Ep. #1233 - Conversion Tactics That Win
In today’s Startup Hustle episode, Matt DeCoursey and Brian Moran, Founder of SamCart, unravel the art of winning conversion tactics. Matt and Brian delve into boosting sales conversion rates. They share valuable insights on maintaining a steady sales funnel and optimizing the sales process. The duo also discusses leveraging upselling techniques and the value of consistently asking for the sale.
Covered In This Episode
What can be more frustrating than an abandoned cart? Roughly 70% of online shoppers do just that, based on several studies, and 18% are due to the checkout process. SamCart aims to help small eCommerce businesses chip away at that.
Listen to Matt and Brian exchange stories about their baseball careers. Brian recounts his journey that led to the origin of SamCart, helping businesses avoid common sales mistakes. Matt and Brian agree that life is all about sales. They give incredible insights on keeping the funnel full.
The conversation turns to the biggest challenge Brian faced in the early days of SamCart. They also discuss the onboarding process and tactics to win add-ons and upsells. They wrap up with Brain’s freestyle, where he reminds listeners that sales cure all ails.
Are you ready for success in eCommerce? Find out how SamCart can help by joining this Startup Hustle episode.
- Brian’s background and origin of SamCart (1:10)
- Keeping the funnel full (5:13)
- The great sales process (7:02)
- The most common mistakes businesses make in sales (13:40)
- Ask for the sale (15:02)
- Life is all about sales (19:49)
- The onboarding process (23:35)
- Add-ons and Upsells (25:18)
- Baseball stories (31:41)
- SamCart’s number one challenge during its early days (33:47)
- Brian’s freestyle (37:47)
Your buyers buy because of the value and benefit they get from the features, not the features themselves.– Matt DeCoursey
I think the number one thing for any beginning entrepreneur is to realize what you’re selling and put all your effort behind making the market aware that that’s what you deliver.– Brian Moran
Never just focus on selling one at a time. When a customer comes in, show them the other stuff you have. If they know, like, and trust you, that is the easiest money you’ll ever make in your business. It is selling something to someone who’s already bought from you in the past.– Brian Moran
I think we’re all lucky to be on this journey. To kind of get stuck with this bug of entrepreneurship and have the personality style that actually wants to move and shake and create stuff. It’s a fun spot to be, so enjoy the ride.– Brian Moran
Finding skilled software developers can be easy and quick, especially if you partner with Full Scale. Using the Full Scale platform to specify your technical requirements, you can determine which developers, testers, and leaders are available to join your team. Full Scale helps you assemble your dream software team quickly and affordably. Hire developers now!
Also, don’t forget to check out our Startup Hustle partners that support the startup community.
Following is an auto-generated text transcript of this episode. Apologies for any errors!
Matt DeCoursey 0:01
And we’re back, back for another episode of Startup Hustle. Matt DeCoursey, here to have another conversation, I’m hoping helps your business grow. What would happen if you could convert more sales? We all get leads. And, you know, sometimes they buy, sometimes they don’t. Sometimes, they’re fast. Sometimes, they’re slow. But what if we had some conversion tactics? That one, that’s what we’re going to talk about on today’s show. As a quick reminder, today’s episode, Startup Hustle is powered by FullScale.io. Hiring software developers is difficult, and Full Scale can help you build a software team quickly and affordably and has the platform to help you manage that team. Go to FullScale.io to learn more. With me today, I’ve got Brian Moran, and Brian is the founder of SamCart. That’s an E-commerce company. You can go to SamCart.com to learn more about what they do. He’s going to tell you all about it here in a second. Straight out of the Washington, DC, Baltimore area, Brian, welcome to Startup Hustle.
Brian Moran 0:59
Thanks for having me. Glad to be here.
Matt DeCoursey 1:01
Let’s get our conversation started today with a little bit about your backstory. Tell me, tell me a little bit more about SamSart and the problem you solve and, and all that.
