Parker Web – Website Maintenance Services

Is Creating a Process Worth the Effort?

Welcome to the Parker Web Partner Show, where we provide creative solutions for creative agencies.

In this episode, Darryl and Caleb from Parker Web, and Merrill, podcast producer from Smith Douglass Associates, talk about the power of processes. They discussed the significance of process in establishing structure, rhythm, and consistency in work, as well as creating organizational clarity, building products, transferring knowledge, and creating value within an organization.

Special guest Kyle Battis of NH Strategic Marketing then joined the conversation. He and Darryl spoke about the importance of process mapping, documenting and systemizing sales and advertising processes, and having processes and training in place to address gaps in knowledge.

Key Takeaways

0:00 – Introduction
0:52 – The Importance of Structured Processes
4:54 – Documentation and Adaptation
6:00 – Customer and Task Management Systems
16:53 – Process Creation and Evaluation
18:05 – Processes in Business Valuation
22:34 – Processes in Recruitment and Onboarding
27:20 – Choosing What to Include in a Process

If you run any type of creative agency (ad agencies, digital marketing agencies, social media agencies, etc.) we would love to hear from you. What are some of the challenges you see in your world?

Contact information:

Kyle Battis
NH Strategic Marketing


Caleb Parsons  00:02

Welcome to the Parker Web Partner Show, where we find creative solutions for creative agencies.

Darryl Parker  00:10

Welcome to another show. I’m Darrell Parker from Parker Web.

Merrill Loechner  00:14

I’m Merrill Loechner from Smith Douglass Associates.

Caleb Parsons  00:17

I’m Caleb Parsons, a developer with Parker Web.

Darryl Parker  00:20

And Kyle Battis will be joining us shortly. So on today’s show, I wanted to talk about process and getting a better understanding of how process affects our business. Where have you guys seen process show up in your work?

Merrill Loechner  00:36

Back in corporate, one of the processes that I saw fail miserably was trying to get people to use a CRM, when it was simply a notice from on high with no training and no reason why we should follow this process.

Darryl Parker  00:53

Right. So simply just saying, “Do this” isn’t enough?

Merrill Loechner  00:57

That’s not a process. That’s an order.

Darryl Parker  00:59

Yeah. Good differentiation. I like that. What about you, Caleb? Where have you seen process in the work that you do?

Caleb Parsons  01:08

Well, we’re often always about process. When I come in in the morning, I will review what I have to do, and then tackle things one by one or sometimes return to them. It’s different each day and it’s important to develop, structure into approaching how to tackle each of the various tasks that I have to do in a given day.

Darryl Parker  01:38

So it helps you establish a rhythm into your day, right? To your workday.

Darryl Parker  01:44

I think that’s a good use of process, I think one of the ways that I’ve used process is to get very specific, so that there’s not an oral tradition so much into what I’ve asked to be completed. So like, we just hired for a new position here at the company and the first few weeks, all we did was spend time building process around the items that this person would be working on. So the job description wound up containing a lot of links to process maps, and these were processes that we built together. I think that when you can create jobs and you create process, and then you create job descriptions on top of process, now you’re starting to begin to build roles in the company. So you’re hiring for needed activities vs. maybe hiring the person.

Caleb Parsons  01:44


Merrill Loechner  02:33

It also makes life a lot easier, because you’re not reinventing the wheel every time you do something. It’s the “Okay, I need to do this again; how did I do with the last time?” if you have a process and think, so you don’t have to waste the time, energy and bandwidth trying to, again, reinvent the wheel. It’s the “Okay, this is the process.” And it’s also important to figure out where is the process helping you go? And over time, is it holding you back? So it’s also the ability to better the process as time goes along. Because there’s always new tools and new technology and new people coming in with different talents.

