Episode 1: How to grow your sales
Harris Kenny is an expert in sales.
He runs IntroCRM, helping companies manage their sales process by outsourcing it to them.
His expertise in launching a business and finding product-market-fit is very unique, and there are a ton of lessons for entrepreneurs in this podcast!
Find out more about Harris in his website: https://introcrm.com
Harris Kenny: So I got about a hundred people to try the app out. And even people I knew for a long time and they didn't use it. And so I started asking them. You're not using your CRM. What if we used it for you?
Jesus Vargas: Okay. Harris, thank you for joining us today for the low code podcast we have this great guest Harris Kenny. He's the founder of intro CRM. We recently developed an app for Harris and his team, uh, he's going to tell us more about that later, but first I want you to introduce you and please tell our audience who you are, what do you do.
Harris Kenny: Hi, Jesus thanks for having me. It's great to be on the show and it's great to speak with you again, of course. Um, so just a quick background on me. I I've worked in sales for more than 10 years and I've worn a variety of different sales and marketing hats over the years. Um, I started working in professional services, so, you know, larger scale consulting projects, like ERP implementations and things like that.
And I started working in technology industry in 2014. I actually started in hardware and a, and then later the company started making a software product and I worked for... Oh, and in college I studied economics.
Jesus Vargas: Interesting, okay. How do you end up in hardware?
Harris Kenny: It was, I went to an event, you know, I, the Denver post, I live in Denver, had posted an event about the 3d printing meetup, and I was curious, and so I went, and, uh, I connected with the founder of a business there, and about a year later, uh, they reached out to me on LinkedIn and said, hey, you know, we're hiring, are you interested in joining the team? So I did. And so it was, uh, yeah, it was pretty cool. And so it was, it was chances.
I was very fortunate in that way that it worked out and. Arising in the 3d printing industry for about five years, learned a lot. And I was tended to be more, we had to more like B2B sales, more like enterprise deals and colleges and universities and distributor relationships and stuff like that rather than the consumer.
Jesus Vargas: I think that a lot of people thought, I don't know, 10, 15 years ago that 3d printing, everybody was going to have a 3d printer in their homes. And we're not there yet. Are we going to get there sometime or not?
Harris Kenny: I don't know that it's solving a problem for consumers, but I know that in the professional environment they've been very, very influential.
Um, you know, th th the, the big thing that happened was that the desktop printers that came out were about an order of magnitude less expensive than the, the most accessible 3d printers before. So there was like $20,000 machines, you know, and then you had these companies coming out with $2,000 machines that worked reasonably well, and then they got better and better.
And so what that meant was that every engineer on the team could have their own printer. Okay. Instead of just sharing one. And so it has, um, improved access to those tools for professionals, but, you know, ultimately, you need, the people who are prototyping and making parts in factories, like end use fixtures and, uh, excuse me, fixtures and jigs and things like that.
That's where there's a ton of value. Um, not necessarily in, you know, something that you could just buy at the hardware store for, for a dollar. But yeah, so, yeah, so I think, I think 3d printing is interesting and the, the business side of it, um, keeps kind of humming along. You know, there's a lot of new innovations in materials and software workflows and things like that.
But yeah, the consumer side of it, a lot of PR a lot of hyper on that. Definitely, definitely didn't materialize. Right,
exactly. Yep. Cool. And then you ended up in software. How did that happen? Well, so I, so
I went out on my own in 2019 doing solo consulting and basically it was like a freelance sales executive.
Okay. And. You know, the challenge that I was seeing as I was working with clients was that I was seeing that they weren't using their, they weren't keeping up with their sales tools. And meanwhile, I've been active on Twitter and following a lot of different people on Twitter, who I really look up to, I've built great businesses and a lot of them are in software.
And so I thought, okay, well maybe I should build a software product that, maybe extra build a simpler CRM. I think I thought the problem was that these tools are too complicated, right? You know, like HubSpot, things like that. And I, so I, I built one using bubble, which is a, obviously a no-code platform. If folks aren't familiar, it's very robust, it does a ton of things.
And it took me quite a bit of time, honestly, to learn the ropes. And I got, I built it mostly myself. I got help from two steps. I got help from a designer to think about layout and the UI, because I realized very quickly in bubble that I was starting to get things to work, but it was just terribly unattractive.
It was just ugly. And so I got a designer to help me think about that. And then I got some help as things got a little more complicated. Uh, Lola, java wallet, lunch pill labs helped me with some integrations. We had our CRM that we built integrate with, um, Asana and Trello and base camp. So that when you added a new deal, it would push it to your project management software.
