Accel, Atlassian & Salesforce Leads $12m Series A for Process Streets No-Code Workflow App

2020 – San Francisco…

Read more about this announcement on Business Insider, Crunchbase and Forbes.

Vinay Patankar

I’m very proud and excited to announce that Process Street has raised a $12M Series A from Accel, Atlassian, Salesforce Ventures and other amazing investors.

The funds will go towards our vision of building the GitHub of no-code; where teams around the world can find and use checklists, workflows and automations to improve their productivity at work.

Our mission is to make recurring work fun, fast, and faultless for teams everywhere. Having experienced investors and leading SaaS partners will put us in a powerful position to achieve this mission.

Business Technology

Vitoto Officially Shutting Down

startup failure

2012 – San Francisco…

Vitoto was a failure.

It feels good to say that. There has been an air of uncertainty around the state of the company for the last few weeks, its nice to make a decision.

Firstly, I am proud of myself for taking the shot.

“You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.”
— Wayne Gretzky

Business Process Management Uncategorized

10 Most Interesting Things to Do in San Francisco

10 Most Interesting Things to Do in San Francisco

San Francisco is a city that captures the hearts of visitors from all over the world. With its iconic landmarks, cultural experiences, outdoor adventures, and unforgettable culinary experiences, it’s easy to see why. In this article, we explore the top 10 things to do in San Francisco that will make your visit unforgettable.

Exploring Iconic Landmarks

San Francisco is a city full of iconic landmarks that are worth exploring. From the Golden Gate Bridge to Alcatraz Island, there are plenty of sights to see and experiences to be had. Here are some additional details about these famous attractions.

Visit the Golden Gate Bridge

The Golden Gate Bridge is not only a marvel of engineering, but also a symbol of San Francisco. It was completed in 1937 after four years of construction and has since become one of the most photographed bridges in the world. If you’re planning to walk or bike across the bridge, be sure to wear comfortable shoes and dress in layers, as the weather can be unpredictable. Along the way, you’ll see stunning views of the city skyline, the bay, and even the occasional sea lion or dolphin.

Discover Alcatraz Island

Alcatraz Island has a rich and fascinating history. From 1934 to 1963, it served as a federal prison for some of the country’s most notorious criminals, including Al Capone and Robert Stroud, the “Birdman of Alcatraz”. Today, the island is a national park and offers a variety of tours and exhibits that give visitors a glimpse into what life was like on “The Rock”. One popular tour is the “Night Tour”, which takes visitors on a guided walk through the prison after dark.

Marvel at the Painted Ladies

The Painted Ladies are a row of Victorian houses that were built in the late 1800s. They are known for their colorful facades and intricate details, and have been featured in numerous movies and TV shows. In addition to the view from Alamo Square Park, you can also take a walking tour of the neighborhood to see other examples of Victorian architecture and learn about the history of the area.

Whether you’re a first-time visitor or a longtime resident, these landmarks are definitely worth a visit. They offer a glimpse into the city’s past and present, and are sure to leave a lasting impression.

Unique Cultural Experiences

San Francisco is a city that is known for its unique cultural experiences. From the oldest Chinatown in North America to the vibrant street art in the Mission District, there is something for everyone to explore and enjoy. In this article, we will take a closer look at some of the top cultural experiences that San Francisco has to offer.

Stroll through Chinatown

San Francisco’s Chinatown is a cultural hub that is not to be missed. With its colorful streets, shops, and markets, this neighborhood is a feast for the senses. Visitors can sample some of the delicious cuisine that this area is known for, including dim sum, egg tarts, and roasted duck. During the Chinese New Year celebration, visitors can also witness the traditional lion dance, which is a colorful and lively spectacle.

For those who want to learn more about the history and culture of Chinatown, there are also guided tours available. These tours offer a deeper understanding of the neighborhood’s rich history and traditions, as well as a chance to explore some of the hidden gems that are off the beaten path.

Explore the Mission District Murals

The Mission District is known for its vibrant street art scene, which is a reflection of the neighborhood’s diverse and eclectic community. Visitors can take a walking tour to explore the murals that adorn the buildings and walls of this neighborhood. These murals range from political messages to whimsical designs, and each one tells a unique story about the people and culture of the Mission District.

One of the most famous murals in the Mission District is the Women’s Building mural, which was painted in 1994 by a group of seven women artists. This mural is a celebration of women’s achievements throughout history and is a powerful symbol of empowerment and community.

Visit the Beat Museum

The Beat Generation of the 1950s and ’60s had a significant impact on American literature and culture, and San Francisco played a key role in this movement. The Beat Museum, located in North Beach, celebrates this literary movement through its exhibitions, events, and archives.

Visitors to the museum can learn about the lives and works of writers like Jack Kerouac, Allen Ginsberg, and William S. Burroughs. The museum also hosts events and readings that celebrate the spirit of the Beat Generation and its legacy.

Overall, San Francisco is a city that is rich in culture and history. Whether you’re exploring the colorful streets of Chinatown, admiring the vibrant street art of the Mission District, or learning about the Beat Generation at the Beat Museum, there is always something new and exciting to discover in this vibrant city.

Outdoor Adventures

Hike in Muir Woods National Monument

Just a short drive from the city lies Muir Woods National Monument, home to some of the tallest and oldest trees in the world. The park is named after naturalist John Muir, who was instrumental in its preservation. Take a hike through the scenic trails, marveling at the towering redwoods and peaceful streams. The park has over 6 miles of trails, ranging from easy to strenuous, so there’s something for every level of hiker. Don’t forget your camera, as there are plenty of photo opportunities to capture the beauty of this natural wonder.

