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July 30, 2021
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How an agency automated and simplified their client onboarding process

We love highlighting and celebrating people that are doing awesome things with no-code. We’ve discussed automation on our blog in this handy little guide, but we’re always impressed with people that contextualize it to their industry.

This is why we were super excited when we came across Nick Abraham’s work. He’s mapped out a super slick process to help agencies automate and simplify their client onboarding.

Here’s his story.

Hi, my name is Nick Abraham, I'm the COO at Jetpack. I focus on making sure all our portfolio companies operate at a high level, and I do this mainly by leveraging automations and systems. I've been an entrepreneur my entire life. I went from selling custom socks in middle school, to running my own marketing agency that employed over 7 people at the age of 18. I was born and raised in Dallas, but my entire family is from India.

Prior to learning about the no-code movement, agency life was chaos! Things were standardized, but they took a lot of manual effort and work. Figuring out how to use Integromat and Zapier allowed me to completely free up my time, and my employees’ time. In fact, at one point, we were running over one million zaps a month!

Lead generation on auto-pilot

We use the @blackhatwizardd cold email method on Mailshake to send hyper-personalized cold emails. We practically LIVE on Slack, so we’ve got a separate channel for lead generation.

We have a team of virtual assistants (VAs) that proactively calls anyone with a positive response. Through the omnichannel sequence on Slack, the VA can get notified quicker, respond faster, and handle messages efficiently. This is much easier than having to monitor LinkedIn, email, and a CRM platform all at once.

Here’s how we automate this process:

  • Have a calendar booking bot
  • Call recordings sent to Slack
  • All responses from email, text, LinkedIn channeled into Slack

Lead generation for sales doesn’t need to be complicated. What we do is simply leverage our case studies! On a side note, if you don’t have any case studies, then create some powerful content that can nurture potential clients.

Here’s the workflow we use to help shorten our sales cycle and close super quickly!

  • Prospect books a call -> confirmation email with case studies and video testimonials -> 24-hour reminder email before discovery call with our content library
  • Once a lead is qualified -> send them a one-pager + more content
  • 24-hours before the demo -> VSL

Pro-tip: Look for ways to stand out when it comes to prospective meetings. We are really inspired by THETYFRANKEL and their cameo video of LaVar Ball! The video cost him about $500ish to put into the world, and it has brought well over $20-40k for his agency.

Onboarding on auto-pilot

Onboarding looks a little different for every agency. It depends on what you sell as a service, what your clients expect, and how your team is set up. Every agency generally has five workflows in common:

  • Internal lead generation
  • Sales
  • Onboarding
  • Fulfillment
  • Retention

We use automation to make each stage much more efficient and effective. When it comes to onboarding, most agencies cover these three aspects:

  • Communication channels
  • Project management
  • Managing vendors

Here’s what we use for our onboarding tech stack:

Here’s a look at our process

First, go on to Zapier and start looking at the actions/triggers of anything on the checklist that may work for your business. Everything that cannot be automated on Zapier should be delegated to a VA. You'll notice that at least 30% to 40% of the stuff on there can be automated with the information you collect on your onboarding form.

Onboarding form?! Glad you asked!

1. Onboarding form

This is non-negotiable. You need it to create zaps and workflows.

An onboarding form will help you get the information you need to automate the output (your drive folder, slack messages, etc.) Your webhook, which are the automated messages you get when an event is triggered, will be set off on Zapier.

The onboarding form is created on HighLevel and is attached to a subdomain. It ensures that all the information that your vendors need in order to get their job done will be captured in a clear, systematic format. This may be contact information, other requirements, etc.



2. Project management

We use Notion for project management and with the new Zapier updates we can automate a ton of the work. This is how our workspace is built so our team can communicate and work accordingly.



Two things happen when the onboarding form is filled out:

  1. An onboarding checklist is created
  2. A new client is added to our client board

As soon as the form is submitted, an email is sent out to our vendors with the information they need to get started.

Now the account managers can get to work!


3. Managing vendors

Most agencies have multiple vendors for each individual client. We typically use two vendors for our service: An inside sales agent (ISA team) and a lead list builder.


4. Client communications

This one can get tricky. I’d suggest switching to a ticketing system (something like manyrequests.com once you pass the 30-client mark (Unless you’re a communications and follow-up wizard!)

But if you're not, then I would create shared channels within Slack to communicate with them.


5. A few additional things to keep in mind

CRMs:

We need our clients to have CRMs since we do B2B lead generation so if they select ‘no’ within the onboarding form, we have a zap that will auto-create a CRM for them.



Ongoing check-ins:

We do a client check-in call once a month. We have set up an automated workflow to facilitate this so that Slack sends our client a reminder to book the call on the first of every month.



From hands-on to fully automated

Many service-based businesses struggle because they have no idea how to find their ideal customers, reach out to them, and set an appointment so they can pitch and close a deal. In my first service-based business, I had no idea about how to get clients. So I did what I knew best — I made a website, filed for the LLC, told my family, and had zero clients still.

Eventually, I took it upon myself to learn lead generation like the back of my hand. I understood how to put together personalized cold emails at scale that convert into a productive meeting to help me close deals with potential clients.

I’ve learned to love outbound sales. This is why I want to help other businesses skip the grunt work, and grow! I hope this process flow helps you find ways to simplify your agency’s work. If you have any tips, share them with us. We’re always looking to improve!



Thanks for sharing your automation insights with us, Nick! You can follow his journey on Twitter here.




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