Darryl Parker  03:15

I’d say that’s hard to do if you haven’t committed that process to some type of written or structural form or whatever, because then that kind of oral tradition becomes the reality, right? So even though it might morph, you don’t have a formal way to capture that, those changes in the updates. One of the things that we do is that we have an internal system. And this internal system allows us to manage our client work. So our contractors and our employees bill time against the clients, the clients are able to log into the system, and they’re able to get information about their account, they’re able to update their payment information. So the reason I bring that up is because systems tend to be groups of processes, right? And so one of the things that I ran into as I was building my company was that I couldn’t find a system that aligned with the way that I wanted to run my business. So I had to actually…I wound up after several attempts of trying to make off-the-shelf systems work–it just didn’t work–we wound up having to build something internally. And now we’re on the fourth version of that. And that’s allowed us to incorporate some key business process into a system where we’re able to better work with our customers. Caleb, what’s been your experience in working with the customers? There’s another system that we use, too, to work with customers.

Caleb Parsons  04:54

Yeah, we use a system called Freshdesk in terms of creating a ticket for the customer to see and for us to look at while we’re working on it. So a customer will send an email to and that email will create a ticket in our system. And then one of us–either myself or one of my colleagues–will take a look at it and assign it to ourselves or someone else, if we think that someone else might be better suited to tackle that task. And then we will either tackle it right then or save it for later. Typically, if it’s something that is very quick, I believe our goal, our Parker web mantra, is “If it’s under two hours, it’s going to take a maximum of two business days.” Typically, if it’s under two hours, it is next day. Sometimes if you catch me at a good time, I will get it done in about five minutes. And just go from there.

Darryl Parker  05:56

Well, I was going to say, I think it would be interesting to just think back a minute and think about what that ticket system replaced. So when we were initially handling–so I had a way that I wanted to do my billing and we had to build that out in a specific kind of way. But we chose not to build out a ticket system because we were able to find something off the shelf that worked. But prior to that, prior to having the ticket system in place, we managed our customer inquiries through email, fax machine, phone call–there was no central place for all of these requests to go. So we took all these disparate things that would come in, and we created process around that by using something that’s an established and known process of ticketing. It’s been very effective for us to have that in place and we handle thousands of those tickets every month. I think that there’s an evolution that happens as you build, as you scale, and as you start to put more things through a process, sometimes it’ll evolve. Because I think for some people handling customer requests can easily be done inside of a project system. So, we had Basecamp for a while, too. And the problem with Basecamp was that it wasn’t able to handle–even with some of their ticketing components, which they didn’t have a lot back then–it wasn’t able to handle the volume at the correct kind of customer service level that we needed in order to interact with it, that we were experiencing. So we had to go past that and go to a customer ticketing system, more like an IT support desk type system, in order to properly handle the types of requests that we’re getting. Because we’re not so much a project shop as we are a task shop. So it’s always interesting to say when you go into a new company, it’s like, “Well, what is this process replacing? Was there something in place before?” and understanding that, too, so that you don’t fall back to it. In some regards, you don’t want to fall back to that process. What’s been your experience with process, Merrill, in terms of deployment in your company?

Merrill Loechner  08:10

Slow because I’m a solopreneur. So I’m one of those people that when we first started, it was like, “Oh, I’ll remember.” And then quickly, like, “How did I do this again?” So it took about six months of reinventing the wheel every couple of weeks. It’s like, “Okay, no, this is silly. Write it down.” And so for each of my processes now, it’s: “This is the path; this is how we do it.” And it’s one of those things, again, that I review on a regular basis. Because: “Okay, this is the way I do things. Ooh, look at this new tool I have now! This is going to make this part of the process a lot shorter.” Rewrite the process. Six months later: “Hey, this has changed now. Oh, look, there’s a pandemic; we have to completely rejigger the entire process to make it work this way.” So it’s not enough just to put a process together and make sure it works. It’s to make sure it keeps working, keeps working well. And you don’t go in and just change the process to like, “Ooh, new shiny toy. Let’s try it.” But it’s “Will this make my process work better? Or, in a way, will it replace a whole chunks of my process?” So it’s one of those things that yeah, early in the days I kept getting distracted by the the new squirrels of the internet. And I had to pull back and” “No, stick to the process until you find something that actually shows return on investment to both time and bandwidth.”

