Building a Thriving Atlassian Consulting Business: Part 13

Getting Additional Clients

In 2018 I started working with Atlassian Solution Partners. I’ve co-hosted events, written app reviews, completed consulting projects, and created content like use cases, documentation, and explainer videos.


Here’s me signing books after delivering a workshop for a solution partner’s clients.

In 2018 I also hired a consultant to help manage business development efforts and the sales process.


Chris Lutz and I travel together.  He’s an entrepreneur too and has a background in business development and sales. I needed help in those areas, so it was a good time for us to join forces. We already knew we work well together. On the left is us discussing website design details in 2009. On the right is a photo from Atlassian Summit 10 years later.

It’s important to hire people you trust and who’s skills balance and compliment yours. I’m an introvert but Chris loves to talk to leads and prospects, which is important for getting additional clients.

Inbound Sales Model

By this point, you’ve probably moved from an outbound sales model to an inbound sales model. Inbound sales is the process of pulling leads to you through marketing efforts.

Most of us have many leads and prospects but commonly, we fail to recognize them, pursue them, or follow up enough times to make a sale.

How many times do you think you need to follow up to convert a lead?

Once? Twice?

“80% of sales require five follow-up calls.”

Source: Invesp

Invesp, one of the first companies to focus on conversion optimization in North America, says the answer is five.

You need a process to track and execute all those follow ups.

Upsell, Down-sell & Cross-sell

  • Upsell – selling an additional product

  • Down-sell – selling a budget-friendly alternative

  • Cross-sell – selling a complementary product

Your existing customers are likely your best customers. You should create upsells, down-sells, cross-sells and a process for each.

Here are some examples:

  • If you’ve completed an implementation, upsell another product like ongoing support.

  • If you couldn’t sell a certain product, try to sell an alternate product instead. For example, if the customer can’t afford 20 hours of weekly ongoing support, offer 10.

  • Finally, try selling complementary products. If you’ve implemented Jira, maybe the customer could benefit from implementing Confluence too.

Develop New Relationships

Finally, if there are no more prospects in your existing list, it’s time to cultivate new relationships. There are many ways to do this. You can attend, speak at, or sponsor events that prospective customers attend. You can do advertising campaigns in publications or on websites that prospects read.

My favorite idea is to develop referral relationships with fellow consultants and pass leads back and forth. For example, if I’m booked, I’ll pass a lead on to a consultant I like. If they have a project they don’t want, they’ll pass the lead to me.

Jira as a CRM


Regardless of what you do to get additional clients, you need a customer relationship management tool, or CRM, to manage the process. There’s lots of great software out there and there are examples in one of the download files.

If you’re not ready for a full-featured CRM, you can use Jira. Create a Jira project to track contacts, campaigns, and deals, and create a board to manage your pipeline. There’s even lead tracking and sales pipeline templates in Jira Cloud.

Part 14: Multiple Revenue Streams



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