Brian Moran 1:10
Yeah, so we got the idea for SamCart, my younger brother and I, back in 2013. We were running an operating two or $3 million-a-year digital product business where we sold online courses and kind of digital content in two primary niches. One was baseball, where I got started in 2009. After graduating college, played baseball through high school and college and got a terrible boring job I hated right out of school. In my spare time tried to figure out how to build something that I could use to quit that job, start a little baseball blog, figure out how to get introduced to this kind of digital product world, and launch that business that parlayed into a second one. And by 2013, we were doing a couple million bucks a year and selling digital products. Back then, there weren’t very many solutions out there for E-commerce platforms for people like us a lot of stuff for physical product sellers, like Shopify, Bigcommerce, etc. But there weren’t a lot of good options for us. So we just said, look, let’s let’s create this thing, both for ourselves. And we had this kind of backup plan, future aspiration to sell it to our audience, which was the audience not from the baseball site, those mostly aren’t entrepreneurs. But the other brand we’re running had a lot of entrepreneurs following it. So we thought, Look at this thing works. At least it’ll help us generate more revenue for our own business and make it easier to run. And then maybe we can sell this to everybody else that we’ve kind of turned into customers over the past couple of years. And so the big hook of Sam cart, the reason, or the big benefits of it is one, it’s kind of a blend of it’s really easy to run. So it’s kind of built for a solopreneur. But it’s powerful enough that you know a big team. some of our biggest customers make 50 to $100 million dollars a year, but we have a lot of beginners on there as well just makes it easy to get up and running start accepting orders. And then do things that we know as marketers. And salespeople know that increase conversion, help people simplify the checkout flow, split test different things, track conversion rate, and a lot of that stuff that we know businesses need to do to boost revenue.
Matt DeCoursey 3:24
You mentioned solopreneur, there’s, you know, most entrepreneurs are that, yeah, that’s that’s the most common form of entrepreneurship is the solo gig. Yeah. And that can be the hardest one, in my opinion. Because I mean, at some point, as founders, we were all basically a solopreneur. And then we had someone or founder co founder did something, I think that’s when it can be the hardest because all you can do is all you can do. So I really appreciate it. And I’m here at your website, you folks listening, go to SamCart.com because literally right there in the headline, maximize your sales, boost your conversions, they’re doing something right 10 years later and confirm this for me. My notes say you’ve raised $95 million in capital.
Brian Moran 4:05
Yeah, we have.
Matt DeCoursey 4:06
Boom, that’s a lot. Let me do the math on that. Yeah, that’s still a lot. But you know, I mean, so here we are folks, like you know, we look for validation and who we’re getting advice from and here we have an expert today. It’s talking completely about conversion, converting sales. Now when it comes to sales, so many people are afraid to sell stuff blows my mind because to me, that’s what I wake up like driven to do. You know, I think that if we’re going to talk about conversion tactics that when we should probably say that it’s going to probably be different by industry, by product, by company, by sales team. If you’re a solopreneur you have a complete, you probably have a completely different sales process than someone that sells massive enterprise deals for, you know, Microsoft, or something like that. So, you know, when it comes to, to selling stuff and converting tactics. Well, we got to have leads and opportunities. First, is that something that you we need to address first is like, what are we doing to keep, keep the proverbial funnel full?
Brian Moran 5:13
I actually think it works in reverse. I think a lot of people like to figure out ways to get more leads and get more traffic and eyeballs and figure out ads and social media. In in the end, if you’re not capable of converting them, you’re wasting all of your time. In the inverses, if you master sales, which is not a difficult thing to do, most people just don’t know it can be mastered. And that is a formula. And it’s like very little art involved. That if you master that leads becomes easy, because now you can afford to go get them.
Matt DeCoursey 5:45
Yeah, and I talk to a lot of businesses that, you know, here come to lay it down. So well, how many of them? Do you close? Oh, one and 10? What can you do to get another one? Yeah. Okay. Let me think about it. If you go from one and 10 to one and five, that’s 100% improvement. What would that do for your bottom line? I think that salespeople make a lot of mistakes. And man, I’m going to try to not like give my trigger myself here until like a tirade because it blows my mind. For those of you listening, your buyers buy because of the value and benefit that they get from the features, not the features themselves. Yep. So salespeople are out there trying to sell these features and they’re not explaining the benefit of that. Yeah. And you know, a couple of without if you can find a way to give a buyer some peace of mind, however it is that you do it, your sales are gonna go through the roof. People don’t even think about that there’s a hung up on like, XYZ features. And like, really all I want to know, as a buyer is how does this help me make money? How’s it helped me save money? How does it make my life easier? How does it makes me look cool? How does it make me feel comfortable and that kind of stuff. And a lot of that’s wrapped into peace of mind? And that’s back to that simple sales formula. If you can explain that effectively to someone your sales are gonna go up.
