EP 3 – Interview with Michael Alexi about Marketing Automation

I speak with Michael Alexi about all things Marketing Automation and systems. What do you need for a small business and how does it all go together.


Hello, and welcome to the business octopus, where we talk about all things sales, marketing, and technology. I’m Avon, Collis CRM and marketing automation specialist at relevant and all around good guy. Today I’m joined with Michael Aleksey from CBOE effects, where we talk about marketing automation systems and how they’re implemented. And, you know, there’s just so many out there, what do you do? So, before we get on with it, today’s episode is sponsored by rip a hosting.com.au fast Australian servers for when it counts. And Alright, so Michael, welcome. How are you today? I’m great and yourself. pretty damn good. So we were talking a little bit offline. And we were talking about, there’s just so many tools and platforms out there. You know, there’s a bit of a frustration of where to start. And it’s bloody frustrating. So tell me, what are some of your frustrations in that?

There’s way too much choice. And even if you jump onto a particular CRM, it’s gonna spend a lot of time figuring out what the software does how to use it, only to realize that it’s not the right CRM for you.

There’s some really great software out there.

But they’re designed for huge enterprises with massive sales teams, and you just can’t afford it really. So my frustration is how do I find something that meets my needs as a small business? I think that, you know, there, you’re right, in that there is over 8000, marketing technology products on the market. And, and growing. And I think that with so many sort of fragmented options, a lot of them are trying to either fill a specific niche, but then even within that niche, they are taking broad questions. So no, sorry, broad feedback on what features to build and fix and that sort of thing. And you know, you can’t snap your fingers and have the perfect system, there’s a fine balance between designing what people are going to buy versus what people actually going to use. And the difference being that even in those niche products, it’s never going to fit one business perfectly. Everyone’s got their own competitive advantage, their own ways of doing things. And as far as having a software, you know, like, you mentioned, CRM, specifically, like there’s a lot of little nuanced pieces, there might be one thing that does,

you know, a, you know, recording the session with someone and then turning it into text. And that’s a sales component. And it’s kind of related to CRM, but it is not CRM, not one might record phone call durations, give coaching tips, and all those sorts of things, again, related to CRM and contact centers, but again, is not CRM in and of itself. So there’s a lot of fragmented products, no one solution fits anything unless you’re going to build full custom yourself, which could cost in today’s age, millions of dollars in development phase. And the other problem being that those those bigger platforms, they have a lot of the tools and they built everything, even if you don’t need it, you can figure the ones that you need, and just turn them on and, and get them doing what you want. Even if there is a whole bunch of unused things, or you know, maybe it’s using a chainsaw to cut butter.

But there’s a balance between where your business is now to where it’s going to be in five years time, because you don’t want to go chopping and changing. If it costs you, you know, X amount of 1000 to get into the platform, getting out of it is going to cost you a whole bunch more.

And you know, having 8000 products stitched together with you know, a little bit of twine is not good, you know, duct tape and stuff holding things together. So yeah, sometimes you’re gonna pay more to have it all in one. But then you get better data, better control less problems. And you’re only dealing with one sort of stakeholder.

Yeah, definitely. I know. It’s like, it’s almost like you’re a deer in the headlights. There’s just so much information flowing. You don’t know which way to turn. Exactly. And I think that

the big problem with CRM is it’s becoming a very crowded market. You’ve got platforms like, you know, monday.com, who started as a task management platform, which is an they call themselves project management, but it’s not. And then it’s like Asana, and it’s call themselves project management, but it’s just task management. And so these words bounce around and people don’t actually know the meaning they haven’t done a set for project management or whatever. And they take the CRM box because they keep a first name or last name.

An email and a phone number. But that’s not CRM. So I think the difference is there’s a technology layer, and there’s a theoretical concept layer. And the two don’t always mesh up.

Definitely. So how do you actually go about identifying the needs of a business in relation to CRM?

It depends. Like, you could obviously, the more you spend, maybe it’s not obvious. But the more you spend in planning and thinking and designing and organizing and collecting what’s required, the shorter time it takes to build, and the more likely that’s going to last a bit longer in business. So for maybe a medium business with a bit of budget that can afford time for me to go and review. So there might be a desktop audit, we look at the systems they have the time that they are the things, the kinds of things that they do in their business. And then we’ll get like,

you know, pick 10 out of the out of the blue, compare them narrowed it down to a top three, they choose based on what they like or don’t like. And, you know, we’ve got a decision matrix, where we prioritize the features that are critical, versus those that are nice to have.

