're open to it. Cool. Because we know she knows her stuff. So I was very skeptical and I told Sam on our team, who was leading the effort to look into it. Sam, you have a mountain of skepticism to get over with me. Feel free to talk to them, but whatever. So he eventually says, cool, jordan, these guys are pretty impressive. Let's set up a call for you so you can kind of dig in. And I'm like, there's a waste of time in my mind. I'm like, this is a complete waste of time. There's no way I'm doing this. It doesn't make sense to me. [00:31:28] Speaker B: So your assumption is going into this is that they're outsourced. So how could they possibly be as ingrained as I need them to be in my company? Yes. [00:31:37] Speaker A: How are they going to be soaked in our culture and the understanding of our market? All these things that in my mind matter. I jump on a call with these guys, the founder, the CEO, there was really impressive. And my approach to these things. [00:31:57] Speaker B: I. [00:31:58] Speaker A: Don'T think it's the typical american approach to a conversations like this. So my approach is more israeli than not. I come into that conversation, everyone does their intros and I go, here is my skepticism directly, head on. This is what you need to address in order for me to have any. Okay. So I gave it to them completely directly. And he was like, awesome. We're talking turkey. [00:32:24] Speaker B: I was just going to say, doing a sales call. You want that? You want that level of honesty. I just remember so many like that where it was like I could tell they're sort of like dancing around something. But it's hard for me to pinpoint what is their real question or objection. But when they're super direct like that, it makes it easy. And maybe it's easy to be like, okay, maybe we're not going to be a good fit for you, but at least we know exactly where to focus our conversation. [00:32:52] Speaker A: Yes. And why. Need to look back at the conversation and analyze and read between the lines to get the answer to the things that you're most skeptical about. So my approach is like, I don't like x. I don't think this is going to work. Here's y. Just address it head on. And the things that he listed, I could not do anything other than admit that they were real factors. One of them is you run a remote company. That's awesome for you and your engineering team. And the efficiency. Cool. You know what's miserable? Doing cold calling by yourself in a bedroom. That's miserable. We have an office full of 100 people, and it's gamified. And they're going out to lunch together, and they're asking each other what's working, and what are you doing? And what are you saying when someone says this? Objection. And there's energy and they come in and they're competing, and good luck beating that. Okay. Point. Take it. And what are you doing for training? And I'm like, I don't know. I hope that they're trained from their previous job. That's honest, right? That we don't know how to train an SDR. We don't have that muscle. He's like, okay, here's what we do. We do 80 hours of training. And I hear you on your other skepticism that they're not going to know the market as well. Here's the counterintuitive thing. You don't want to know the market. You don't want your sdrs to know details about the soul and emotion and dreams of your customer. [00:34:20] Speaker B: Wrong. Get over to that. Yes. [00:34:23] Speaker A: Right. So the thing is, SDR is an engineered process. [00:34:28] Speaker B: Yeah. They're working the process. [00:34:31] Speaker A: They're working the process. The second you come off of the process and look into the soul of your customer, things stop working. When you come back to the process, things go better. So you, as the CEO, talking to the SDR, here's the thing, here's the reasoning, here's the motivation. Here's how it relates to return on ad spend. And he's like, total disaster. [00:34:49] Speaker B: That's why it's, like a beautiful thing to sell this service, the SDR services, because they're selling basically the middle person in the funnel. Right? Like the top of funnel, you and your company and your marketing, and you're into the market, driving, getting exposure. And then the SDR is kind of taking that exposure and turning it into a process to put the appointments in the books. And then the closer does. [00:35:17] Speaker A: The closer looks into the soul and the dreams of the prospect. [00:35:21] Speaker B: Right. [00:35:22] Speaker A: But the SCR. And this is where the training comes in. There are one of seven different types of objections. In the initial entry point of the conversation, someone picks up the phone and there's one of seven varieties, and each of those have a rebuttal. And you need to train your SDR to the point where they completely memorize and internalize. I know that objection. Here's my line. And we just don't do that. We don't think that way. [00:35:55] Speaker B: It's a process. [00:35:57] Speaker A: It's a process. And by the end of the conversation, I was like, here's my problem. Now, my problem is that I have to admit that they are going to do a far, far better job of training, hiring, motivating and maintaining an STR. And if I'm going to go hire in house, I have to overcome that fact that I now need to admit. And so now I'm 50 50. It's either we hire someone in house that is a trained machine or we admit we're not going to do a good job at this. [00:36:34] Speaker B: I still have a bit of skepticism, but maybe there's