So she helped me figure that out with the aPIs and stuff like that. And Lola has actually introduced us
Jesus Vargas: So you built this platform, this app, the software, have you validated the idea with some prospects or not?
Harris Kenny: Well, I talked about it with customers and customers were like, yeah, I don't use my CRM. And yet a simpler one sounds good. And I felt like the only way to validate it was to have something for them to use because their sort of in principle were like, yeah, I'm sick of my deals not being up to date.
Jesus Vargas: Why do you think? And I completely, yeah, I, I mean, it happens to us as well. Like we, we don't have a proper CRM, so we use a project manager, assay CRM, because I have never liked the CRMs in the market. Either they are too complicated, like HubSpot, they tried to do everything. Maybe they are good if you're trying to do it. I don't know. And then there are these other, usually Chrome extensions that convert your Gmail into a CRM. Why do you think that there's these probably gap in the market at the end, you ended up pivoting to something else.
Uh, but why do you think at least why is there these perception that there is a gap? Is there a cap?
Harris Kenny: Yeah. Well, so this kind of fast-forward, and then we can take a step back and talk about the app that we built. So I got about a hundred people to try the app out and even people I knew for a long time and they didn't use it.
And so I started asking them, okay, You're not using your CRM. What if we used it for you? Like what if we added new leads for you? Or what if, when you got an inbound lead, we qualified it and scheduled the meeting for you. What if we went through your pipeline and we created tasks for you on any of your deals that are sitting there idle.
And they were like, yes, that sounds really good. And
Jesus Vargas: so it's not outsourcing the sales, but outsourcing the CRM management.
Harris Kenny: Yeah. Yeah, exactly. And the, the, the busy work, there's lots of like little things that go into managing sales and there really is to boil it down. There's like, um, admin work and then there's like closing, you know, getting on the call, talking about what you do.
Um, you know, persuading the customer wise, great. Maybe putting the finishing touches on a proposal. And, um, so we're trying to unbundle that for founder led companies or for early stage sales leaders who are essentially like a founder. And so I think, you know, the insight that I, they were, they were playing around with here is, is it, is it possible to unbundle those things?
And it looks like it. Um, and because the, the, the thing is you need that capability. Of the, the, the more advanced tools are built for full-time salespeople, but a half tool isn't half as good. Like a half tool is substantially worse. Okay. It's just that you don't have enough time to keep up with all the features that are built in.
And so we're are, our hypothesis is if we, if we bring ours to the, to the table to help you, if we bring people to help you, um, because you, you, you really want to have a record of the emails you've had back and forth to customers, the ability to schedule an email in the future, or enroll in a sequence, or, you know, all those things are really helpful.
Um, to full-time sales people. So, yeah, so we, we try to take care of the, the, the maintenance work and the basics of using the tool so that the founder or early stage sales person can focus on their key part. And then in, in, in the next, like, step of that would be once that's working really well and new businesses coming in and the pipeline is consistently busy, we would say, okay, well now let's bring in like an account executive so that the founder could step out of their closer role.
And then if that's going well, potentially we would increase our admin help. And then maybe you bring a second account executive on. So we would replace that, um, that SDR entry-level hire. If that, if that makes sense.
Jesus Vargas: What happened to the product, to the Bumble app that he had built?
Harris Kenny: It just is shut down. I just shut it down in July.
It wasn't. I ended up supporting existing tools like clothes. I did, I was using it. I liked it. I thought we had some. I'm not using it now. We're using clothes now. Yeah, we sunset. Yeah. For my own leads. Yeah. Okay. Okay. Yeah. We have some features like around cashflow forecasting and stuff like that, where you could take a deal value and say how much it would be worth in the future.
But I don't know. It just, yeah, it wasn't. I still wasn't. It wasn't good enough. I think maybe someone out there don't build one, but I just think it wasn't going up. I think purpose-built CRMs, you know, for specific industries and stuff like that. End up maybe solving those problems better than a general purpose, simple CRM.
Jesus Vargas: Yeah. That might be the case. So you do think that there's a gap, uh, but for, for niche CRMs, rather than the generic CRM.
Harris Kenny: I think, yeah, in my opinion, or, and, or with services, like, you know, like what we're doing, because when people say they keep up with sales, they hire someone. But to hire a full-time person is like a big jump.
