The Onboarding Process with Dan Morris | #036

EU 36 | Onboarding Process

EU 36 | Onboarding Process

 

Running a business can be unpredictable at times. We often find ourselves confronted by the question, “What do I do next?” which is ultimately a productivity killer. Dan Morris is all too familiar with this problem. As a dedicated problem solver, he helps teams succeed by talking about onboarding processes. He owns Mindracer Consulting, a consulting firm focused on helping entrepreneurs sell more, stress less and scale profitably, as well as an entrepreneurial growth hacker. Dan talks about the importance of investing in people and their communities within the company in order to have something sustainable. Taking a unique perspective, he says businesses need not only a closer but an opener as well, someone who’s able to find an area that is challenging and working on how to solve that to keeping the company from burning out.

Listen to the podcast here:

The Onboarding Process with Dan Morris

I hopped off the horn with our very special guest, Dan Morris from Mindracer Consulting down in New York City. Dan is a guy who has been in the sales world for a very long time. We had a huge a-ha moment between the two of us. It came from the fact that the way that sales is explained is completely backward. He is a dedicated problem solver, entrepreneurial growth hacker and committed car lover and occasional surfer. His background is in high growth organizations, helping CEOs increase sales by diagnosing issues, putting systems in place and building teams and helping the teams succeed. When I explained that helping teams succeed, his whole thing is about processes and onboarding.

As we were going through what he does and having him explain exactly what he does for his customers, he mentioned something that I had to highlight. I’ve been in the world of sales for ten years but I’ve never heard sales explained like this. If you understand this and you take it to heart and imprint this into your brain, how to think about sales and how to think about operating your entire onboarding process, you will become ten to a hundred times more effective in communicating your message and closing more deals. You can’t close without this one very specific thing that we talked about on this interview.

I am super excited for our guest, Mr. Dan Morris from Mindracer Consulting. Dan, welcome to the show.

Thanks for having me, Joel. I’m excited to be here.

You have something very valuable that all entrepreneurs, all business owners, solopreneurs and experts need to have under their belt. We’re going to talk about what you do specifically and we’re going to get into more details. One of the things that jumped out during our pre-interview call was you set up processes. You set up sales systems and procedures to make everything repeatable, which as a solopreneur, as an expert, sometimes that can be difficult. I know in my mind it’s very hard. I chase a lot of shiny crap. That’s what I do. Not all the time, we do have some process. I’m pumped to have you share your knowledge and tell your story. Before I keep bragging about you, why don’t you brag about yourself? Tell us a little bit about what is Mindracer Consulting. What do you do, in your own words, for your clients?

Mindracer started because I’ve built and run sales teams off the scale. I started with an individual contributor, then a director, then a VP of a team of 47. Then I spun a company out of that and ran it as CEO and then I took over a company and help rebuild that. The most important part to take away with that was I was working to help people be more successful around me. What I found was whenever I was hiring people, if I had a solid onboarding process where I can tell them clearly, “Here are the people you’re going to be talking to. Here are the problems they’re having, here are the steps you need to take in the sales process to walk it through to a contract and beyond,” they were more successful.

If I went into a company that hadn’t had that process already and we introduced it, we started seeing people enjoying their days better because they weren’t lost in that, “What do I do next?” question. I did it for myself. I did it in these companies. I did it to help the people around me and that made me realize that as an entrepreneur, that’s the challenge that most people go through. If they’ve got a brilliant idea that they want to take to the market, they bring it to their friends and family and the people who are going to buy it first. Their passion gets it across the line. Then when you need to go and prospect people you haven’t ever met before or you’re getting leads through a funnel and that person’s coming to you and they qualify, but you don’t know what to do next, revenue doesn’t happen as much as you want it to.

