Welcome to Marketing Lego Thought Leader Interview. Today we will have a word with Mr. Michael D. Wilson, founder of Processology, about his journey of creating a smart agency that helps organisations to improve their digital processes. We will also talk about how improving processes in your agencies can help you in smoothening operations.
Hi, everyone. My name is Harshit and I am the director of the Business Alliance of two brilliant marketing SAAS tools, Rankwatch and Web Signals. Welcome to today’s Marketing Lego’s thought Leader interview. We have Michael D. Wilson, the CEO of a leading operations strategy consulting firm, Processology. Michael, welcome and I am so happy to have you.
Okay, brother. So, Michael, you started at a very young age. When you were 17, you joined your family business. How’s your journey so far and how did you get to where you are today?
And what I saw is that a lot of that really led to the process, which is what Processology is all about. A lot of people were starting businesses, including myself in the beginning, ju][st because I had a great idea, but not really any plan on how I was going to do it.
Right. So that’s really how I got to that point and it’s just kind of taken off from there. So it’s been exciting.
That’s good. Michael, please tell us a bit more about Processology and your service offering. It’s a very interesting niche altogether. So there’s a bit more about your service offering in the methods and some of your frameworks.
Not only that, if you have team members, people on your team that have a process in their head, if they leave, guess what your process leaves with them, right? So if that team member has a process that’s bringing in leads for your business and then they leave and now all of a sudden you don’t know how they were collecting leads. That is very harmful. So we try to help our clients protect their processes and the way they operate their business by getting those processes out of their heads and documenting them on paper so that they have something to refer to. That’s like stage one. Stage two is looking for that improvement opportunity. Where can we improve, where can we scale? And part of that is understanding. Where can we measure this to understand if it’s working or not working, right? And then from there, we go into platforms. So this is where we try to help you find a CRM system, HR system, or film system. This can be pretty much anything that supports the process. I think a lot of people go the other way when they go and buy a system and then they try to tweak their business to match the platform. And the way that I look at that logically is that I don’t want to limit my business to the capabilities of the platform. I would rather design my process and find a platform that can fit me, and that can support me in what I’m trying to do.
So we go through that phase and help that client actually develop all that out. Then we go into the last phase, which is management. And this is going into more detailed and structural documentation and process enablement training so you can have the best process in the world, but if your team doesn’t know how to use it, it’s very pointless. So we go through those four stages with our clients and really try to help them see the bigger picture, right? Like I always say, design your business, not where you are today before you want to be tomorrow. So how do you take that next step? So you have somewhere to walk, right? So that’s what it’s all about.
Got you. Even when you introduce a new process within a team, it also causes some chaos, right? How do you cope with it? That I mean, that must be one of the big hurdles that you must be facing.
We’re able to just collect the level of information that companies are not able to collect internally. And that gives us the full picture to be able to improve the process. And then we are also, like, we do process mapping. We live by process mapping. So if you guys haven’t heard of process mapping, go Google it. It’s definitely worth investing into because it just allows you to see things that you can’t see. So when we are able to say something to a team and say, oh, well, we see a gap here, we always get these. I have been trying to explain that for six months now, and they just don’t know how to articulate it.
And so we help them figure out what that stuff is. So it really becomes a fun process for everybody. So once the process is done, the team’s excited to actually do that because they had an input, they felt like they were listened to. And that’s what we get from our clients all the time, whether it’s the management team or the employees, is that they felt heard or the management team was like, I didn’t even know that they felt that way, or I didn’t know that that was something they were struggling with. And that just makes it to where enabling that process is that much easier.
I’m sure this is all possible because you can basically make a really good connection with the team members also because a lot of members open up about their own challenges.
So what does a typical client journey in your agency look like?
Like what’s going to have the biggest effect the soonest and let’s start working there first. And then from there, we move on into the platform phase where we help them find a platform or we help them align the current platform with those processes. And then from there, we move into the management stage, which is all about documentation and training.
Michael, one of the biggest challenges, like I mentioned before, is how exactly your agency integrates with your clients processes and their teams, is there office for that too or how exactly works?
Between departments. Between teams. Right? And that’s where you see a lot of that. So because we’re able to come from a high level view and work our way through the company, we’re just able to see more than most can see. But yeah, I will say that and it’s funny because we’ve been talking about this internally, where do we fit on a work chart, right? As a company, how do we fit into a company? And in most cases, there’s not really any work for us to fit because we’re doing something that most companies are not actually doing and it’s getting to the point where they’re starting to because as technology is evolving, it’s becoming more and more complex to integrate and set up and they’re trying to figure out how does all this work together. But, yeah, it’s a very interesting question and that’s something we’re trying to really put a name on internally as well, so that when we talk to potential clients, you can say, this is where we fit in.
My appreciation, you help your clients marketing and sales team making their productivity and their efficiency.
And if the client doesn’t know who the audience is, then I will tell them very quickly, you need to go talk to a marketing person to figure that piece out and then come back to us and we’ll help you build up the infrastructure to get that person. But I would say that is really understanding who the audience is going after. And then once you understand who the audience is going after, what is the path you want to lead them down? Like, what is the end goal for them? That needs to be extremely clear because like I said before, we reverse engineer so we don’t know who they are, where they’re starting and where we’re trying to take them. There’s no way for you to reverse engineer it. Right. So once we help them and that’s the part that we help them do, is really dial in on that goal and then we reverse engineer that process to help them get to want to go. So that is one big one. I would say those two big ones. The next thing I will say is really aligning the marketing and sales side because they’re really becoming one department today.
