I had a great time learning and sharing with the Buffalo Niagara Sales and Marketing Executives BNSME group. They invited me to share ideas and join them in a conversation about levels of work, pattern recognition for sales and marketing.  

What did we talk about? 

During the COVID19 pandemic, we have seen that cracks in an organization design have increased, and the need to find emergent strategies with our marketing and sales efforts are needed now more than ever.

So what did we learn? 

There was a bunch of great discussions some of the learning points: 

  • Most organizations have multiple decision-makers, and we need to be aware of how they share their challenges and progress to interweave our story into theirs. 
  • The best we can do as sales and marketing professionals is to listen. Listen to the buyer, our peers, competitors, membership groups, whoever is sharing their experiences. AND from our listening, identify where we are, where the other person is, and look for emergent or differences as indicators of patterns
  • Often there are internal organizational issues that we have little control or authority over. Finding ways to integrate our progress into the company’s challenges will show how we can help, and the value that comes from changes in patterns and marketing is continuous. 
  • The timespan of a role aligns with the time it will take to recover from a bad hire or bad decision. 
  • Micromanagement occurs when people’s goals are too close together, and their experience or story of their work is too similar. We need richness in experience and to hear + seek smarter, skilled, experienced people to add ‘flavor’ to our sales and marketing. 

Now, what can we do differently? 

  • With the levels-of-work concept, you can better match your language to those of your prospects. 
  • As you see patterns be aware of ‘weak signals’ or ‘strong attractors’ that will point to future progress + regress in your work
  • Within organizations, make an effort to keep the hierarchy robust to support the work that has to get done. 
  • When we over lean, or the ‘leanification’ of work removes the multiple feedback points (stories, experiences, slack) you can access. And that decreases the number of patterns you can see and make sense of, therefore reducing your ability to change with the market. 

 As the environment changes (and it will continuously change), sales and marketing professionals are the narrators, story-tellers, and sense-makers. 

The future is already here – it’s just not evenly distributed’ (William Gibson) — YOU are the one who attracts or repels how that distribution affects your products and services.  


levels or work and pattern recognition for sales and marketing