And then for bigger businesses, we might go in and do interviews at the bottom, middle and top level of, of the organization. Because management can sometimes be a little bit far away from the realities of the coalface

and disconnected from you know, the challenges that they have day to day with a customer. There are some large organizations that flip that model around and they make every single person doesn’t matter if you’re a top level executive, or the new person in the business, they make everyone go via the call center for at least two weeks.

Nobody sits and answers phones and says, hey, how can I help you today? And I understand the customer?

That’s actually how I learned you get on the phone. Yeah, to people. Exactly.

So like, what are the needs that you see coming up again? And again? How important is it to be easy? Who is the most important person in your business?

Hmm, customer? Exactly, yeah. So the needs should center around the customer, the need should not center around. I don’t like the way that this looks, because the color scheme doesn’t suit him personality.

It needs to be centered around the reports and things that generate value at a large scale. Because if you’ve got 100 people doing a task, because that’s the way they’ve always done it, or because it feels good that way, or that they’d prefer that because it’s low effort, or it’s easy or something. But the data shows that the customer really doesn’t like that. And they’re more likely to fly off or switch or disappear into the ether. So a 5% increase in customer retention equals a 25 to 95% increase in top line revenue. Definitely, that is an extraordinary lever, they are eight times more likely to buy and 16 times cheaper to market to. So getting your existing customers raving about your business is far and above the single most important thing everybody goes, I want more leads? or What does that get? You get someone that just looks your way and goes are they kind of do what I want, I’ll give them a call. Whereas going to someone you know, goes, Hey, we now offer this service. Actually, I myself had someone yesterday. Go. That’s it. Now that I know you offer that we’re coming to you. So they changed because they there was this understanding component where now they’re asking us more questions, how else can you help because they liked the way we work with them. They’re chasing us instead of us chasing them?

Yeah, definitely makes sense with a cost of acquisition, customer acquisition through the roof.

So you’re not paying for Facebook? Oh, we’re making? I mean, look at Google and Facebook’s valuations lately.

So what kind of metrics are people actually, you know, what are the key ones when it comes to reporting?

Well, it depends. There are people with aggressive style tactics, and they have like rate of contact, which might be there might be some analytics tied to the number of times you follow up versus the number of answers. And I think sometimes the analytics that don’t take the human into consideration are just in silly, like, for example, are we getting most of our conversions through through a lead ad, so pour more ads and pull every other marketing off the shelf? Which is idiotic, because it could be that they read it in a magazine, saw our TV ad, saw a billboard, and heard about it from a friend and then saw the online ad, but the only attribution was to that online ad. So not all data tells the full story. So you really need to dig much deeper. So rate of contact might be alright well, we

Call them three times, we emailed them twice. And after the 10th touch point, the we got the deal, that doesn’t mean that you should do call email text, like back to back over 10 days, they’re just gonna go bugger off and, and hang up the phone and tell everyone how much they hate you.

So, yeah, I hear there’s a fine, like, Is there a way to gauge quality

of interaction be the customer.

So go and be a customer order from your own company and figure out and it’s hard to do on a small scale without being sort of detected, I guess. But like really understand the customer’s journey. And like there are big companies that go and have a what sucks about us?

Little sort of committee. And so they have these, like customer advocates that say, What do you hate about us, and they keep their mouth shut, and they just listen. And then they go, you know, since this campaign came out, I’m sure it’s more efficient on your side. But I hate it. You know, like, for example, you know, everyone knows LD, LD is quite impersonal in a lot of the way it does things.

But that frustrates some people. And you know, that took a bit of getting used to particularly with Woolies and all of that. But then you get other ads that come in, and they’ve understood key elements of the human decision making cycle. And that was that we don’t want to spend $300,000 worth of groceries to get umpteen billion points to then redeem that for a toaster. We feel like we’re being lied to. So they’ve gone is too far, brother. Yeah, we don’t do the points. We just give you good prices come on in. And it’s nice, those phonies that annoy people, like you save 1000s of dollars every year that you can pour into your mortgage into those holidays. And you know, our process is a bit different. But we’ve connected the data to what people will actually value.

And most sense it most people with with the stats,

you know, price driven in terms of the the food consumption

and stuff.