more to it than what I know so far. The training piece and the process piece and the answering those objections. You're still figuring out this product market fit and the sales process. So all of that stuff is going to change. Do they have a process for readapting the training as you guys sidestep from this industry to that industry to this? Let's focus on this element in the problem solution instead of that element, because this is what we're learning this month. Are they going to roll with those changes as you learn? [00:37:16] Speaker A: So that's like a logical place to go next. And that's what I said was, here's the thing. We don't have it down. We don't know exactly what works, and then we hand it off to you and all of a sudden you just increase the volume of the thing that already works. And what he laid out was, okay, here's how that works. You come back to us and say, this type of lead, this type of appointment was no good. Here's why this appointment was really good. Here's y. What we are hearing is x. Let's change the messaging. So the way they do it is two week sprints for two weeks. They keep everything exactly the same. Then they take your feedback and they tweak one or two factors and they let it run for two more weeks and see if things got better. Or worse. [00:38:04] Speaker B: Pretty cool. [00:38:06] Speaker A: It was cool. It's like, okay, I have to admit. [00:38:09] Speaker B: Yeah, super interesting, man. I got one more thing here. It's clarity flow, customer success. Okay. This is a big project that I'm in the middle of. I just brought on a new customer success person at clarity flow. I have not really figured this one out. I feel like this is a big project and hire and goal that I have not figured out in a previous business before, and it's a little tricky on what the next steps are. So basically, the goal is having her take over most of the customer support, but mainly taking new customers who are in their trial and converting them through calls. We do a lot of async, we do email, we do clarity flow. And lately I've been doing more and more calls with customers, and we're continuously improving the product to make it easier and more streamlined to use and shipping all the features that people ask for. We've shipped most of them, and now we have really good technical answers to all the things that coaches need when they're using clarity flow. But it's still super overwhelming for a totally new coach to even them seeing my videos that I've recorded a whole bunch of onboarding videos, they watch those, and it's weird how they watch those. And that has raised the level of excitement, and it actually has improved conversions of trial to paid, but it almost raises it to a point where they feel like even more like a higher level of frustration. It's like I saw it all on the screen when I watched the video, but when I need to do it, I don't know how to do it myself. There's still a gap that needs to be filled there, and I can really feel the emotion and hear the emotion in people's voice because they're like, I really love what you're building with clarity flow. I really, really want this to work, and I can see them. I've looked at all these other tools and they don't do all the things that you guys have put together. It's perfect for what I want, and what you're showing me on the video. [00:40:38] Speaker A: Is perfect, but they don't have the confidence that they're. [00:40:41] Speaker B: But I could see them being frustrated and almost like, not angry at me, not angry at my product or my company or anything. It's almost like angry in themselves. Like, why can't I figure this out? It should be easier. And I see that again and again. [00:40:59] Speaker A: I'll give you a weird analogy that immediately comes to mind. As you say this ten years ago. Remember how awesome woo themes was? [00:41:09] Speaker B: Yeah. [00:41:10] Speaker A: Woo themes broke your heart because when you bought from them, you were buying this beautiful demo, right? [00:41:19] Speaker B: Yeah. WordPress theme that falls apart when you install it. [00:41:22] Speaker A: Yeah, forget falls apart. It was the ugliest blank slate you've ever seen. I could not believe that they didn't just set it up for you to upload onto a WordPress instance the way it looked on the demo. [00:41:36] Speaker B: That's a really good analogy. It's so funny. Literally today, like this morning, somebody sent me an email. They're like, hey, do you have like a live demo version of clarity flow? We actually do have one, but it's not one that customers can log themselves into. They just see it on our videos. Okay. And I've had this question come up several times where they're like, I want to see like an up and running. [00:42:03] Speaker A: They're scared of the blank slate, the blank starting point. [00:42:07] Speaker B: And then during their trial, when they're in there with a blank slate, they can click the button and see my video on how to fill this blank slate with. [00:42:15] Speaker A: You're breaking their heart even more. [00:42:18] Speaker B: Okay. And so what we really need is a consultant, like a customer success person to consult or to advise and work directly with the coach. And the ones who really convert and do really well on clarity flow. At this point, I know most of them by name because they're in my inbox every single day for 30 days straight with questions, and how do I do this? I just tested it out with this client. I ran into this bug, this and that. It happens every