Darryl Parker  09:35

And I think that when we are dealing with businesses that have their own kind of client bases, and oftentimes businesses address a particular type of client, and there’s often unique things that have to be done in order to deliver to that client, unique processes emerge from them. One of the things that we’ve been–I was speaking earlier about building out a job description based on process and this is kind of a lead gen process that we’ve been trying to build. And it was interesting; I was just with a group of business owners a couple of weeks ago and we brought up the idea of acquisition and valuation. And this is a guy who had a software company, and he had a SaaS system. The very first question that he got from the potential investor and acquirer was: “Describe your lead acquisition process. Tell me about your process and how does that work?” And it started off this kind of conversation, because we were talking about process, about when you’re buying a company, or when you as a company get bought, there is oftentimes this perception that “Well, it’s just EBITA. I’m being bought against a multiple of my EBITA.” No, no, that’s just a number, and that’s a number that can assign a value to what? And the “what” are these systems and these processes and this kind of intellectual property and capital that you’ve invested in your business. So process in its fundamental form is the building block of how you create value within your organization. So if you have a solid operations process, which we do–Parker Web has a fantastic operations process for how we handle the type of work that we do–and you have a solid lead generation process in saying, “Yes, we can feed the machine.” That’s when an investor can come in and say, “Well, you guys have gotten it this far. I’m going to come in, and I’m going to buy it, and then I’m going to take it 20 years further or 10 years further, or I’m going to bolt it on to my company.” But then it’s not been catch as catch can; it’s been based on a set of processes that are in place.

Merrill Loechner  11:52

It’s also if you’re just selling the company, not necessarily to an investor, or someone who wants to expand it, someone who just wants to take over and buy your company.

Darryl Parker  12:01

Correct. And that happens a lot.

Merrill Loechner  12:02

This is the instruction manual. This is this is how you make it work.

Darryl Parker  12:07

Right. And I think if the organizational clarity is there, and that’s where process mapping helps, you know, building that product, we’re going to talk a little bit about that in a minute. But building that process maps can really help if there’s a lot of organizational clarity around how the job is done, so that you’ve created roles. So creating a job description is a process: the process of the job description creation, and then the process of evaluating the roles and gaps within the company and understanding what do we need to be putting in place to support the demands and needs of our clients? So it is where the valuation comes from and it is where someone can say, “Yes, I can buy that” and step into it. And oftentimes that process lives inside of the owner’s head. And it’s that transfer of knowledge to process and systems that result from multiple processes being put in place that becomes that value that the person is buying at the end of the day when you got to exit.

Merrill Loechner  13:04

You were talking human resources, same thing. It’s onboarding someone, you’re giving them again, a roadmap, a process of: “This is how we do things here. This is why we do it. This is how it works.” I remember I was hired at one company. And I said, “Okay, so what’s first?” Okay, HR wants you to write up a job description. So write down what you’re going to do.”

Darryl Parker  13:27


Merrill Loechner  13:28

“You going to give me some hints? Can I get some clues here?”

Darryl Parker  13:31

“I just showed up.”

Merrill Loechner  13:33

So yeah, it was a slightly shaky two weeks, but yes, I finally sat down with the entire rest of the marketing department and said, “Okay, who does what? What parts of your job do you love? What parts of your job do you hate?” And so I went back to my boss, and I’m like: “Okay, here’s my job description. And here’s the revamped job description of everyone else in the department. We’re all doing different things now.”

Darryl Parker  13:55

And that really is a differentiator between the maturity of a company, right? I mean, you can look at a company and say, “How good is your process? How good are your job descriptions? What’s your hiring process? What’s your recruiting process?” That’s a thing that we deal with, and it’s been a limiter on growth. Can we find the people that fit the roles that we need to fill? We have to be sure that we have a system and we actually have several recruiting mechanisms that we’ve built over the years to find people to fill the roles. And all of that is important in order to run the company effectively, especially if you as an owner are trying to not work 70 hours a week. And you’re trying not to be that person who’s working two jobs. You know, you left one job to just work two.

Merrill Loechner  14:47

Been there, did that.

Darryl Parker  14:49

Right, right. We all have. So, I think it’s a great discussion about process. We went a little deeper there than I was expecting but I enjoyed it. A good discussion about process

Darryl Parker  15:07

All right, guys. Well today we want to talk with Kyle Battis from New Hampshire Strategic Marketing. Kyle, welcome to the show.

Kyle Battis  15:13

Great to be here. Thanks for having me, guys.