It’s about value. I mean, we’re talking about rd, yes, they don’t have the absolute best products, yet there’s a level of quality there, and you’re getting a really great deal for and that’s one of the key things that people want. And it’s easy. They make it pretty easy just to go in. I mean, you got to put your bloody token in the shopping trolley, but apart from that, yeah, well, that’s how they pay someone to go and rescue the, the trolley for you 30 blocks away. So they save the money there as well. Well, there’s no outtie trolleys in the front of my house. So that’s a good thing. So that actually raises a good question. And probably

another point as well around Customer service is that sometimes the service is the price or it is the value that’s not always very obvious. You know, of course, maybe you want, they might go, we want the best customer service. So they kind of say, with their words, we want a red carpet, we want, you know, people that assures through but you know, Personally I’d find it annoying if I had someone holding my basket walking behind me listening my conversation telling my kids not to touch that on the shelf. So I guess there’s there needs to be a deeper observation. And sometimes it’s behavior rather than words, you know, people complain on social media. But

that might be there’s a big outlet over a small thing. But that was as a result of three or four things that led up to that.

So so maybe there’s some research group stuff required?

For sure. So why don’t you guys are so mean, like, really? What are the core needs? That you find again? And again? Are there anything in particular I mean, depending on you can pick a an organization, give me some examples. So for argument’s sake, a sales based organization? Well, for starters, communication. So whether that’s a email sequence, and you know, like everybody’s looking at the LinkedIn and their email, inboxes, exploding with stuff, and that seemingly relevant or irrelevant to them. So the big key is personalization of that communication and being able to do it. Like, you know, like, I call a friend though, pick up the phone and go get a Hagan. And we have a conversation like it was yesterday. That’s what people want when they’re dealing with a company or an organization. So let’s just say you know, we’ve got an IP phone, it routes through to the CRM. As soon as they call as a pop up on the screen. I’ve got their name, I click the button, I go to the record, I can say, Go Michael, how you going last time we spoke about this, this, this and this. What can I do for you today and you know, remembering the name of the dog

That it broke its leg three weeks ago and saying, oh, I’ve got a note here, the dog broke his leg. And you know, we sent you flowers. Did you get them? Okay? Is everything all right? That is the red carpet, people don’t expect. And it can kind of flow people. And that is what you want. That is what the value is 10,000 times paying that $100

conversion fee to Google to get someone who will just as easily pick the next person on Google. Definitely, this is what I’ve come to realize, we’ve been so used to. Like back in the day, this thing called Google could send you warm leads. And it was just mind blowing. And now we’re cheap. And you didn’t have to do much SEO to get these warm leads that are amazing.

And we’ve forgotten about the relationship side of things very much. So become cattle. Yeah, exactly. And it’s all about conversions. You know, I just want to get them down my click funnel. And this is really, I came to the realization that you can play the game, the SEO game, you can play the ad game, you can play the conversion game, but the game’s rigged. So you get to play a different game. And it’s just gone back to your roots and soul about relationships. How do we actually automate that? How can I

I don’t want to be spending all my day sending fluffy comments to people, how can we actually automate this process, while you’ve got things like, Genie to understand the people that you’re working with, and then having that information in a system that then allows triggers and things based on statuses. So if I say,

I send you an email, or even you engage with our chatbot, and you fill out something on the website, hey, how you going? As a first name, last name, email, phone number, and then you take a little box, yes, I’d like to get marketing. So get permission, permission marketing, don’t just bombard people, because the more you throw stuff out, the more you push people away, particularly now. And then once you’ve got their permission, there, you’ve got a lead score, you know that you know that someone invested, you’ve got that, you know, everybody talks about lead magnet. And you know, we’re talking about analytics and signing on this many people to my site, sure, I can have a million people have the wrong type to my site, and make no conversions. I can have three people to my site that have 100% conversions, if I’ve got a right relationship. So you know, using things like your, your phone, you got a networking event, you pick up some some contact details, you’ve built a relationship with them, Hey, would you mind if I sent you some things about what we discussed? No, not at all, click a button, or update a status or apply a tag. And then that triggers something to happen after that. So you’re putting them in a system, you’re then create, triggering an automation sequence, which might be a drip feed of emails over, you know, six to 12 weeks? I don’t like the ones like, you know, it’s two a day for the first three days. And then it’s five a day after that. That is all maybe once upon a time it that’s like

guerrilla tactics.

