- I still Haven’t given enough time to content I’ve started,I have multiple posts started but none finished and a bunch of ideas for posts.
- I failed to Review and learn more on W2 employees but I have it on the cal for today
- Month to Date Revenue –
- One Time: $4750
- EMRR: $9,084
- Total MR: $13,833
- Six Figure Run Rate!
- Overall over the holiday my plans were to lay low as much as possible and enjoy my time with the family.
- Spent some time with nieces and nephews and we got into NYC to see the broadway musical called beautiful which is the story of Carol King who pretty much wrote a ton of famous songs and then went on to releasing her own albums and is still pretty famous today
- We’ve had a few great strategy sessions this week with our existing customers to kick off the new year
- I had an interesting coffee meeting with a local entrepreneur named Perry Evans. He is the guy that created MapQuest. now he runs company that helps small businesses through an interesting technology and I have an opportunity to help him with some automation stuff but I need to determine if that’s the right fit for me right now. At first glance I don’t think it is but I also want to capitalize on opportunities for cashflow right now.
- I was interviewed on the Smashing Plateau Podcast which was fun
- I’m in some small talks on selling Mobile Marketing Engine ( I won’t go into much detail on this but I’ll share more when I have info)
- I closed two new customers since our last episode. Both of them signed up at our Essentials + Growth Plan and we got them signed up for Infusionsoft.
- We had one existing customer buy a virtual half day session as a one-time investment
- I had a discovery call with a prospect this week that got referred to me from a friend and they seem to be successful entrepreneurs but making a transition and shifting their business into some coaching and a membership. They are getting ready to buy Infusionsoft but also having website built so they weren’t necessarily ready just yet. So I offered them a 2 hour Funnel Strategy and Mapping session for $499. I advised them that if they move forward with implementation and one of our plans we’ll add it as a credit towards their Due Diligence setup fee.
- So overall the first week of January has been fruitful from a revenue perspective
- I spent some time planning for 2016. Like I mentioned in our previous episode (73, I believe) I blocked off time on my calendar to think through goals. I know we’re going to be sharing our specific goals and everything in a few episodes from now so I won’t go into super specifics but I will say that as the year ends and I start thinking about the upcoming year, I pick three words that serve as a theme for my year. I kind of failed at this last year but the 2 before that I did. This is actually a replacement to a specific new years resolution as I think most people just fail with those. This is actually something I learned from Chris Brogan and he just wrote a post about it on his blog and I’ll be sharing mine in a blog post on my personal site greghickman.me
- My 3 words though are Do. Plan. Kaizen.
- Do. – any action that moves me closer towards the goals that serve my mission. For me this is also before “plan” in that I want to focus on taking action quicker. That’s essentially how System.ly got started right? I didn’t really think too hard outside of the 30 day validation challenge I gave myself back in August to get 2-3 customers in 30 days. I didn’t need more of a plan than that, however, once I get things started and they prove to be “right” or “effective” I want to put a plan in place.
- Plan. – work the plan. If there’s no plan, make one. See how it’s a noun and a verb? So I have some plans on how I’m going to reach the goals I’m setting which is important but I also want to focus on making sure I’m continuing to create plans along the way.
- Kaizen. – small improvements over time (health, business, personal) This is the philosophy I want to take with both personal and business because I know when i try to make drastic change, it works for a few weeks but then i just fail to be consistent. So with everything I do, from business to personal goals, I want to focus on small continuous improvements and over time that compounds to big shifts, and results.
- My 3 words though are Do. Plan. Kaizen.
- I wanted to spend time on some internal Activities and like I mentioned I failed a few places but was also successful in others.
- I Reviewed the initial results of my webinar funnel blueprint campaign from a high level and have decided a few ways I want to enhance it and add some more follow up opportunities before really starting to deeper on measurement
- We’ve built out about 6 more SOP’s for common tasks
- I’ve adjusted our onboarding experience to simplify the initial survey we send new customers before they can schedule their launch call. We’re now askign a lot of the questions on the launch call and I’ve created a templated document we’ll busing to streamline this process.