Brian Moran 7:02
Yep. Yeah, I mean, it’s, you know, in the end, yes, I think there’s kind of two parts to great sales process, one, I believe is the same no matter what you’re selling or who you’re selling to. And that’s getting to the desire of your customer. To that I think the sales process does change. If I’m selling houses that are a million dollars a pop, that’s a huge decision, I’m not going to do that with a Facebook ad to a landing page to a checkout form, like it’s not work. But if you’re selling a $10 book, or $100 course, or a $5 month piece of software, you can do it from an ad to a landing page to a signup form, like no humans involved, it can all be automated. But the higher you get up in price, and in, in my experience with 1000, customers using SamCart, the folks that are using humans to, to get involved in the sales process to do sales calls, or whatever it is, their price points are normally all north of 1000 bucks. You get into that territory, you can still do it with out humans, you can record a webinar or a sales video or whatever. But usually, it’s more advantageous to get a human involved, get somebody on the phone meet in person if you’re north of that 1000 $2,000 price tag. But in the end, the flip side of that is whatever your format is, whether it’s ad to a book-a-call to clothes on the phone, or it’s meeting people in person, or it’s all automated online with an ad to a looked at my camera just cut down on?
Matt DeCoursey 8:41
No, you’re good, you’re good.
Brian Moran 8:39
So if it’s, if it’s something low ticket, and you’re going to add to a landing page to a sales process to a checkout form, whatever that is, you have to get to the core of what your customer wants. And we have this process that we call the five, sixes, and sevens will actually just talked to a group of dance studio owners. And you’d think that’s a very different business than we normally help with your online digital product sellers, these are offline service providers. And they struggle with the same exact thing. And the advice to them is the same exact thing that most of them their banners in their local town center, the ads that they run, they’re all talking about things that their customers just don’t give a damn about. Like they’re not selling dance classes. I’m not selling e-commerce software. That’s why you don’t see on SamCart.com It doesn’t say world’s best like shopping cart software or ecommerce software. Nobody wants that. They want higher conversions, more sales. For a dance studio, they’re not selling dance classes like they’re their target customer is a mom or dad of a two to six year old little girl. They could care less how experienced your teachers are, how good your classes are, even what your schedule is. They want to know their daughter or son is going to be in a great place that safe where they’re going to make friends and memories, and that’s it, like, doesn’t nothing else matter. So when they start talking about those things, and that’s where all would all they’re all their sales copy everywhere starts to say every ad, every email, every landing page starts to say, Hey, if you work with us, that’s what you’re gonna get. You’re gonna get a daughter that loves what she’s doing, that’s making friends is having a great time in a safe environment. And we do that via dance classes, sign up for our dance classes. When when we did that my mother-in-law actually owns a studio, we made that pivot, I was helping her on the side a couple years ago, in the studio went from 120 kids to almost 400 in less than two years. And it was that one simple change, change nothing else in the business, just what it stood for what it realized it was selling. And that I think is the number one thing for any beginning entrepreneur is realize what you’re selling. And make put all your effort behind making the market aware that that’s what you deliver. And then there’s
Matt DeCoursey 11:01
an add on to that though, you got to make it easy to buy. Yes, once you do that SamCart is like, you know, what is every buyer in 2023 and beyond want? An easy buying process. I don’t want to register for an account, I don’t want to verify an email, like you’re talking about buying something simple here, right? You know, I don’t want to have to create a unique password, and a bunch of crap like that, like I want a fast and easy transaction, I want to and that is pretty much the premise of a lot of what you’re doing at SamCart, right? It’s fast and easy transactions that are explained along the way. You know, it says right here, I mean, optimize conversions. I’m reading this off Sam cart.com, making checkout a breeze, building recurring revenue, boosting your conversions. You know, and like just also I love the eliminating typos. You know, just little things like that, that I think that as a solopreneur or small business. Look, most people start a business because they’re passionate about whatever that doesn’t does. And then they’re like, oh, shit, I got to run a business now. Yep. That moment, that moment that those passionate people realize that and then they’re like, oh, man, I’m out of my depth. And that’s why I love tools. Like what you built. By the way, this looks amazing. Like I’m I that this was my first exposure to SamCart and I’m in man like, I love it. Because, well, you’re also like, this is also helping the people that need the most help with this. It’s not like, Hey, we’re gonna have 27 clients, that’s it, and they’re gonna pay it, they’re gonna, we’re gonna be a billion dollar company based on that. Well, first off, those deals are hard to get. And I don’t know, man, I’m a longtail marketer myself, like there’s just all this everywhere. Now, do you cater to a specific type? It doesn’t seem like you cater to a specific type of business. It’s just small businesses that want to sell stuff online. Right?