We’ve all felt that frustration of, “What do I do next? What is the next step?” How much time do you waste thinking on, “What should I do?” Mindracer starts with an 85-point audit. It’s a proprietary thing. We’ve put together the Mindracer audit 85 and growing questions where we get to know where that business is at. How that entrepreneur thinks about that business, how they do their sales at the moment and where they want to get to? That then gives us a moment in time when we’re all on the same page and we can go, “Here’s what we would do and if you want to do it yourself, go and do it yourself, no problem at all.” If he wants some help, we can help you. We’ve got less than full-time sales management. If you want help doing that, we can help you to onboard people if you hire them.

The most important part for us is the mission that we have to help 1,000 businesses, add at least $1 million on their revenue by 2025. If we can do that by inspiring people and helping them out and letting them do it themselves, fantastic. We want them to be able to invest in their people and their communities and have something sustainable. I’ve seen that go wrong a lot of times so it’s important to me that people can make their processes sustainable and learn along the way. So far so good, we’re helping a lot of people and enjoying it.

EU 36 | Onboarding Process
Principles: Life and Work

You can’t underestimate the power of repeatable process. What’s so fascinating about this, especially in this day and age is these new types of companies. You look at big tech companies and they’re trying to change the way that culture and companies operate within a company. You see Google and Facebook, they have all these new features that they give their employees and they’ve got meditation rooms and all that stuff. In my opinion, on the facade it looks like you’re giving them a lot more leeway, but people need processes especially employees and members of your team because if you have people come in and say, “Here’s what we want to do.” You don’t give them those processes. That ultimate all-important question, “What do I do next?” that’s a productivity killer. I’m neck-deep in Ray Dalio’s book, Principles. It’s a fantastic book.

I wrote out a whole lot of principles that was in my head already and I was like, “I’ve got all these stages for what I’m going to get into a project or whatever that would be.” I love it. It’s a great inspiration. Have you seen the animated stories?

Yes, on Facebook. It talks about the call to adventure and it’s seven or eight short videos, but they’re very good. I want to ask you a couple of questions. You have the 85-point audit. When you have a customer or client that completes that 85-point audit, what do you see after you complete it? What are the most common gaps that you see from that client after they complete that 85-point audit?

They’re all over the place but the common ones, if we say to somebody, “Who’s your ideal customer?” There’s a blank response, “We can sell to anybody.” The easiest way to waste all of your time is to go, “Let’s talk to anybody who’s got a pulse in business.” In this fantastic country with 330 million people in it, you can waste all day every day and not close any deals. I’m from the UK originally and one of the things that I noticed was when I came to this much bigger market, we have to be much more targeted straightaway about the people we wanted to add value for first. We couldn’t have the resources, we have to source it in. I’ve been here nine years now and all the businesses I’ve been working in, businesses of such scale that we’ve got to hop in because we focus on who and why. The type of business and who’s within that business are the two things that people haven’t prepared. If they can get that part right, then you can do so much around it.

Even if you look at the deals that you’re working on and you say, “Who am I talking to in terms of their role in the business and what’s important to them?” It lets you think about what the next step’s going to be much more clearly than just we’re talking to this business. There are two things that fundamentals of what we implement with people. It determines the industry sales enablement content, but fundamentally it is, “Do you know who you’re selling to and have you got a profile for that person?” Then there are those common things that, “Are they the anchor of it?” You build from that and many of those people. Then we get to what technology do we want to use to make it more efficient once you’ve got a process. No sense trying to automate something that’s not already a process. That’s some of the topics.

It's important that people can make their processes sustainable and learn along the way. Click To Tweet

How difficult is it to get somebody to narrow down on their who and why? The reason why I asked that question is that I totally see it. I totally see that same problem. I do a lot of self-reflection and it’s like, “I could sell to a lot of different people,” but when we’ve made the biggest leaps and bounds is when we focus on very specific avatars. Most importantly, very specific pains. In my other business in the agency side, we focus mostly on people who are familiar with digital marketing funnels and they do online advertising. They’re not afraid to spend on online advertising and they work in the information marketing space. Where we got into trouble was when we started onboarding customers that we’re not familiar with any of those and like, “I want to write a webinar. I want you to do a webinar for me.” Those are almost always customers that were most difficult to fulfill on. How difficult is it to get your customers to get crystal clear on their who and why?