Relax at Golden Gate Park

Spanning over 1,000 acres, Golden Gate Park is a green oasis in the heart of the city. It’s larger than New York City’s Central Park and offers a multitude of activities for visitors. Whether you’re looking to picnic, bike, play tennis, or simply relax in nature, this park has something for everyone. Don’t miss the Japanese Tea Garden, a serene and tranquil escape from the hustle and bustle of the city. The de Young Museum is also located within the park, showcasing American art from the 17th through the 21st centuries.

Bike along the Embarcadero

The Embarcadero is a scenic waterfront boulevard that stretches from AT&T Park to Fisherman’s Wharf. Rent a bike and follow the path, stopping to admire the Bay Bridge, watch the sea lions at Pier 39, and enjoy the stunning views of the bay. Along the way, you’ll pass by the Ferry Building Marketplace, a historic building that now houses a variety of artisanal food vendors and shops. The Embarcadero is also home to several public art installations, including the iconic Cupid’s Span sculpture by Claes Oldenburg and Coosje van Bruggen.

San Francisco is a city that’s full of outdoor adventures, and these three activities are just the beginning. Whether you’re a nature lover, an art enthusiast, or a foodie, there’s something for everyone to enjoy in this vibrant and dynamic city.

Unforgettable Culinary Experiences

San Francisco is a city that is known for its diverse and delicious culinary scene. From fresh seafood to artisanal chocolates, there’s something for everyone to enjoy. Here are just a few of the unforgettable culinary experiences that you can have during your visit to San Francisco.

Taste the famous clam chowder at Fisherman’s Wharf

No trip to San Francisco is complete without sampling the city’s famous clam chowder. Head to Fisherman’s Wharf, where you’ll find plenty of restaurants serving up this hearty and delicious dish. Enjoy it in a sourdough bread bowl for the ultimate San Francisco experience.

While you’re at Fisherman’s Wharf, take a stroll along the pier and enjoy the stunning views of the Golden Gate Bridge and Alcatraz Island. You can also visit the sea lions that make their home on the docks, and watch as they bask in the sun and play in the water.

Indulge in a Ghirardelli chocolate treat

Ghirardelli is a San Francisco institution, and their chocolate is some of the best in the world. Visit their flagship store in Ghirardelli Square and enjoy a decadent sundae, a box of chocolates, or one of their famous hot fudge sundaes.

While you’re in Ghirardelli Square, take some time to explore the area. The square is home to a variety of shops and restaurants, as well as stunning views of the San Francisco Bay. You can also take a cable car ride from the square to other parts of the city, and experience one of San Francisco’s most iconic forms of transportation.

Experience a local food tour

The best way to sample San Francisco’s diverse culinary scene is on a food tour. Join a local guide and explore the city’s neighborhoods, sampling everything from dim sum to artisanal cheese. You’ll learn about the history and culture behind each dish, and leave with a full stomach and plenty of memories.

San Francisco is a city that is full of history and culture, and there’s no better way to experience it than through its food. Whether you’re a foodie or just looking for a new culinary adventure, a food tour is a must-do during your visit to San Francisco.

San Francisco is a city that has something for everyone. From iconic landmarks to unique cultural experiences, outdoor adventures to unforgettable culinary treats, you won’t be bored during your visit. We hope this guide has inspired you to explore all that San Francisco has to offer.

Business Process Management Uncategorized

10 Interesting Things to Do in Mission, San Francisco

10 Interesting Things to Do in Mission, San Francisco

Are you looking for a vibrant neighborhood in San Francisco that offers a unique blend of culture, art, food, history and entertainment? The Mission district is the place to be! Here are ten of the most interesting things to do while exploring this unique destination.

Explore the Vibrant Street Art Scene

As you walk through the Mission district, you will be enamored by the explosion of colorful murals adorning the walls of buildings. From historic political murals to modern abstract pieces, the street art scene in the Mission is unparalleled.

The vibrant street art scene in the Mission district is a reflection of the neighborhood’s cultural diversity, history, and social issues. The murals are not just visually stunning but also serve as a medium of expression for the community’s voice.

Clarion Alley Mural Project

The Clarion Alley Mural Project is a continuous mural art project that began in 1992. It features over 700 murals that depict various social and political themes such as racism, homelessness, and immigrant rights. The murals are a reflection of the community’s struggle and resilience in the face of adversity.

The Clarion Alley Mural Project is a must-visit for anyone interested in street art and social justice. The murals are not just beautiful but also thought-provoking, inspiring visitors to think critically about the issues facing society today.

Balmy Alley Murals

For a colorful Instagram-worthy photo, head to Balmy Alley. Here, the walls are adorned with intricate murals by local artists that reflect the neighborhood’s cultural diversity and history. The murals are a celebration of the community’s heritage and a reflection of the struggles and triumphs of its residents.

The Balmy Alley Murals are a living testament to the power of art in bringing communities together. The murals are not just a feast for the eyes but also a reminder of the community’s resilience and hope for a better future.

Women’s Building Mural

The front of the Women’s Building in the Mission district is a standout attraction with its iconic mural featuring the faces of prominent women in history. The colorful mural serves as a reminder of the essential role of women in shaping the world we live in.

The Women’s Building Mural is an ode to the power of women in shaping society. The mural features the faces of women who have made significant contributions to various fields, including science, art, and politics. The mural is a celebration of the achievements of women and a reminder of the work that still needs to be done to achieve gender equality.