Brian Moran 12:59
Correct. Yeah, we have the majority of our customers probably 55-60% are digital product sellers. And that’s just because those are the features we built from the beginning all the integrations with the Kajabi, teachable, thrive, you know, the bunch of different like course platforms of the world because that’s what we needed. But right now, our number one seller sells physical products in the health and fitness space. We have some huge service providers, agencies, it can be used by anybody. In the end, if you’re making a transaction online, and you would benefit from converting more leads into customers and driving up the value of each customer, then it you can use it.
Matt DeCoursey 13:40
What’s the biggest mistake that you see your users making before they’re using your product?
Brian Moran 13:46
I would say it’s driving up the value of every customer. And again, it comes from usually a place of either fear or ignorance. They don’t realize like oh, like, yeah, that’s what happens to me, every time I shop anywhere, when I go to Amazon. That’s why I go in there for a roll of toilet paper and end up with $600 worth of stuff in my cart. Same thing with a grocery store, when you explain it to them, they it, the light bulb normally goes off. But most folks, they have one product, and they just think they’re gonna hit their goals with that one product, or they have multiple products and they don’t realize, you should never just sell one, like focus on selling one at a time. But when a customer comes in, show them the other stuff you have. If they know, like, and trust you, those are the easiest, the easiest money you’ll ever make in your business is selling something to someone who’s already bought from you in the past. And we try to make that really easy. On SamCart that’s really what it’s built to do. I mean, you can take your business doing 100k a year and put those principles in place and get it to four or 500 grand a year without that business needing more leads or running more ads or more social posts like that’s how big of an impact it can make and how much money folks don’t understand and that usually leaving on the table?
Matt DeCoursey 15:02
Yeah. And if you look at you know, I went back, let me go back to the like the one in 10, the 10% closing ratio, which, by the way in some businesses might be outstanding. In some businesses, you’re looking for a job. That’s your sales, right? It just, it’s going to be different from everyone. But you look at how much money, how much dry powder you use up on the nine out of 10, you don’t sell and think about it that distance from one out of 10 to two out of 10. Isn’t that far? Yep. isn’t that far. So where you’re at? Now, you know, I think one of the things I don’t want to get too far into this episode without mentioning this. I used to be a sales trainer, like many moons ago, back when I lived in your neck of the woods. That’s what I did musical instrument, retail, world’s largest maker of electronic musical instruments, and I was able to double the sales in my territory in one year. And why? Because I went around and all I said, like, all day, every day to every store that I went to the sold products, you got to ask everyone you talk to you to buy something, even if it’s a joke. Even if a six year old kid walks into the store looking for guitar picks, you’d be like, would you like to consider buying a piano today? Right now the weird thing is, is this gets you in this habit of actually asking for the sale? It is unbelievable how many times okay, I literally have bought stuff that I didn’t even want or need or care about. Because I was so excited that a salesperson actually asked me to buy something. Yep. That’s like how absent that is from the process. I’m personally of the belief that I could increase sales in any organization, if I could just get the sales force to ask for the sale more. So why don’t people ask for the sale, it’s it’s a very simple psychological thing for a lot of us is that we gained some affinity or familiarity, or we like the customer, we don’t want to offend them by asking them to buy something in oftentimes in a place where they came to us to buy something. Same thing online, you know, it’s like this, if you aren’t asking for the sale, than you aren’t selling up to the amount that you should be at your business. And it’s just that simple. Don’t be afraid there’s you don’t have to just be like, dude, buy this, like, there’s a million ways to ask. And if you do a good job of creating value, it’s as simple as oftentimes, like, do you want to go ahead and write this up? When can we get started? When do you want the delivery? You know, I mean, all of that. It’s simple, but that the act that’s the part I think salespeople have the hardest part with past the by building the value and the benefits. Yeah, and then they’ll do that. And oftentimes, they’ll just sit there with this deer in the headlights look waiting for a buyer to say, we hurry up and take my money out. But yeah, the asking for the sale, if you’re not doing that and building the benefit, sound benefits and not features. Those two things right there, regardless of whether you sell online or in person are gonna make a massive difference if you can start doing it.