That’s why most of them are frustrated in the first place is because if they’re not clear, then any activity that they’re repeating to try and get business is naturally going to fail. There’s a great deal of motivation to get that right. If they are existing customers, then we can look at the ones that are being most successful and stop there and identify as many things as possible about those customers that we could potentially replicate. If they’re going into a new market, which is quite a common use case, we’ll make some hypothesis. We’ll make some strong assumptions about who we built this for. Hopefully, they’ve talked to their target market before they build something, that’s not always the case, and so we can build some initial profiles that we then test.

Here’s another thing. Very often a non-sales-minded entrepreneur will hire a salesperson because their DNA will make them successful. That’s not how it works. You’ve got to have a testing mindset, an agile process. Let’s see if this works. Let’s go and have X number of conversations with this target persona. What we can learn from those people is a good first step because the next time you talk to them, you can make a better impression and a better first message. You can also work with those early people and help them get the solution to the challenge they’re having, which might change your product. If you go in and expect it to be fully baked the first time around and it’s going to be perfect, let’s changed that mindset a little bit.

Let’s do our best to do something that let us learn with it and that’s how you’re going to make your process successful. The building blocks are there, but they are also the ones that you’re going to add to it as your business evolves naturally. That’s the process we’re going through and that’s why we stay engaged as a less than full-time sales manager to have those conversations. I don’t believe you can buy a system in a box like that for sales and have it be repeatable forever. I don’t believe it. I have hundreds of salespeople, supported entrepreneurs and things change. The market changes, the customers need change. Having those conversations about your deals is how you evolve your process and that’s why we remain engaged and help people do that.

EU 36 | Onboarding Process
Onboarding Process: Having conversations about your deals is how you evolve your process.

 

Are you telling me if I hire a salesperson, the salesperson won’t cure all?

That magic unicorn salesperson that everyone’s looking for.

Hire a closer. They’ll enroll as many people as you want.

That’s a fascinating one. People do want to hire a closer. They’ve completely forgotten about the opening process as well.

Nobody even realizes that there’s an opening process.

There are people that might be good at closing deals. If you’ve got somebody who’s been well introduced, you’ve got a discovery process, you know that your product is a great fit for that person and then you’ve got somebody who’s going to take orders or get it across the line. If you’re a smaller business, you need somebody who’s an opener as well to be able to find that area where they’re having a challenge. Agree what the challenge is, try and work on how you’re going to solve that challenge, and then transfer your enthusiasm for a common goal. That’s how you’re going to start a partnership with that person. That person often needs to be an opener too.

I’ve never heard it framed like that. I’ve never even heard the term opener. You hear closers all the time like, “Hire a closer or I’m the best closer that you can find.” It’s like in order to close something, there has to be something open. I’ve never heard that terminology before and I love it. You have to pair the two together.

It evolved from working with a software company. A lot of software companies will invest in a sales development person or sales development team to make outbound, outreach to prospects and to qualify and have a discovery. Then hand off to an account exec who is the relationship management closer. I’ve definitely seen before where people have hired people who have most of their experience in that relationship management closing role. They’ve gone into an earlier stage business and have to become an opener. It’s a very challenging thing to change gear into. If that person is not fully aware of what he is stepping into, it might not be successful. We get the onboarding process of here’s where the leads are coming from, here’s who you’ll be talking to, here’s what it looks like. It’s almost an essential part of bringing in a successful sales relationship into your business.