Darryl Parker  15:15

Yeah, why don’t you tell us a little bit about what you guys do down here on Main Street in Concord, New Hampshire?

Kyle Battis  15:19

Yeah, we’ve been rockin’ in the digital agency world since 2012. We had been working online for years prior to that, as internet entrepreneurs. Primarily what we do is traffic driving, lead generation via paid Google ads, local SEO. The majority of our clients are in the home services space, but we do have random businesses like law firms and information marketers that sell courses and membership websites and things like that. But the majority of what we’re doing is really focusing on lead generation, a lot of Google Ads, Microsoft Ads, Facebook Ads, combined with local SEO, trying to get people’s phones ringing, leads coming in, growing email lists growing subscriber counts, things along those lines.

Darryl Parker  15:21

So yeah, a lot of technical steps going on there, a lot of different processes going on. All those different systems have all their different processes. We were talking earlier about how process is built into systems like Google AdWords or Facebook AdWords. These systems already have process built into them that you have to kind of stay inside of in order for you operate well. But we’re talking about process today; we’re talking about steps, process, systems, trying to understand a little bit about how these work in agencies and partner companies like yours. How are you using process in your organization? How do you track it?

Kyle Battis  16:53

In so many different ways, I think it is such a deep topic. It could be like, for example, we just audited a Google Ad Account that another company was running, and part of that process where we get connected to their existing Google advertising account, there’s a process to get connected, first and foremost. We’ll get their Google Ads account ID, add it to our agency MCC account, send them an invitation; they need to accept that invitation. Once we’re connected, then we peek in through the back door. And once we’ve got access, then we can actually go through our process of conducting an audit. And in the audit, we’re comparing, what are they doing right now? How do they have the ad campaign structured? What kind of keywords? Are they targeting negative keywords? Where do they have the bid strategies? Are they taking Google’s advice on how to run the ad campaign with some of Google’s automated suggestions, which–hint–isn’t always the best approach on how to do this. Taking Google’s advice on how to run your ad campaign is like asking the IRS for advice on how to do your taxes; it’s usually not going to be in your favor. We compare what are they doing with their current process to what’s our best practices of what we found with similar clients. And then we point out the differences of where the opportunities are to improve their processes, improve the efficiency and productivity of that Google advertising account. So that’s an example.

Darryl Parker  18:36

Do you have those processes written? Or do you have a checklist that you follow in your audit? How do you document that process?

Kyle Battis  18:44

Everything’s documented in Google Docs, you know, very sophisticated.

Darryl Parker  18:48

It works great.

Kyle Battis  18:51

Yeah. And we find that with the nature of the internet and platforms like Google, Facebook, it’s always changing.What worked three months ago or three years ago might be completely irrelevant today. And then the UI, the UX changes all the time as well. So screenshots or videos that we add showing how to do this, it doesn’t exist anymore because it’s completely different. So we find having that easy-to-edit Google Doc, so anytime…we have a process for creating processes.

Darryl Parker  19:28

So let’s talk about that, because we touched on it a little bit, but we didn’t dig deep into that. So, what’s your process for creating processes?

Kyle Battis  19:34

Anytime you do something, we’ll reference what’s there for an existing process. And if it’s changed, the process for creating that process is to go back and edit it so that it’s relevant, timely, and accurate at this stage as well.

Darryl Parker  19:48

So you give the person who’s executing the process the authority to modify the process based on what they learn as they go through it.

Kyle Battis  19:57

Yep, and then give us a heads-up so we can just double-check and verify it and make sure it’s accurate.

Darryl Parker  20:03

Very cool. So I heard you say that you use some of your own knowledge when you evaluate the quality of the process. And we were talking about valuations earlier, and how companies are often valued on the quality of their processes and what the intellectual capital they bring to the table. So obviously you’re building a company that’s based on another company’s processes in some regard, but then you have your own process on top of that. So do you have a way for that evaluation? Is there a process map for that as well?

