Addicted to his customers' success.
Addicted to his customers' success.
A longtime dedicated Ontraport user, Sam Wilcox was initially the de facto Ontraport guru at an agency job. As he watched more and more clients’ businesses begin to see success with Ontraport, the more addicted he became about helping companies get results that would lead to growth. This drive led him to take his expertise to the next level by becoming an Ontraport Expert in 2017 and, eventually, starting his own Ontraport consulting company, Tribecto Automations.
From Modern Ontrapreneur
Through Tribecto Automations, Sam has consulted businesses from a variety of industries, including communications and media, finance, marketing, retail and interior design, and has given each of his clients a personalized approach to creating email campaigns, sales funnels and automated processes that position their companies for success.
Sam has found that he feels most fulfilled when his customers are also fulfilled. He knows what it takes to keep his clients happy for the long haul: ensuring open communication lines, cultivating long-lasting relationships with his customers, and keeping laser-sharp focus on the growth strategies for each client.
“For me, these are and always will be a priority at every stage of our customer journey, from the initial free strategy session right through to the project delivery and after-care support,” he says.
“In an effort to always be transparent, we won’t take on any client that doesn’t need help in one of our areas of specialty — marketing automation and Ontraport. I make sure that we never underestimate how important consistent communication is. A customer in the loop is a happy customer. People hate chasing for things, so being proactive in communication is an absolute must.”
We talked to Sam to hear more about his journey as an Ontraport Expert and the strategies he uses to ensure his clients — as well as his clients’ clients — have excellent experiences.
Modern Ontrapreneur: Please tell us about your background before you became an Ontraport Expert.
Sam Wilcox: I’ve worked in the B2B sales and marketing space for over 10 years now. Starting my career as a digital advisor at Yell.com, I then made the shift from corporate to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) where I worked at a number of different digital marketing agencies learning about SEO, content, PPC and marketing automation.
As a passionate learner, I enjoyed my years working at the marketing agencies, as it was an incredibly fast-paced and ever-evolving environment where I was given the opportunity to grow personally and professionally.
The feeling of helping our clients hit their goals and get results became pretty addictive to me and this is when I really got passionate about helping SMEs grow with digital sales and marketing strategies.
MO When and why did you decide to become an Ontraport Expert?
SW The last agency that I worked for was an awesome pay-per-click (PPC) agency called InvisiblePPC. When I joined, Ontraport was the marketing automation and CRM system the company was using.
I fell in love with Ontraport and quickly became the expert in the company, building out all of the email marketing campaigns, designing and optimizing the sales process and automating workflows. I decided to set up my consultancy, Tribecto Automations, after InvisiblePPC moved away from Ontraport during a bit of a restructure. Tribecto started to take off and I had to make one of the most difficult decisions of my life to leave a company I loved working for to go all in on my own.
I didn’t want to regret not giving it a shot and I definitely don’t. I love working with awesome Ontraport users every day and building a business that helps SMEs grow with technology and marketing automation strategies.
"From a marketing automation perspective, one of the main things that I think business owners should spend more time on is really analyzing their customers’ journey to find the key areas that can be leveraged to create a better experience."
MO Please tell us about your consulting business. (What types of clients do you work with and are there specific areas that you focus on? When did you start your business? What is the focus of your business?)
SW I’ve been running Tribecto Automations now for nearly three years and it’s grown from being just me to a small team of marketing automation specialists. As my background is in B2B sales and marketing, I really focus on attracting clients that I know can benefit from my past experience.
This means that we work with a lot of B2B service-based businesses that are looking to set their business up to become more scalable and achieve their growth goals. I love working with these types of businesses, as I’m passionate about the customer journey and how automation can help service businesses deliver an amazing experience and stand out from the competition.
MO What are some of the most commonly asked questions or issues among your clientele?
SW A lot of clients that I work with really struggle with understanding what is and isn’t possible with Ontraport and automation in general. This causes confusion and generates a lack of clarity around strategy and what should be implemented for the fastest results and a better customer experience.
As business owners, we’ve always got many ideas on how to improve our businesses but sometimes a lack of clarity around what’s important can make things hard to execute on. Sales process design and email nurture sequences are a common issue.
Other than a lot of specific questions relating to Ontraport functionality, the most common question that our clients come to us with is “How do we create and implement a successful marketing automation strategy?” This is understandable, as the term “marketing automation” can be confusing for those just starting out.
We’ve now built a framework around this question that we give to every new potential customer to help them clarify their thoughts. In a nutshell, it breaks down the strategy into three key areas:
We help our clients really understand how these three things interact with each other, so we’re able to help them create a marketing automation machine that can be fine-tuned over time.