You can't underestimate the power of repeatable process. Click To Tweet

For our audience, I want you to take very specific notes on what we covered and what Dan talked about there. The way that was explained is the clearest process of the sales development process that I’ve ever heard explained. We deal a lot with generating leads for clients. We deal a lot with salespeople who close on the phone or close via online chat. A lot of times, they will say the lead quality needs to be better. What that is translating into is they need to be opened or there needs to be an opening process. A lot of those times, those closers are talking to random cold prospects and they hate that. They absolutely hate it. This marriage of opening it like a closer needs an opener too, and maybe I’m under a rock because I’ve never heard that terminology before, but I’m going to assume that I’m not alone. Understand the relationship with opening and closing because if you’re only focusing on closing, you’re going to burn your sales team or burn yourself out if you don’t have an opening process and that nurturing process.

It all rolls back into the quality of the relationship with your marketing agency as well. If you’ve got an onboarding process like this that’s enabled you to fire yourself from the sales process and focus on growing your business, you can bring in a salesperson. What you’ve got to do when you hire an agency, you onboard them in the same way and you all start speaking the same language and all of a sudden, everyone’s happier. Agencies don’t want to fail. They want to do well. I’ve heard it so many times that other professional services out there, I’ve been burned by that before, and I’m going to be cautious. The onboarding processing in the entrepreneur’s business could be a lot better. That means that the marketing agency flows better leads through to sales, the relationship becomes solid and the business grows better. It’s a win-win for everybody.

You said that onboarding needs to happen pretty much everywhere. Anywhere there’s a new relationship that starts, there should be some onboarding. Correct me if I’m wrong but that’s my understanding.

EU 36 | Onboarding Process
Onboarding Process: When a new relationship starts, there should be some sort of onboarding.

 

That’s my complete philosophy. That’s the way forward, any time that I can make it clearer what’s successful for us and how to work with those and how we work with other people. If you hire a sales rep out there on the open market, here are the stats. If you’re well-organized, it will take you twenty days from putting up an ad to hiring somebody. Very few people get there, especially in this small business space or even in the larger spaces. Then it takes up to seven months for that person to become effective. Then the tenure of the average sales rep is nineteen months in total, so you’ve got twelve months of them being effective. Bear in mind as well that about 60% of those reps will never make it to their full target. You’re dealing with a whole series of things that can be improved by having a better onboarding process to help that person to be effective quicker and be more effective generally. Then multiply that by the number of people you bring into your business and don’t just think about sales when you think about that.

Anybody who’s coming in your business, you might answer the phone, all sorts of customers. If you can do an onboarding process with them and let them know who the customers are going to be and what challenges we solve, imagine how much clearer their day-to-day engagement with the rest of the business is going to be as well. This is something where I can give people ideas and help them grow their businesses in one way. It flows into the rest of their business. That’s why I call it Mindracer because once the mind starts going.

There’s a huge opportunity for business owners to take this seriously. If they want to avoid those failing statistics of not keeping your sales reps around long enough even to be effective, the way to solve that is to work with them through an onboarding process. Have them understand that even their prospects need an onboarding process. If you’re able to develop that nurture sequence in every area of your business, everything is going to be exponentially more effective.

Typically, it’s the same onboarding and nurture sequence in every area of the business. Once you’ve done it, it’s there and you can use it. You’d be surprised how many different areas of the business you can use it.

The easiest way to waste all of your time is to go, “Let's just talk to anybody who's got a pulse in business.” Click To Tweet

Have you coined this onboarding terminology? I feel like this is the theme of everything that you do as the onboarder. Has it been coined?

It may evolve in that direction. Things move quickly.

That is what you do for your clients. You’re very well-skilled and you are an expert at the onboarding process through multiple different avenues. I want to go back into where we talked about the opportunities that led you to where you are in your business. If you could pick one or two events that led to major pivots to where you are now, what would those be? Explain those events to me or pick one and then we’ll dive deep into it.