Brian Moran 18:03
Yep. I mean, that’s what I what I like about the internet is I was that person, like, you know, when I graduated college and 08 the economy is terrible. A bunch of the job opportunities of the times were like going door to door selling Cutco knives. And to me that was the most terrifying idea on the planet was looking people in the eye and asking them to spend money, because that’s my personality. Like I don’t want to offend anybody. But the beauty of the internet is it kind of removes that awkwardness from the scenario. You can create a landing page and type anything you want and make that page say it so you don’t have to. And I found that for me someone who is timid when it comes to those things that running an online business actually removes that timidity and helps me be a lot more aggressive and actually get behind the product I know these people need and really drive home the reasons why I think they need to sign up and then ask for the sale. So yeah, I mean, if that’s you, like the the nice thing is, I think you’ll find once once people understand the five or six techniques that go into a really well crafted sales pitch, that it’s actually very easy to do on the internet because you don’t have to get it unless you’re selling high ticket stuff and do it on the phone then yeah, you got to put yourself in the awkward position for those first 10 calls until you get used to it and realize wow, like that’s not as bad as I thought. And holy cow that stuff works. And this is the lifeblood of my business. I’m glad I got good at this. Yeah, it’s a it’s a tricky thing. But I mean, it’s the most powerful thing in business. A lot of folks like you said they have a passion and they they convinced themselves they tell themselves a story that I don’t want to be a marketer. I don’t want to be a salesperson. Well you have to like there is your business.
Matt DeCoursey 19:49
Yeah want to or not you have when you were born onto this planet, you are recruited into a sales force that is that is run by life and it Like you have, like, I had to sell my wife on an idea yesterday that sales. I just sell my kids on why they need to hurry up and get ready for school today. It’s all sales. And if you don’t think it is, you’re wrong. And so you got to get used to and I, there’s a couple things I want to share. I’m the CEO and founder of Full Scale, which by the way is where finding an expert software developer doesn’t have to be difficult, especially just go to FullScale.io. You can build your team quickly and affordably use the Full Scale platform, you can define your technical needs, see what available developers, testers, and leaders are ready to join your team, FullScale.io. Now, I’m an onboarding nut. And this is where I’m going with the Full Scale thing. So it’s a big ticket purchase, you know, like, these are recurring experience people like the benefit of of working at working with Full Scale as we help you find offshore talent. And it’s pre screened, it’s vetted, we are really good at finding the person you want to hire and getting rid of the 40 other applicants that you didn’t. Now in order to do that, we could slow down our sales process by making you do a call, doing a whole bunch of stuff and set it on our platform, we just have, it takes less than two minutes, dude, like some people get through it, like 30 seconds, it’s just click, click boom, about what your needs are. And then our platform matches you up with people that have those skills or experience. And the by the time we’re getting into the consulting side of it, because we don’t just let you do the whole transaction online. Because we actually say no to more people than we say yes to because we want it to be the right fit. But we put ourselves in a pre qualified position when that call occurs. And we like a lot of times we’ll get on and these are things that you can do at your business, too. It’s just asking some simple qualifying questions. This is still all part of that sales process we’ve talked about. But I can’t give you good credible advice if I don’t have an idea about what your needs are. Now these are somewhat technical, but I’m not really right. Getting into the in the super deep side of all of it. Like what code base do you use? Do you have people on your team now and then just basic stuff about you and your business, how to contact you website, stuff like that. And my point is here is if you can do anything to come into that first conversation or interaction or even automate all of it. See, these are these easy transactions. No one wants to sit there and I’m going to ask you the same questions take me 15 minutes to talk to you about it on a call, or less than two minutes for you to click a few things which I’m going to end up having to go and put into the system anyway. Yep. Now that’s now look, our average client spends about 20 grand a month so that’s a big ticket thing but you come into that first call like these are usually people that are busy, they got a lot going on and you want to save them some time. So what you know I think also when you talk about conversion tactics is you always want to be narrowing things down you know we have 250 different skill tags that that any of our employees can have so like I’m what am I going to do go down Hey, yes sir. No, number one number two, I would hang up on you if you’re trying to do that with me but there’s something you could probably ask and help qualify people or get them in the right fit or the right size or the right course or like all of that do you guys do any does your platform have have any thinning mechanisms because you go from 250 skills you got to find four or five.
Brian Moran 23:36
Yeah yeah so we SamCart does have that built in we actually use it because we use SamCart to sell SamCart. So when you go to sign up we have this custom field drop down that just asked what stage they’re at in their business. So they just getting started are they scaling up? Are they already kind of scaled past certain revenue marks and that helps our onboarding team know who to reach out to helps us know what tutorials to put in front of them just greases the skids to get them off on the right track. We we have two other businesses that we well one we built one we acquired ones called types at once called crater you crater you is like a Netflix for online entrepreneurs. So every marketing conversion sales tactic that we’ve learned we’ve documented put down into training material that’s inside crater, you it’s just a place where we kind of it’s like our farm system for the next generation of entrepreneurs that might need SamCart and crater you has a high ticket coaching platform, a coaching program where folks that are getting started just want us to do a lot of it for them. And that that’s a phone sales process. So same thing there we have an application where we asked them where they’re at in their business, what are they looking to get out of their business? How much money they have to invest in their business right now so that by the time we get on the phone, we know everything we need to know and we don’t have to waste 15 minutes kind of pre qualifying people Yeah, so we do that all the time both in scenarios where someone’s going to get on the phone with somebody. And in more automated scenarios like selling SamCart free trials, just to help us kind of write better follow up automated emails or texts that are on the back end of the business.