day for 30 days. And a, it shouldn't be that many messages, and b, if only I would make myself available for a second or third call and we can just get it all knocked out and then put a process together. Like, okay, you're a coach and you do courses and community, and, okay, you have these needs, and we have a recipe for building that out. Here it is. That's the kind of thing that this customer success person, Kat, will need to be able to do. And so I'm just trying to figure it out. The first thing that I had her do was create her own demo account. Like, I have a demo account on clarity flow that I build out as like, a fictional coaching business. And it has all the things that a coach would typically have. Okay? And I use that in my videos. I use it for testing things and stuff like that. My first task for her in our first week was like, create your version of that. Get your hands dirty with using all of our features to build out a fictional coaching business on clarity flow. And she did really well with that. And now she's like, reviewing my calls and reviewing my emails with customers. So she's sort of like shadowing with that. And I'm still trying to figure out, all right, I need to bridge the gap between her just watching me take and field all these questions to her having the confidence to go into a 30 minutes call with a coach and just set them up. [00:44:22] Speaker A: Okay, so I'm going to answer your question by talking about myself. Just kidding. [00:44:27] Speaker B: Please. [00:44:29] Speaker A: We have a similar issue. And I'll tell you my stab at it, at the solution. We'll see how right or wrong I am. My solution is we're going to do it for them. [00:44:42] Speaker B: Well, that's essentially what we need to do, but I can't be the one doing it. [00:44:46] Speaker A: Yes. I don't know if it's a difference or like a thing. My team thinks we're going to do it for them, to get them set up and started, and then they're going to be happy. And I am starting to tell my team, guys, we're going to do it for them forever. That's the truth. [00:45:06] Speaker B: That's the service. [00:45:07] Speaker A: Yes. [00:45:09] Speaker B: We have an advantage here that clarity flow doesn't quite have, but I've seen it, like restaurant engine. That's exactly what we did. [00:45:18] Speaker A: Was we, what advance you talking about? [00:45:20] Speaker B: Okay, you could offer that as a done for you service for. Because theoretically, you set up their checkout and you configure it and you customize it all the ways that they need, and your support team can service each account's checkout forever. Right, right. [00:45:45] Speaker A: But why do you think that I have that advantage or rally has that advantage over clarity flow? Is it a price thing? Is it an ongoing. [00:45:53] Speaker B: No, it's the way that it's used. So with clarity flow, yes, we could set up their course for them, their interactive drip course for them. We could set up their community space for them to use with their clients. But they are the coach. They communicate with their clients, they invite their clients, and they use clarity flow day to day with their clients. So when we're onboarding them, not only do we have to set up their account and help them custom brand their clarity flow, that stuff is actually pretty easy to do, and we could do it for them. What they really need help with is like, help me understand this tool, train me on this tool, get me comfortable with this tool so that I have a level of comfort in inviting my client every single week to this tool and using it every single day in my inbox with these clients. They need to use it. They're personally using it, so they need to feel comfortable with how all the functionality works. And they offer support to their clients because their clients use clarity flow with them. Right. They're asking questions about it. Their client is asking like, hey, where did that video go? That's inside our private space. How do I access that? Our customer needs to be confident in answering their client on how to access stuff. Okay. [00:47:12] Speaker A: From the way you described a little bit, I thought a large portion of it was on setting it up the way you want it to work and making it look the way you want it to work, organizing it the way you need it. [00:47:29] Speaker B: The setup stuff is actually super easy. And customers pick that up on day one, no problem. Every customer maps their own domain. They put in their custom colors, they slap their logo on it. [00:47:41] Speaker A: Easy. [00:47:44] Speaker B: They watch my videos on setting up spaces and programs and things like that. And they might create a test one. And they test it out with their own email address, or they send it to their assistant, and they test it out with their assistant, and then they run into a hitch or this or that doesn't work, or they took the wrong route to get somewhere, and then their level of confidence goes down a level. They're like, ooh, I just ran into some confusion. If I'm confused, my clients will really be confused. [00:48:17] Speaker A: So they have that extra layer of. [00:48:18] Speaker B: Stress, and then they have this anxiety, and then they're like, all right, let me test it again. Let me test it a third or fourth, 5th time so that I get really comfortable with it. And if they were on a call with me, I can walk through all these common use cases that they're going to use every single day with their clients. And here, let me show you how you