I was working for a large bank after college. I realized that being in a very large completely structured organization didn’t necessarily align with my energy. I put my resume out there, I got a phone call from a recruiter and the recruiter wanted me to come and sell pay-per-click. I said, “Paperclips? I don’t want to sell paperclips, thank you. I’m in finance right now, that’s a big change.” He goes, “No, pay-per-click, Google, Yahoo, the adverts.” I’m like, “No.” I then got in with a very early stage agency when people were starting to advertise on search engines. I met a fantastic team there. A very dynamic CEO, a fantastic sales director who hired me to book his meetings. Within a few months, I was their top sales guy and started training other people of what I do. It was focused on very specific people in very specific verticals and then repeating and learned them to expand into a vertical and so on. I trained people around me and I enjoy doing that. That was my first experience of getting into a whole new industry, learning an industry quickly and then sharing with other people what I was doing. I enjoyed it.

You said you were working for a bank. Is your background not sales? You said it was finance.

I did a General Business degree. I went into what I could find is the quickest way to pay off my college debt, which was to go into the highest paid thing I could find my way into, which was financed at that point.

EU 36 | Onboarding Process
Onboarding Process: People just get uptight about talking to new people.

 

You went to the best opportunity. I have a similar story. I’m not a fan of large organizations. I worked for a Fortune 100 company. A lot of people jump into entrepreneurship or very small business because they just hate the level of hierarchy. There are so many different layers that you have to go through and make any decision. You jumped in to pay-per-click sales. If you’re in General Business degree and you’re working for a bank, why do you think they hired you for sales and that’s not what you were doing in the bank?

They did a selection panel and there were six of us who went into this boardroom. We got an hour presentation about what was going on in the industry and so on, then we had to present it back on the spot. I stood up and I gave them back what I thought. I generally have quite a lot of energy and a big grin on my face and I listened carefully. I was able to get in the door there and had a good opportunity to go into a structured team. They invested in sales training and I was always good as an opener and I’ve always prepared well. I had a whole lot of information to share and I was shaking hands and getting the energy right in the room. It wasn’t until I went with a sales trainer to a meeting and he pointed out to me, “Dan, what do you think about our meeting?” I’m like, “It went well. We had a great relationship.” He goes, “Do you know what you forgot to do? You didn’t ask for the business.”

It changed my life. That early investment completely pivoted my career because I quickly became their top guy and start showing other people. That did help to work out that ending piece of my process. I’m very proud to say I’ve helped a lot of other people with that bit of knowledge that changed their businesses and change their lives and you pay it forward. That was such a fun thing to learn and I knew the company I was working for was doing great business.

This sales training that your company invested in you, this was at the pay-per-click advertising agency. You mentioned it inside your story a couple of key qualities that I listed as you were talking is you listened carefully and you said you are a great opener. What do you mean when you say a great opener? Then you tied it together. You said you did open and close. It’s been the theme of our conversation, opening and closing. That is the nature of sales and you can’t do one without the other. What does it take to be a great opener in your opinion?

I’ve always found that I asked, “Why?” a lot. If I’m going to approach somebody then I generally want to have a reason why it would be worth their while to have a conversation with me. In our business, we teach about trigger events and things that are going on in the wider world that might be relevant to the people that we’re reaching out to. The problem that other people like them are having that we might be able to help them with or something that we can research and find out about their business. In the pay-per-click world, you used to be able to see what people were paying for each and every click in that search campaign on the Yahoo site. I went and I researched and I went by vertical and I went, “I know we can save these people money.”

If you're not clear, then any activity that you’re repeating to try and get business is naturally going to fail. Click To Tweet

I called them up with a good reason why they should have a conversation with us and promised them some extra value in terms of research that we would do for them. They agreed to have a meeting. That was great because I was super confident with the business and I knew that my team is good at delivery and I did my research and I turned up. I needed somebody to help me go, “Can we have the business? Absolutely. Let’s go.” That’s it. It triggers the event and the reason why it’s going to be worth that person’s time and then just relax. People get uptight about talking to new people and it’s another human during that day too. If it can be interesting and useful in their day, then it’s going to be a good experience. That’s the quality of an opener and I’m phrasing it in this way at this moment.

