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Implement OKRs to Coordinate Sales Efforts

I often work with startups on the verge of becoming scale-ups. If I like what they are trying to do as a company and have a click with the team, I help them create a team structure from which they can grow. A perfect example of this is Ecochain. 

Mission: Empower companies to make a sustainable impact

Ecochain is a company of sustainability enthusiasts who want to help companies adjust their products and processes to make the world a better place than it was before. 

More and more companies are placing environmental objectives at the forefront of their business. The problem is that many business leaders are discouraged by how complex and time-consuming it is to measure the carbon footprint of products and processes across a supply chain. Many times, it is easier to look the other way. 

That is where Ecochain comes in. They work to make Life Cycle Assessments more accessible so anyone in the business can create more sustainable products. 

Product: Life Cycle Assessment Software

If you have not heard of Life Cycle Assessment (LCA), it is a science-based method used to evaluate the environmental impact of a product or process throughout its life cycle. It considers all stages across the supply chain, from raw material extraction to disposal or recycling. 

Ecochain offers two LCA software solutions that allow companies to measure the carbon footprint of their products. One of them, Mobius, is a quick and easy tool that helps product designers measure the carbon footprint of individual products. The other one, Helix, is designed to help business managers measure the more complex footprints of large product portfolios and complete manufacturing sites. Both tools contribute to helping make decisions to improve the environmental impact at the company, process, and product levels of a business.

Challenge: coordinate a young, growing sales team

Marnix (Commercial Director) & Tobias (Marketing Lead) approached me in one of those painful growth moments with which any startup can relate. The business is growing, the product is selling, but you now have the challenge of balancing the actual marketing & sales work with coordinating a growing team. All while keeping your eye on the goal: more sales. 

Marnix & Tobias were searching for a coach to help embed the OKR framework (Objectives and Key Results). The goal was clear: get the team to communicate efficiently, track progress, and prioritize work on the run.

Approach: Assessment. Team Design. Roll-Out.

We divided the project into three phases: assessment, team design, and roll-out.

Assessment: make a plan

During a 2-hour meeting, Marnix & Tobias walked me through the business strategy, how the sales team worked, and the current sales team milestones. At the end of the session, we agreed on the improvement points and a coaching plan.

Team design: define OKRs & communication rhythm

In the first 3-hour session, I introduced the team to the OKR framework, walked them through some examples, and worked on defining their next marketing & sales objectives and key results. At the end of the session, we had our OKR sheet ready to go.

In the second 3-hour session, I explained a typical approach to weekly, monthly, and quarterly communication routines. We then discussed the team's preferences for communicating achievements, flagging problems, and planning work. At the end of the session, we had our team reporting tools and meeting templates in place.

Embed: facilitate the new routine

The final phase was guiding the team through the weekly, monthly, and quarterly meeting routine. We set marketing & sales objectives for the next quarter, scheduled the weekly and monthly check-ins, and got to work.

The Team Weekly was a 30-minute meeting in which I facilitated the team updates on the marketing & sales results from the previous week and aligned on the work for the upcoming week.

The Team Monthly was a 1-hour meeting in which we checked our progress towards our objectives and discussed if we were prioritizing the right things as a team to reach our targets. 

The Team Quarterly was a 2-hour session in which we reviewed team performance, discussed our new way of working, and agreed on any improvements needed for the next quarter.

At the end of the quarter, the team got the hang of it and was able to run the meeting routine on their own.

About the Author

Ángel Figueroa

Aerospace Engineer turned Entrepreneur, Ángel mixes sports & game smarts to design high-performing innovation teams.

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