MO Which aspects of Ontraport do you think are most useful, or underrated?
SW Because I work with a lot of service-based businesses, the main thing that I see being used either incorrectly or not at all is the CRM functionality of Ontraport. Yes, Ontraport is great for building automated email campaigns and sending newsletters but by defining a linear sales process and using Ontraport to manage your teams pipeline and tasks, you’re able to unlock incredible amounts of sales team productivity and time savings.
Card View is something that I rarely see new clients using correctly (if at all) and this should be the daily hub of activity for most service-based businesses that are focused on sales. Building a linear sales process and using the tools that Ontraport provides really enable big increases in efficiency and effectiveness.
MO You have your finger on the pulse of the small business owner and entrepreneur. What gaps are you seeing? What's your advice for them?
SW From a marketing automation perspective, one of the main things that I think business owners should spend more time on is really analyzing their customers’ journey to find the key areas that can be leveraged to create a better experience.
A lot of clients will come to us because they’ve got an awesome idea about something that they want to automate or an email campaign that they want to send, which is great! But when I dig a little bit deeper into the customer journey and map out the stages that each new customer moves through, the strategy often changes as we’re able to now clearly identify what would have the biggest impact on the customer experience and the business bottom line.
As we work with a lot of service-based businesses that are trying to improve their marketing and sales processes, there is one key piece of advice that I always give during the discovery phase: Make your sales process as linear and standardised as possible.
I sometimes get resistance against this idea because the client and their sales team are so used to doing everything in a custom way — custom discounts, custom payment terms, custom plans. This means that pinpointing where the problems are in your sales process becomes nearly impossible.
By creating a process that is as linear as possible with minimal points of customization, you’re able to create a consistent experience for each customer, track every stage of the process and easily see where the areas of opportunity for improvement are. This isn’t always possible but it’s a good thing to keep in mind when designing your sales process.
"A big part of delivering a great experience for customers is down to communication, planning and expectation-setting. These are things that I strive to prioritize at every stage of our customer journey..."
MO The theme of this issue is the Fulfill stage of the customer lifecycle. Can you tell us about your approach to ensuring clients’ success and confidence in you as an Ontraport Expert?
SW A big part of delivering a great experience for customers is down to communication, planning and expectation-setting. These are things that I strive to prioritize at every stage of our customer journey, from the initial discovery call right through to the project delivery. This ultimately instills confidence in what we can do for our clients and makes sure that we’re setting our clients and ourselves up for success. For example, we won’t take on any client that doesn’t need help in one of our three areas of specialty — email marketing, CRM setup or custom integrations.
Because each project we take on falls into one of these categories, we’ve been able to build effective processes in our project management system to deliver outcomes for our clients efficiently. All while keeping a rigid communication schedule, delivering progress updates and involving our clients in every step of the process. Never underestimate how important consistent communication is when running a service-based business.
With every Ontraport project that we deliver for our clients, we provide a mix of video training and process documentation that cover the basics to the bespoke processes that we’ve built. This is a super important part of the fulfillment process for us, as it allows our clients to get stuck into using their new system by following the step-by-step guides. In turn, this ensures that our clients are serving their customers in a consistent way that can be optimized and improved over time.
First, when we kick off any project with a new client, we spend a big chunk of time really understanding their current business goals and needs. Our clients come to us to help them build systems, but it’s extremely important that we understand the root problem that the system is being designed to solve.
For our retainer clients, we are running weekly consultation calls to make sure that we are not only focused on what’s next but we’re also reviewing what’s been built and putting plans in place to optimize those processes and marketing automation strategies on an ongoing basis.
Finally, to make sure that I’m keeping in touch with as many clients and potential customers as possible, as the face of Tribecto, I am consistently putting out content on YouTube, our blog, podcast and live training sessions into our Marketing Automation Insiders Facebook community. This allows me to share strategies, tools and advice on how to build a better business with automation at scale. Our new subscribers and clients are always invited to join the group, and it is a great way for us to keep a visible line of direct communication between us and our client base.
By the time the project is finished, we’ve made new friends in our clients who are happy to recommend us and provide case studies and testimonials.
MO What's next for you?
SW I’ll continue to run Tribecto Automations as a boutique marketing automation and Ontraport agency that helps SMEs. I just love working with our select clientele to help them achieve their goals and succeed in business. I have no plans to stop at any point soon!
Other than that, I’ve also co-founded a podcast network, NBS.FM and host the Marketing Automation Insiders podcast that talks about all the things I’ve mentioned here today: strategy, advice, concepts and conversations with other business owners leveraging automation.
Work with Sam