Matt DeCoursey 25:18
Yeah, one of the things I’ve seen on your site here, and this is where we should talk about add ons and upsells. Hey, look, it’s part of sales as part of revenue, a lot of times with products that can also those add ons can be your highest margin stuff. So I mentioned earlier having worked in around musical instrument, so look, you aren’t doing your buyer a service if you don’t offer them some upsells and add ons. So let’s just say you come in, you’re looking for a guitar. If I don’t sell you a tuner, some extra strings and some pics, then you’re gonna be back at the store the next day, and you’re probably not going to have a successful guitar student that can’t tune a guitar that doesn’t have a pic doesn’t have these different things. And by the way, if you have a small kid, they’re going to turn the keys on that guitar until one of those strings goes pop. And then you need another one. And so like the thing is, is I would be pissed if I didn’t know anything about guitars. And I showed up and you just sold me a guitar, you sold me the cheapest guitar, which also stays in tune the shortest amount of time. Yep, it’s just crap. And so if I don’t have the right stuff, I’m gonna get home. And it’s kind of like that feeling like when you get something in the mail, and it’s missing a key component. It’s like having no batteries on Christmas morning. Yep. Yeah. Right. And so, back to the sales thing, like Remember, you’re not just like, oh, I don’t want to make I don’t want to force them to buy something. First off, you’re not that’s not really a thing. But a lot of times, this is the key component. Now maybe that guitar costs 200 bucks, those add ons are another 60 $70 that I mean, these can these things add up over time tremendously. Now with creators like a lot of creators are well, like myself. I’ve written three books, right? So something that hey, here’s I don’t have any online courses. But if I did, I’d want you to be able to buy the books along the way, too. Yeah, you know, some of that. And that’s, that’s tough to do the thing. That’s what I really love about stuff like Sam card is, is that, you know, if you’re not good at asking for that sale, and the reason software is so valuable, is it shows up to work every day. And if assuming that it works, it does what you train it to do 24/7. And if you think you suck at that kind of stuff, then you need to go find an option, because not fixing it means your business is probably going to suck.
Brian Moran 27:48
Yep. Yeah. I mean, it’s, I totally agree there. I mean, again, a lot of people think like, I’m just going to have this one product or one service, and that’s gonna lead me to the promised land, but I’ve challenged you know, there, it’s rare look at businesses in the world, like none of them are single product. Like it’s not how it works.
Matt DeCoursey 28:08
I am a big fan of narrowing the scope. And a lot of the senses though because there are like I mentioned that go back to like mute the musical instrument chain, the place that I worked for. One of the places I worked for, got acquired by another company along the way. And we went to do inventory. And we were like, holy shit, we have 250,000 skews. Most of it was sheet music, right, like across all these stores. And the first thing we looked at and said was like, we need to not have 250,000 skews. Because the cost of counting one out of one for $1.99 set a sheet music actually exceeds the profit that you will make from selling it. So we actually sold off all of the sheet music by the pound. Wow. Which was a big loss, like as far as like, but it got rid of like, like 70% of the skews and simplified so much. We still had about 80,000 afterwards all these little one off things but yeah, I am. Because here’s the thing is when it comes to buying stuff, a confused mind almost always says no. Yep. So if you have anything confusing or clunky about your process, you are losing sales. Like if it’s not, if it’s not easily defined, like what do I get when I buy something? And I think a lot of a lot of stuff online. I mean, man, I’ve gone to countless websites and I’m like, what am I buying? Yeah. What, what am I buying? So what do you guys do to help simplify some of that?
Brian Moran 29:52
So what’s funny because SamCart was built originally for digital product sellers. Most of our folks are on under 10 skews. The probably the big sellers are probably under 30. But not 1000. No, you can’t even have a catalog store with SamCart. Because one, that’s not how digital product sellers sell their stuff. And two, I don’t think it’s the right way to sell. Like, sending some you I would never in a million years take money for traffic that I spent money to acquire and send them to a choose your own adventure catalog store model. And that’s not how the biggest brands do it either. Like we all go to apple.com or lululemon.com and you see the catalog. And we think that’s how they’re making sales. It’s not like even those companies have flagship products that most of their customers are coming in and buying. And it’s a handful of them. It’s not that 50,000 that are deep deep in that store. So we build SamCart in a way that says, look, the catalog is actually not important at all. It’s these custom paths through these flagship products that we want to optimize and that’s what we built the whole platform around.
