$52,098 revenue: here's our sales workflow 💸
An overview of our sales tech stack spiced up with Notion, Figma & Zapier templates.
This post was originally posted on Optemization on December 1st, 2020. Open this post there for a better reading experience.
Here’s how that breaks down:
Consulting (fulfilled): $36,130.28
Consulting (unfulfilled): $11674.75
Digital products: $4,292.98
I’ll write more on consulting vs products but the latter is the absolute move. I started consulting because I wasn’t sure how/why/when to build a product. But after marinating in some great of Jack Butcher’s “Build once, sell twice” I decided to pull the trigger.
This post is super tactical and focuses on the consulting sales workflow, which can be applied to freelancing and any services. Here’s how it works.
I’ve never done outbound sales. All my deals come inbound from Twitter. It’s amazing, it’s the best (and you probably found me from there). If you don’t know where to start follow Brandon Zhang who grew to 10k followers in a few months. He’s been an inspiration to me.
My Twitter following and sales volume are directly proportional. Here’s the growth since June 30th.
So our website is built on Notion (here’s how). It follows a rather standard structure. The main conversation point is the x.ai embed. You can embed a lot of web apps and widgets with Notion and they render perfectly with Super (affiliate link). Here’s how the discovery call booking window looks on optemization.com
So I use x.ai for call bookings, including discovery calls.
I don’t know if it’s better than Calendly/Acuity/Doodle/etc. I don’t care either. That’s because it does the job for me. I’ve also known the founder & CEO, Dennis Mortensen, since my days at NYU and I like him.
Anyway, here’s how my discovery calls are setup:
Sundays: 11am - 2pm
Tuesdays: 9am - 5pm
Thursdays: 9am - 5pm
Fridays: 9am - 5p
Meeting duration: 30 minutes
Available dates: Over a period of 30 rolling days
Lead time: 2 days
Breather time: 30 minutes
Available slots: All available
Start Time Options: Every 15 minutes
Max Meetings Allowed Per Day: 3 meetings
Beyond the obvious setup, I require prospects to mention their company name and explain the project brief.
I toggle “Always confirm meeting requests with me before scheduling” ON because I want to review meeting requests and confirm them. The company name and project brief help me make the decision.
Once I confirm the meeting, a mighty Zap automates the workflow, it:
adds the lead to Airtable
creates a time tracking entry in Toggl
sends a confirmation email with Gmail
adds my teammate to the Google Calendar event
creates a Dropbox folder
and notifies us in Slack.
I shared a simplified version of this Zap in a paid template. See bottom of the post.
Zapier automatically tags the email with a “sales” label that I have in Gmail. In Superhuman, I’ve triaged my inbox by business function and the confirmation email automatically shows up in the right place.
I review the details of the proposed meeting and decide whether it makes sense to move forward with the call. I strictly reject calls that don’t fit our business. Sometimes I clarify the brief with prospects by forwarding them the booking email.
Once, I confirm the booking, Zapier starts a new thread.
Once the email is sent, I ask the prospect various questions. Here are some:
Are you wanting to migrate a website or build from scratch?
How are you using Notion and what are the pain points?
Are we migrating to a new operations system?
How many people will be using the system/workspace?
What kind of system or tools do you use now?
Generally, I ask people to share their setups and workflows. These usually contain sensitive information, so I make sure to send an NDA. I send docs with HelloSign. In this case, I use the Stripe/Orrick Mutual NDA template that comes with Stripe Atlas incorporation.
If you need to incorporate your business, please use my affiliate link, which will get me $5,000 in processing credits.
Sometimes prospects are not ready to move forward with a proposal, so I offer them to join a shared Slack Connect channel where we can chat until they are ready to work together.
Slack Connect is basically a social networking layer on top of Slack and it’s amazing. It allows me to chat with clients and partners without requiring them to constantly switch between workspaces. It does require a premium/paid plan but its worth it.
10 minutes before the call, I create new records in my projects and calendar databases. I have a template for discovery calls that prompts me to ask the right questions and take good notes. Here’s how I create it in my sales dashboard:
After a successful discovery call, I create a custom proposal. It's quick to make because I have it templated in Notion as well. I start with this template:
Here’s how a complete proposal looks like:
Figma (cover photo)
For each and every proposal I add a special touch — a custom cover photo made on Figma. It’s really simple: just my logo, lightning emoji and the client’s logo. The layout is included in the template below.
Finally, I send a service contract with and.co. It’s a solid piece of software for freelancers and agencies. I’m thinking to maybe switch off to a combination of Notion, HelloSign, and Servicebot (embedded Stripe payment portals) but I’m not sure about that. For now, and.co does the job covering contracts and invoicing.
Sometimes, there are email deliverability issues, so make sure to tell your client to check their spam folders.
I put together the Zapier zap and Notion template into a product that you can purchase for $29.
If you purchased the previous edition of the Notion proposal template, check your inbox :)
P.S. I also recorded a video breakdown of out this process but I’m in a Montana cabin and Loom is taking ages to process it! I’ll update it once up on YouTube and include a note on the next newsletter.
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