Indulge in the Culinary Delights

If you’re a foodie, the Mission has a lot to offer. With a mix of Latin American cuisine, trendy cafes, and local farmers markets, you’ll be spoilt for choice. Not only does the Mission district have some of the best food in San Francisco, but it’s also home to some of the most innovative and creative chefs in the city.

Taquerias and Latin American Cuisine

The Mission district is famous for its delicious Mexican food. You can find some of the best taquerias here, each serving up their unique recipes for tacos, burritos, and quesadillas. Try La Taqueria, El Farolito, or La Corneta for a mouth-watering meal. But the Mission isn’t just limited to Mexican food. You can also find some of the best Peruvian, Salvadoran, and Nicaraguan cuisine in the city.

One of the best things about the Mission’s Latin American food scene is the diversity of flavors and ingredients. From spicy salsas to tangy ceviche, you’ll find a range of dishes that will tantalize your taste buds. And don’t forget to pair your meal with a refreshing margarita or a cold cerveza.

Trendy Cafes and Bakeries

For a more laid-back vibe, head to some of the trendy cafes and bakeries in the neighborhood. Try Craftsmen & Wolves for their innovative pastries, or Dandelion Chocolate for their unique chocolate creations. If you’re looking for a cozy spot to work or catch up with friends, check out Ritual Coffee Roasters or the popular Philz Coffee.

The Mission’s cafe scene is known for its creativity and attention to detail. From latte art to artisanal bread, you’ll find that each cafe has its own unique twist on the classics. And if you’re in the mood for something sweet, be sure to try the Mission’s famous “pan dulce” or sweet bread.

Local Farmers Market

If you’re in the mood for fresh, seasonal produce, the Mission has a weekly farmers market that makes for a delightful shopping experience. The market features local vendors selling everything from fruits and vegetables to artisanal cheeses and sourdough bread. Not only is the produce fresh and delicious, but it’s also a great way to support local farmers and artisans.

In addition to fresh produce, the farmers market also offers a variety of prepared foods and snacks. From tamales to empanadas, you’ll find a range of delicious treats to enjoy while you shop. And if you’re lucky, you might even catch a live performance or a cooking demonstration.

Overall, the Mission’s culinary scene is a must-see for any food lover. With its diverse range of flavors and ingredients, you’re sure to find something that will satisfy your cravings and leave you wanting more.

Dive into Mission’s Rich History

The Mission district has a unique history that is captured in its many landmarks and cultural institutions. The neighborhood was originally inhabited by the Ohlone people, who lived in the area for thousands of years before the arrival of Spanish colonizers in the late 18th century. The Mission district gets its name from the Mission San Francisco de Asis, also known as Mission Dolores, which was founded in 1776 by Spanish Franciscan friars.

Today, the Mission district is a vibrant and diverse community that celebrates its rich cultural heritage through its many landmarks and cultural institutions.

Mission Dolores Park

Mission Dolores Park is a popular spot for relaxing and enjoying panoramic views of the San Francisco skyline. The park is also home to the San Francisco Mission, the oldest building in the city and a significant historical landmark. The mission was originally built as a place of worship and education for the Ohlone people, but was later taken over by the Spanish colonizers and used as a military outpost.

Today, the mission is open to the public and offers guided tours that provide a fascinating look into the history of the Mission district. Visitors can explore the mission’s beautiful gardens, chapels, and historic artifacts, including a 17th-century bell that was brought over from Spain.

Mission Cultural Center for Latino Arts

For a deeper understanding of the neighborhood’s cultural roots, visit the Mission Cultural Center for Latino Arts. The center showcases art, music, dance, and theater, celebrating the diverse cultural heritage of the Mission district. The center was founded in 1977 by a group of local artists and activists who wanted to create a space where Latino artists could showcase their work and connect with the community.

Today, the center is a vibrant hub of creativity and community engagement, hosting a wide range of events and programs throughout the year. Visitors can attend art exhibits, music concerts, dance performances, and workshops that explore the rich cultural traditions of the Mission district.

El Rio Community Space

El Rio Community Space is a popular dive bar in the neighborhood that has been around since the 1970s. The bar is famous for hosting community events, such as fundraisers, drag shows, and dance parties. It offers a unique glimpse into the neighborhood’s counterculture scene.

Over the years, El Rio has become a beloved institution in the Mission district, known for its welcoming atmosphere and commitment to community building. The bar has hosted countless events that have brought together people from all walks of life, creating a sense of unity and belonging that is at the heart of the Mission district’s vibrant culture.

Enjoy the Nightlife and Entertainment

Once the sun sets, the Mission district comes alive with a plethora of nightlife options.

Live Music Venues

The neighborhood boasts many live music venues such as The Chapel and The Elbo Room, both of which feature local and international acts. If you’re into jazz, head to Club Deluxe for live performances.

Unique Bars and Clubs

The Mission is known for its unique bars and clubs, each with its vibe and personality. Visit Trick Dog or The Armory Club for delicious cocktails or dance the night away at El Rio.

Rooftop Movie Nights

For a memorable movie-going experience, catch a rooftop movie at the Alamo Drafthouse. The theater is perched on top of a building in the Mission and offers stunning views of the city skyline while you enjoy your favorite movie.

Whether you’re exploring the street art scene or indulging in the culinary delights, the Mission district offers a unique and exciting experience for all. So the next time you’re in San Francisco, be sure to check out the Mission!

