Written by: Natalie Hall, Sr. Program Manager, Go Nimbly
Right out of college, I worked as a middle school English teacher, and for months, I thought I’d never find my ‘Teacher Voice’ (a term some teachers use to describe a tone of voice that commands attention), mainly because I could not project my voice as loudly as some of my co-workers. However, when I finally did find that voice, it struck me that its power was not about volume; it was about my ability to tell a story that people could connect to. The best teachers I’ve known have always been the best storytellers, I’m here to tell you about why the same goes for the best operators.
We talk a lot about storytelling at Go Nimbly. Why? Because we know that the most effective RevOps teams need to be able to break down silos, get seats at tables early versus only during execution, and are able to convince teams of necessary process, customer, and technical changes. In addition to the technical experience and skill, a huge part of being an effective operator is being able to articulate a clear, compelling story of what’s important.
Here are the questions a good story should answer:
- What is the current state?
- What type of gap are you trying to close? Customer? Experience, Scale?
- Who is impacted by this gap?
- Is this gap associated with an OKR?
- What’s the business case?
- What level of effort is required to ‘slay the dragon’?
Being able to tell a good story will help an operator get:
- Buy-in for important initiatives
- Additional budget and headcount
- Inclusion earlier in the decision-making process
So, what does this even sound like? Think about your next standup, all hands, or check in. If you’re proposing any kind of initiative or even a smaller-scale change – can you answer the above questions about it? Could you clearly articulate the business case? Let’s take a look at an example below of what your current story may sound like, and some ideas for how to up-level it.
What if we went from this:
We’re excited to implement a new tool called Outreach to automate the activities that the sales team for outbound. The team is feeling a lot of pain around this and it will make them faster.
We’re really excited to WORK THIS QUARTER ON OUR TOP OF FUNNEL EXPERIENCE.
One of our core strategies or new business is to bring 1-3 NEW ACCOUNTS THROUGH OUTBOUND.
Today, for lack of a better word, we’re going ROGUE. Let me tell you a little STORY about what we’re currently managing. Each of our SDRs are managing their outbound efforts in notepads on their desks, Trello boards, spreadsheets, AND THAT’S BEST CASE.
This makes it HARD FOR US TO KNOW WHAT’S WORKING AND WHAT’S NOT, AND EVEN WORSE, WHETHER OR NOT WE HAVE FUNNEL LEAKAGE. But even worse, we’re creating TERRIBLE EXPERIENCES FOR OUR CUSTOMERS.
In the past month we’ve heard about: Existing customers having outbound touchpoint from us; the same prospect receiving calls from two different reps; customers receiving 5+ touches in a week and then radio silence. Without correcting this, not only are we HURTING OUR BRAND AND THE EXPERIENCE OF OUR PROSPECTS, BUT WE CAN’T SCALE OUR SALES TEAM PAST THIS SIZE.
We have 3 INITIATIVES this quarter to streamline this top of funnel experience for both our customers and our reps. We’re starting by IMPLEMENTING OUTREACH which will automatically track touchpoint, AUTOMATED FOLLOW UPS for our team, and allow us to REPORT ON WHAT’S WORKING.
We expect to increase the number of meetings per week from 10 TO 15.
Wrong. At Go Nimbly, we also talk a lot about 1% shifts. Why? Because we recognize that change doesn’t happen overnight. Building a muscle around story-telling is one that takes time to perfect. Here are a few ideas to try:
- Write the guiding story telling questions on a digital or analog sticky note, and put it somewhere visible in your workspace as reminders of what to speak to
- Try incorporating an answer to one or two of the guiding questions in your next meeting
- Before your next meeting to discuss a current initiative, jot down your answer to the guiding story-telling questions – can you answer them all?
Find us on LinkedIn, and tell us how you tell the story of your team’s work!