You talk about the specific phrase, “Reason why.” I have used that time and time again as I’ve taught and explained sales. We’re two very similar people. I’m a great opener as well and I could use a little bit of assistance on the closing side. In my previous life as a sales engineer when I was working for Corporate America, I always lacked that. I lacked the, “Can I have your business? Can I have this bid? Can I have this project?” I would open tons of great opportunities because I would focus on reasons why and reasons why are all about getting that next stage of the conversation, “Why are we talking about this next thing? Here’s the reason why.” I always preface with the reason why before I go into that next thing.

I love the fact that you said, “Reason why” because I used that same phrasing. You also talk about how researching and statistics and finding the areas of value or how you opened the conversation. If you lead with that and say, “I’ve done the research. If you allow me to open the door, I’m going to show you lots of opportunities.” That’s extremely analytical and it’s very valuable and so I love the way that you broke that down. It’s truly fascinating that even though you might not have ever talked about it before, there’s the value right there. That’s what you do as an opener.

There are definitely groups right now that are all about cold calling is dead and intro phone calls don’t work and so on. Then there’s another group which I’m very firmly in, which is a good value introduction is worthwhile and phone definitely works well. If you’re an entrepreneur who happens to have a funnel that refers leads to you all the time and you can do a lot of that initial work and then you can have that conversation. You still got to go into that conversation with some preparation and value for that person. If you have to pick up the phone and make an introduction, then you’ve got to have some value for that person and there are ways to shortcut that and there are ways to make it easier. Fundamentally, if they took up a phone and you’re not sure why you’ve got them on the phone, why should they listen anyway? Just that extra bit of preparation takes you a long way. That’s the nuts and bolts of it.

EU 36 | Onboarding Process
Onboarding Process: The first step in the relationship is having that confidence that you generate a value.

 

Before the sales trainer came in and taught you the closing piece, what do you think was causing that gap? You’re an excellent natural opener. I’m trying to learn what was happening in your mind. You’re an excellent conversation starter, you presented the opportunities, but why do you think we aren’t natural closers too?

It’s taking control of a situation that may not come naturally. Opening a relationship is something that works well. That’s the mindset that works brilliantly because you’re opening a relationship. When you sign a contract with somebody that’s the beginning, when you start working with somebody, you get to know them even better and you want to value all the way through. It’s the, “Let’s sign a piece of paper that agrees there that doesn’t necessarily flow.” People get very fixated on the contract piece like, “I’m going to close a deal.” If you think about it in terms of we’re going to help them achieve a goal and a contract is just something that happens along the way, then you’re looking at the horizon the whole time. You’ve got to have somebody point that out to you before it necessarily becomes muscle memory unless you get trained on it.

It’s like having a training session on anything and then you go, “I should have thought about it that way. Now I’ve got it, now I can remember that.” There are not many natural comparisons to that. It’s like meeting your partner. Whenever you meet that person you might ask for some commitment, you go for a drink or whatever that would be or have the next meeting. You meet your partner that way, but you do not necessarily ask for a contract. It’s a little bit more official. In the business context, the contract is that next step.

For me, the reason why I’ve always been, I don’t want to say not as effective as I could be because I’ve always been a great opener and I’d say a moderate, average closer, is it comes down to fear. It’s like you’re great at opening the relationship. You built an awesome rapport. You built a friendship with this person and you like each other and you know a little bit about each other now. That relationship is going great. To me, even though I have mentioned that I have something for sale for them, it’s almost like closure. It’s like, “Here’s the opportunity, I need a yes or no.” To me, I’ve always been a friendly person. I don’t want to potentially ruin that relationship with a no. I think that’s a mindset that I would need to get over as I start to close those deals. This is how it was when I was in the sales world. I’ve got my own way that I do it.

