How I’m using Yesware to Score Job Interviews

Have you ever watched a TV show or cartoon where a character wants to make a deal with the devil? How fast does the devil get there? Does the devil ever get stuck in traffic or say, “I’ll get to it eventually”? No! When there is a deal to be made, the devil is there. You should be too!

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How does this relate to scoring job interviews? Let’s back up a bit.

I am currently a student at Boston Startup School, which is an awesome program that enables you to make a positive impact on a company in the startup community here in Boston, or elsewhere!

I am on the job hunt, and let me say that while Boston Startup School is a great networking platform, setting up meetings with people is an area of life that requires a delicate touch. This is especially true in the professional world, and that is why I am using Yesware to make this process easier for me.

Here’s how i do it!

  1. Install Yesware here: http://www.yesware.com/download?refer=azbghwm5
  2. If I send an e-mail to someone I’m interested in meeting outside of BSS, I track the e-mail using Yesware. This will let me know if the e-mail has been opened, and when.
  3. When my e-mail requesting a meeting is opened and I don’t hear back, I wait half a day or so. Many times when someone opens an e-mail, they are not necessarily ready to take action, depending on what the request is.
  4. Most likely, if the person is interested in a meetup, they will open the e-mail when they are ready to schedule the meeting.  When you see that second open, PING THAT PERSON IMMEDIATELY via e-mail, twitter (or preferably) the phone!

Honest to goodness I have gotten the response, “I was just thinking about that!” more than once doing this. They are thinking of the devil, make yourself appear with the help of Yesware!

Get Yesware here: http://www.yesware.com/download?refer=azbghwm5

Questions for Zagster Tomorrow

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I’ve got a meeting tomorrow with the Zagster Director of Sales, Brian Runnels. I am super psyched because, well, you would have to be super psyched about bicycles and tricycles to ride 150 miles on a pedicab over two days like I did on the MS Ride this summer. For me self-propelled vehicles are a way of life and it would be ideal to keep it that way!

Brian’s twitter handle is @Brrrunnals which has me thinking that he might have the same initials as me (BRR). If so, it might be the first person I have ever met with the same initials. I did the math and if all letters are used equally (they’re not), someone having the same initials as you is (1/26)^3 = 1/17,576. I guess it’s not all that uncommon in Boston to walk by someone with the same initials as you unless your name is something like Quentin Zachariah Yoder.

Anyways, Zagster is a startup bike company that started in Philadelphia and has been around ~5 years. When I met Zagster CEO Tim Ericson over lunch, he said that Zagster has had several previous business models, one of which was based on monetizing carbon credits. Zagster now makes money by renting their bikes out on private property like corporate campuses, apartment complexes and hotels. Zagster bikes can be unlocked via text message code and locked wherever you go. Cool right!?

Blogging out my questions prior to a meeting has been a great way for me to prepare so here we go again!

1) Tell me the story of how you ended up at Zagster. (I love a good story!)

2) Can you tell me about your sales cycle, how you are prospecting, filling your pipeline, finding the decision makers and closing?

3) What are the number one objections you face from a potential client? How do you overcome these objections?

4) You come from a SaaS background. Why SaaS to BaaS? In what ways are selling SaaS and bikes the same? Different?

5) This is the year that Zagster is ready to explode onto the scene, with sales being the tip of the spear. Do you have revenue goals in place? Any special strategies to reach those goals?

6) Can you describe the relationship with your best and worst clients?

7) So far, what has been the natural progression of a client? How many clients have increased / decreased the number of bikes subscribed to?

8) If you could describe the ideal culture for Zagster as a company what would it be?

9) Where do you see Zagster in three months?

I’m sure I will have more questions as time goes by!

Sales Testing ideas for Yesware

I met with Matthew Bellows from Yesware today for coffee. Matthew is a great guy to talk to and has awesome experience in growing sales in the startup world. I now wish I had asked Matthew to tell a story or two about previous job and lessons learned from growing sales at a startup.

Yesware has just announced three new levels of their product, Team, Enterprise and Custom, all launching January 1, 2013. Official launch of enterprise SaaS declares that Yesware is starting to focus more on sales. At least to me, this is one of the most interesting times in the life of a startup, and it has me thinking of practices that can be implemented to help sales and marketing at Yesware.

I’m finding that a blog is great to use as a sounding board for my ideas, so here they are.

Why getting user phone numbers can help sales:

Since many users of Yesware do it as an employee in the process of their jobs, capturing phone numbers from users can be a good way to reach a decision maker in an organization.

Also, Premium users of Yesware may be financially incentivized to have Yesware adopted on the corporate level; if their company pays they won’t have to! These users should be leveraged accordingly.

Collecting the phone number from the Yesware signup form

-Give it to us or you can’t use Yesware. We’re giving you something for free, after all.

It would be interesting to see the stats on users backing out registration when a phone number is required but Yesware hasn’t gone this direction so I’m not going to theorize.

- Simply ask users to volunteer the info

You have to ask to get, right?

- Incentivize user

How many phone numbers would you get for a one-time boost in “tracks”? How many #’s would 25 tracks get? 50? Additional clicks per month instead of a one-time boost? How many? All awesome things to test.

Idea: Touch base with new signups with Vsnap

Joe Nigro from Vsnap stopped by BSS today. Vsnap is a product you can use to send a person to person video under 60 seconds.

I think it would be interesting to touch some new Yesware signups with Vsnap messages, and others with an e-mail with the same words in text, to see which would get a higher response rate and close rate. Using a service like Vsnap may prove be more scalable than a traditional phone call, while still providing a personal touch.

Those are ideas for now! I have more but will add them later.

Questions for Yesware tomorrow

I am having coffee with Matthew Bellows, CEO and founder of Yesware tomorrow. Yesware is marketed as ‘E-mail for Salespeople’, and I have to say I love the tool. The business model is different as well from B2B sales productivity giant Salesforce, with the current Yesware revenue model being mostly B2C driven. I think it is really cool that Yesware is building their user base organically through helping salespeople with their jobs.

Anyways, here are some questions I have to ask Yesware:

1) How is Yesware leveraging their users to spread its product? How much has the organic growth helped Yesware get to this point?

2) Is Yesware using alpha-beta testing in their sales and marketing procedures and what have been the results?

3) What is the story of Yesware’s integration with Salesforce? Is that a negotiated partnership and what are the terms those deals?

4) What is the current sales strategy? Revenue Goals? How is Yesware prospecting? What challenges has Yesware faced in selling to enterprises?

5) How effective has the blog and inbound marketing been for Yesware?

6) What type of culture does Yesware seek to promote?

Maybe I’ll have time to report back tomorrow!

Get Yesware here: http://www.yesware.com/download?refer=azbghwm5