I never had the pleasure of working with computer geeks prior to Fundbase. Now, two years in, I have to confess that I am utterly impressed with how they function and approach everyday obstacles. Being a “geek” is not an insulting term in my dictionary anymore. Developers combine an “eliminate repetition” mindset with superior technical ability. Their capabilities can be applied to most, real-world situations and I am more than confident that computer science will be a mandatory subject in every school one day. Tedious manual work, doing the same thing over and over and maintaining vast excel spreadsheets is something no human being should have to do, ever.
Our development team uses HipChat integrations to make their everyday working lives easier. Each and every task that was manual, repetitive or simply not centralized is now done through HipChat add-ons. They use it to monitor the entire development workflow, deploy process, ticket overview and many other aspects I, quite frankly, cannot comprehend. On top of that, it is fully synced with JIRA, CircleCI and GitHub. Even their daily standup meeting is fully automated.
Knowing how developers work, why not replicate their standup, integrate it with our sales software and adjust it to the specific needs of our team?
We use Pipedrive to track all of our sales deals. It’s a simple yet powerful, user-friendly, Sales CRM software out of Estonia (birthplace of Skype, Transferwise and many other startups). We have customized pipelines with stages that correspond with a given service’s sales cycle. On top of that, it’s integrated with our platform. Each new Fundbase user gets their own deal created in the appropriate pipeline and stage, prefilled with necessary information and assigned to an account manager. Account managers are notified and the rest is history.
Sales Standup 1.0 Alpha
As a fast growing fintech startup, that is disrupting the hedge fund industry, it’s imperative that we share our daily activities, results and most importantly feedback with the team to collectively become better at what we do. This sharing experience originally took place in a group Skype call. As Sales reps are quite talkative by nature and strong in their convictions, standup usually lasted well over an hour. This was by far the most inefficient (however most amusing) call at Fundbase.
Sales Standup 1.0 Beta
The goal was to create a Finite-State Machine (FSM) that interacts with HipChat and Pipedrive. According to Wikipedia a FSM is a:
“mathematical model of computation used to design both computer programs and sequential logic circuits. It is conceived as an abstract machine that can be in one of a finite number of states. The machine is in only one state at a time; the state it is in at any given time is called the current state. It can change from one state to another when initiated by a triggering event or condition; this is called a transition. A particular FSM is defined by a list of its states, and the triggering condition for each transition.”
(I am surprised to learn, from 2 of our developers Giorgio, Tim and Michael Scott, that Wikipedia is considered a great source of information)
Standup now takes place in the Sales room in HipChat and is run by our chat bot, Funbot. She reacts to simple command triggers and pulls information about specific deals from Pipedrive depending on the state they are in. Our sales states are defined based on a combination of Pipedrive pipelines and stages, rotting period of the deal and activities. This is how a Pipedrive deal in HipChat looks like:
Every sales rep is required to give a quick update on their deal whenever it appears on the screen. Deal after deal, in a structured and organized fashion, our sales standup commences and ends in less than 30 minutes.
Sales Standup 1.0
We are still far from perfection. Skype is still used as an auxiliary form of communication during standup and our states and transitions require improvement and fine-tuning. Introducing an automated way to pull out activity statistics i.e. the amount of completed activities (e.g. calls, meetings, tasks, emails, won and lost deals) along with added activities for a given time period (e.g. daily, weekly, monthly) with the change from the previous, corresponding time period would allow us to further improve our daily Sales Standup process. Step by step, if we work patiently and persistently, we’re bound to be successful.