Map it to hack it: use debriefing tactics to find your next growth hack

I see them. The hacks, the short cuts and the concepts.They’re my passion, my obsession, my profession and mission, so they usually come easy to me.

Though many perceive me as a free flow kinda gal; one that overcomes challenges on the fly with crazy out of the box ideas. It’s great for my branding, though the truth is that that creativity is an outcome of clarity and structure.

I reverse engineer the needed outcomes into a journey, a flow and experiences. I map it all; sometimes in my mind, and sometimes on a piece of paper or slide. Then, I take a deep breath and relax (because hey, when people expect you to come up with a crazy idea that works it is kinda stressful) and pray that the customer sees what I see.

The good news: anyone can map their process. :-)

If you can’t see it – map it.

Once a company identifies that there’s a challenge it wants to overcome, clarity must be gained. As easy as it may seem, this initial stepping stone may be the toughest. Why? Because it is created from two different perspectives that intertwine yet interfere: the facts and state of mind. To make it simple, let’s focus on the facts (for those who want to dig deeper, check out my previous post).

In this process, I create a map. As a base line, I use a debriefing process companies utilize. The twist I give it is that I use the same process to map challenges and find hacks. I do so by understanding what’s working, not working and missing in a certain work process.

Creating the map

The map at this stage looks more like a table with three columns – working, not working and missing. It’s a table that when completed, will give you a bird’s eye view of all sorts of ready-to-apply insights that you can use to overcome a true business challenge.

What’s Working

I kick off my exercise with the first column called ‘working.’ I ask the team to share everything that is contributing to its success. Regardless of their challenge.

It could be one of stages in your customer journey that converts very well, a very low number of customer service calls per customer, low churn, or strong conversion from opportunity to sale. It can be something as vague as a vibe or precise as a value that you’re company is living up to.

Whatever it is, and it could be anything, even an attitude or a specific person, what’s important is that you be specific about what it is that works.

Not Working

The middle column is the ‘not working’ column; it’s the column in which you will list everything that is off track. In this column also be specific, but about things that don’t work.

For example, you could list anything from the sales team leader not knowing what his members are doing, to long iteration cycles or response times to a lack of company trust.

What’s Missing

The final column is the ‘missing’ column. This is the column in which you’ll throw all the things you would so desperately like to have in the organization or that are specifically needed to overcome the challenge you are facing.

In this column you can add anything from testimonials, automation tools, product features, a customer success team or a ‘go get ’em’ attitude.

What’s important to remember in this phase of creating the map is that there is no editing. Don’t worry about right or wrong answers – they don’t exist. What does exist is an authentic and open conversation.

Connecting the Dots

Once your table is filled in go back and look at each column individually. This is where you’re going to narrow down your mapping – aside from the ‘what’s working’ column which has your assets and building blocks and should remain long and packed.

So now you’ll focus on the what’s ‘not working’ column and work to pare it down.

Growthanomics’ sprints focus on specific challenges and overcoming them, though we always focus on one main challenge. So, when looking at this column, choose two items that are not working. Choose the ones that if you get them to work, will help you solve the challenge that you’re working on.

In the third column – ‘missing,’ agree on up to five items that are crucial to overcoming the not working items you marked. Keep in mind that these are not things that would be nice to have. Instead, you want to choose the items most crucial fix what’s not working.

Growth hacking

Now it’s time to get creative and watch the magic unfold when you do.

Take a quick look at the first column – the one with your assets and building blocks, with an understanding of what works well in your business. Move to your ‘what’s missing’ column.

Review every item you marked or highlighted and think about how your assets can help. The trick here is not to look at your assets as they are or seem. Instead, think about your assets and what you need to do to tweak them with minimal effort in order to achieve something from your ‘missing’ column.

Here’s an example. A BI company I work with understood that in order to close deals they were missing a bucket of ‘on premise’ consultants as part of their sales team –   an industry standard for tier one customers. In their ‘what’s working’ column, one of their assets was a sharp team of data analysts.

So guess what they did? Hint: tweaking assets.

You got it. Their brilliant data analysts became the core of their consultancy team and is now catapulting their business forward.

While there are many journeys and touch points and challenges in the sales funnel, this growth hacking method is one that is simple, fast and gets results.

Most of all, you can run it in a fun and easy going manner and still come up with a hack you may have never considered before. Try this at home folks – and tell me what you came up with.

Check out our sales funnel optimization map

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