And so we're doing it fractionally and we're using software. You know, no-code and low-code built software tools to help us do that more efficiently, the type of things that our customers wouldn't build on their own. But when we do that, plus we have that fractional labor costs. We can, we can significantly lower the costs that it takes to get help with sales.
Jesus Vargas: That's was very interesting because at the end, I think that a lot of people in the service industry and the agency industry, especially. Everybody thinks the grass is greener on the product side. So every everybody's like, I will have my agency today, but eventually I'll build a product and move to a SAS. Right. And you did this the other way around, you started with a SAS and ended up in services.
Do you still think that eventually you'll launch a product related to what you do today as a service?
Harris Kenny: Maybe, you know, I honestly think that what we're doing is really, like are the customers, especially with this inbound offering that we have where we're taking inbound leads and qualifying them and scheduling meetings, you know, customers love it.
Um, the, like the feedback that we get is incredibly positive. The time to value for them, like immediately we can take work off of their plate right now. And because we, our customers have larger deal sizes that take some more time to close. They require at least one real time, you know, discovery call.
They have enough margin they're willing to pay to make sure it goes well. And I just think there's too much contextual. I think it's just, there's a lot of complexity to imagine, like how would a AI do this? You know, I just think it's, I just think it has potential to be a really good business. And I think that software will, will not be the leading part of what we're doing, but we'll be supporting what we're doing. Yeah.
Jesus Vargas: That makes sense. So you have a team, how large is your team? How many people do you have at Intro CRM?
Harris Kenny: Yeah. Well, we have three people working, uh, like sort of three to full-time equivalents basically. And then I have, um, you know, firms and stuff like that, that I use for legal and taxes and stuff like that.
Jesus Vargas: So you have like a people driven effort in your business. We held with technology, right? Uh, one of those tools that you use is the app that we, uh, field we help you build, uh, which is a lead waiter app. Right. So how does that work actually? So what were you using before and what are you using now, which is the app.
Harris Kenny: Yeah. Well, we were using spreadsheets before and we used spreadsheets and services to validate if what we were doing was, if people even cared about it, you know? Um, and so that allowed us to be really lightweight because we're customer funded, we're bootstrapped. I don't have money to burn. So we really have to make sure that when we're doing something that it's worthwhile, whether it's from a delivery perspective or marketing or anything else. And so, yeah, we played around with services using spreadsheets, and we had fortunately customers who were very patient with that. And also, you know, frankly, we charged them less, you know, probably a little lower than we could have just because I knew the experience was a little shaky.
Okay. The quality of the work was good. It was just, you know, going into [uninteligible].
Jesus Vargas: So you have a shared spreadsheet and they came in and saw the links at you put there.
Harris Kenny: Exactly. That we would build a lead list. We would put the leads into a spreadsheet for them. They would review them. And give us ratings, give us feedback in the cells. And that was actually a customer idea, uh, to give us the ratings back on each lead.
Um, Because the way, most like high volume people do this is they just download huge lists. They email everybody and then they see who opened it. And then they focus on that in the future. And so we want to have, because these are larger sized deals, we really don't want to have that. Like, Yeah, high volume, a lot of spam stuff like that.
And so anyway, so they were giving that feedback in the spreadsheet. We would take it, we would review, we would then build another list, try to make it better. Um, and let them know, you know, Hey, this, the spreadsheet's updated, check it out. And, um, yeah, and then we were iterating. We had a lot of different customers, so we had different types of spreadsheets between them.
And then finally after enough time had stabilized and it said, Hey, this is consistent enough that we should make this better. And that was when we reached out to you because we said, Hey, I think we can significantly improve our customer experience going through these leads. And by the way, I had a customer today, I had a conversation with them who they're still on the old spreadsheets, and I told them, Hey, you know, we've got this app, it's, you know, really it's in beta now, but it's really, really smooth.
He was like, okay, well, why don't you show it to me? And I showed it to him. And he was like, I would love to switch to that. Can we, can you start putting my leads in there instead of the spreadsheet and, and this is a customer who has like pretty strong opinions about things. And if I had to guess one that would want to stay on the spreadsheet, I would've thought it would've been them.
Um, but they saw the walkthrough that I did and they were like, wow, that's much better please. This batch that you make us for this week, please set me up in the app and, and let me know when it's, when they're in there. Cause that looks great. So that was, I was really happy about that because it, that, uh, if anybody wouldn't have liked it. I thought it would've been them. Okay.