The mindset change is quite important there. You’ve agreed what the challenges are. You’d be talking about a solution and now you’ve got a shared dough. You switch from seller to a system buyer. They come onto your side and you put your arm around them and goes, “How are we going to get this done?” Then we’re both looking in the same direction and we go, “We’ve got to go this way,” and the next question is always, “Who needs to agree?” We used to ask years ago, are you the decision-maker? Do you have budget responsibility? These days it’s much more of a team decision. The way companies are structured, many more people influenced the decision.

Agencies don't want to fail, they want to do well. Click To Tweet

Many more people are involved in the delivery with a new partner, whatever that would be. Even if that person has authority to sign, I found it very effective to understand their day and say, “If we do this, who needs to agree? Who do you need to show it to?” That takes all that barriers down as well because they’re understanding that we want to work together and get it done and help the deal gets done. It would be a good courtesy to show it to this person and talk it through with that person. If you’re confident that you generate a value, that’s great. That’s the first step in the relationship and away you go from there. That’s fun too because you get to hang out with that person while you’re doing the deal and work it through. It’s a human approach to it and it works well and you end up with clients for a long time.

You pivoted from working for a large organization, a bank and you jumped into sales at PPC and you got trained and you said that was probably one of the most valuable lessons you’ve ever learned was you naturally knew how to open but being taught how to close was the game changer.

Process kicked in in the next role beyond that. I got hired to head of the division of a hardware startup. We would put in screens onto the walls of lobby areas which back then was innovative. We have a software platform. Long story short, I had to brief the product team on the features that we needed to build and what was going to go into the products. How this was going to look for the client as well as going and selling it. That taught me to take apart my process more clearly so I could communicate it to people who were absolutely logical and needed a development timeline. That was a pivotal thing as well as meeting the people who invested in that company, who helped me launch some of the stuff. That was a good thing because I spend my time with people who are total process thinkers. That definitely influenced my ability to add value to those around me as well.

How difficult was that? Are you naturally a process thinker?

I’m not naturally organized and I had to find ways of organizing myself. I immediately adopted CRM because it was something that I could keep all my stuff in and my notes and I knew where they were. All these different reference bits because I prepare. I would always have these additional bits of notes and stuff and the system that you get in full flow. The last time we spoke, we agreed this was going to happen and that was going to happen. I was always living in my CRM and it enabled me to help people move things forward themselves because people forget. I became their memory by using it in my CRM to help them get things going forward. That system helps people buy as well as helping companies sell. I had to get organized and that’s how I did it.

How different is the sales process from company to company? From a top-level perspective, I assume it’s probably very similar. I believe you worked with large enterprise sales before and then you’re also working with solopreneurs or small business owners. How different is it between those two extremes? People with multiple decision-makers versus trying to sell to a one-person decision-maker.

The answer is you always keep it simple. As long as you got a simple next step to go to and you don’t overcomplicate it, then that’s better than nothing. Then as you run hundreds of cycles through it and you bring in different personalities and different people to use that process, it’s going to evolve. If your business is very mature, then there’s an analysis probably that you can do to work out whether the exit criteria you’ve got at each of the stages. The information that’s required before you move onto the next stage should be reviewed. If the names of the stages need to be reviewed, the process itself needs to be reviewed. That’s a mature company. You had hundreds of cycles through it. You’ve got a very early stage company, but you actually don’t have stages to go through it all. Then there’s still great value in building something very simple. They evolve a lot. The fundamentals are very similar but the details of it would help you improve your close rates and help you improve their average order values and make sure that your hand-over process from sales to other departments and the information captured within. That’s how it evolves is the quality and the flow of the process.

As long as you got a simple next step to go to and you don't over-complicate it, then that's better than nothing. Click To Tweet

What do you enjoy working on? Not necessarily sales process but like fewer decision makers or a more complex sale? What gets you out of bed? What excites you more?