should invite a client to a private group cohort. Okay? And you're going to do this first. You're going to send them this invitation. Here's what your client is going to see. And now they're in your cohort. Let's do that again. Let me get you comfortable with that. And that's the kind of support and success, because people talk about what's the thing that gets a customer activated? What's the step that every active customer eventually does? It's not just creating a course. It's not just creating your first message for our customers. It's getting to this level of confidence in using the tool. Like, oh, I'm confidently using this tool and I'm confident to start inviting my clients to it. [00:49:28] Speaker A: Right then I'm confident enough to run my business on. [00:49:31] Speaker B: Yeah, I've put it through its paces. I've tested it all, all the different angles. I've got it custom branded. Now I can launch my big new version of my coaching offers through this. [00:49:42] Speaker A: Okay, so it's not as tightly analogous as I thought, but my response to that is it's just a different success process because of the nature. Right? So if we abstract the elements of the success process, what we're trying to do is insist on skin in the game up front to focus the mind, and then admitting the nature of our product is if we want incremental revenue, we want them in it, tweaking and improving. And I'm trying to tell my team that ain't going to happen. Maybe it will for 20%, but the 80% is going to be us knocking on their forehead once a quarter, saying, we're going to go build out new stuff for you, and here's what our suggestions are. Tell us which ones you approve and then we'll get it done. [00:50:31] Speaker B: Yeah, I love that model. What do they call it? Like, software enabled service, if you will. That's essentially what happened with restaurant engine back in the day. It was like, first they needed help setting up and launching their website, then they needed to change their menu every month. It was like, just send it to our team and they'll do it for you. It's easy. Yes. [00:50:53] Speaker A: Why get in the way if you don't need to? [00:50:56] Speaker B: But I do want to get into that. I think I want to experiment with a paid upfront service. Yeah. And we don't have that yet. And that's sort of an open question because it's like the logical thing would get to a point where every customer pays the fee. [00:51:16] Speaker A: That was going to be my suggestion to look into that as your success person gets a little bit more trained. This contract that's out right now through Seinwell shout out Ruben is they push back on the initial and we could very easily have said, don't worry about the five grand, just come in. We just need this first customer. So what we do is we do $5,000 plus a $2,500 implementation fee. It's almost like dangling out that implementation fee of $2,500 as like, here's your opportunity to get a discount. [00:51:53] Speaker B: Just ask us to remove. We can waive that piece. [00:51:56] Speaker A: Yes. [00:51:57] Speaker B: For you. Yeah, we'll waive it. Yes. [00:52:01] Speaker A: That's what we did. And then they said, can we just get rid of the five k also. And we said no because we think that skin in the game is essential. [00:52:15] Speaker B: Yeah, I saw this in restaurant management. That was the progression. And I've seen it in other SaaS where it's like we started with totally free self serve onboarding, then we went to optional pay us to onboard you and then we went to required. Everyone pays it because it just produces such better customers in the end. Yeah. [00:52:38] Speaker A: And we're starting out with five k because it's a round number and we think our market can absorb it without any issues. It doesn't have to actually be that much money. [00:52:48] Speaker B: That's the open question too. [00:52:49] Speaker A: Yeah. $500 is a big deal to an individual business owner that runs their own company. $250 is a big deal. [00:52:57] Speaker B: Anything. [00:52:57] Speaker A: $100 is skin of the game. [00:53:00] Speaker B: And it's not even about the revenue, it's about the commitment. It's like, I'm going to pay this. And it's literally like the mindset the Amazon prime, like I pay for Amazon prime and the effect of that is whenever I need to buy anything, I don't shop around, I go to Amazon. Yeah, but this is still in the place where it's a free trial and then they convert, hopefully. And we don't even have credit card up front, but like midway through the trial to unlock certain features they'll put in their credit card, they put them into it. So there's still going to be some adapting of our trial process. If we introduce, I'm still on the fence on, I feel like we need to insert more promotions of like, hey, just book a call with us so that we can talk you through setting up rather than just putting you out on your own. Get back to talking to them and I'll do some calls and eventually Kat will be doing those calls. But then it's a question of like, well, let's introduce a fee, but should we make that fee optional? Should we make that required? If we make it optional, then it's like, well, what's the difference between somebody who pays our $500 fee to get our deep, quote, unquote deep done with you training support versus just doing the free trial and sending us emails? We're still going to answer your questions. [00:54:35] Speaker A: Yeah, very interesting. I think you should keep experimenting. If you recall, at Cart