Matt DeCoursey 31:01
Yeah, and that’s well, that’s also back to the add on stuff. You know, like, I mean, Amazon does a good job of that, you know, like I mentioned before, recorded I recently bought a farm, which has been a lot of work. And I’ve been buying a lot of stuff because I’m trying to figure a lot of stuff out and I’ve had a lot of things show up. And I’m like, wow, so I need some clamps for this, or I need something else. And it’s really like, I really appreciate any site or anything that says hey, if you’re buying this you really need to look at these five things. Yep. And it’s just it’s it’s it’s a good thing. It’s a good thing. All right. So by the way on a conversational level, where do you play baseball?
Brian Moran 31:39
I was diehard committed to go D1 out of high school like quick sports lesson I learned the hard way that that was a full-time job. And I went to a small d one school in Maryland UMBC, which their claim to fame was first number one seed upset a 16 seed in the NCAA Tournament. Other than that they’re terrible at sports, or at least they were when I was there. So two years after playing there was pretty miserable transferred out to a small D3 school north of Pittsburgh called Grove City. And yeah, career ended there. I thought I was gonna play a little bit after college, but didn’t work out that way.
Matt DeCoursey 32:19
I had a similar similar path. Although it’s funny, my baseball career ended when I got kicked in the knee by a horse.
Brian Moran 32:27
Oh my god.
Matt DeCoursey 32:28
Of all weird stuff. Yeah, I still have scar tissue across my kneecap. I’m touched. I’m feeling it right now. It’s the weirdest thing. Yeah. I was gonna go headed to Quincy College in Quincy, Illinois, perhaps. But that conversation died when I showed up with a splint on my leg to one of the meetings. Are you injured or not? No, you look kind of injured. So yeah, baseball is as a very interesting, I always like it when I get a former player or fan or whatever. We do some baseball episodes, just because I’m kind of nerdy about it. But I do compare it a lot. You know, like in baseball, you’re a Hall of Famer, if you get three out of 10. And yeah, you know, as a hitter. There’s there’s a lot of stuff to go there. But yeah, I think that the thing that taught me the most is the best hitters don’t swing a lot of pitches, they’re out of the strike zone. And I carried that into entrepreneurship. Like you can’t just chase every every pitch that comes in, you gotta wait for the right one. And sometimes that’s not up to you to determine what that is. So on a on a side note, I’m curious just when it came to SamCart, what was what was the biggest challenge you needed to overcome and building something that ended up getting 95 million in funding and according to your site, you’ve helped sell billions and products?
Brian Moran 33:47
Man, not the number one challenge was me being the marketing and sales guy in the business and I kind of had to become that before SamCart existed when we were launching the other ones. Customer Acquisition was never the hard part running the business was that’s why I’m not CEO anymore. We brought in a COO in 2017 was an old buddy of mine who comes from kind of the venture-back startup world who had tons of experience and I just said Look, dude, like someone has to run this business because it’s me and 14 people that are run around with chickens like their heads cut off. And it like I’m not helping anyone sitting in this seat. So let me do what I’m best at, which is marketing and sales and you come in and like let’s actually see if we can build something together. So the biggest obstacle was me and my ability to build out an organization. It just wasn’t my sweet spot. I didn’t want to do it. It was annoying to try to figure out spend a year or two trying to figure it out reading every management book and, you know, stuff like top grading and trying to perfect something that I was terrible at and had no interest in. And so, you know, instead of that just learning to lean into my strengths and build a bring somebody in who can, you know, fill those shoes. That’s when stuff really started to click.
