Small Problems

At its best, the sales and marketing efforts of an organization function like parts of a machine. This machine communicates with potential customers, identifies and filters leads, converts leads into customers, and strengthens those customer relationships over time. Like all machines, the sales and marketing machine is comprised of a series of interconnected systems functioning as one.

These interconnected systems are the machine’s strength, but also its vulnerability. When a failure occurs within one system, it often disproportionately affects the functioning of the entire machine.

Imagine driving your car with a flat tire. A failure within one system has the effect of making your car un-drivable. Although a flat tire is a big problem, it has the advantage of being obvious.

The same is typically true within the sales and marketing machine, where big problems are obvious, and get dealt with quickly. Less obvious are the many small failures and inefficiencies that hide within the complex systems of the modern sales and marketing machine. When their cumulative impact is tallied, it becomes clear: small problems are the big problem.

Lenses Identify and Eliminate Waste

A lens is a simple tool that enables focus and perspective. Over time, businesses develop “blind spots” in their sales and marketing efforts which allow waste to accumulate and flourish. 



When a client engages our services, we typically begin by developing a clear understanding of the systems in place to support the sales and marketing machine. We believe systems are best deconstructed by exploring the processes in place, the tools being used, and the policies that ensure their consistent application.

Systems = Processes + Tools + Policies

For many organizations, documented processes and policies are associated with departments such as production, procurement, and human resources. Often the creative, people-focused sales and marketing functions operate with less formalized processes and less stringent policies. Yet in the absence of documented processes and policies, an organization may lack the basic transparency required to identify and eliminate waste within its systems.



Spending waste takes many forms, some more easily identified than others. Here are three common contributors to spending waste:

toronto tower


Many companies confuse measuring results with tracking performance; the difference is that the latter requires connecting an action to an objective.

Determining pass/fail parameters for large corporate objectives such as sales targets is commonplace. Yet it is the rare exception for a company to leverage this powerful tool to its full potential. By simply lowering the threshold for which actions and spending require objective-setting, decision makers are forced to think more critically about what they are doing and why.

Levers Improve Efficiency

A lever is a simple tool that amplifies an input force to produce a greater output force – it efficiently multiplies the effort of its user. We employ numerous tools to improve efficiency within the sales and marketing machine, but none more important than the two listed below: 



Optimize Conditions for Organic Growth

One of the fundamental principles behind the Lenses and Levers Method is to optimize conditions for organic growth. The key components of organic growth, not to be confused with paid growth, are the generation of positive word-of-mouth, consistent referral business, and increased customer spend.


Testing Before Investing

Because we can’t predict which new sales tactics work best under which conditions, but can influence the efficiency with which we test those new tactics, our method uses a trial and error approach to test performance under real market conditions. Generally, we recommend all tactics satisfy the following three conditions:


Can We Prove It?

Tactics must be provable. This means there is an ability to set quantifiable pass/fail conditions. This approach eliminates unmeasurable activities that are often labeled as “branding” or “awareness building”.

Can Results Be Replicated?

The ability to replicate results under similar conditions is an important consideration with respect to scalability and automation. As such, we tend to avoid one-off events and opportunities, in favour of tactics that can be scaled and automated.

Define A Minimum Viable Trial

If pass/fail conditions can be set, the next step is to define a set of parameters in which we can measure and assess a tactic’s effectiveness and potential. The following are some common parameters:

  • The pass/fail conditions.
  • Reaching a statistically relevant sample size.
  • The minimum investment required for the trial.
  • The timeframe for the trial.
  • The person responsible for monitoring and reporting results and/or making adjustments.

Remove sales and marketing waste, and value is created. Connect with us to learn more.

Contact us