Kyle Battis  20:37

A couple things there. We–Mike and I–had our business valuated, probably about six or seven years ago by a business broker just because we were curious: “Hey, with the way we’ve got everything set up right now, what is this business currently worth?” And he pointed out our lack of processes was negatively affecting our valuation. So that really led to a big drive to start documenting everything we do, how we do it, why we do it, best practices, etc. in every area of our business, whether it’s the sales side of things, a local SEO campaign, a paid Google Ad campaign, everything. And that’s been immensely helpful for us just to get those processes in place and get the team following it. And this helps with scaling, frankly, as we build out the team. We’re not starting from scratch every time we do this, and we actually have: “Okay, here’s how we do this. Step 1, Step 2, Step 3, and walking our team members through that. So that’s been very helpful, because when Mike and I started this 12 years ago, we had a lot of knowledge, a lot of skill sets. We just knew how to solve problems, but we didn’t have anything documented. And then we operated for years selling, getting clients, providing value, delivering results, but we still didn’t really have any of that stuff in place. So that’s when after that meeting and we learned that hole in our setup of the business, we started really training those processes and I think it’s helped immensely from there.

Darryl Parker  22:23

Did the appraiser give you any idea of the impact–the lack of processes, what you could see as it is, and then what you could see if you were to add good process?

Kyle Battis  22:35

Yeah, I think that was part of the valuation that he came up with–the lack of that, some of the other factors in our bid. The way we had our business set up is really dependent on me, because I was the face of the business. I was doing all the selling, all the front-facing stuff, which wasn’t ideal necessarily, so we’ve kind of gotten away from that. Once we got the processes in place, then we worked with a coach specifically on the sales process side of things. The way I always sold was very consultative, and very different and unique, which is great for me but for a new sales rep that’s coming into our world–and I’ve been training to new sales reps over the last 2-3 weeks–we had a long way to go before we could actually start replicating and systemizing our sales process and getting it to a point where somebody new that didn’t have 10-12 years of experience like I did, that has seen a lot of different scenarios and worked with a lot of different types of businesses–I remember hiring a sales guy four years ago, before we knew what we didn’t know at this point, and we were like: “Okay, go sell.” Shockingly, that didn’t work out. Looking back, now we know why it didn’t work out. There was no onboarding process, there was no ramp like for our sales guys now. We have a very detailed ramp-up process, where we documented and encapsulated our years of experience into bite-sized videos and knowledge. What are the questions that they’re always going to ask? What are the things that they need to know? Who are we selling against? How are we selling against them? What are the benefits of that approach? What are the cons of that approach? How do we really download that information into a new sales rep’s brain so that they can hit the ground running quicker? So now we’ve got a very detailed Week 1 ramp-up process to get them up to speed. And then in Week 2, we’ve got that documented, and then Week 3, they kind of get off on their own, but that’s all systemized and ramped or detailed along the way from trial and error, experimentation, modeling successful…what our coaches were doing, teaching to us and espousing to us. But it just helped immensely.

Darryl Parker  25:05

How has creating that process and being so intentional about that ramp-up period set your confidence and your expectations around your ability to hire?

Kyle Battis  25:17

It’s made all the difference in the world, frankly. Before we had that, they’d maybe shadow me a little bit, and they had no hope of recreating what I was doing, because they just didn’t have the knowledge, they didn’t have the skills, they didn’t have the nuance pieces broken down in a way that they could understand. Now, going through that hard work–and it took a while, frankly–I had to work with our coach to actually take my very consultative sales approach and turn it into an actual system of selling. Here’s how we do discovery. Here’s how we identify the gap. Here’s how we identify if we’re even a fit for that client, frankly, what their needs are, what their goals are, and then walk them through our process if we think it’s a fit, and show them how we do this. We had to first take a step back before we could move forward by stopping having me do this very consultative sales process, and actually learn how to package that and systemize the sales process. And then once we did that, then we could work on what does that ramp-up process look like for a new sales rep, and then get them going with that. And then we’ve iterated on that as we’ve brought on sales reps–what’s working, what’s missing, what’s next kind of thinking as we go through this, then go back and tweak what we did, so the next input of a new sales rep gets in there. And what we found is, every time that we’ve iterated on that process and improved on it, the success rate for a sales rep happens a lot quicker. Instead of taking months, it’s now taking weeks to achieve.

Darryl Parker  26:59

If I’m in a company and I’m where you guys were five years ago, six years ago, and I realize I don’t have any process, and my valuation is basically my client list at this point–looking back, what would you recommend as the first step in  moving forward most effectively?

