Think about the time you’ve made the biggest impact in your career.
For me, it was when we resegmented our customers. Every company and every sales leader thinks a lot about segmentation, because you need a way to divide up the work and direct your attention. Usually this involves balancing out equations with varying degrees of complexity. To vastly oversimplify, on one side you’ve got revenue and on the other side you have your team multiplied by the number of hours in a day divided by the number of accounts they can manage.
Don’t let anyone tell you that “time” is anything other than constant.
But segmentation usually comes down to a trade-off between scale and sacrifice. You work your team harder or you give customers less attention. And more often than not, you settle for a “happy” medium.
But for us, we wanted to optimize for impact. And that meant narrowing the focus of our team to a smaller set of customers to increase the personal attention we could give them without overworking our teams.
In other words, we could make a bigger impact by doing less.
Impact is about focus, not force
Okay, all the physics people are about to type in the comments, “Well actually…” But in business, you can make a lot more impact by narrowing your focus than you can by working longer or harder or doing too much at once.
Impact is about the big picture. The end result. What we’re actually providing to our customers and our teams.
Take communication for example. Prior to joining Front, I was at a small startup. And in a small startup, in some ways you have a tighter focus — fewer customers, fewer teammates, fewer programs to manage. But in other ways, the focus can be so wide it’s almost infinite. You wear multiple hats, you do sales and marketing at once. You manage a team and you’re an individual contributor.
And so to manage our communications, we had to have meetings about what was in Slack versus email versus meetings versus every other communication medium. All companies have to reckon with those questions of process and workflow. But for us, we spent so much effort on process that we weren’t having is selling the product. We worked more on how to work than on actually working.
We were doing too much.
Your workflow should be less work
Sales is very qualitative. You’re closing deals or you’re not. As a sales leader, you can optimize your workflows, plan your playbooks to a T, get a consultant, get another tool, but if your team is missing their number, then how much does any of that matter?
The heart of any transaction — the heart of business — is that connection between a company and a customer. All our effort and tactics and tools were getting in between us and our customers.
Front totally changed my life in this regard. What I care about is how we interact with our customers and making sure that we’re making it easy to purchase our software. And because Front powers our sales team, it’s so easy for me to communicate that value to potential customers.
Front isn’t just another layer of communication between you and your customers, it actually removes distance between teams and clients. If we have a demo, my team can easily loop me in on the follow-up email. We can be more thoughtful in our responses or get the answers quickly from the right person immediately. We don’t get caught up in procedure or multitasking because the way we do all our communication is just really natural for how a team communicates together with a customer. We don’t have to hack it or optimize it.
That’s what we talked about at our impact event earlier this month. We unveiled the all-new Front brand, which is (spoiler-alert) 100 percent about helping you make more impact with less work by connecting you to your customers more intuitively. It’s a very detailed roadmap for how to build an impact strategy at your company.
I’m learning more each day about what impact really means, and I’d love to hear what you think! Let me know in the comments about what impact means to you.
Written by Maggie Peressini
Originally Published: 28 August 2020