Business Process Management Business Systematization

Why Your Remote Team Will Fall Apart Without Processes

There’s a psychological theory developed back in 1895 that still holds true today that can help explain why remote teams fall apart if they’re mismanaged. It’s called deindividuation, and states that when groups of people can’t be identified in a group, they’re more likely to misbehave, e.g. cause violence, riot.

To put it in the words of Gustave Le Bon, the psychologist who first theorized this, “a loss of personal responsibility in crowds leads to an inclination to behave primitively and hedonistically”.

Bear with me…

This might sound like a long shot, but it holds true for remote teams, too.

In an office, everyone is held physically accountable for the work they do. They’re a tangible employee in a building, being actually overseen by other people. In a remote team, everyone’s just an icon on Slack, an email address, or a source of app notifications. If team members feel like they can get away with not communicating, not keeping their team updated, and not getting work done, they’re much more likely to.

And that’s why remote teams are fragile. This is a shame for businesses who can’t manage them because 77% of remote workers are more productive than their office counterparts, and get more done in less time.

In this article, I’ll look at the problems that come along with having a remote team, and go through some methods for solving them.

Problem #1: No accountability without remote team processes

In an office you keep your team updated naturally by chatting how work’s going on the way to lunch, or just mentioning your progress while you have a coffee break. However, many remote workers report feeling isolated, which is part of what creates a lack of accountability, causing teams to go silent and work to start slipping.

How do you solve a lack of accountability?

At Process Street, our remote marketing team has several channels of communication and policies that mean we always keep in the loop:

  • A group Slack channel
  • Trello card comments
  • Two short meetings every Tuesday and Thursday

It’s enforced that all work-related conversations amongst the marketing team must go into the group chat, creating an activity log of work and information. Any task being discussed must be presented alongside a link to its Trello card, and it’s expected that all Trello cards will be commented on whenever progress has been made.

During the meetings, we present our Trello cards to each other for review as proof of work (plus an activity log recorded in Trello/Slack), and go through the tasks together.

Using a Standard Operating Procedure software is a great way to ensure that everyone adheres to the same way of doing things. This approach leaves absolutely no room for a lack of accountability. If team members aren’t working on their tasks, it’s totally obvious because there will be no record of it.

Problem #2: No centralization of information without remote team workflows

With your whole team collaborating over the internet (without opportunities just to look over their co-worker’s shoulder) it can be a pain to share information if it isn’t centralized. It’s an obvious problem for businesses since some of the biggest software companies — Dropbox, Box and other document management systems — were created purely to solve it.

How do you centralize information?

One of the main ways to do it is to make sure you’re working entirely on the cloud. We’ve written about all of the SaaS (software-as-a-service) products we use together before, and it made me realize how stuck we’d be without live collaboration and the ability to store information in the best, most easily accessible places.

As I said in the solution to problem #1, everything can dumped into a Trello card. Trello cards can hold links, attachments, images, and even spreadsheets, so there’s no excuse for not centralizing information when it’s that easy. For documents, we use Quip and Google Sheets, ensuring we can always access what we need, no matter where we are.

Get information centralized by enforcing all work-in-progress task material to be uploaded to Google Drive or Dropbox, or dropped into a project management app like Trello or Asana.

Problem #3: No teambuilding without remote planning

Building camaraderie through direct messages is easier than before thanks to the prevalence of emojis, gifs, and other just-for-fun things, but it’s nowhere near as easy as when you’re face-to-face.

You might get invited to a get-together after work if you’re in an office, but that’s not the kind of thing that’ll happen in a remote team, and neither will natural team-building.

This could mean that team members are shy, uncommunicative, or less productive because they feel isolated, especially when first joining a new team. Managers should nip this in the bud by facilitating effective employee onboarding. The onboarding stage is integral and it sets the tone for your new employee. Using an onboarding software can be a great way to centralize information, get insightful feedback all while welcoming your new hire aboard.

How do you improve remote team building?

The ways that have worked in our remote team have been have:

  • gaming tournaments (playing the card game Hearthstone against each other to win a prize)
  • sharing videos, movies, and music (we will share weekly recommendations, such as guilty pleasure movies, music to help focus)
  • having a general chat channel (a work-unrelated channel for water-cooler style conversation)

If those options don’t suit, you can also try this list of team building activities for remote teams.

The long-term solution: Agile process management

All three problems explained in this article are caused by a lack of communication, policy, and process.

As Atul Gawande explains in The Checklist Manifesto, key aspects of how we get work done can be overlooked without a process, and policy to enforce it.

When we look closely, we recognize the same balls being dropped over and over, even by those of great ability and determination. We know the patterns. We see the costs. It’s time to try something else.” — Atul Gawande

Remote teams are susceptible to disconnection, deviance from process, and an attitude of unaccountability.

As Gawande says, and as we’ve found in our time building process software, the solution is strict regulations and processes that enforce the centralization of information, encourage communication in open channels, and actively build culture.

It doesn’t sound as appealing as letting a strong team grow organically, but it’s a lot more likely to work.

Resources to help you get started: Your remote team processes!

Below are some public Process Street templates and then a whole load of really useful blog posts they’ve published too, to help you get started and systemize your remote business!

Process Street remote team processes

Remote team blog posts about remote work processes

I think this is a pretty complete round up! If you have any other recommendations or resources, leave them in the comments below!

Standard Operating Procedures

The Best Standard Operating Procedure Software

Here is a new video we made on our product Process Street.