I enjoy the dopamine of making things happen. If you think about it in terms of the mini-wins you get in your day, I don’t know if you use any project management software. I work in Asana most of the time and I’m going to my tasks. Every time I complete a task, I get a little dopamine there. If you’re running a sales process and you do complete the exit and you can move something on and you say, “That was a little win.” Even if you’re running a more complex longer cycle, you can still get this psychological and increase of motivation by completing those things. It’s always nice to win a contract for sure and start a relationship. If you are running a longer process, that’s also how we would look for people to be motivated by completing those things.

I’ve learned a ton. There’s a tremendous synergy. We’re both openers, you’re an opener and a closer, you’ve got the whole process. I have discovered a new-found excitement for the ability to open. I’ve been in sales for ten years and for whatever reason, I’ve always heard the word closer and I’ve never heard the word opener. Maybe there is this giant blinder that’s been in front of me for a long time or I haven’t heard it. As soon as you said the word opener, I’m like, “I get it now. There’s an opening and closing process.” A huge a-ha moment came on for me. I’m hoping that our audience also gets it, that in your sales process, there has to be an onboarding process and onboarding starts with opening and closing. That’s what the prospect to a sale. That’s with your salespeople introducing them to your prospects. It happens in pretty much almost every aspect of your business. There has to be an onboarding and a nurturing process. That was a huge takeaway for me. Was there anything that we left out that you wanted to make sure that we talked about on this interview?

I’m so happy that you’ve got such a clear takeaway straightaway. I hope people get similar or different. Let us know what clicks for you. Mission-wise, we want to help 1,000 businesses add at least $1 million of their revenue by 2025. People take ideas from this and run with it and it changes the way they think and they get something from that, that’s exactly what we’re doing. That makes me happy. I’m pleased we got to talk and let’s see what we can create.

Where can people connect with you? Let’s drop some links and send people your way.

Our website address is MindracerConsulting.com. Twitter is @MindracerNYC and we’ve got a quick inquiry form on the website there where people could get in touch with us. I’m looking forward to talking.

Dan, I had a blast. This is an excellent value-based conversation and I hope you had as much fun as I did. For everyone else, we’ll see you in the next episode. Thank you for tuning in. Please go reach out to Dan and give him some love. Until next time, we’ll see you there.

Thanks, Joel. Have a good one.

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About Dan Morris

EU 36 | Onboarding Process

Dan Morris is a dedicated problem solver, entrepreneurial growth hacker, committed car lover and occasional surfer. His background is in high growth organizations helping CEO’s increase sales, build teams and achieve leading status in their market, including a #61 on the Inc list for content marketing agency Brafton. Today Dan owns Mindracer, a consulting firm focused on helping entrepreneurs sell more, stress less and scale profitably.

Joel Erway

Joel Erway is a digital marketing consultant to 7, 8, and 9-figure clients, sales webinar expert, podcast host, and agency owner. Joel is an expert in helping others monetize their expertise. Since 2014, Joel’s been committed to helping entrepreneurs transform their passion into 6 and 7-figure expert-based businesses. His agency, The Webinar Agency, serves coaches, consultants and small business owners with skillfully crafted sales messages and high-converting sales and lead generation webinars to generate more customers and clients. It’s no wonder why he’s the go-to consultant for many of the top performing digital marketing sales and lead generation webinars. With over 200 webinars under his belt, he’s generated 7-figure growth for multiple clients within the past two years alone. Much like you, Joel’s path to purpose was nonlinear. He pivoted several times throughout his journey, including a risky uproot from an unfulfilling career as an engineer. Eventually, he found alignment in helping others leverage their experience to grow successful businesses. Check out his Sold With Webinars podcast at http://thewebinaragency.com/podcasts/. In his spare time, Joel is an avid reader and market researcher. He enjoys traveling and spending quality time with his family in upstate NY. He is really excited to add to his services - live webinar/marketing intensive workshops! Be on the look out for the next one! Check out The Webinar Vault - a compilation of webinar critiques here: soldwithwebinars.com/register Check out our Facebook Groups to stay connected: Sold With Webinars & Experts Unleashed

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