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5 Common Legal Mistakes Startups Make (And How to Avoid Them)

The following is guest post from Nick Brown. Nick is a blogger and marketing expert, currently engaged on projects for Media Gurus, an Australian business and marketing resource. He is an aspiring street artist and does Audio/Video editing as a hobby.

The world is full of ideas. Especially the business world, where rapidly growing competition has made innovation mandatory at any cost.

Your idea can be a real game-changer, but that doesn’t mean anything if you don’t know how to set it in motion in the right way. If you own a startup, you probably can’t wait to see it launch, and that’s completely natural.

But just remember all those space movies with close-ups of faces behind monitors drenched up in sweat – if you’re off by just a 10th of the degree, the deviation is multiplied by a hundred and you can say goodbye to your precious rocket.

In other words, launching a startup requires great precision.

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Why Scaling Your Sales Team Isn’t Just About Adding Reps

sales teamBuilding an initial sales approach is something loads of us have attempted to do at some point or other.

Sales ends up being one of the key ways companies grow and scale. We all know this.

But there’s a big difference between doing effective outreach for your startup on a high-touch basis where you’re still understanding customer needs and figuring out approaches, and turning this knowledge into a sales machine with a full sales team that can operate in a financially efficient way.

Understanding yourself in the market and growing to be the company you want to be require different slightly strategies.

This growth from tiny solopreneur kind of structures to managing teams with effective documented practices is what this article will be all about!

In this Process Street article, we’re going to take a look into some expert insights from Close.io‘s recent webinar with their CEO Steli Efti, Process Street’s CEO Vinay Patankar, PandaDoc‘s Director of Inside Sales Mike Paladino, and Groove‘s VP of Sales Mike Sutherland.

We’re going to pull out the key questions to help scale your sales in a way that works:

  • What do you want to scale?
  • Is now a good time to scale?
  • How do you build a process for scaling?
  • How do you get a sales teams to follow the process?
  • When and how do I add people to a sales team?

And finally, we’ll give you 10 free process templates for different areas of sales for you to start using in your business today.

You can watch the whole webinar here: How to build a scalable sales process (Q&A webinar)

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Hold Music: How to Increase Caller Retention by 98%

hold music

My doctor has the worst phone setup I’ve ever encountered.

Wait times are 30+ minutes, the phones are completely clogged after 10 am, and worst of all is the hold music.

A deafening din of distorted notes which at one point may have resembled “Clocks” by Coldplay. If it wasn’t for my own health, I would happily put the phone down and never ring them again.

However, unless you’re as vital to lives as a doctor, your callers won’t stand for the same treatment.

You need a solid game plan. The best hold music you can get your hands on. You need to entertain and hold their interest while they wait for someone to have the time to deal with their problems, or you can kiss that customer goodbye.

That’s exactly what this post will help you to do.

Read on to find out:

  • Why you need the best hold music you can get
  • Where hold music started
  • How different music affects our emotions
  • How to structure your hold system
  • Some tips to get the most out of your phone system

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What is a Workflow? A Simple Guide to Getting Started

what is a workflow

If you look at the Wikipedia definition of a workflow, you’re probably going to get confused as I did:

“A workflow consists of an orchestrated and repeatable pattern of business activity enabled by the systematic organization of resources into processes that transform materials, provide services, or process information It can be depicted as a sequence of operations, declared as work of a person or group, an organization of staff, or one or more simple or complex mechanisms.”

Let’s put this simply…

Workflows are the way people get work done, and can be illustrated as series of steps that need to be completed sequentially in a diagram or checklist.

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Freemium Conversion Rate: Why Spotify Destroys Dropbox by 667%

Freemium Conversion Rate

In 2015, The Fader reported huge news for Spotify. Out of its 75 million monthly users, 20 million are paying customers.

A 26.6% conversion rate is staggering on freemium products. As Jason Cohen says:

“A really good conversion rate for free-to-paid is 4%, like Dropbox. Awesome for them, but normal rates are more like 1%, and that’s if users are reasonably active.”

If 1% is average, and Dropbox‘s “really good conversion rate” is 4%, then 26.6% is absolutely bloody ridiculous.

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I Analyzed 250 SaaS Pricing Pages — Here’s What I Found

SaaS pricing pages

We recently had a major overhaul of our pricing and landing page and wanted to get a good idea of what a high-converting pricing page looked like. We turned to the experts.

There are a lot of best practices for SaaS pricing pages out there, with giants like HubSpot, ConversionXL and SixteenVentures being the authorities.

I thought the best way would be to look at the pricing pages of the SaaS 250 — a list compiled by Montclare of the most successful SaaS products in the world.

To see this data in the form of an infographic, you can skip straight down to the bottom on this page.

Before we start — why did 80% of companies not have pricing pages?

Before jumping right in, it’s interesting to note that of these 250 companies, only 48 had pricing available. The rest had pricing available on request by contacting the sales people.

Jason Lemkin, CEO and Co-Founder of EchoSign, says that most companies have a very good reason for this. Writing on Quora, he outlined 5 key reasons you might be better off not showing pricing on your website.

