Before building my soon-to-be-released technical saas sales tool, I used to spend many hours doing incredibly repetitive manual tasks.
For example before, during and after every customer prospect call I would:
- Look at the calendly meeting blocked in my calendar to see who is attending the meeting by looking at their email address.
- Use that email address to directly navigate to their company URL to take a look at what their business does. If they used a personal gmail I would need to login to sales force, look up the lead using the email address, and then grab the company they work for from there before manually looking up the company domain.
- Synthesize what the company does from the company about page, or LinkedIn company page into a google doc that I used to take meeting notes.
- For each attendee I would also look up their LinkedIn profile and then copy paste their: name, job title, and company name into that same google doc. I would also look up their Twitter and synthesise their professional and personal views for a quick rapport build on the call.
- I would then write a meeting goal under the company description and attendee list, so that my sales engineer (or other attendees internally) would know what the context of the meting is.
- Then link that google doc into a slack channel and ping the internal attendees 10 minutes before the meeting began so that they would be prepared effectively for the call.
- From there I would use that google doc to take highly detailed bullet notes. This often recorded some fairly repetitive information like the reason the prospect wanted to have the meeting in the first place as well as discovery questions like current state of tech stack, what type of data they were collecting, what external factors were making them decide to undergo a project in this area, what their goals were, timelines, budgets etc.
- Also on the google doc were fairly crude drawings that were usually of architectures – how the prospect currently had their tech stack set up – which parts of it they were changing, and what future state they wanted to get to.
- Lastly I would always include a “next steps” list clearly marked at the end of the notes. This would then inform what needed to be done and the timeline for doing so.
- Ad infinitum. No word of a lie, the longest google doc I have written for a single customer call notes is 65 pages! For one customer!
- The other thing I did was end up using airtable to create fields that I could then build reporting on for meetings. This allowed me to answer questions like:
- How many series A companies convert into second meetings?
- How many of use-case A does a Series C company have vs a Series A company?
- What is the progression of seniority after five meetings? Are we getting more senior? Staying flat? What’s happening?
- Are the use-cases changing as our meetings progress or staying the same?
- What is the price sensitivity of use-case a vs use-case b?
While this might sound like a lot of work – in reality it was the only way to effectively keep track of how use-cases were being asked for, and what work an SE, our product team or engineers would need to do after a call.
Sometimes I would also clip audio from the call at specific points just in case there was some serious nuance that was too hard to write down quickly or capture in a drawing.
Nowadays – all of the above can basically be automated. So my new technical saas tool intuitively follows the process above but does all the work for you.
The tool looks as simple as a google doc, but it automatically inserts most of the details for you. Thanks to integrations with many different tools – now you can create incredibly rich and detailed notes without actually typing anything yourself – the tool automatically inputs it all for you.
And if you’re not technical but sell a technical product – it’s even more powerful because the architecture library will automagically draw out the tech stack for you, so that you don’t need to understand how all the parts fit together – it will show you how it fits together itself. You just start typing the word the engineer is giving you and it does the rest.
So – really looking forward to sharing more with you as this gets closer to release.
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