Intro CRM alpha testing is coming to a close—hear about a special offer for alpha testers, the latest updates, and when the project is moving into beta. Plus, do grants count as sales? Harris recently learned of one and is applying for it. Should you consider the same?
Harris shares new updates to the Intro CRM alpha that’s being tested right now. New updates include a host of UI and accessibility improvements, single click importing, and the ability to configure deal stages to refine your sales and go to market process. There’s also a big announcement:
Alpha testers will get one year of Intro CRM for free. If you are interested in trying Intro CRM, you have until the end of December to join the alpha testing group! The project will move into private beta in January.
Harris also talks about grants! Do they count as sales? He recently learned of the MakerPad community’s Creator Grants program for nocode projects, which he applied for.
But there are lots of other grant programs too. In the United States, things like the SBIR program and Coronavirus relief at the state and local level. How should you think about non-dilutive sources of funding like this? Harris also shares one example from a current client.
If you feel alone managing your business’ sales pipeline… Welcome! Consider this your invitation to join Harris Kenny for a regular sales Pipeline Meeting. We will discuss finding new business and pricing. Things like getting ghosted. Winning proposals, new technology, and a lot more. Brought to you by Intro CRM.
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If you feel alone managing your business’ sales pipeline. Welcome. Consider this your invitation to join me, Harris Kenny, for a regular sales pipeline meeting, we’ll discuss finding new business and pricing, cashflow, things like getting ghosted, winning proposals, new technology, and a lot more brought to you by intro CRM.
Harris Kenny: (00:40)
Hey there, we’ve got a few things to touch on today and it’s going to be an even shorter episode than usual because I’ve got a lot on my plate right now. The theme of today’s episode is whether or not grants and contracts that you apply for, whether or not those count as sales. Spoiler alert: I would say yes. And I’m going to talk through why. I’m going to share specifically a grant that’s now on my radar and why I’m applying for it. And lastly, I’m going to touch on the new features that shipped in Intro CRM.
New Features in Intro CRM (alpha)
Harris Kenny: (01:14)
And I’m going to actually going to start with the new features in Intro CRM, because I am really excited about everything that just went live to alpha testers. So really there’s a bunch of updates, but I’m going to focus on a few of the big ones.
Harris Kenny: (01:33)
When you log in, you’re going to notice a set of really improved user interface changes, particularly around mobile responsiveness. So now you can log into Intro CRM on your phone and you always could, but the experience is a lot better now. And I spent a bit of time working on that, including having a custom responsive state when you’re at 375 pixel with, you know, which is a benchmark, um, phone display, um, to quickly add deals or do that add an edit workflow, or you’ve got more to add to it.
Harris Kenny: (02:08)
In the overview page. When you log in and you’re looking at your deals, you can now filter ascending and descending order based on deal value and close date. And there are a number of new ways to log your deal value as well. So you can track deals in terms of revenue or units sold. You can configure your close date, which was the case before you can also now configure your deal stages.
Harris Kenny: (02:38)
Currently deal stages are sorted alphabetically automatically. Uh, but I’ve got on the roadmap to allow you to rank and essentially do custom weighting for deal stages so that it reflects your sales process. Right now it’s alphabetical. The next set of improvements is going to have that rank, you know, weighting. I’m really excited about the user configurable deal stages, because I think that when you’re using an introductory CRM and you’re just getting started, you really want to have a tool that’s going to allow you to focus on your sales process. The idea in the beginning is just figuring out how are you getting customers? How do you sell to them? And the deal stages matter a lot. It does not matter as much as it relates to the way that conventional CRM and other sales tools have these stages. And you assign the likelihood of whether they close or not based on whether they’re in a certain stage. I don’t think that’s as interesting. But I do think it’s interesting to think about the sequence or order of events that you go through in order to land a deal. In the beginning and in the early days, I think that’s especially important.
Harris Kenny: (03:58)
The last little thing that we rolled out, but I just think it’s a better user experience is a single click import workflow where, you know, if you’re coming to Intro CRM from another tool, it’s a single click inflow to get those deals into Intro CRM.
Limited Time Offer for Alpha Testers — One Year Free!
Harris Kenny: (04:16)
If you’re interested in participating in alpha testing now is definitely the time to ask because alpha testers are going to be getting a year of interest CRM for free just for their feedback and for their patience and participation this early on in the process. So if you do want to jump in now and get that free year now is the time to do it. I’m going to be moving into private beta in January.
