Intro CRM Basecamp Integration (Podcast Episode 9)


Hear about how the Intro CRM Basecamp integration works. And today’s sales topic is ignorance. How much do you really need to know about your product to sell it? Plus, Harris upgraded his audio equipment. How does this sound?

Show Notes

The Intro CRM Basecamp integration was the first one that I announced in 2020, it’s live and I want to share more details about how it works. I also talk about Jason Fried, DHH, and some of the other members of the Basecamp team who have inspired my work over the years.

The sales topic today is a challenge for you. How much do you need to know about your product to be successful selling it? In my experience, you might need to know a lot less than you think. So does it make sense for people to be so focused on getting their salespeople to be more active in Slack, attend more meetings, and more involved in internal processes? Maybe not.

Lastly, I made a series of upgrades to the equipment that I use to record this show. Are you experiencing any issues with the audio? If you’re a regular listener, do you notice a difference? Please let me know.

Pipeline Meeting Cover Art for Episode 9: Intro CRM Basecamp Integration
Pipeline Meeting Episode 9: Intro CRM Basecamp Integration

Show Description

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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Harris Kenny:
Welcome to Pipeline Meeting by Intro CRM. My name is Harris Kenny, and I’m here to help you grow your business–the hard way. I don’t talk about growth hacks or shortcuts, just the little things that you can do to serve your customers and get new ones. In this podcast, I’m going to talk about my own sales pipeline, I’m going to share tips that you can use to grow your business, and take you behind the scenes of building Intro CRM. Thanks for listening.

Episode Overview

Harris Kenny: (00:30)
There are two big topics I want to touch on, but first a little housekeeping. I’ve changed my audio equipment that I’m using to record the show. I made some upgrades. So I would love to know how this sounds. If you notice a difference, let me know. If you don’t notice a difference, I guess let me know that too.

Harris Kenny: (00:47)
But in particular, I would like to know if you’re having any issues (hearing me, if there’s any audio quality issues, anything like that). I’ve done a bit of testing and everything seems like it’s good, but you never know until things are out in the real world. So let me know, you can reach me on Twitter @HarrisKenny. And yeah, let’s get into the show here.

The Intro CRM Basecamp Integration

Harris Kenny: (01:05)
The first topic is the Intro CRM Basecamp integration. And the second one is about whether or not salespeople need to know as much as you think they do. And if you’re a founder, this applies to you as well. I’m going to touch on that later in the show. I’ve gotten a little bit of pushback on Twitter about this, and I think it’s an interesting thought experiment. So I want to get to that, but first I want to just explain how the new Basecamp integration works.

Harris Kenny: (01:37)
First question is: why Basecamp? Well, they’ve been hugely influential for me. From Jason Fried to DHH, Ryan Singer’s work on Shape Up is really interesting. And I’m thinking about how I can apply that as my features stabilize. Claire Lew and her work with Know Your Company has been super interesting. Wailin Wong obviously does an awesome job with the Rework podcast.

Harris Kenny: (02:01)
So anyway, they’ve been really, really, really influential on my career and how I do things. And honestly, I’m hoping to replicate what they’ve done starting with 37signals, doing design work–web design work, and then building Basecamp, and then becoming a software company. I’m hoping to replicate that here with Intro CRM.

Harris Kenny: (02:20)
And the other reason: I use (the Intro CRM Basecamp integration) myself and obviously there’s millions of people out there who use it. And so my hope is that, you know, it’s going to be a way to grow this product. I think that by building a lightweight CRM that can integrate with another tool, uh, that there’s a way to complement the way Basecamp works and not have all the noise that other tools have.

Harris Kenny: (02:47)
You know, I don’t want to build a really robust project and task tracking system because I think there’s actually a lot that goes into that. And I would rather just help people keep track of their deals—to tie the two together, I think it’s a win-win. I think (the Intro CRM Basecamp integration is) a way to have purpose-built tools that do their job really well.

How the Intro CRM Basecamp Integration Works

Harris Kenny: (03:11)
So the Intro CRM Basecamp integration works like this. When you have your Basecamp account, there’s a few tiers. First you’re going to have projects, free accounts have up to three projects and you can do this in different ways. Personally, I’ve got my consulting business, I’ve got Intro CRM, and then I’ve got another podcast that I work on called Hello Blink Show. Each of those are at the project level.

Harris Kenny: (03:36)
And then within a project, you have these nested To-do Lists. And this is where the integration comes in. The Intro CRM Basecamp integration works. When you add a deal to Intro CRM, it gets pushed to Basecamp as a To-do list.

Harris Kenny: (03:57)
So you can have a dedicated project for sales and marketing work, or this can sort of fit alongside other projects that you have, and that you’re working on. There’s a flexibility here for however you happen to be using Basecamp that I think is going to work for people in different ways.