That does not like you might get conversions, but you’ll get begrudging ones, instead of people, and then it comes, it comes back to what you were saying before. The metrics don’t necessarily mean success. And and yeah, look, they’ve I’d be tested, you know, the fact that person comes back to my site more often, you’ve just alienated 90% of the people, what you’ve done is Google gamified investment in in digital ads. So I see a number number goes up, when I spend more number going up must be good, I spend more whether or not that converts to actual sales. So the kind of, I mean, what it should do is get someone on your side, hopefully, they will convert and buy conversion doesn’t always mean they bought something, it might mean they filled out some contact form to get more information. Most people are 51% of the way through the buyers journey before they even talk to a salesperson. So you want to get them to that 51% provide them free information, give them some guidance, you asked me earlier, why do I want to do the podcast? Because I want to show people what they’re missing out on what they need? How can I add value and as much value as I can because that generally leads to more questions. So the more they know, the more they realize they don’t know. And they go, I would like to learn more about this, can you help me? Even if they never buy from me they still get a positive outcome. They learn more, they decide, maybe tell some other people about where they learned all this information. And then it’s a free lead that I never paid for because they’ve given me word of mouth referral, even if they’ve never bought so building that community.

At around your brain is just as equally important, as you know, perhaps getting that conversion, which was the short game, the short term solution. It’s not certainly not a long game. It’s a marathon, not a sprint. Correct? Yeah. So you asked for coming

on coming back to.

We’re talking about templates. So let’s say I meet that person at the networking events. Yes.

You know, the,

the old way of doing it would you’d have a spreadsheet? Yeah. And or, and maybe you’d have a reminder in your calendar called Joe Bloggs, or send him an email or something like that?

How do you actually go about putting together some kind of template to say, Alright, so Joe Bloggs is gonna want, I have something of value for Joe Bloggs. I know he’s gonna like this. Yep. I and there are people just like Joe Bloggs, I’m gonna put him on to this stream. And he’s gonna it’s gonna be a hydro, I thought you might like this. And just that slow progression every few weeks just to touch base with a phone call after the fifth one, like, how do you go about putting that template together? I think

the concept of leaning leaning in or leaning back. So leaning in is like, I’m really aggressively into this, I’m pushing hard, I’m forcing this down the pipeline to happen. That’s the wrong approach. You need to let the people come to you. So when you said, you know, on the fifth or whatever contact, you give them a call. That’s probably more the approach where you don’t want to put call to action straightaway. Maybe just say, Hey, you know, people know, don’t pretend like it’s not a bot don’t pretend like it’s not automation. People know, they know that. Like, it just needs to be personalized, like the stuff that they’re asking for, you know, we’re working with a client with, it’s just got some like Microsoft Office tips, and provide a couple of tips with some videos every week. And you know, the first conversation is, hey, we run courses, I just thought I’d like to add you to tip series, do you think that would be useful? That’d be like, I’ll take some free tips on X. Maybe it could be like someone trying to sell houses, they want to have a sequence of or how to buy your first home, like what to look for. And because they’re educated that client, they’ve provided value, they’re more likely to be selected as the vendor of choice, whether that’s then or later down the track. So not only have you gotten permission, you know that that person actually wants that thing. So you go and maybe the first email is a very personalized one. No branding, no flashy, flashy banners. Because the more it looks like marketing, the more it is marketing. So then have a high, here’s the the tip series email one of 10. So they know in their mind, they’re like, Ah, well, I know there’s others, even if this one’s not relevant to me, I’ll see what two and three look like before I decide to unsubscribe.

You want to get double opt in if you can, you want to keep it you know, keep the conversation relevant and flying. So email, one, don’t have like call email texts and carrier pigeon and buy from me on every email, just offer value. And by the time you get to email three, five and 10, you might be able to drop in there, please book a call if you’ve got more questions. Again, offering value

definitely says the relationship

and mixing new technology with the old method of relationship by sewing. Yeah, so Google have a thing called the 711. For now we are and you know it we are in two dimensional space. So right now, we’re on a zoom call. And it’s just a flat panel screen. Now, in the online world, you need to give yourself some depth. So you need to be able to push people across other channels. Now Google’s 711 for concept is seven hours of content over 11 touch points across four channels. So you want to try and engage people, you know. So this, when we’re finished here, this is going to go on to YouTube, it’s also going to go on to a podcasting app, which then splits it up to five other channel five other podcast channels, there’s going to be a blog about it, there’s going to be you know, I might have an update on my LinkedIn, like, there is depth to that one concept. And as a business, if you’re just relying on one website, then you don’t have that depth. People can’t look at you from a more human angle. They can’t look at you from a more corporate angle. They can’t see you in see all angles of you to make an assessment of you. And again, that comes more to human elements. You don’t meet someone for the first time and say, let’s have two kids and buy a house. You got to get to know them first.

It’s how about these LinkedIn connection requests? I think we have similar interests.

Well, you get a day, about five to seven. Yeah. And then as soon as you accept, they’re like, here, here’s this great opportunity for you like, yeah, here’s the link to my sales page. Thank you, No, thank you.