hook, people wanted to get into the product and we wanted to talk to them, so we allowed them to come in and set up, but they couldn't launch without talking to us. So there are these different points in time in your product that will make the most sense. You could also just make sure you ask for a phone number during sign up and just call them. [00:54:59] Speaker B: Just call them. [00:55:00] Speaker A: Just call them. [00:55:01] Speaker B: Hi. [00:55:01] Speaker A: Saw you started a free trial. When do you want to set up your call for your initial training to get set up? Yeah, right. There's so many different ways. [00:55:11] Speaker B: Yeah. [00:55:12] Speaker A: I love this stuff. [00:55:13] Speaker B: And it does reduce the volume. It's strategic. But to go to either a paid onboarding thing that's required or even without paid, but requiring every person to. You can't get started until you book your call for next week. You're going to reduce your volume of trials, no question. But you know that even as I think about this right now, I can think about the last ten customers who became really good customers on clarity flow and just thinking about the amount of support and questions that they contacted with and just looking at the types of businesses that they run, they would have had no problem whatsoever with paying a fee and getting on a call or two. [00:56:02] Speaker A: Interesting. [00:56:02] Speaker B: They probably would have preferred that over the experience, over the level of pain that they went through to get it. To get to where they became. [00:56:12] Speaker A: Yeah. When we've been focusing a lot on pricing and packaging and figuring it out, and we had this hour and a half long conversation, I think it was two weeks ago, that really moved things forward. So I think I told you, I initially created a spreadsheet and I made like a good looking table and I put in all the key inputs. I put in, what's the upfront fee? What's the implementation fee? What happens if they're at certain revenue volumes? What about the percentage? What's the effective? I had it all, and it was almost for me to understand how this pricing model worked. And then we started showing that to customers and we were like, no one knows what we're talking about. So then I looked back at it, I had put it aside and the salesperson was out there sharing with people. And then she came back to me, she was like, I think this is too confusing. I looked at it again and I was confused over what I had created and I realized, oh, we need to make it for public consumption. And that forced this hour and a half conversation of like, ironing out all these different things. But what about this? What if they say this? Does it make sense? What happens if they come in and they process a lot of revenue? What if they don't? Should it be a time commitment? Should it be a certain amount of money? At the very end of that pricing conversation, we got to the question of, well, how do we make this as low friction? How do we make this as no brainer as possible? And that way is all the stuff that we already have with a free trial. But that is where we're in pay. [00:57:49] Speaker B: To trial on purpose. [00:57:50] Speaker A: Yes. We're saying, okay, the ideal version of this offer, the no brainer everyone says yes, is with a free trial. That will not be healthy for us right now. So we are purposely explicitly putting in friction at that moment and saying, no free trial. Actually, thousands of dollars. I don't know if it's right, but that's where we're starting. [00:58:10] Speaker B: Yeah, I feel like we got to get there sooner rather than later because I do get a lot of excitement even before they start the trial. And then also on day one or two of the trial, I'm getting excitement in the emails. And then I could see the frustration build over the course of the trial, but they stick with it. Some percentage gets over those and some bigger percentage just drifts away and doesn't convert. [00:58:37] Speaker A: I think the classic approach to this would basically be to map out the ideal success journey. [00:58:42] Speaker B: And the other thing about it is that I feel like a lot of SaaS deal with this is not every. We have very similar customers now. They're all coaches and they have a lot of commonalities, but there's still some differences. Like, sometimes they do have a course and sometimes they don't. Or sometimes they do more one on ones than groups, or they do more groups than one on ones. We can handle all those different scenarios and just have a handful, like, five or six recipes that cat can go to, like, oh, all right, tell me about your business. Okay. We've got, like, three of the five common use cases. Let's walk through how to set up those things. We've got recipes for each of them. [00:59:26] Speaker A: Yes, we've seen this before. How do you want to communicate? How are you going to be charging money? How do you onboard your customers? How often do you do live calls? Like, what parts of the app are most important to you? [00:59:39] Speaker B: Fun stuff. [00:59:40] Speaker A: Look at us. Look at us. [00:59:42] Speaker B: Business people just trying to figure it out, dude. [00:59:45] Speaker A: Yes. Playing with Rubik's cubes. All right, brother. Well, it's Friday. I'm going dancing. [00:59:52] Speaker B: Enjoy that dance. Thanks, man. [00:59:54] Speaker A: All right, see everyone. [00:59:55] Speaker B: All right, later, you. It's.

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