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  • Writer's pictureMichael Venman

Trying to Communicate?

Updated: Mar 7, 2023

When I was younger, I was a songwriter. (You can still google my name and find videos of a younger Mike playing guitar in Vermont.) I also studied mathematical proofs. What do those things have in common?

The goal is to communicate a complex idea in a manner that a novice only has to hear it once to understand.

As you can imagine, this is impossibly hard. Cue the Sisyphus reference...


It's for this reason I wanted to write about how we communicate, as it's the most important part of any consulting project. That's why we built The Sales Nerd App to help with this project, and make it easy to get status updates along the way. We'll cover the 4 main steps, and the types of communication you should expect to receive!

  • Project Management

  • Requirements Gathering

  • Solution Design

  • Deployment

  • Post Go-Live

Project Management

Project Planning is vital for a project involving 3+ systems, 10+ stakeholders, and a budget that requires results. For that reason, you we use The Sales Nerd App to show some (or all) the following:

  • Prioritized Requirements with Status/Sprint/Owner across multiple Tracks

  • Project Tasks on all project related takeaways/decisions

  • Logged Project Status updates at whatever cadence you prefer

  • Project Risks and Mitigation Strategies

Requirements Gathering

As part of the first and most important phase we'll decide together what you'd like the future to look like and prioritize work. We'll use Requirements in the app to decide on everything from important architectural choices and custom processes.


During this part of the project, it will be important for us to all be on the same page as to how the system will work and we will use Flow Charts to do that, documenting the entire current and future process in flow charts to talk through together. Here we'll be able to align on the parts of your process we'd like to prioritize and get everyone on the same page as to what we are building and why.


The output of this work will be Acceptance Criteria in The Sales Nerd App, sentences written in plane ol' english describing how you'd like the system to work. An example would be, "When the Lead Status moves from X to Y, we require Field ABC to have a value." When done well, this is perfect for Test Cases down the road.


Solution Design

Once we've approved the Requirements we will work on, and the Acceptance Criteria we will write out exactly what we will do in the Solution Design in The Sales Nerd App. This is by default much more technical and will require a system background (Salesforce, Marketo, Outreach, etc...) to understand. An example would be "Create a validation rule on the lead object such the lead status is changed, has a value of Y, the record type is "Standard," Field ABC is blank, and Remove Automation = FALSE, an error fires."


Deployment

Deployment typically involves people from multiple teams! (Exciting, and terrifying)


The best way to do this we've found is in Google Sheets as many people will need access and the malleability of the tool will be most useful. We'll have a deployment schedule with specific owners and dependencies, a list of items pushed from the change set, live access to see if we are on pace or not, etc...


At the end of Deployment you'll be given Technical Documentation in Google Docs with all of the documentation built into your system. We also follow the rule of using prefixes for all the development we do so it will be easily findable in the future. Some companies also prefer the Business Process approach to documentation, where we'd summarize the build by each larger Story we are building towards.


Post Go-Live

Did someone say ticketing system? Here we will be using The Sales Nerd App again to manage all tickets (bugs and enhancements), communicate around necessary pieces of information, and prioritize what we are working on. You'll have a full list of the tickets post go-live including enhancements that your internal team, or The Sales Nerd, can help fix.

 

The Sales Nerd is a consulting firm who focuses on large Business Transformation projects in Salesforce+ ecosystems. We have 10+ years of experience working with Tech companies and have worked with Sales and Marketing Leaders from the first dollar to $300+ million in revenue a year. If you are working on a Marketing Automation installation, company merger, or redefining your Sales and Marketing Processes, we'd be happy to ensure that communication is NEVER an issue.


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