Jesus Vargas: It's funny. It's funny. When we think you tell me that, because at the end we were looking at the same data, right? So it's just, I always tell people it's a pretty format. It's a pretty formatted spreadsheet. The data is the same. We just make the look and feel, or the container looked like an app. And then the experience is way better than spreadsheets.
Harris Kenny: Yeah. So the one thing, one thing that your team built that just looks great for customers is just the ability to filter. So customers want to see, like, what are the new leads? And then once I rate them, how many left do I need to rate? You know, because honestly we're asking them to do work.
And so the ability to filter and say, Hey, just show me the new ones. They liked that a lot, because then, then it's clear and they say, cool, my work here is done. And then before the spreadsheet, we were having them give feedback on, on, on the leads and the contacts. And, you know, it was a ton of work. The way your team built the app is that, you know, you, they could have to click once to give a star rating and then they could give individual feedback or there's this feedback tab where they could just send a single message there saying, Hey, after I reviewed that whole batch, I noticed that we had too many job titles like this, or I noticed that we omitted a company in like that. And, um, so we, we did well, the data is the same because of the way the app is laid out and the things that your team built in, we're definitely able to make it easier for the customer to give us the same information with, with less time for them.
Jesus Vargas: Okay. And so it's saving time providing a better experience for your clients. Is it saving time on your end or that's not the case, is it more like a client?
Harris Kenny: That's the next step of our implementation of this is automating the process of getting that feedback to the team. Currently, we only have, currently I'm going through it and then sharing that with the team. So that's like the next step here, but I wanted to make sure that customers even liked it first, you know, honestly. So that was kind of like our phase one. And now their phase two is like, Hey, this is working.
Jesus Vargas: You have a little marketplace. You, you need two types of users, your clients and your employees, or contractors using the app, feeling comfortable with that and getting results.
Harris Kenny: Yes, that's right. That's right. So, um, So, yeah, so that, that's, that's the next thing that we'll do differently. Now? I would say we're part of the way there before we would have customers fill out a Google form.
Um, with who their ideal customer is. Uh, we're partially moved forward with this, where we're having an embedded form with a reform, which has just reformed.app. And, uh, that's embedded in the app right now. And then we're going to transition to that being a glide app next, within glide next.
Uh, and then the other thing is that we're using front for managing the, our own support load and things like that in front actually has like, it's a no-code and low-code tool in itself. It has tons of rules and tons of automation and tons of different things. So yeah, between glide, Integromat and front, um, I would say we're in the process of improving our, um, internal interaction with this, but, um, the customer side is further along.
Jesus Vargas: Yeah. That's great. At least they get a better experience then. Yeah. You can handle up the ugly backend, while they have a good experience.
Harris Kenny: Yeah. If they have a good experience and we get more business, cool. We have more money to now improve the internal site. And now we know it's worth it.
Jesus Vargas: Yeah. No, as long as the customers are happy and they're using the app, totally like that's validation, right?
That's that's that's the first step on. I'll get into the next phase or the next part of the project. Now talking a little bit about automation, in your app we have a couple of features that users can upload a CSV file or an Excel file if I remember, right. And then we parse that information and create those leads and those contacts.
Uh, so instead of having to add them manually, they just upload a file and then an automation and little box, thus the word. Right. Uh, and then when we think of these small businesses like yours, like ours, that, as you said earlier, founder led, there are so many things on your plate, right. And then, automation can help you with a lot of little things, right? So we have been speaking outside of the podcast regarding integromat, which is this tool that automates a lot of things, right. They call themselves the glue of the internet or something like that, which is pretty cool. So I know that you've been playing around with integromat. What do you think when you, when you see what Integromat can do or is that there, these, these kinds of tools, um, automated IO, which was just bought by Zapier. Okay. What else comes to mind in terms of how can you leverage those kinds of tools? In your like internal operations in your business?
Harris Kenny: Yeah, well, honestly, um, you know, Integra man has kind of been like a revelation for me and web hooks in general and realizing like how they work and how easy it is to move data between things. Um, like I, I just didn't realize how powerful these things were now. I am not a developer. I think I can, I'm pretty good at figuring things out. Um, yeah, so I don't want to say anybody could do this because you know, you have to be comfortable the computer. And I realized I've had a lot of, you know, I've been very fortunate in terms of my access to technology and stuff, but I think a lot of people can figure it out. Um, and for some people maybe it will take watching some YouTube videos and stuff like that. But yeah, I mean, to me, it's just been a revelation that there's so many things that are possible.