Matt DeCoursey 35:04
I find overwhelmingly that people that are great at sales and marketing are usually not great at operations. Yeah. Man, it just kind of goes with the personality style, like, yeah, my version of organized means I know it’s in this box, or it’s in this file somewhere on my computer, and I can find it if I need, you probably won’t, but I could find it. Yep. Yeah, I’m organized. I’m super organized in that regard. And then most people look at my desktop on my computer, and they’re like, dude, I’m like, it’s there. It’s right. Yeah. It’s not your desktop. It’s mine. Let me Yeah, it’s, uh, yeah, there are, you know, most This isn’t my wisdom. As someone who I don’t even know who originally came up with this, but you need a visionary person, you need someone that executes division too, they are usually two very unique people when it comes to like, what they’re good at and what they’re not. So case in point, find the people that are good at the things that you’re not, or the things that you’re disinterested in doing. And they’re the same, because if you’re disinterested in doing it, you will usually find you’re not doing a very good job at it. Yeah, it’s just that simple. And if your business grows, you’re going to really get yourself behind the eight ball because you’re going to continue to be bad at the things you’re not interested or not good at. And eventually they become a problem. In my book, Million Dollar Bedroom, I have a whole section about having to shut the business down for a few days to undo the ball of rubber bands wants. And, yep, if your business is making a lot of money, and it doesn’t when you have to undo the ball or rubber bands, it is a painful reminder. But you know, I find that almost every time the ball of rubber bands eventually has to be unwind. So no real way around that. Alright, so here we are at the end of another episode of Startup Hustle, which is brought to you by FullScale.io. If you need to hire software engineers, testers, your leaders Full Scale can help we have the people on the platform to help you build and manage a team of experts. All you have to do is go to full scale.io and answer a few questions our platform will match you up with fully vetted highly experienced software engineers, testers, and leaders. At Full Scale we specialize in building long term teams that work only for you. Once again, FullScale.io With me today is Brian Moran, the founder at SamCart, sam, s-a-m-cart.com. If you can’t remember that there is a link in the show notes, you have a very impressive website and platform. I’m a fan man, I’m a fan. But with that it’s time for the founders freestyle. I’m gonna hand you the mic and what would you like to say to everyone out there hustling on the way out?
Brian Moran 37:47
No, I’d say, you know, well, I think we’ve both been in a lot of your shoes, you know, really probably no matter what stage you’re at. You know, I’d say enjoy the ride. If you’re an entrepreneur at any level, I think I need to take this advice every day with three little kids downstairs, and it’s easy to get wrapped up in work or when times are tough to get annoyed at certain things and in the early days you know when you’re struggling to make any money whatsoever. You know, it’s it’s tough to get stuck kind of just in the minutiae of everything going on, and looking back on those beginning days, I miss like they were there are parts about every stage of this journey that we’re all on that we will all look back and miss as annoying and frustrating as they can be. I mean, that’s when you’re learning the most it’s when you’re making the most progress and, you know, so I guess my parting advice for everyone is wherever you’re at, enjoy the ride. I think we’re all lucky to be on this journey. To kind of get stuck with this bug of entrepreneurship and, you know, have the personality style that actually wants to move and shake and create stuff. It’s a it’s a fun spot to be, so enjoy the ride.
Matt DeCoursey 39:00
Well, so my freestyle, I’m gonna remind everyone that sales cures ails, you know, how much better would your business and your head be if you sold more stuff. For me, the things that keep me up at night are missing sales and opportunities. You know, there’s there’s Ii don’t know if it came naturally or if I forced it or if I’ve talked myself into it along the way, but I am offended by a poor sales efficiency. Like if that is like it drives me nuts like I won’t buy from you. I won’t buy from your store. I won’t buy from your website. I won’t buy anywhere anyhow if your process sucks, and if your process sucks, you need to put everything else down and fix it. Nothing occurs at any business until something is sold. And you know if you don’t ever sell anything, you don’t need a warehouse. You don’t need the product. You don’t need a shipment. You don’t need an accounting department. You don’t need salespeople. Any marketing people, you have to figure out how to sell more stuff. Now, one of the ruts that I see too many people get in is they get all they’re all obsessed with the product or obsessed with everything else other than sales. You need to figure the sales part out first, and everything else gets easier behind it. You will find yourself if you get that right, and you have problems later, you’re gonna find yourself with the quote, good problems, which is we sold so much stuff, how do we get it out the door fast enough? I’ve been around that is a much better feeling to have than the opposite side, which is looking at a mountain of stuff or things you need to sell, and no one’s buying it. And what’s the way to that? But yeah, you know, too many startup founders, especially in tech and software, get so hung up on product product product, and you gotta learn how to sell the product. You have to learn how to ask for the sale. You got to learn how to create some value around the benefits no one gives a shit about your features. They care about the benefits and the value that they get from him. Learn how to describe that, and you will sell more stuff. Brian, thanks for joining me, man. I’m gonna, I’m, I’m all fired up now, man. I’m gonna go sell something.
Brian Moran 41:09
Sounds good. You and I both, let’s do it.