Homo Erectus Absolutely Killed It
At the dawn of man, we only had a few tools, each one created only after careful consideration of what was actually needed to get the job done.
Today we run the risk of the tools becoming the master, sucking time that should be spent with customers and spitting out process so prescriptive that our natural craftiness atrophies and we’re unable to innovate out in the wild.
Simplifying your tools will give you the space to do what humans have always done best: evaluate a situation, think critically how to take advantage of what you see, then club it to death and drag it home. Or as we say today, absolutely kill this quarter’s numbers.
HERE’S WHAT TO DO
Hone it by hand
Whether it’s sharpening a knife, personalizing outbound emails, or defining follow-up cadence, you should do it manually for a long long time before you automate.
It’ll take more time, but with each iteration you’ll develop new insights, ending up with stronger assets and optimized process.
Then when a process is truly dialed in and nothing has improved for a while, evaluate if it’s worth buying a specialized tool or automating. You’ll probably find lots of things where even though they could be automated, the ROI just doesn’t prove out.
Do unto others
The golden rule has been around since one guy pulled his partner out of the way of a sabre-tooth tiger they were hunting. Putting yourself in your customer’s shoes reminds you to prioritize simplicity and minimize tool overload for them before you worry about your own needs. This means thinking about their perspective and making communications and shared assets easily accessible in one place so they’re not hunting email, Slack, Whatsapp, Dropbox, Linkedin and DM to find your stuff.
It also means making sure any collaboration tools you use put a premium on ease-of-use and that you’re not asking your customers to do your work. If a customer-facing tool has three hours of YouTube instructional videos, it’s not the right solution.
Finally, think about what level of retention a customer might expect to have after seeing your first demo. Do you think they’d remember every last thing perfectly?
Modern analytics tools secrete a near-unbearable source of temptation to stay in the office, modeling your customers, running simulations of campaigns, and designing complex forecast models with twenty variables to tweak, all in the name of optimization.
But nothing gets results faster than getting outside and actually talking to customers, and that applies to execs just as much as field reps. You may even find you don’t need predictive AI modeling machine learning algorithms.
DON’T go full cave man
The average lifespan of stone age hunters was about 27 years. That’s not great.
Simplify just enough so you’re focused on helping your customer, not serving the needs of your software, but don’t hesitate to use the right tool at the right time.
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