I think that the underlying thing is still making sure that it's worth automating. Like if it's a bad process or, you know, if, if you don't know who you're selling to. It doesn't make sense to scale up your sales efforts. If you're a sales pitch is falling flat, it doesn't make sense to automate all these things in your CRM, if nobody wants to buy your stuff.
And I think the same thing is true for internal operations. Um, but there's way more possible than I realized. Um, And it's just, it's just actually making me more confident in our ability to scale a service company, because I think what works better solving, that the job to be done, the customer's problem by providing this as a service, by competing with a full-time hire, I think we're really solving the problem.
Like I had a customer today say, you know, I really like working with you because it feels like your team cares about what I care about. You're not just making sure I send emails like. When we talk, we talk about, are they converting? Is this value proposition interesting to the customer? Do they want to work with us?
You know, and there's, it's not just another outreach tool. And so I think that, but services are hard, and the automation to me makes me more confident in our ability to do that business model efficiently, effectively at scale, without having to constantly hire people or have people be stressed out, you know, because we're remote and asynchronous, we're all over the world.
And these tools allow us, I think, to work pretty effectively, uh, for our size.
Jesus Vargas: Yeah, you'll leave the menial tasks for the box. And then when the tasks that people have to do, they do them faster. Yeah. That's, that's done makes a lot of sense. Now, something that, uh, we speak a lot about with our clients wo found us, is, we build an app for them, right, and then they're challenged to something that we don't do at low code. They have to get usually their first clients, if they are like starting a business, right. If it's not an internal internal app, and this is what you do for a living, like get leads, get, I dunno, declines, but at least warm leads for your clients.
Right. So what would you say is something very important that founders have to focus on? In terms of how to get leads or how to get users for their app.
Harris Kenny: Yeah. Well, I would say step zero is figuring out, like, what category, what product category are you operating in? Like what's the industry and the product category and understanding how does that category work?
So, you know, we have a customer who makes it a productivity tool and, you know, I said, you know, when you look at other productivity tools, You know, scheduling and things like that. Okay. And when you go to their websites, they work a certain way. You know, they all have a very similar process of like, you sign up for a free trial, you jumped right into the web app and you set it up and then you're using it, you know?
And so it's like, if you're competing with them, that's what people expect. Okay.
So that's either what you have to do, or you have to have a really different positioning of why you're not like that, but you can't be sort of stuck in the mirror. [uninteligible] It depends on what your goals are for the business.
Right. So if you're trying to bootstrap a business and it's still fun and you're not trying to get like venture scale returns, I think you can be a lot more liberal with your pricing and maybe doing things that don't scale, because you're just kind of figuring it out. Right. Um, but if you're doing something different than the rest of the category, you have to really have a positioning for why.
And then you can be like a challenger. You can say, Hey, other tools work like this. We don't we work like that. Right? So if it's like a time management app or whatever, if you're, if, if everybody else, you know, they just log in and then they expect the users to start creating, managing their own time. Maybe you have some way that's, you know, oh, well we help managers manage their teammates time and you know, and this costs $5,000 a year and it comes with a service and you get a coach and whatever. I don't know. You know, you just have to think about the category. Yeah. Yeah. You can, that's one way to do it, but, but, but w how does the category work?
What do people expect to pay? How do they expect it to work? That's going to determine like what outreach methods are going to work for you. If you have a free app, a free WordPress, WordPress plugin, or something. You know, you're not going to be able to, and you have like, or people could pay $5 a month for, you know, some bonus features.
You can't afford certain types of customer acquisition. You just, you can't afford a sales team. If that's, if that's your category and how it works. Right. So you have to think about how it works in there for like, so in that case, like SEO, optimizing for the WordPress directory, getting on some WordPress blogs, getting on some WordPress podcasts, all those things would work, but you can hire the number one sales person at Oracle, and they're not going to probably help your app.
Right, right, right. So that's, I think the most important thing.
Jesus Vargas: Yeah. Define your market, your industry and your audience.
Harris Kenny: Yeah. And that'll determine your go to market, you know, and you can always get creative and try some different things. Like MailChimp sort of famously was advertising on podcasts really early and probably other B2B software companies.
Weren't doing that. So you can always take chances, but you just, you kind of want to play your odds. And if most people in your category are doing something a certain way, There's probably a reason why. Like if you have a slack app, you probably want to be in the slack store.
Like you would want to be in that directory. Like you don't need to be, um, but that's where people discover you, that's where they add your app. Like, you know, certain things just work certain ways and there's other places to innovate with your go to market, potentially.
Jesus Vargas: How, how has Intro CRM growth?