  1. Deals will get more complex as you grow. Some day you’ll do a deal so large and complicated it wouldn’t have been able to be expressed in $/user/month. Products with integrations and add-ons will be priced so confusingly, it’s simpler to just get them on the phone to sales.
  2. Discounting will become difficult. With a preset rigid pricing structure, you’ll put off enterprises. Jason says “Your champion will require a discount. Then, it will get sent to procurement. Procurement’s bonus will be tied to the next discount they win. If you have rigid pricing, you’ll blow the deal.”
  3. A $700k deal is sold differently to a $100k deal. When it means the difference between an everyday deal and a huge account, you’re going to treat the customers differently. Pushing both down the same track is risky because you want to make sure that the big customers are on the phone to sales straight away.
  4. Enterprise customers just want to buy. Jason says that price doesn’t matter for enterprises. More than 80% of the time, they just want to get set up with a solution as efficiently as possible. Price comes after features.
  5. Looking as if you’re ‘all about price’ is a bad look. Pricing can make your product look cheap, and not enterprise-oriented. Jason says, “If your competitor says “Call Me” and appears more or equally enterprise-grade and trustworthy — your transparent pricing may say “cheap”. “

So, 202 of the SaaS 250 have good reasons for not being transparent with their pricing. Let’s look at what I found when analyzing the SaaS pricing pages of the remaining 48.

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9 Property Management Checklists to Keep Your Rental Processes on Track

property management checklists

There’s a growing need for process documentation in real estate

Managing properties isn’t just about real estate — it’s just as much about relationships.

You have to track conversations and deal statuses across multiple landlords, tenants, and applicants in addition to managing the properties themselves. It’s high-touch, high-urgency, and high-stress work.

Especially if you don’t have the first clue about processes.

If you take a peek at the numbers, you’ll see the BPM in real estate market is expected to grow at a rate of 24.8% between 2016 and 2021.

Property management firms are beginning to place a greater focus on improving business efficiency because that enables them to deliver their clients a superior service.

To turn your disorganized business around, creating a modern, automated system for documenting processes is an absolute must.

“A habit of highly successful property managers is creating step-by-step playbooks and standardized processes for everything. This documentation not only ensures consistency and operational efficiency but also shortens the amount of time required to train up new staff.” – Silvia Liu, 7 Habits of Highly Succesful Property Managers

Market research analysis conducted by Research N Reports drives this message home by claiming that the increasing need for accurate process documentation is a key driver of property management software adoption.

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Why Upselling is the Job of Your Whole Company, Not Just Your Sales Team

upsellingThroughout a customer lifecycle, it is important to take opportunities when they present themselves.

One aspect which many SaaS companies will be familiar with is the ongoing attempt to upgrade customers to the next level of billing.

The core method of achieving this is to add features and improve your product.

This provides provides greater value for the client and gives them more reasons to consider purchasing your services – resulting in an upsell which works for both parties.

I imagine most of you reading have bought something from Amazon at some point in time. Yet when Amazon offer a more premium delivery service with access to films and television shows many of you will have gone from occasionally using Amazon for purchases to being fully fledged Prime users!

Amazon offered greater value and you thought it was worth paying for. You were upsold.

But importantly, both you and Amazon came out of the deal as winners!

In this article, we’ll look at how different companies have utilized upselling to drive their business forward, and try to learn a little something from each.

Then we’ll take a more in depth look at how Process Street upsells its customers, and the importance of seeing this as a company wide effort rather than small aspect of sales.

At the end of the article, we’ll give you a free Process Street process template you can use in your business for upselling customers. This process is geared to be run by a member of the sales team to try to upsell a valuable client, and close the deal.

Checkout the snapshot below!

upselling process street checklist

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How to Make the Perfect Bullet Journal to Organize Your Life

bullet journal

Life loves to throw things at us from all directions. The key to staying on top of everything is having an effective schedule to keep you on track.

So how the hell do you create a system for managing your tasks, events, notes, and calendar no matter where you are?

You need to create a bullet journal.

A full 93% [of educators] state that using their Bullet Journal… makes their lives easier or significantly easier.

As one educator noted, ‘I find it difficult to track all of my classes and schedule in any other system’.” – Todd FoutzEducators on Bullet Journaling

We here at Process Street know how difficult it is to keep track of everything, so that’s why this post will take you through everything you need to know to create your perfect bullet journal.

You’ll learn:

  • What a bullet journal is
  • What you’ll need to make one
  • How to create a bullet journal
  • How to get the most out of it

Let’s go!

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How to Create and Implement a Brainstorming Process in 5 Steps

The following is a guest post from graphic designer and copywriter Erik Fessler.

What do you think is worse: sitting for 100 days because you didn’t know what direction to travel in, or going for 100 days down the wrong path?

Here’s the good news:

This question doesn’t matter if you have a reliable and logical process to find the right direction.

Brainstorming is the key to finding that direction, and it’s something you can implement for your team in a logical, structured way. With that in place, you can use that process as a reliable way to generate ideas, iterate upon them, and harness the power of your team’s combined creative energy to make real business change. That is, if you can build and optimize your brainstorming process…

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