We built Process Street to be the best standard operating procedure software on the planet.

Watch the below video to see how it in action:

Click Here to Create a Free Account

Standard Operating Procedure Software

Standard Operating Procedure software is a kind of software that captures and structures your organizations ongoing procedures.

Procedures are generally structured in a format either derived by ISO Standards or designed in house in the company.

SOP Software is a subcategory of Enterprise Content Management or Knowledge Management and is essential for ensuring quality and consistency across an organization.

Common procedures that are documented include:

  • Human Resources
  • Marketing
  • Finance
  • Operations
  • Manufacturing

There are many tools out there to help you document, capture and track standard operating procedures but the tool we are building goes a step above and beyond.

The Best Standard Operating Procedure Software

Click Here to Create a Free Account

The product we have designed is a workflow software called Process Street and not only does it allows you to easily capture company procedures, but it helps you execute those processes effectively, by turning documents into interactive checklists that you track and report on.

This really is a new way of handling operational documentation which traditionally is stored in flat files like word documents and wikis.

Those traditional tools are clunky and slow, forcing people to trudge through hundreds of pages of static information without breaking it down or making it easily accessible.

Process Street business process management software is also hosted on the cloud meaning it can be accessed from anywhere, anytime on any device.

Standard Operating Procedure Examples

SOP Software

Below are some example standard operating procedures designed using Process Street
Standard Operating Procedure Software

best standard operating procedure software

Here are some of the reviews from Capterra:

Standard Processes Minimize Training Costs

Pros: I love that we can create the process steps we need for all of our standard processes. We can create mandatory steps, and we can also see where a process is, and if someone is out, another person can pick it up and complete it. It’s brilliant!!

Cons: I would like a way to share processes with other Process.St customers — so they can have the processes within their Process.St account — ideally, I would like to share an entire folder of processes with someone – and that would prompt them to set up their own Process.St account, and import the processes to their account.

We would like to share these processes with our customers who need guidance on implementing certain things in their business… and it would be a way we could help Process.St grow, while serving our own customers and the growth of their businesses as well.

Overall: It has allowed us to standardize the way things get done, and document processes that are repetitively done with our customers, so we can scale our staff and get people productive a lot faster than traditional hiring and training. We love Process Street!

Nathan R. CEO

Pros: The ability to quickly edit and customize a process is very helpful. The development team has also been very helpful and responsive.

Cons: Not much – it’s clean, it just works, and the team seems to be focused on improving.

Overall: I’ve used this app to help set up meeting structures with my team. We have a set checklist of items to talk about on a regular basis, and this app helps us to move through them together, with visual aids and reminders, with checklists, and more, in a way that we choose.

I also use it for repeating processes in my own planning, journaling, and decision making. I’ve taken checklists from personal development speakers and writers, and broken their ideas/suggestions into tasks. With Process.St, i can set them up with reminders, visuals, and videos in ways that help me cruise through these tasks to get the results smoothly and easily.

Recommendations to other buyers: Get started with it! Also, check out “The Checklist Manifesto” by Atul Gawande – it could be a good introduction with regards to setting up processes.

Blogging Business Business Process Management Standard Operating Procedures

The Checklist Manifesto Summary

Checklist Manifesto Summary Header
Checklists are for everyone

What do Johns Hopkins surgeons, anonymous big-time investors and World War II pilots have in common? This isn’t the set up for a terrible joke but a demonstration of how widespread an often-overlooked tool is – they all use checklists to avoid disaster.

For surgeons, disaster is a lethal infection caused by straying from proper precaution. For pilots, it’s crashing a plane that was deemed far too complicated to fly – the Boeing B-17. For investors, checklists avoid what is sometimes known as ‘cocaine brain’; the drive to make snap decisions on high-risk investments that often result in huge losses.

Sales and Marketing Standard Operating Procedures Technology

5 Ways to Improve Your Next Sales Outreach Campaign

improve sales outreach

One of the best ways to improve your craft is to check out what your competition is doing. If you get to know what’s working for everyone else (or at least the success stories), you can avoid many pitfalls when it comes to your own company.

So, when I set out to find out how we could improve our sales and marketing cadences around 6 months ago, I knew that I’d have to gather data. A lot of data.

By the time I was finished, I’d signed up to 281 SaaS companies (including the Montclare SaaS 250 and some of the top startups in AngelList) using the details of a fake Vodafone employee and analyzed the 1,000+ emails and voicemails I received in return.

While I won’t go over everything I learned right now (we’d be here for days) I will highlight five of the core takeaways I gathered to help you convert more of the leads you generate.

If you want the rest of the data (including a Slideshare summary and copies of every email and voicemail I received), check out Inside SaaS Sales – a site we set up specifically to house this data. Otherwise, read on!

#1. Send an email every day

First up, you need to keep in regular contact with any potential lead who signs up. This both reminds them that you’re there and builds the connection they have with you.

Although tactics obviously differed based on the company, the majority of companies (41%) sent us one email per day until they stopped contacting us.

Other companies averaged out to sending one email per day, but instead took a staggered approach. A great example of this is Salesforce.

Their team sent us two emails per day for the first two days, then one email for the following four days, and then one five days after that as one of their final touch points.

This is a great way to strike while the iron’s hot (aka, when the lead first signs up), but to avoid drowning them in sales and marketing emails if they aren’t interested.

#2. Don’t send the same kind of email two days in a row

Although most companies sent us one email for every day of their sales cycle, it’s important to make the distinction between marketing and sales emails.