- I’ve also created a similar document for my Discovery calls so I can make my discovery calls a bit more streamlined and try to keep them to 15-20 minutes so I can qualify if the candidate is the right fit.
- I signed up for Contactually as a CRM / pipeline tool. I’m still in the demo but I’m enjoying it. It’s intuitive and my goal with it is to not only help manage my pipeline but make sure I’m staying engaged with certain people life family, potential partners, influencers, mentors etc that I want to stay in touch with.
- I did another joint webinar with Casey from Easy Webinar offering our white glove service and the doors close on that today so we’ll see if we filled those spots because I haven’t heard yet although there was wan issue with the webinar cutting out and it was also on Monday January 4th which I didn’t think was the best time to do the webinar with that really being the first day most people are probably thinking about work
- I re-arranged my office for the new year. This was huge for me. a few years ago i invested in this expensive sit/stand desk from next desks. Which I loved. But when we moved into the house we’re in now, the size of the desk left me with few options for a good office layout. So, I found a guy locally who made this beautiful custom reclaimed wood desktop that has smaller specs and we connected it to the automatic powered legs of the NextDesk and boom. New office. new vibe. New energy for the new year and it’s arranged in a way that i have a more clear out my window into my backyard and I face the office door which is actually good for feng shui.
- The team has continued to perform great. I’m slowly delegating more and more and I’m starting to have more time to work on some of these things that I need to be working on like updating our own processes and having sales calls.
- 1 Funnel Strategy & Mapping Session
- 3 discovery calls
- 1 potential partner call
- 4 customer strategy sessions
- Going to the nuggets warriors game so I’m super excited to see steph Curry play
- Update the campaigns for our discovery call process as well as our new customer onboarding
- I want to create a customer tips/recommendation campaign that sends at least one recommendation on how they can use the service and things we can do for them. I have plenty of content but need to get that started.
- I want to get at least 1 blog post live!
- I want to write personalied emails/videos to my network of contacts to let them know about System.ly and if there is a way we can support them or if they may know somoene who may need help.
- I want to Review the outline of our membership area with Lisa and begin making a list of the video tutorials we’ll need to create and also set a launch deadline.
- WIN – Get App Design 100%
- WIN – Get html/css finished also on all of the designs and start to implement this with V2
- FAIL – Test V2 of our software – still finalizing pricing
- FAIL – Work on a knowledge base for new version of the software
- FAIL – Finalize content promotion strategy for the content we have planned for first quarter of 2016 – wouldn’t say a total failure, but we don’t have this 100% defined and in action yet and we’ve already posted a piece of content so we definitely need this going full steam.
- $31k MRR – $8.5k MRR for the software. Going forward this is all I’m going to track because that’s where we’re focused and we’ll eventually be shutting down the done-for-you service side of things.
- Looking more like early to mid Feb for V2
- We have been working on our new per user pricing. Very excited about the move, but it was actually a very major overhaul to how we had it originally. We are going with a combination of per user pricing along with a value metric pricing which is based on number of prospects. This is very common in the sales tool space.
- Normally, I would advise against per user pricing as you want more people in an organization using it so you get sticky and your interests would be aligned on a value based metric. For example, with Workado I have it priced based on number of campaigns managed. In the sales space though, per user pricing works as each user is basically set up with their own environment and they are the one’s getting the value.
- We have been working on this change for about three weeks now and are going to be rolling it out next week. This was all part of the plan for V2, so this would have been needed for that anyway.
- I completed all the mockups for V2. This takes quite a bit of creative energy as you have to think through every angle and make sure it’s all connected. I made the mistake of not doing this with the initial few screens and realized we needed to make some adjustments to those once I went through the rest of the pages.
- I always start with writing a bunch of notes in a notebook, and then I go to my whiteboard and start mocking out the pages while looking at my notes for reference. I then take a picture of the whiteboard and send that to my designer. I just can’t get into the wireframing and mockup software out there. It isn’t nearly as forgiving as my whiteboard which I can easily erase and re-adjust.