Or here’s my

bad boy, my my message. One is, hey, I’d like to have a chat with you, perhaps over zoom. So my call to action is, let’s have a zoom chat, and see if there’s actually any with any with while and I was talking, I let my profile do the talking, I then also have my message to his about two or three lines as well. And it’s not templated, I just write something consistently, fairly similar in that I try to take something from them. So hi, Michael, I noticed you like sitting in large apartments with a view over the sea, which is your zoom background at the moment. But you know, there’s a human element to that. And it’s personalized. And really, that’s just to get people out of the mindset of I’m going to get message one, I’m going to get message two, and then I’m going to get a sales pitch. So my response message to those is high. People don’t like to be sold to, including me. I’m an Aries. I like Italian food, and I have a cat. Why don’t you tell me a bit about you.

Just trying to disrupt their thinking out of that pattern? Because they just don’t care.

I love it. Okay, so all right. I’ve been, I need someone to answer this question, what is the deal with web hooks, and integrations and stuff like it just makes my brain hurt? It does. And you know, we’ve got technical people that do that. I don’t do a lot of the the technical side on that. But the the web hook, basically, there are the get put or push

is the terminology. And it basically uses a little HTML code, which updates a field, puts information into your system, and then updates the the information or gets information from your system, or

puts new information if it didn’t exist before. So get pulling it, put putting it out of there, or push is just like sending it over there and let that system deal with it. So the idea is that you’re carrying a piece of information, updating a field. So if you buy

something from me online, I want stripe, the credit card processor to update using

HTTP POST or a web hook to say client is now active. So I may have you in my database. But once you’ve bought something, the relationship has fundamentally changed. That might send trigger, then a welcome email or something else. So there’s a chain of events that you can create. And web hooks are really just to connect data sitting over there to data sitting over here. So I would pull the customer’s data across and their status, correct.

They could sit so you know, I might have a you boob huge tool that

you know feeds into the CRM, I would need something like Zapier. So the two systems can talk to each other. How does that kind of work? Yes, so you can either use an ETL tool, which is an extract, transform and load which is zevia. You can use a you can write into integrations, custom integrations. Sometimes the platform’s generally have some kind of like accessible API that you might be able to do stuff with. on the technical side, it’s probably best to find someone who knows what they’re doing. Because spending hours and hours doing it, it’s probably not not worthwhile, you can just cut and paste it.

Well, you know, there’s levels, you want to make sure your data is secure that it’s coming across, you want to make sure that the two platforms have that data available in a method because it’s like, one platform speaks English, the other speak French. And the thing in the middle is the translator, and it pulls it changes, it pushes it.

And then there might be other triggers and rules and functions and things you want to have.

Long story short, look at the high level, what are you actually trying to achieve by that? Could you do it another way? Would it be a webform that goes into the system. And then

because we talked about before bolting things together and integrations and having a bastardized mix of, you know, all these different things that don’t really fit well together. And sometimes you might need to spend more to have a system that has it all so that you don’t have data loss or there’s a thing called metadata, which most people don’t think of. So I think data they got, it’s a first name and last name and email and phone. That’s all it’s important. Wrong. Metadata could be when you fill out the form that is

IP address and location when you fill out that form, the fact that data exists over there and a certain quantity of data. So you might say,

all right, all of these records in my CRM that have, you know, the data 80% filled out must be primary information, or must be primary contacts, because we have so much on them. So then there’s, you can then start to make decisions on those that don’t have enough data or, for those that do have a lot of data, you might want to offer them a new category of product and say, we know a lot about you.

We would like to maintain a relationship and keep that. So let’s, let’s send you a recommendation for a free webinar or a course or something that’s going to give them value to make them stick around even longer, and then promote you to all their friends.

It makes total sense. And we’ve helped people design new products based on data lurking in their system they never knew they had.

So okay, well, once someone’s implemented a new system, and there are any kind of frustrations that come up time and time again.

There’s always the the, I guess, people getting the adoption of the system. And the big one is if someone gets us to build it, and they’re not invested in it, and it’s just this thing that we built and we manage, it’s not really going to work very well, they need to get their head in it, get their hands dirty, and live and breathing this thing, everything gets driven from the top. And if the management don’t drive it forward, and make the staff use it, and even use it themselves and start communicating through it, you know, one of the best ways to implement something, you know, for example, Salesforce has got a thing called chatter. And it’s basically a chat application built inside the CRM. So now you talk with your teams on there, it forces them on the platform.