Too many marketing emails and the lead’s attention could be split between offers or they may not have the drive to take action on your product (depending on your copy).

However, too many sales emails and most people will also be put off. Doing this makes your sales efforts very impersonal, and they will feel like they’re not being valued as a potential customer.

That’s why sales teams on average only sent one email every two days – the rest were marketing emails.

#3. Leave a voicemail (if it’s worth it)

Assess whether the lead’s value is enough to warrant the time and effort to reach out and call them. If so, it’s also worth your time to leave a voicemail if they’re unavailable or don’t answer.

I’ll say straight-up that not every lead is worth following up on in this manner (the resource investment can be massive depending on the number of leads and size of your team). A massive 74% of companies analyzed didn’t leave voicemails, which gives a clear picture of the kind of investment we’re talking about.

If you’re not sure whether voicemails are for you or not, compare the resources you have to the potential gain from the lead.

Does your sales team have time for another call? How much would a call effectively cost in terms of time spent and the sales rep’s wages? What would such a call prevent them doing, and how valuable is that action?

Also, don’t forget to look at how successful voicemails have been for you in the past to get an idea of how likely the gamble is to pay off.

#4. Stick with leads you voicemail for longer

If you have a lead that’s worth voicemailing, it’s also worth sticking with that lead for longer. This was shown by the sales cycle of companies who left voicemails being 160% longer than those who didn’t.

In other words, if these companies left a voicemail, they kept trying to convert us for 1.6x as long.

Now, I know that this data could be due to a number of reasons. It could just be that the companies who had the resources to leave voicemails just had a longer sales cycle. Maybe a few took special exception to us since we were a high-value lead.

Either way, if you think that a lead is worth the investment to leave a voicemail after failing to call them, then chances are you have the resources to stick with that lead for longer. You’ve put the work in, so don’t throw it away at the slightest resistance!

#5. Use (or at least consider) marketing automation

Marketing automation is a fantastic way to save time and money – it lets you queue up your emails long before they ever go out and is an absolute must-have for any team looking to scale.

Any kind of business process automation is vital for those looking to grow quickly without running a major risk of imploding.

However, to back up the point, a massive 67% of companies used marketing automation to send their emails. An even more shocking 39% only used automation – there were no salespeople involved.

In short, if you’re not using some kind of automation to take the strain off your team, you’re missing one of the biggest shared tricks in SaaS sales cycles.

Don’t make the same mistakes as everyone else

While all of these points are useful, if you only take one thing away from this post today, take away this.

Don’t make mistakes that someone else has before you.

It might sound simple, but this simple principle will take you a long way in almost anything you do.

Whether you’re looking for a way to improve your sales cycle or you’re trying to build a blog, do your research beforehand and search for what others have to say on the subject. Someone out there will have published their own experience on the topic, and learning that takes you one step closer to success.


How Top SaaS Companies Use Email Marketing


Effectively using email to connect with your customers is an important part of being a SaaS company.

When someone signs up, you want to reach out to show off what your product can do, or tempt someone into upgrading to your premium service.

We know this all too well, and we know how difficult it can be.

With low open rates and even lower click through rates, email can sometimes seem like a daunting area to focus on.

This is why we conducted a study of how top SaaS companies approach their email marketing and sales.

In partnership with PersistIQ, we looked at the sales cycles and drip marketing techniques of 281 top SaaS companies, analyzing 1183 emails in the process.

We compiled all the emails into a searchable database at first but decided to make it a bit more user friendly for people to browse by turning it into the microsite Inside SaaS Sales.

You can hop on there to search by company and view their emails; analyzing their approach.

Our tip is to find a few companies like yours – i.e. with similar business objectives – and work out why they’ve created and structured their emails in the way they did.

But there’s only so much we can learn from one email at a time. What trends can we find in the data? What sales cycle takeaways do we have?

The key findings from analyzing 281 companies’ emails

Companies follow up for 9 days before stopping contact

Companies tend to be persistent. While avoiding sending emails on weekends, the average period of a sales cadence is 9 days – just short of two working weeks.

Some companies tended to stray quite a distance from this average. Salesforce, for example, took 1 month before giving up with their outreach. While a company like Slack, where each customer tends to be of less value to the business, hit the 9 day mark square on the head.

Companies send one email per day until the end of the cycle

In that opening flurry of emails, the SaaS company doesn’t want to overdo it and scare you the customer away, but they don’t want you to move on either.

Looking at the two previous examples, Slack send the first 4 emails over the first 5 days with the final email coming on the 9th day. That pattern of sustained outreach initially followed by quiet rare reminders is mirrored by Salesforce’s approach, even if their cadence is longer.

Salesforce send two emails a day for the first two days and one email a day for the following four days. The last email in their cadence comes over a fortnight after the penultimate.

This pattern can be seen across the data set and suggests that a sprint start is preferable to a balanced campaign.

65% of companies hand you over to an automated marketing campaign

Automation is huge at the moment, and not just in marketing.

We’re slowly walking into a world where computers are performing an increasing number of our tasks. In the report Four Fundamentals of Workplace Automation from McKinsey, they predict that 18% of a marketing executive’s working time could already be automated by existing commercially available technologies.

And that report is about 18 months old. Zapier have integrated with an extra 500 companies since then!