Grants, SBIR, and More
Harris Kenny: (04:39)
Now let’s about the theme, which is whether or not grants and contracts that you apply for count as deals short answer for this, in my opinion is definitely yes. Now, as you’re trying to validate and do customer development, it’s obviously important to understand that it is not the same thing. If you win a grant from somewhere, you apply, whether that’s an organization that’s giving grants, uh, privately or publicly some sort of like economic development organization, whether it’s in the United States, the federal government has an SBIR program. That can be a really interesting way to get funding for some business ideas.
Harris Kenny: (05:22)
There’s a difference between like closing sales in a sense of repeatable sales that can grow business over time and just getting cash in the door to help grow your business. And if it’s a non-dilutive source of funding like grants and contracts can be, I would personally manage that as if it were a sale, though I understand the distinction between the two. And you want to basically take those funds that you can get from a, I would say, non-repeatable non-recurring revenue source. And you want to try to invest them in ways that are going to help you get future recurring sort of conventional traditional customer acquisition, or in some infrastructure that’s going to help you support that.
Harris Kenny: (06:02)
So if you have a manual process and if you could automate it, or if you could maybe expand to a new market or make a new hire or develop a new product that you can use to in the future generate revenue. So I wouldn’t use those one time non-recurring sources of revenue for sort of vanity projects or things that you don’t think will move the needle as it relates to generating revenue in the future.
No Code and MakerPad Creator Grants
Harris Kenny: (06:28)
Which leads me to the last thing, which is that I’ve recently discovered the MakerPad community. And I am really excited about that’s going on on this website. It’s new to me. I’m still wrapping my head around everything that’s happening on maker pad, but it’s this community where they’re featuring a lot of different no-code tools, tutorials, project showcases. There’s a lot going on and I’m still wrapping my head around it, but I’m excited. This really inspired me.
Harris Kenny: (06:56)
The theme for today’s episode is based on their fast funding for no code creators program, uh, which is a funding option for indie creators that are using no code tools. I am using bubble to create the minimum viable product—that—really the first version of Intro CRM. And it’s very robust. Now we have integrations are live, is importing exporting. It can do a lot of different things using all no code tools. And I’m really excited to see what else is going to be coming out of this MakerPad community, because no code tools can do a lot. I’m going to put a link in the show notes about these creator grants, the website is creator grants.org. I’m going to be applying and throw my hat in the ring.
Harris Kenny: (07:37)
I don’t know the likelihood of getting it or not, but I’ve been bootstrapping and self-funding so far, I think that it’s going well, but it would certainly be helpful to get some funds to do some final development work before going into the beta. And maybe just, you know, as entering into the beta phase and really finishing some more complex things that I think need to be in place, particularly to just make a better product.
Harris Kenny: (08:05)
So, anyway, I’m going to wrap up because I got to go, but that’s the theme for today. And particularly if you have any grants, contracts, things you can apply for, if you are starting your own business, it is really hard as it is. If there’s someone out there offering you help and you feel comfortable with whatever the strings attached to maybe, or maybe there are none, maybe there are minimal. Maybe there’s a lot.
Example of Using Non-Dilutive Funding for Growth
Harris Kenny: (08:27)
I mean, I know one client of mine accepted a hundred thousand dollar grant from a foundation to open up a new location in a new market. You know, because that foundation basically wanted to see more of the type of work they do in their home state. And so they provided funding for that. They’re using that, we’re working together and scaling up their go to market. And this is a case where they’re taking that grant and they’re going to be investing it in resources to make this market self-sufficient for their organization. So there’s no shame in applying for grants and contracts. You should definitely check it out, even though it’s not quote unquote traditional custom development, I would strongly encourage you to do so. And I think with between the economic impact of the coronavirus and a lot of other things going on right now, there may be some interesting opportunities out there for your business. So check it out, think about it. If you find any interesting ones, let me know. And if you’re curious about the creator grants, check the show notes with that.
Harris Kenny: (09:28)
Lastly, again, if you want to try out Intro CRM, it’s in alpha right now, go to introcrm.com and request early access. There’s a button right on the site. Click that let me know let’s get in touch and I’m happy to send an invite your way.
Thanks for listening to Pipeline Meeting. The theme music is by Neighborhood Vandal and is shared under a Creative Commons Attribution—or CC BY—license. To learn more, read the show notes, and continue the conversation, visit IntroCRM.com.