Harris Kenny: In terms of just the business overall. Or revenue or like
We've played around with, um, SEO, I would say not super successful, although we've gotten like, uh, we, we got success, like SEO metrics, success. We were getting ranking for more keywords and stuff, but it wasn't really moving the needle for us.
So we need to revisit that strategy. Um, referrals have been really big for us, but the, the most helpful thing for us has been having clear, the clear positioning gets, the more effective we are at our getting new business. The more concisely I can explain what we do and how it works, the more easy it is for people to refer to other people.
And we've mostly been like word of mouth and then my personal social media accounts and network that I've built over the years. Some stuff has come in through like indie hackers. Um, we're in, I'm involved in some slack community. But now that our business model is maturing and we're starting to now use more of these software tools, like our lead Raider app, I'm feeling more confident in experimenting with like some other ways, you know, we're, we're increasing our content now with our podcasts and, um, it's, it's more clear what we're competing against.
And so I think, you know, I think we're going to explore more things. I need to finish updating our website and kind of nail down some more pricing stuff. Yeah. Anyway, those are some of the things that have worked for us so far.
Jesus Vargas: No, that makes sense. I mean, I think, yeah, like having the business, it's a never ending job of a lot of different things and you have to iterate and change things by your website. I don't know how often you change your website. I update mine like every four months. Uh, and yeah, because you understand who climbed better, you understand their needs better and you update your everything. Right.
And especially today that we have so many public profiles. You have to be updating all of them every other day. So it's like a full-time job. Just the content of your, your, your, I don't know, your online persona. You have to keep that updated that bring new clients at the end.
Harris Kenny: That's a, that's a low code app you should build.
I don't know if it is one. But one place where you can update your LinkedIn, your Twitter, your Facebook, all your profiles at one at one time.
Jesus Vargas: You're in like directories. We are in, I don't know, a bunch of no code agencies, directory lists, right. We changed our logo last year. And then I just found yesterday a No Code directory where they were using the old logo and tagline is different.
So yeah. Just at least I'm setting up these notion page where I'm storing all of the places where we have a profile so that when we do like a med major update, we can, we know where we have to go and update all those platforms. Renew like, maybe like logo, a tagline and all that.
Harris Kenny: Yeah. Yeah, yeah.
That makes sense to me. Yeah. Like, so in your space, right? Like as a service provider, where no-code is this category and people are looking up, no code agency, you know, low code contractor, low code freelancer or whatever, you know, that makes sense to me to be listed in directories and to be involved in some of those communities.
I, that, that was how I found you, you know, it was a referral, but I did ask someone who helped me with another no-code project. Hey, who do you know? That knows glide because we have a spreadsheet heavy process that's in Google sheets right now. And, you know, that's, that's how we found you. And the project was extremely successful.
I'm really happy with how it went. And so, you know, that, that, that makes sense to me. You know, I don't know if buying a billboard in times square or whatever would be a good, would be a good tactic for you. But I think getting in knowing that that's how people find providers like that. That seems pretty smart.
Jesus Vargas: You have to be everywhere so that when people, like your case, someone recommended us to you and then you search us and you found us like here and there on the website, on the directory. So yeah, you have to have a large footprint in order for it for at least get a little bit confident about who are you going to speak with.
Harris Kenny: Oh, I was going to say in the last like, kind of tip around like the early customer development stuff is like, the goal is repeatability. You don't just want this, but you want repeatability between your projects because that's when you can start to use automation and software and you can have your team become specialists in things.
You can improve your margins and you can really own, own a niche and then maybe expand from there. But that's when you're really onto something. I think if, if you do it, if it's early days, if your projects are increasingly similar and you know, customers are happy and you're getting new referrals, because that means you're starting to really own something specific.
And I think if you can own something specific, you can build a brand around that. Yeah, and then grow. Um, and I'm sure it's different for venture capital backed companies. And if it's some big company starting a new brand or whatever, but my experience is just like sort of founders who are trying to make something out of nothing.
Um, so yeah. Yeah.
Jesus Vargas: I mean, I think everybody's believes most agency owners goal would be a productized agency. That even though you're selling a service, you have wrapped into a product and it's easily, you can like duplicate something and resell it at the same original price, uh, with software, at least with apps, with no code to look at apps that we've built now, that's usually not the case and our, our, the way we, I don't know the way we can sell better or provide a better service is because we have so much experience that probably we have already done a bunch of the things that you need in your app. So even though it's not copying or duplicating DOE deal app that we built for someone else and just branding and we use your logo, we have done, usually we have like three or four examples that have features or user flows of what a new client one. So we do have to start from scratch though, but at least we know the concepts and we know the logic and we know how the database should it be built. So, yeah, it's not as productized as I would like. Um, but I mean, in the end it's not bad.