Harris Kenny: (04:21)
And then the main thing beneath that to do list is all the tasks that you actually have. So whether it’s scheduling a discovery, call documentation, working on the proposal, sending it over, those all happen as to-dos within the to-do list. And by having each deal be a to-do list, you can use the Hill Charts to track the progress of the deal. And so that can be a sort of visualization of your pipeline. And you can also keep track of your documents in Basecamp, if you are using that, and then you roll over those prospects into clients. All the things that you’ve uploaded into Basecamp are still available.

Learn More About the Intro CRM Basecamp Integration

Harris Kenny: (05:05)
That’s an overview of how (the Intro CRM Basecamp integration) works. If you want to learn more, if you go to with hyphens, between those, I’m going to put a link in the show notes, and you can also just find it in the footer. You can read more about how (the Intro CRM Basecamp integration) works.

Harris Kenny: (05:22)
I would love your feedback if you’re a Basecamp user and you’re curious, if you have questions, you know, give me a shout. You can see screenshots and you can get a sense of it through that landing page. So yeah, go there, check (the Intro CRM Basecamp integration) out. Let me know what you think.

Harris Kenny: (05:35)
And I’ve been using it myself for months, because again, I use Basecamp. To me, it totally checks the box of what I was thinking about. Uh, and I would love to know what you think. There’s going to be later episodes about the Asana and Trello integrations. They will work similarly, but obviously differently because those platforms have their own idiosyncrasies. And so I’ll talk about that in future episodes.

On Salespeople and Ignorance

Harris Kenny: (06:03)
The other topic that I want to touch on today is about salespeople and ignorance. How much do your salespeople need to know? And the provocative point I will make here upfront is that I think salespeople need to know less than you think they do about your product, about your business.

Harris Kenny: (06:25)
I have been in this role where people want salespeople, you know, whether it’s marketing or product or operations to be in more meetings, to be more active in Slack, to spend more time talking to colleagues.

Harris Kenny: (06:42)
These are people who are internally facing, non-revenue generating parts of the business, at least not directly anyway. And they want to make sure that sales is sort of in the loop with what they’re working on. And obviously people blame sales when things don’t go well. So they think, well, we created this perfect set of features or, you know, we did this, that, and the other thing. And if it’s not working, it’s because sales isn’t doing their job—that’s part of it.

Harris Kenny: (07:08)
And I think the other part of it is that in many organizations, the salespeople just don’t get involved in these things because they are rationally deciding that it’s not a good use of their time. You know, I mean, do people need to be posting GIFs in your Slack channel? Do they really need to be dropping more reaction emoji to pretty pedestrian updates that you have to the internal team about you’re working on? Obviously I don’t think so.

Harris Kenny: (07:41)
Now, it’s going to get to a point in a sales cycle where they do need to have this product knowledge and that’s going to get more important. But a lot of times in the very beginning, I’ve found ignorance is bliss. I’ve sat on many discovery calls with clients—with their clients.

Harris Kenny: (07:57)
And I have a very limited understanding of how the actual product works, but because of that, I’m free to ask really simple questions and have the prospective client do the talking so that we can better understand their actual situation. The bias that I’ve found is that when people really do have expertise on something, if they really know something in and out, there tends to be this focus on, well, let me just tell them exactly how it works.

Harris Kenny: (08:29)
And if I tell them all the features, well, then they’re going to buy what I’m selling them. But that’s about you. And that may not be what they want. They may need to hear what you can do for them. And so in order for you to tell that to them—share that with them—you need to know what they need in the first place. And not every conversation goes that way. Sometimes being burdened by all these new features, all these internal updates, sometimes that gets in the way.

A Challenge for You

Harris Kenny: (09:00)
So my question for you is just a simple challenge. How little do you think you could know about your product and still successfully sell it? Do you think someone could come in and do a better job selling your product if they knew less about it than you did?

Harris Kenny: (09:14)
And really the bigger picture here is it’s not that product doesn’t matter. It’s not that it’s good to be ignorant. I’m not sort of celebrating that, but I do think that you need to focus on your customer. And salespeople are focused on their customers. And if you find when you’re wearing your sales hat, that you are spending more time talking about yourself and what you’re doing and less time asking them questions, there’s a chance you are leaving money on the table. There’s a chance that you’re just not closing deals that you could be closing. Maybe you’re not growing accounts. Maybe you’re just being too transactional in your process.

Harris Kenny: (09:56)
You need to get to know the people who you’re selling to, whether that’s a new account or an existing account. How little could someone know about your product and still sell it, do you think? Maybe it’s less than you would guess.


Harris Kenny: (10:00)
That’s all for now. You can find show notes at The theme music for Pipeline Meeting is by Neighbourhood Vandal and it’s shared under a Creative Commons-Attribution, or CC-BY, license. If you learned something, consider sharing this show with a friend. Thanks.

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