And then while they’re there, here’s all the other information. So there is a

customer records, there’s client records, but it’s not just CRM, you can put other stuff in there, you know, we use I talked to you about earlier about a software directory, we use that. So we have a form someone who wants to list their business with us, we’ll fill out the form that automatically goes into the CRM as a job for us to process. But we now have a record and we can start to filter. All right, we’ve got a client, they want a software, we’ve got a listing database will search that first, and with our own rankings and decisions of where we’ve used it and the history on it. And that data becomes then a valuable asset to us. And we’ve not had to fill out anything.

So Exactly. And that’s where you want to be. So I keep asking myself the same. But I’ve been asking this question to myself for 20 years, and I go, well, what’s the most effective use of my time? Hmm, what is it? It’s, it’s being face to face or zoom to zoom? with qualified prospects? Yes, someone actually need your service. And,

you know, like,

this whole automation dream, this, keep promising this, this artificial intelligence is going to, you know, make life really easy for us. Like, what is the first step that someone you know, like a small business should be taking two to get into this digital transformation? Yes, so for your youngest, for being a business and being in the, you know, your highest and best task, being in front of your customer, you know, you’re going this, in this paradox of, you’re got to run the business, like run the payroll, do the back end processes, and all of that role like takes you away from customer facing time. And you know, the CEO and the owner are always the best salesperson in the business. Because they believe in it the most they know all the ins and outs, they run their business, and they really sort of take it to heart and personally and so your best value is spent building something that can run itself so we talk about the the octopus concept, hence the name the business octopus, is give your business a Brian and teach you to grow itself. Your business is a system of systems have processes that other people can jump in, there’s a logical method to follow when you’re talking about AI and having computers be able to do all the work. The problem is the information needs to be in a structure that the AI can read and understand. So AI does is give you a probability on the likelihood of something occurring. So if I say if I’ve got all the deals in the CRM, and I know the progression of you know, proposal sent, negotiation review closed, one closed loss, those states are known all the other information, who they are, where they from, how they got in there, is knowing like it’s in the system. I need a certain volume for the for the, for the AI to then recognize trends. So it might be four

500 transactions within a certain time frame to go, what are the key

moments that push someone over the line? Is it that they have an elite Elite score of 20? Is it that they came in from a particular channel? Is it that they had a, you know, three emails a call and then a something else. And all of those built into a probability weighting in the say, this one has an 80% chance of closing. So you know, pick up the phone and call that one first, before you call the one that has a 20% chance to close, it doesn’t mean you’re going to close the deal is not going to do that for you, it’s going to prioritize your work, so that you can then answer or basically spend time where it’s better served rather than, you know.


to that point, as well, I can do certain tasks for you, but you should still review it and check it. So for example, it might say, Alright, well, here’s the recommended fields that we want to update based on this particular thing. So for example, again, Salesforce is in the Help Center, it will say, we recommend you update the location of the client to Australia, based on the server that interacted with your company, or based on an email address or something or start to pull in other information go, do you want us to update this? And instead of you having to go find it? You just go? Yes, yes, yes, no, and then go fill up that thing. So that might save eight to 10 seconds. But you know, save eight to 10 seconds per case of that type in Telstra, then you might end up saving a million dollars in productivity, do it in a small business, maybe not that big, but at least at scale, you’re gonna have a better customer experience, you’re going to be building to something over a period of time, and you’ve got a good foundation for the future.

Okay, sign me up. Where do I start? Where do I start?

Well, you can, you can go to relevant.com.au. We can have a chat from there. But we’re on the call now. So but for our listeners anyway.

Look, I think, you know, you get me talking about a topic. And you know, we sort of said this was a bit of a reverse interview. So I really appreciate you sending you asking those questions. Because not only do I get to answer those questions for you, but I also get to answer them for the rest of the audience. And for those business owners that are like, What the hell’s the CRM? What are those letters mean?

So it’s been fun and very informative, as you’re going to get me thinking about this. It’s just a matter of, you know, understanding your needs and prioritizing what’s what’s important, and then finding that solution. Yeah.

And as we said it, is there any

sorry. Now that’s right.

I’m gonna finish now, Australia is so far behind the eight ball in terms of the digital skills gap nationally, every, like Australian government department, they’re putting in, you know, grants and systems and making them available for investment in digital skills investment in, you know, things like digital products, digital marketing strategies, and,

you know, understanding your privacy principles, and basically building out that side of everyone’s business, because there are, you know, other countries that are sort of a bit more advanced in that, and it’s about getting people to ask more of the right questions. And you know, we don’t we don’t necessarily need to answer them, but we need to make people curious, and get them to

want to learn more. Definitely.

