When a marketing agency promises to make the phone ring, it’s a compelling offer to clients. There’s just one problem. If 50 prospects call your company this month, how many of those came from the agency’s marketing efforts? There’s one of the critical problems that PhoneWagon, established in 2017, solves for customers.
I discovered Phone Wagon a few years ago through Ryan’s post and video explaining his SaaS sales funnel metrics. He shared real data on the sales development efforts required to set demos and close new subscribers. Fortunately, he agreed to share more about the PhoneWagon story in an interview today.
1) What’s the origin story for PhoneWagon?
One of my first jobs was working at a lead generation company that provided a “pay per call” model. In that business, I was in sales working with local companies like roofers and chiropractors. For every phone call that came into those local businesses that met certain criteria like call duration, the company earned a fee. That opened my eyes to the potential of this model.
Later on, I encountered call tracking software tools at a different company. There was just one problem. These tools were geared to the needs of enterprise companies. I wanted to create a product aimed at small and medium-sized (SMB) companies – that’s where Phone Wagon came in.
2) How did you land the first few customers at PhoneWagon?
I started with cold calling campaigns. We set a rule that we had to make at least 100 calls based on a certain script to a target market before we would evaluate the results. I quickly found out that selling directly to local businesses was not a good fit. They kept telling us that their digital agency handled their phone tracking. That’s when we switched gears to focus on digital agencies.
3) What digital marketing channels are the most effective for PhoneWagon?
We have found decent results with Google Ads. Our best success is advertising based on our brand (i.e. keywords like PhoneWagon). We’ve tested more generic keywords but found them to be unprofitable so far.
- Software Review Websites. I’ve also seen good traffic come in from software review websites like G2 and Capterra. Keep in mind that these directories have a default ranking method that favors sponsored listings.
- Integrations and Marketplaces. We get a lot of traffic from our presence in marketplaces like HubSpot and Salesforce. CRM products are a good fit because a phone tracking service is a natural fit for a customer relationship management tool.
- SEO. I check Google Analytics occasionally to see which pages are getting the most traffic. Then, I look for ways to update those pages to get more conversions.
4) What sales and marketing metrics do you track?
I track several metrics starting with website visitors, conversion rate and the number of leads. Ultimately, the number of demo appointments booked and closed deals are the most important metrics
Demo to closed sale close rates vary based on when. When we use cold calling and sales development representatives (SDRs) to generate demo appointments, we had a 20% demo to close rate. For inbound leads, the close rate is around 60% because those leads are highly qualified.
5) You’ve published a number of ultimate guides on your website (Agency Resource: The Ultimate Guide To Selling Leads To Plumbers). Take us inside your thinking on these resources.
These resources are designed to appeal to marketing agencies and lead generation companies. For example, there is Strictly Plumbers. This is a specialist company focused on serving plumbers.
By signing up marketing agencies as customers, they will then use Phone Wagon to track the performance of calls to their clients (e.g. plumbers or other companies).
6) From a marketing perspective, which integrations have you found most valuable?
HubSpot and Zapier are the top two right now in terms of providing traffic and leads. HubSpot has a large user base, and it is clear that they put a lot of work into making their app marketplace effective.
With Zapier, they have a tiered approach to recognize apps at different levels of popularity. As you reach higher levels, you get more exposure and traffic.
7) How do you promote your referral program and affiliate program?
We have about 60 affiliates, and some of them have referred 10-20 paying customers each. In the long term, I’m interested in recruiting more people to the affiliate program. I’m very bullish on the affiliate program. We pay a recurring commission on the product, and many people like that as well. Currently, we use FirstPromoter to manage our affiliate program. The platform provides a self-serve option, has good pricing, and it is easy for our affiliates to use.
8) What tools are in your marketing stack that you couldn’t live without?
There are multiple critical tools in our sales and marketing:
- Intercom. Intercom is something we use for chat, to send out emails.
- Close.io. We use Close.io as our outbound CRM.
- Webflows. We started to use Webflows (i.e. demo.phonewagon.com) to show demos to prospects. We are going to move to this website instead of WordPress in the future.
- ActiveCampaign. We use ActiveCampaign for email marketing
- PhoneWagon. We also use Phone Wagon to send text messages on our platform.
- Canva. I’ve recently started using Canva to build ads myself and images on our agency website. I had a good experience creating quick design projects if you’re not a designer.
9) What is your favorite online marketing resource and why?
Intercom has excellent, premium content resources. I’ve been listening to several good podcasts on-demand generation, including The Demand Generation Show. Through these podcasts, I’ve been learning about new ways to do lead management through tools like Marketo.