It feels separate, but the worst thing that can happen is your marketing. One message itself seems to be something totally different, right? So it’s making sure that those hand offs are very smooth and aligned as you pass your blog there. But I will just ask a lot of questions. We actually have a blog post, I believe. It’s like asking why. And it’s like asking the question why a lot. Why are we going after this audience? Why are we taking them down the string? Why do we want this goal? Ask those why is a lot that’s really going to help you dig into the reason behind what you’re doing. Got you.
Michael, in your experience, we share a few mistakes, process related, that you’ve seen in marketing teams mainly, and how they can basically avoid this.
So I would say really get with someone that knows what they’re doing. And I always tell people you need a marketing person that’s great at marketing and you need a process person that’s great at process. And that is one thing I will say to let me throw this last thing in there as I do think that people who try to like businesses specifically put the responsibility of processing operations on the marketing team. When your marketing person may be an expert in content creation, maybe they’re an expert in social, they are expert in design, but they’re not operation ops like they’re not ops individuals, they are not processing developers and engineers. And so when they put them into that role, they can only do it to the best of their ability. So you can have the best copy, you can have the best design and it still doesn’t work.
Got you. Michael, since your agency has been helping tons of companies with the automation tools as well as basically increasing efficiency of their operations altogether, how do you basically come up to a conclusion on which particular platform your client should invest in, hubspot or any of them and what exactly that process looks like? How do you goabout that?
It really depends on their needs. So we try to help them get real clear on what their needs are and what the long term thing is. If you have a company that’s like oh, I just want to make $100,000 a year versus a company that wants to make 100 million a year, then it’s going to be very different platforms. So it depends on the goal, it depends on budget and then it depends on expertise like who’s on the team because you can put in the best system but if no one’s going to use it then there’s going to be spending money for no reason.
Otherwise, can you share a few useful hacks? That can be something that every business can use when it comes to marketing automation.
But don’t try to change their mind through that content. To me, relate to them. And then once they’re a client you can really say this is how we get to what you want. Right? So I don’t even really focus on so much of what clients think they need to focus on what they want and that is more so I would say, I would say focus there and just make sure that you keep it simple as possible. I always say simply complicated is what I tell my team is that it may be complicated but we want it as simple as possible if that makes sense. So really focus on and remember to ask this question: Do we need this piece? Is it necessary? Is there an easier way to do it? And that will help you get to the best automation that you can possibly get to where you can use automation in so many places in the company to move people along and really understand where automation is best and where an actual physical person is best. That’s important, right? That’s extremely important because if you’re in a doctor’s office and you have to give, let’s say, bad news to a patient, you probably don’t want an automated robot saying you’re delivering that news.
You may want somebody that can actually relate to a personality communicating that message.
A lot of your clients must be relying on improving their sales team efficiency. So please share a few proven strategies that you have actually practised to basically convert the leads that they’re getting to a qualified sale.
To create a compelling message on what I’m going to follow up with you about if you don’t reach back out to me. But if I wait seven days later I have talked to 30 other people. It’s extremely important. And then I also take great notes. The thing about it is that as a sales team, you’re going to be talking to a lot of people. And so it is extremely important to make every customer feel like they’re the only customer. Right. It’s extremely important to make them feel like you’re 100% committed to what they want. And that’s really hard to do if you’re not giving yourself. I am going to say if you’re not helping yourself by creating good notes and creating tasks and doing each step of emails because you’ve got to forget. And when the client feels like you’re forgetting about them, it doesn’t always go well. Got you.
Please share one of your most successful consultation case studies with us and why you consider it like any business where you have done wonders, any numbers may.
And we all know how fast an email can drop to the bottom of your inbox, right? So they didn’t have a clear hand-off process in place on how to take something from one to the other. So what we did with them is we met with them, we helped them clean that up. We help them put a process in place. We helped them align their platforms so that sales knew exactly what the onboarding team needed. In order to do successful onboarding, we have to put all that stuff in place and we put some boundaries in place. Like we could not move forward if this was not in place. And that kind of forced the team to take over that process from there. The results that came out of that are that they actually ended up closing. I want to say they ended up closing a deal with their local city that was worth over like $1.5 million that they related directly to improving the onboarding process. Because they were able to actually show the city a documented onboarding process of how it works, the city felt more confident in working with them. So that happened.
But also we took their onboarding process from a 90 day onboarding to down to 30 days. So they were able to onboard a new client in less than a month or less. And so that really improved that onboarding process. And I had a lot of really also getting the customer involved in the onboarding process of knowing ahead of time what to expect and communicating, hey, when we come to this meeting, this is what we need. We automate a lot of that stuff so they don’t have to think about it.
Really impressive, any follow story, because you carry years of experience. If you’re sure there must be something where maybe the consultation section or anything didn’t really work well for the client. And would you like to share something?
Got you, I think, Michael, we are coming to an end today’s session to an end and are there any final thoughts that you would like to share with us, please?
Thank you, Michael, thank you so much for your time today. And I really appreciate all the valuable tips and things that you shared with us.