Kyle Battis  27:20

It’s a good question. Back then what we did is identifying that we didn’t have any processes. We probably went to the other end of the extreme; we started documenting everything. And to minute details on every single thing. Then what we found is once we did that hard work–it took months to document everything we were doing–and then what we found was some of those processes were outdated within a month and were just completely useless, because of the rapid changes in there. So then we started powering them back to what are the core elements? We used to do a lot of screen-capture videos showing like: Log in here, click on this button, do that. That’s fine when the interface looks like that, but as you guys are fully aware, that changes all the dang time. You logged into the back office of Facebook Ads a year ago; it looks completely different now–you’ve got to go to this different spot. So we’ve gotten away from some of the screen-capture videos, and really documented: Here’s where to go. That’s easier to edit and you’re not having to reshoot a 10-minute video explaining something to somebody. You can go edit the Google Doc that has the the instructions.

Darryl Parker  28:48

Would your advice be to just start documenting everything? Or would you…is there a way to get a little more…

Kyle Battis  28:55

Yeah, we started documenting everything and we quickly found out that some things you just don’t need to document because if you have a brain and you hire a good A-B player, they can figure some of those minor details out. So part of that is: What are the core essential things that we really need to document? And it could just be a checklist or a general process like an overview, without getting granular into the weeds of: Click this button, go to this link here… We’ve dialed it back a little bit so that it’s a little bit more general, but still gets them going in the right direction. So while some of the nuances and the specifics may change, the general process still remains the same.

Darryl Parker  29:42

So one of the things we like to ask our guests as we close up is what’s one of the favorite tools, what’s a piece of software or a tool that you’ve used in this process that has been awesome, that has been a good item for you or a good piece of software or hardware for you?

Kyle Battis  29:58

Google Docs! I mean, we’re pretty simple; we started very bootstrapped with our business. We didn’t have investors, we didn’t start with a ton of capital. I basically approached Mike with the idea of: “Hey, I think there’s a need here, we’ve got all these skill sets and knowledge in this online world, and so many small business owners don’t know what they don’t know. They know they want it, they know they need it, they know they should have it, but they don’t know how to actually do it.” So, we started very simply with that idea, and then launched the business. But I think Google Docs has been just–it’s a free tool. It’s very simple; you can share it. Our sales team ramp-up document is a Google Doc that maybe has links to videos and other documents, but it’s very simple and easy to use. I’ve seen some of the paid softwares where you can document processes and things like that. We’ve tried a few of them; we just found nothing ever fit our needs. And we all just kept going back to Google Docs.

Darryl Parker  31:03

I also heard you say that you brought in a coach or a consultant at some point? Did they helped with the process? Was that their primary role, or was there another role for them?

Kyle Battis  31:13

Yeah, they helped specifically on our sales. Their whole thing is built on managing a sales team. But that was a gap and a blind spot that we had. We knew we needed to bring on salespeople. We first just tried to hire them without having any processes or training in place. And that obviously didn’t work out. Then when we identified: “Hey, we don’t know what we don’t know here…”

Darryl Parker  31:39

I think that’s the big one, right?

Kyle Battis  31:40

Yeah, that was huge. So they pointed out our blind spots; they pointed out “here’s what you need to have” elements. Now looking back, it’s plain as day why we failed in the past with hiring sales reps in the past. Now that we’ve got that shored up and systemized, we’ve been getting success with that process.

Darryl Parker  32:04

I really appreciate you sharing all this great information with us and our audience. I think it’s always good when business owners can share with other business owners and we can try to learn. Is there anything you’d like to say before we close up today?

Kyle Battis  32:15

No, it was great chatting with you guys. Good conversation.

Darryl Parker  32:18

Great to chat with you as well.

Darryl Parker  32:25

Thank you for joining us today. As always, you can find information about the show in the show notes below. Please like and subscribe because we work hard to try to bring you good information. Thanks for joining us, and we will see you next time.

Caleb Parsons  32:40

You’ve been listening to the Parker Web Partner Show. If you need help in this ever-changing digital world, reach out to us at 877-321-2251 or visit our website at

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