Poor communication sent different teams down the wrong rabbit holes. Salesmsg CEO & Founder Chris Brisson hired Cesar Quintero to improve operations with the Entrepreneurial Operating System—and what he learned can help any company that relies on a remote workforce.
Salesmsg is one of those companies that was unimaginable 15 years ago. Essentially, it provides an all-in-one texting service businesses can use for marketing and customer service. The vast majority of Salesmsg employees and contractors work remotely. Many are software developers. And a lot of them rarely meet face-to-face.
While the virtual business model has enabled Salesmsg Founder & CEO Chris Brisson to recruit some of the best technical talent in a rapidly evolving industry, it also presents communication challenges—particularly when tracking progress on complex software integration projects.
Often, weeks might go by before Chris learned that a team had misinterpreted his intent.
“We just weren’t communicating,” he explained. “We would go down a certain rabbit hole and come to find out my vision for something was completely different than the team’s vision. It was causing a lot of wasted time and energy and money and frustration from everybody.”
By 2018, Chris realized these miscommunications were slowing the company down. To gain traction, he hired Cesar Quintero to help Salesmsg implement the Entrepreneurial Operating System (EOS).
“I really needed someone to help kind of put the pieces together and help me get my plan out on a quarterly and annual basis,” said Chris, who had come to know Cesar through the Entrepreneurs’ Organization of South Florida. “I know how amazing he is at building structure and with just getting teams aligned. So, when he posted on Facebook that he was going to start helping people implement EOS, I jumped on it.”
Cesar started the engagement by emphasizing the advantages of adopting a shorter planning horizon. He encouraged Chris to distill his three-year picture into more measurable one-year goals and then work backwards from those to create Quarterly Rocks.
This required asking a simple question: “What are the most important things to get done in this quarter?”
Finding the answer forced Chris and his staff to focus on concrete steps they could take each quarter to advance toward their annual goals. Almost overnight, everyone’s role—their individual responsibility for achieving company rocks—became clearer. The clarity boosted the team’s confidence and morale. Suddenly, everyone was enthusiastically aligned around a shared set of objectives.
“Cesar’s really good at taking high level, behemoth goals and projects and breaking them down into manageable chunks,” said Chris.
Discovering and activating core values
Cesar also helped Chris nail down the core values that he had been struggling to define for so long. As a Why Activator, Cesar helped weave in the Why and the How into the EOS process. The core value discovery process is used to help businesses identify how they do things in a unique way that creates value.
Core values constitute a company’s DNA; its secret sauce. With the help of Cesar, Chris translated them into phrases with active verbs.
“After years of struggling to identify my core values, Cesar literally got it done in a day.”
One of the first core values to emerge was “We figure it out.”
“When one of the employees comes to me and says, ‘Well I don’t know how to do this or that, what do we do?’ my response is always, ‘Well, we figure it out,’” Chris explained. “Chances are somebody else has already done it, so we do a Google search or read a book to discover how to be better at our jobs.” “Now, we always just point back to that if someone is stumped. We go and figure it out. We make it happen. It keeps us straight on who we are.”
Another of the company’s core values is “Think forward.” This entails anticipating what new technologies will best serve a customer’s evolving needs—and then learning how to employ them.
In Salesmsg’s case, this has led to a commitment to learn how to build bots, which use natural language and artificial intelligence to determine whether to route incoming customer queries to an online tutorial, social media channel, call center, or other resources. They will essentially help companies make their expensive human resources more efficient.
“We knew we needed to build them,” Chris said. “Our customers want it.”
To further alignment, Cesar helped Chris figure out how to integrate a key metric into Salesmsg’s operations. Because the company is compensated based on the number of messages sent over its platform, “messages sent” is a vital KPI.
If messages sent declines, that indicates a customer is not getting value and will cancel the service. Conversely, the faster messages sent grows, the faster customers are realizing the potential of the platform and its benefits—and the faster Salesmsg’s sales and profits are growing.
Now Salesmsg won’t invest in developing a new feature—such as integration with another cloud-based app—unless an analysis shows it will contribute to both the customer’s value proposition and generating more messages.
“We made the mistake in the past where we just would build everything a customer requested,” explained Chris. “Obviously that takes time, money, and resources and we’d spend a month and a half building an integration that no one used. That was a big waste of money.”
“I’d say one the biggest benefits of working with Cesar is team alignment,” he adds. “Everyone has a finger on the pulse of the business. It’s just critical to everything we do.”
If your staff is chasing too many rabbits down too many holes—and you’d like to implement EOS practices to focus and streamline your business—schedule a consultation with Cesar today.