So I’m very, very inspired. I sat through during COVID, lockdown, I sat through like a million zoom calls and presentations about all this technology coming out. And it’s really overwhelming. So

trying to figure out what is relevant to my business? Yep. And understanding what my core needs are, and just having a system that’s easy to set up and maintain and let me focus on what to do best. Yeah.

Yeah, absolutely. And I think you’ve got to make the best possible choice. And it’s not always going to be perfect, but then you need to at least know how to grow and evolve with it. And it’s not about the software. It’s about the strategy, strategic vision and understanding your core capabilities. So I think we briefly spoke about, you know, like, in a cafe, like if you go and order a coffee and then pay and then as

as they’re receiving their coffee, they walk off with before the the payment process is done. So flip that around. Yeah, I mean, in the city on version, yes, that’s what happens. But, you know, flip that around and put my you know, you order and pay at the same time, that’s a process change. You know, we

Had a company that needed a,

they did Field Service Management where they’re sending people out for quotes out to a building, they fail to maintain something, they look at it, provide a quote. But to get them to book those quotes, there was two calls in the process, the customer calls up and says, I want x. And then they’d have to get a schedule a call them back light up. And I said, No, that needs to be a single call first contact resolution, they flipped the why they were doing it, they got rid of a couple of problem employees, and that were bottlenecks. And that slowed everything down. And they grew, their team grew their business, and they didn’t implement a single piece of software. At that stage. We’re still watch this space, though. But the point is, the process probably matters more than the system, reducing friction and getting stuff done when it needs to be done based on human behavior and interaction and relationships. Definitely. So what comes first?


to try and figure out your business process first, or the business system first? Or? And how do you sort of balance those two? And how do you sort of keep stay flexible and change them around? Well, I think be a customer first really sort of understand the journey they go through, if it’s disconnected from what you think it is. And what it actually is, then you need to really understand what that is. Next would be wire diagram it and process it and map it out on a page, you know, before you start choosing a CRM before you start choosing a plug in or platform or app, understand what the journey is, and where the touch points is because you might rearrange like I did in terms of the first contact resolution that you know, or you might use online bookings to get them to book a time to call, which would be more efficient and reduce the load. Because maybe the problem is that all of the calls come between 9am and 10am. Like say, for example, a power company had ridiculous amount of draw on their support desk in June, because they build everyone on the same day. So then they


A to D in January, data’s F in in another and, and that reduce the load on their work environment. And that was just a procedural change had nothing to do with the technology, then you can build tech around that.

If you ask people, why do you do it that way? And I go, that’s the way I’ve always done it. Sign in the purple book. There was one that was the end of the process was signing the purple book, who signs why where’s it kept? why it was a redundant activity.

People are resistant to change within an organization is this is the public Catholic.

Everyone was resistant to change, you need to get a change ready organization, make a lot of small changes early on, that people like get a few quick wins. And then people will start to get an idea, oh, we can do this. And we can do that. And we can do something else. And that will start a snowball effect. If you go. Someone explained it very well. If someone’s looking in that direction, and you tell them to look over there.

They might break their neck. So you need to do a little bit slowly.

That helps them to get from one node to your next slowly or you’ll be seeing a chiropractor. Correct? I look, I’m really curious. There’s so many practices, some major ones out there. Yeah.

Can you sort of like define, you know, something like Salesforce? Is that like a big enterprise platform? Something like Zoho is? You know, it is? They’re two very different things. And the, you know, one is I equate it to an iceberg. And the other one I like to a sheet of ice. So one it has a lot of broad capability across a number of projects.

Yeah, yep. Zoho and the other one is an iceberg, which is it does does CRM, it does very, very, very well. problem is you need to weigh that out with the business, the way they’re at the trajectory, how much they can afford, what they’re aiming to achieve, you know, they might have ambitious goals of growth, or the product is sometimes those sorts of tools aren’t right for them, they probably need more of an e commerce perspective, which, you know, the solution.

I don’t like a lot of reasons. But yeah, HubSpot could work, I guess, because that’s the nice shiny thing that they use is like, well, there’s a lot of hype around it, but like, what are the good things? What are the drawbacks? today.com. It’s got a very good marketing. It’s got a very simple user interface. But when you want to go and do some of the tinkering in the backend, like I was talking with that critical data, you can’t have you know, custom objects, you can’t have,

you know, very detailed reports on things. And so you have to bolt something on the back of it and have either that only different things or you’re even just doing

The things that you need to do to get those reports takes longer because the system’s not well configured for configuration, if that makes sense. Okay, so when you say marketing marketing is a very broad term, and sales and marketing seem to be merging more and more and more. So when you say HubSpot screwed up marketing, do you mean in terms of leads coming in from websites, email campaigns, I mean, stuff like that brands look and feel that they sell simplicity and usability. So their marketing is sort of like, keeps that sort of simple feel. They’ve, they use the, as they call it, the inbound methodology, which is basically produce a whole lot of content. So they’ve got blog, after blog, after blog after blog. Some of it is really good content on HubSpot, by the way.