In our data, it is clear that though lots of companies use automated elements, many of them combine automated with manual. Both Slack and Salesforce send automated marketing email, but Salesforce have a person on hand to reach out to you too; using the double tap method to follow up on previous outreach as a warmer mechanism

Consider automation! All I’m saying…

Most SaaS companies have two sales contacts per lead

Typically a company will have two contacts and at least one of them will have a title which is geared toward bringing in new customers: Sales (35%), Business Development (18%), or Marketing (18%).

It’s not unusual, however, for a company to reach out from a different member of staff – something which puts a friendly face on the company. Like the CEO or Founders themselves (7%) or a Customer Success (6%) person.

This kind of internal branding could add a little more positive to the mix, maybe?

74% of companies don’t leave voicemails

If a company leaves voicemails, the sales cycle length is usually 160% longer.

This shouldn’t come as a surprise because voicemails are indicative of a high touch sales approach. This involves a lot more effort and a lot more commitment from your sales team.

Generally, a company like Slack has no interest in sending you voicemails. Yet, a company like Epicor – who provide serious industrial services in a high value specialized niche – knows that their market is smaller and each lead is super valuable.

It’s in their favor to leave voicemails where possible! (All voicemails we received are transcribed with the rest of the email data on the microsite)

MailChimp is the most common email marketing software

Used by 49% of the sample, Mailchimp is the faraway winner of the email marketing software battle.

Up in second place is Marketo at 21% with HubSpot biting at their heels on 19%.

The rest come in a little further behind with “other” coming before (in order) Eloqua, Tout, Sidekick, Pardot, Marketing Cloud, Sable, and Sendgrid.

Mailchimp is very easy to use and they’ve offered useful automation elements for a while now. It’s surprising to see how far ahead they were in terms of usage amongst industry leaders, but it’s a compelling sign for anyone searching for an email marketing tool.

Learn your techniques from the best

It’s very easy to write an article online about how you should approach your email marketing.

You’ve probably read loads of these articles. I know I have.

But often these articles are written without the expertise for your particular needs. The expertise you need to listen to and learn from lies within the businesses with whom you share business objectives and demographics.

Hopefully, we can help you cut the bull and check out what the real big players do, so you can learn from them.

Let me know how your company approaches its email marketing in the comments below!

Business Process Management Marketing

6 Marketing Tasks You Can (and Should) Automate

The following is a guest post from Ben Mulholland, content creator at Process Street.


Everybody — and I mean everybody — has tasks they could automate.

From basic tasks like saving email attachments to centralizing customer data, the possibilities for saving time are practically endless. Plus, as we all know, time is money.

Getting started with business process automation can be a daunting task, so I’m here to show off six tasks our marketing team automates (mostly using automation platform Zapier).

Use these to get started automating your efforts and giving yourself time to focus on the tasks that actually need your attention, like attracting clients and growing your list.

Organizing post ideas

Inspiration can strike at any time and from anything. You could be sat at your computer actively trying to think of blog post ideas, or one could take you by surprise as you browse a local shop. When that time comes you’d better be prepared to record and organize your idea properly, or risk losing it forever.

Our marketing team does this by creating a note in Evernote (which can be installed on any device) to hold the idea and then assigning a particular tag to it. However, rather than having to open up Evernote later and manually process these ideas, we use Zapier to automatically push notes into Trello and format them into actionable project cards.

In other words, when inspiration strikes we note it down in Evernote and that will automatically get pushed into Trello and organized appropriately.

Creating documents

While it may sound lazy or unnecessary, automatically creating a new document for the posts you write saves a huge amount of effort over time.

Rather than having to open up a writing app, create a new document, organize it, and post a link back to it in Trello, me and my team can just move the corresponding card into our “WIP” column. Zapier picks up on this, creates a document in Quip, sorts it into the correct file (according to who the Trello card is assigned to), and posts a link back into the card.

Again, it may not seem like much, but every little helps when you’re running a tight ship in a field where flow and minimum distraction levels rule supreme.

Triggering checklists

Whether it’s keyword research or guest posting, we have a documented process for everything we do more than once. That way we aren’t ever left wondering what to do next – we can look straight at our checklist, follow the next step, mark it as complete to track out progress, and then continue.

Unfortunately (much like creating documents), creating checklists manually adds up to a hefty chunk of time over any extended period. So, instead, we automatically trigger them with Zapier.

For example, blog pre-publish checklists can be triggered by moving a Trello card, and meeting checklists can be triggered at a set time (even without using Zapier). In fact, speaking of meeting checklists

Centralizing meeting notes

We’re a little mad on centralizing information – the idea that everyone should be able to access everything they might need to. Hence why we post notes takes from our meetings into our shared Slack channel.

Usually this would need manually pasting in, but instead we have Zapier detect when our meeting checklist is complete, then automatically ship the notes into Slack for us.

While it’s true that we technically have an accessible version of the notes with the checklist, having that second copy in a much more freely available space is a godsend. That way we can check exactly what we’ve each pledged to work on, what we need from each other, and our CEO doesn’t have to go digging around for the checklist to be able to see our progress at a glance.

In short, everyone wins.

Tracking activity

I’ve already mentioned how we use Trello to manage our marketing team, but it actually goes further than that. Each of our team members has their own personal Trello board, while we share boards for thing like “Blog articles” and “Knowledge Base Content”. That way we can manage our personal tasks separately from, say, blog articles and ideas we need to easily separate and track.

Now, the main problem with Trello is that is can be extremely difficult (and awkward) to get a concise summary of a person’s activity, or that of activity on a board in general. This can be easily solved, however, by once again using Zapier.

We’ve linked our Trello boards to various team members’ Slack channels, meaning that any activity in those boards is posted as part of a conversation in our messaging app.