- I mocked up the final versions of our commission tracking software and worked with my developer at my agency to finalize this. Very exciting as the way I have mapped it out we’ll be able to add customer success manager users to it and the way I structured commissions, I’ll be able to reward customer success managers based on retention for deals they manage on top of it being used to track all sales team payouts and commissions.
- I feel this is so valuable to sales teams and managers I could see spinning this off later as its own separate product. That said, could see this becoming a free tool that we offer since it caters to the same market.
- Got approached by another VC firm (they’ve invested in Infusionsoft, LeadPages, and others) who did a lot of background research on me and LeadFuze which I appreciated. Told him for those reasons I’d be open to a discussion. Still undecided if this is the direction I want to take things, but I can see it being a solid route for us so that we can grow out the team. I have been holding off looking into this or putting any more thought into it until version 2 rolls out and we have more of our marketing in order. Both of these things should be in place here shortly so figured I’d be open to having some initial discussions.
- We changed our meeting schedules. We were doing a full team meeting once per week. Then doing daily standups. I found that the meetings on a daily basis were a little overkill. It put pressure on the team to have something to report every day. It also was easy to skip or push back. So I reevaluated how we do them and so the new format is on Monday’s where I give an update on where we are at and then Dominic gives an update on development, Michael on marketing, and Booker on sales. Then they each share the goals for upcoming week that are tracked into a separate slack chat for easy reference.
- Signed up for FridayFeedback.com – it will send an email to my team every Friday asking about their week, challenges, etc. The plan is for me to be able to take this information and look for areas where we can improve. Should come in handy as I know we plan on growing the team in 2016.
- Website visitor to trial was 4.4% the past 30 days and then free trial to paid conversion was at 7.7%. I keep track of this every 30 days as I want to compare it to the same time period and it also lets me know if some changes I implemented worked or failed. I take “Users” as reported by Google Analytics, then check Intercom for Signed Up “after” date. I then divide the Signed Up by Users to get a beat on trial conversions. I then take Subscribers on a Stripe plan and divide that by the trial conversions to get the trial-to-paid percentage.
- Michal has been working on our content strategy which got underway this past week. Him and I did an episode 0 on our podcast as well. It is called The Sales Manager Playbook with the subtitle of Interviews with Leading B2B Sales Managers. This is our target market obviously and allows us to reach out to them for things other than trying to pitch them on being a customer. We just finished up recording episode 0. I’m letting Michael handle it all going forward, but I was in on episode 0 to bring it together.
- We had our first negative review online come through just this morning. He posted on a scam website and then another on Sweet Fish Media’s blog. It’s always tough to see these things and as much as you want to respond, it’s usually just not a good idea to do so. All we really offer at the end of the day is a list building and outreach service. We don’t guarantee leads, but ultimately leads is the reason they are buying so it’s tough. This works extremely well for some businesses and not as well for others and often times we won’t know going into the relationship. In any case, this is another benefit to moving away from the service – we’ll be able to let those businesses figure those things out on their own time. It was nice though as we had James from Sweet Fish Media respond saying half his business came from this service, so that was good to see.
- Finish up writing some of the blog posts I started when I flew out of town for SaaSFest last month. I want to get one ready for justinmcgill.net and I think the other 3 or so will all be guest blogs somewhere.
- We’re behind where I thought we’d be after this first week according to the goals I set, which we will be going into in a couple of weeks. I was thinking our per user pricing would be in effect though and we’d be a week away from launching v2 so this definitely is changing the plans a little bit. Going to have to look closer at our sales process as well as I have not been reviewing demo calls.
- I’m going to also want to review our content promotion plans that Michael is working on to make sure we’re maximizing things on that end as well.
- Dominic, our CTO, is leaving on vacation next week so we are probably going to have to wait another week before we roll out the per pricing update as I just don’t want to have any major fallout happen that we can’t fix without him available.
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