In this episode of Squad Talks … over coffee, Kevin and I discuss Sales Process, Tools, and Support.
We talk about how The Squad has organized its sales process, the tools we use, the tools we sell and support, and the special role we’ve created to help administer our sales team/process and administer our CRM.
As the visionary leader Michael Scott once said, “Make friends first, make sales second, make love third. In no particular order.”
In our Sales Process, all activities in marketing and sales move us toward the first step.
Step 1 - Connect Call or Connect Coffee
This is the meeting where we determine if we’re a good fit to work together. The call may take 10 minutes, or it may take 45. The coffee is usually a little longer, but the goal is the same, determine fit.
Sometimes we’ll go a bit further, but we usually try and have some space before Step Two.
Step 2 - Discovery
This meeting or call is about asking the right questions to determine scope, needs, goals, etc. It’s usually a bit longer, maybe an hour, even 90 minutes in some cases. But, we typically walk out of this meeting with 90-100% of our questions answered.
For project work like website, videos, and branding services, we’ll usually have what we need to create a proposal. We use Hubspot’s Quote Tool to generate all our proposals. They offer electronic signatures, and things are integrated/automated with our email and Slack channels to notify key people when decisions have been made.
Step 3 - Build the Plan
This step is essential for Marketing Partnerships. Even after good discovery, clients typically want to know how we’ll jump in and start serving them in an ongoing way. Our unique Partner Process handles this well once we’re out of the blocks and rolling, but this key meeting can help clients visualize how the partnership will work and what we’ll tackle in the first 30-60 days.
Step 4 - Proposal
Now that we’ve done good discovery and/or built a plan, we’re ready to make things official. The proposal process is usually reserved for new clients. Sometimes we’ll still do proposals for existing clients. Many times the trust is already established, and a verbal or email confirmation may be all we need.
For new clients, we like to make things official with a signed proposal. We operate on agreements here at The Squad versus contracts. We’re not looking to keep ongoing Partner clients in situations they don’t believe are a win-win. That being said, it rarely comes up.
Step 5 - Decision
Typically deals don’t hang out in the decision phase very long if we’ve done our job well. Our goal here is to collect decisions. Yes’s are great. No’s are fine too. Maybe’s eventually end up in a timing column. Sometimes deals just get abandoned. Sales is about activity, following a process, and having a “next” mentality.
From this Decision stage, we pull our weekly Best Chance to Close numbers and possibilities for the Operations team.
As I stated before, we currently use Hubspot Sales Pro to run our sales system. That being said, we also support clients using SalesForce, and have worked with tools like SharpSpring, and Pipedrive in the past.
We are currently testing out a new tool called HighLevel which we are really excited about.
Navigating a decision on a new CRM or Marketing Automation tool is something we have helped many clients with. We also assist clients in integrating proprietary CRMs specific to their industry.
A trend we started to see a couple of years back during the height of Covid was the need for Sales or CRM Support roles. Administering a tool like Hubspot or Salesforce can be a heavy load on a business or sales team.
If you’re making the investment in a sales tool or growing a sales team, then giving them proper support could be the catalyst to accelerate everything.
At The Squad, we saw this need and filled it with our very own Rachel Durbin. Her title is Agency Coordinator because she also helps with office management, client and team experience, and some frontend accounting support tied most directly to sales. We’ve even had Rachel help some Partner clients get their sales process launched recently.
If we can be of assistance to your sales team, let us know. We’d love to connect with you for a quick call or coffee!
It can’t hurt to make sure your sales and marketing are aligned for optimal results.