So, rather than even having to open Trello, I can see everything that’s happened in the Blog board by just checking a Slack channel. Similarly, my boss can see all of the activity I’ve taken (along with a timestamp) on my personal board by checking a different channel.

This makes it incredibly easy to get an immediate summary of how our team has spent their day, thus increasing accountability and making everyone more aware of the need to report any work that they’ve done. It may sounds a little extreme, but it’s one of the best ways to keep on top of a remote team such as ours (especially if some members are new to remote work).

Creating invoices

The final basic task you should be automating to save time and money is that of creating invoices. Everyone likes getting paid, after all, so why not make the moment even sweeter by taking the boring work out of the equation?

The exact method for this will vary depending on what you use to create your invoices (eg, an accounting app or something simple such as Google Docs) and how you wish to record your information, but we decided to keep things simple.

By filling in an invoice checklist in Process Street we can quickly note down all of the important information the invoice needs, such as the date, payment amount, personal and client details, etc. Once complete, ticking off the final task will (using Zapier) automatically push that information into an invoice template and email the final product to both ourselves and the client.

These are just a few of the tasks you could be automating to make time for the work which actually requires your attention – to make the most of automation you need to get creative and test the limits of what you can do. After all, wouldn’t you rather automate as much shovel work as possible?

What tasks do you automate? Have you got any automation tips of your own? I’d love to hear from you in the comments.

Blogging Marketing

How to Build Connections with Influencers to Get Links, Shares, and Exposure


Making connections with influencers isn’t just for fashion blogs and trendy Instagram accounts.

You’ll need a ‘way in’ no matter who you are or where you’re going.

Whether you’re looking to write for big publications, get a boost to your social shares, improve your SEO, or just get on the radar of a blogger with a big following, you’re going to need to start somewhere.

In this post, I’m going to go through the process I used to write for TechCrunch, get guest blogging slots, and build relationships with social media personalities. It all boils down to a repeatable process with just a few points, and takes very little time or effort.

Let’s get into it…

A few steps before you get started

We’re all blinded by what we already know,

An easy way to find influencers is to use Buzzsumo’s Twitter influencer search. By typing in a keyword relevant to your niche, you can find editors, bloggers, and broadcasters that you can leverage to get more exposure. Alternatively, you can find publications in your niche and then find who’s responsible for content submissions and editing there.

Since this is a social-focused technique, the next step is to follow the influencer on Twitter and add them to a Twitter list.

Now, add their RSS feed to your feed reader so you can keep up to date with what they’re writing:


Now you’re set to get on with the rest of the process.

Retweet two of the influencer’s articles


The first part of the interactions after getting started is to retweet two articles. This should be done over time, either with Buffer to Buffer the retweet, or manually by checking back.

To stand out, you can even add a comment inside the retweet, like above. The more you say to start a conversation, the better the outcome will eventually be, and the faster you’ll get to a comfortable stage where you can reach out personally and offer help / make an ask.

Leave two comments on their blog posts

The comments section is an excellent place to interact with bloggers. It’s their home turf, and every blogger loves getting comments and responding to them because it means their work is being read and they’re not just writing into the void. Even if they get a lot of comments already, more can’t ever hurt. Especially if you say something more worthwhile than other people.

Make sure you:

  • Add value to the post (explain how you’ve tried similar methods, or share some of your own experience)
  • Encourage a response (by asking a follow-up question)
  • Say thanks!
  • Sound like a real person

Here’s an example of a great blog comment made for relationship building:


Overall, a thoughtful, conversation-starting response is the most important thing.

Since you’re subscribed via RSS, you can easily keep to date with what’s being posted and just take a little time in the mornings to read it on your phone and comment.

Share two of their articles on different platforms

I don’t often get my work shared on LinkedIn, but when I do it’s usually by someone who’s got an active following there and I remember the occasion because my Twitter feed is flooded, but my LinkedIn notifications update only rarely.

The people who interact with me on LinkedIn stand out, and that’s a tactic you can try too.

Like before I mentioned how you can Buffer retweets so they don’t go out all at once, you can do the same thing with social shares across multiple platforms. Buffer connects to Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, Facebook, Google+, and LinkedIn.


The influencer could be grateful you’re sharing their content on a platform where they don’t have as much presence.

Send a personal email with an offer and a request

Do you know the most important factor that goes into an influencer deciding whether or not they’ll open your emails?

The name of the sender is the most important factor to 64% of respondents, so if they recognize your name as ‘the person who I had a great conversation on Twitter with’, they’re way more likely to feel obliged to open and respond to your email.

When Alex from Groove tried to build an ‘inner circle’ of influencers to help promote his content, he found that a good way to get shares and exposure was to ask for the influencers’ opinion on the draft of a blog post in an email like this one:


Alternatively, if you’re reaching out to a journalist, you might want to try an email like this one:


Dmitry from has compiled a list of 26 cold email templates, which he says he’s used each one of to take his career to the next level at some point, and for requesting an interview with an influencer, he suggests using this one:


Your next steps…

To make it simple, I’ve compiled an SOP you can run to do influencer outreach here. Make sure you’ve compiled a list of 10-15 influencers, and that you run one checklist for each influencer and work through the list.

Using that method, you’ll find you get more followers on social media, more shares, better placement for guest posts, and more backlinks.

And it all starts with a little work on social media, so I’d say the reward is fair for the work put in!

Have you tried any similar methods or checklists? Let me know in the comments.