Harris Kenny: Yeah. And so, you know, my perception from the outside here is that like low-code agency specializes in glide and integromat.
Because I, I, I know that you're partners with both of those companies, right? And so like, that's a really good way. That's one way to like, pick a, pick a niche of like, Hey, we specialize in these tools, you know, and others like industry, you know, we help solver companies or agriculture businesses or whatever.
There's a lot of different ways to slice it. Um, I think picking, starting with a tool is a really smart way to do it. I think cause people like, I was looking for glide help specifically, you know, Yeah, I want a WordPress plugin. You know, it matters that it's on WordPress. I don't care if you have a great SEO plugin for web flow if I'm on WordPress.
Jesus Vargas: Yeah. You're looking for something, specific tool. Yeah. Cool. So final two questions. Have you seen I'm a big fan of [uninteligible] logging every day and see the latest updates and launches, any recent product that you've seen that you've liked that you're like, oh, maybe we will use this in our business, or maybe I will use this in my personal life.
Harris Kenny: Well, a product that I had already been using, but they did launch is reform, um, which has reformed.app. Okay. I'm a really big fan.
Jesus Vargas: Why do you liked that instead of like type for mortality or all of the other form builders?
Harris Kenny: Well, the way they had, it was really easy to figure out how the webhooks worked. And for me, like that was what I wanted because I, I wanted to send the form submissions to other places.
Okay. And it's easy for me to figure that out. And I liked how I could have, I didn't, I don't. I like to being able to have all the questions in one place, like that is clean, simple. I didn't have to show their branding like how I could embed it. Like I have that a reform embedded in my glide app, but the reason why we looked at it in the first place was because we have this inbound process where we take our customers inbound leads and we qualify them and schedule them.
And I wanted to have a way so that if a customer couldn't figure out how to get the leads to us, to manage, I wanted to be able to say, oh, hey, well, you can just drop this form on your website, and we can take care of the rest from there. So that was kind of how I originally found it, and then we've ended up using it for a few other things instead, but they did just launch on product time.
And I do think they're doing a good job and it's been very easy to work with, uh, with that and Integromat, um, and like, now we have, when at when a, when a new customer profile is submitted, we have like multiple things that kick off as a result of that submission, which is like way better than what we were doing, the Google forums before.
So maybe those other ones are really good too. I'm not sure, but it solves the problem well for me.
Jesus Vargas: And that, my last question is, do you, do you like, are you a little bit involved or a lot involved in web3 and NFTs and all of this crypto craziness?
Harris Kenny: That is totally outside of my knowledge base. I have basically no idea what's going on in that world.
Okay. I think it's cool. I guess I don't know it I'm not really strongly for, or against it. I think it's interesting. I know a lot of really smart people are involved in it. I'm very focused on my business at the moment. And. You know, I don't have time to like join discord servers. And some of, some of these things make a lot of sense to me, like, um, handshake, you know, the like protocol for web mostly.
Jesus Vargas: That was my question. Do you see like utility in crypto web3 stop in the next few years in like real life use cases?
Harris Kenny: The only thing I've seen that was interesting to me was like handshake, which is like a Namecheap, has like handshake domains, which is like an alternative, um, registrar system. But you have to have a special browser or plugin or something in order to be able to access the websites.
Um, that's the first thing I've seen that seems, like actually practical. I know that there's issues with transferring money and with remittances and payments and things like that. But I don't know, maybe I'm missing something, if I'm wrong and someone really believes strongly in this, maybe you believe strongly in this, please tell me otherwise.
Um, I'm not a student of it, I'm just sort of watching it casually. But, um, if you have like distributed web hosting, like, um, that's kind of interesting. I really don't get a lot of the NFT stuff. Um, with like the cartoon animals, obviously missing something there.
Jesus Vargas: I do a lot, I do like crypto because we had an employee, uh, in Venezuela and the only way to get her money to get her paid was through crypto. Like there was no other way that we could send her money. Uh, and crypto was the cheapest. She got the best X cents rate. The fee was super low. Like, I don't know, less than a dollar a month.