And it is quite useful. And that does draw a crowd. And I think that they’ve also got like learning courses and things. But you know, I kind of value a platform that has some serious nature, you know, I went one spoke to someone, they said, at a certain scale, you can’t hire

people, you know, with low skills, you got to level up, you know, a simple business or simple tools works, too. But that can keep your business simple, which means that not necessarily scalable to a certain extent. So you need to think about the people in your organization, you need to think about the the strategic human resources, value in the future. As in Can you find like if you got something so custom, that only that one person knows how to buy time, or if you got something with a pool of people that can actually fix, maintain, and Salesforce have free training, and a really good

learning platform. So that means and tons of people that take their certificates every year, which means from a from a user base, it’s actually easy to get people that know what they’re doing already, they have a higher level of thinking than say HubSpot, which is easier for anybody to jump into. So the difference being is HubSpot starts here with usability, and then tries to

just make an entry level, so anyone can use it. Salesforce starts here, you need to learn how to drive the sports car. But when you do, or the rocket ship, when you do, you’re going to go to the moon, whereas when you learn how to drive the the car with a good paint job, that looks nice. You can get to, you know, Sydney in 14 hours.

So that it makes sense, what’s going to take you further, yes, you might need to learn how to drive it. But hey, Microsoft Dynamics one the same sort of line as Salesforce. Yeah, that’s probably and again, that’s probably for more those

that need more of a

government like, kind of structure. So yeah, they’re less customer focus, they’re probably more you know, like engineering firms or law firms or something like that. So the and when I say less customer focus, they’re not about experience, they’re more about tracking. So that might be from like, large manufacturers that need to move, you know, warehouse, some equipment and move it around the place. And it’s very accounting focused. So one is for marketers and people that want to be on that call, like customer experience side. The other one is for accountants and lawyers that want to track the, the, the money side. Yeah, it was interesting. I had a conversation with a registered training organisation. They’re like,

like, if you’re on the door, or what have you. And

I was the day before I was chatting to a guy who implements CRM, specifically for these kinds of people. So they’ve built their own specific CRM for these people. And so anyway, I started chatting to this other person that was registered training organisation, and I said, Oh, have you heard of such and such? She’s like, Yeah, but we went with Microsoft Dynamics. I’m like, why is that and they said,

This custom CRM just had so many bells and whistles we didn’t actually need. So we just went with Microsoft Dynamics, because

we kind of felt they were more secure and in the road story space. Yeah.

It’s gonna be around for a while, or they’re not going to go under because they will get sued or even if they do, they can weather the storm. You know, that there’s some other strategic factors or, you know, maybe go and look at the CEO and whoever’s driving the company in their in their culture that if you’re going to go and embed yours on this platform, that it’s going to see that weather the storm as well. Definitely, and people are concerned about security. They worried you know, you might have the most amazing software from from some startup. Yep. But as soon as you know, the.com crash 2.0 comes along, where are they going to be and what are you going to do with

Your daughter and stuff like that. So yeah, actually, I hate Microsoft. Yeah. Well, I mean, look, they’ve got they’ve got built like 72 combat data. The other thing is, yeah, well, who are their workers? Do they have people that are going into that have been vetted security for security reasons that go into a building with a scan code. They’re not they can’t export your data and then sell it on the open web, or the diner. This is an interesting thing. I started wondering if I put my daughter in a place like HubSpot, or whatever, can they take that data out? And like, I’m gonna sit there for three hours and read the user agreement? That’s so like, today?

You kind of have to wonder in some of these places, um,

I think, you know, that’s, that’s a rabbit hole, we can go down on and create a whole new podcast.

So I think we’ve we’ve covered a fairly good time today. And I think we’ve gone through a fairly good number of topics. And like I said, I appreciate being a little bit of the interviewee, in this circumstance, and if you’re listening to that, you can have a look and find out more about Michael at CBOE FX calm. And the there will be a link in the episode comments and socials that go out with this. So once again, thank you again for listening. And if you have any questions, or you would like to be on the show, you can check out relevant dough Comdata you and fill out the contact form there. Otherwise, take care.