So I was like, I mean, this makes a lot of sense. I mean, if you compare that to TransferWise, even crypto is better than TransferWise and TransferWise is great. So I do see a lot of utility in crypto and I mean, I do like, I do like the industry in general. And I do like the idea of the smart contracts and how they can help, uh, like music or art.
Let's say music, producers, uh, we, there, we there for the money they make when they play a song somewhere, I, I do think there is a utility that we'll see, like in real life, normal people.
Harris Kenny: So when you were so, because I have employees around the world, so I'm very interested in this. So when you did this, when you paid through crypto, like.
What about the volatility of the value of these coins? I mean, are they getting paid, you know, X number of dollars today and then X minus 50% tomorrow?
Jesus Vargas: They're paid un US dollars and whatever exchange rate in that case bitcoin had. Right? Yeah. But the she was in Venezuela, and then she moved to Argentina.
The inflation was so high that people were using crypto, this case bitcoin as money, rather than exchanging it to their local currency, they would rather, they would rather lose money on Bitcoin's fluctuation, than lose money on converting that to their local currency.
Harris Kenny: Mm Hmm. Because they get, they, cause they have to pay the conversion fees or whatever, and then there's the risk of that money, you know, drop them down
Jesus Vargas: Conversion fees, plus, plus like inflation happened every day. Like every day, their currency lost X percent of value, right?
So they would rather store their money in Bitcoin, uh, rather than, and actually they did concessions with other people, these stores and they, buy their food with Bitcoin rather than, than converting that to uh, I don't know, whatever, currency they use in Venezuela because that was no, not valuable anymore. Any like today you bought a coat, at whatever, a dollar from Venezuela, and then tomorrow it was 1.30 and the day afterwards, 1.50. So the fluctuation was so high that the safest way to store their money was in bitcoin.
Harris Kenny: Yeah. Yeah. I think it's the believer, so that, okay. So, I mean, that's interesting to me, I mean, that, that makes sense to me. I can see why, I could see why people would want that and I could see why it would be really appealing. Um, And then even.
Jesus Vargas: I mean think about it, if they don't want the bitcoins fluctuation, they could move their Bitcoin into a stable coin. That's paired with a us dollar. So they would have their money in us dollars. Right. Tether US dollars or whatever. And have it there. And then when they needed like pesos, they would do the exchange rate, uh, or they could transact in trought stable coin, they would.
Harris Kenny: Yeah. I've heard some very kind of like head scratching things about some of these stable coins that kind of make me wonder a little bit of what's going on there.
But, but the, I mean, that, that makes sense. I can see that use case. I, I, I think that the, at the same time, there's a lot of laws and rules around money that are there for a reason. And I do wonder, you know, I think as long as it's, you know, I don't think he, I don't think he should be able to do something illegal just because you're using cryptocurrency.
Like if something's illegal, like for a good reason, and I think there's many activities that, you know, whatever, obviously harms to other, to innocent people and stuff like that. Uh, you know, like if you're hiring a Hitman or something like that, like, I don't care if you paid them in crypto or whatever, you just probably shouldn't do that.
Um, But yeah, I think outside of that, I kind of lose some of that squeamishness. I mean, yeah, to me, it's interesting. I, I don't know. Maybe I, yeah, I'm curious. I'm sort of watching it. I wonder. Okay. You know, I wonder what the future will hold with that. Some, some of these things make it seem a lot more tangible to me than others.
Uh, other other things that are happening in this world just literally make no sense to me. And I feel like I'm crazy. But maybe I'm the idiot. I don't know. I mean, I honestly don't know, you know.
Jesus Vargas: Time will tell, we don't know.
Harris Kenny: Yeah. I'm I don't have a, I can only take so many risks. So if I'm like missing out on some opportunity there, I can only take it out between that.
And we have a one-year-old old and, you know, I can just only take so many risks in my life at any given time.
Jesus Vargas: I agree. I agree with you. So where can people find you and Intro CRM?
Harris Kenny: Yeah, so you can find me on Twitter. I'm @harriskenny, um, and I'm on LinkedIn as well. Uh, if you just look me up there and, uh, you go to introcrm.com.
Um, you know, we, we have been evolving, as I said earlier, we're not making a CRM anymore. So we'll be probably looking at changing that name soon, but we'll set up redirects and things like that. So if you hear this in the future and our name isn't Intro CRM, you can always look me up or, uh, it'll redirect, um, to whatever we do in terms of our name.
Jesus Vargas: Harris, thank you for joining us today.
Harris Kenny: Thank you Jesus I appreciate the conversation. Thanks for hear me out .