Have you heard of the Entrepreneurial Operating System® or EOS? It’s a collection of concepts and tools that help entrepreneurs get the most out of their businesses by resolving issues and regaining focus to fuel long-term growth and success. As a B2B marketing agency, Sagefrog believes in and follows the framework of this entrepreneurial system, constantly seeking new ways to foster a conducive work environment and propel business forward.
The founder of EOS, Gino Wickman, has written many books that provide secrets for taking business to the next level. Get a Grip, by Gino Wickman and Mike Paton, is an entrepreneurial fable that follows one company’s journey through EOS. Swan Services, the company, is run by frustrated owners Eileen Sharp and Vic Hightower. The business sees growth over the years but recently approached a sales plateau that revealed various weaknesses within the company, such as people pointing fingers, sales-marketing misalignment, no established short- or long-term goals, and a work-life imbalance. There are plenty of meetings to get Swan Services back on track, but nothing ever works…until EOS.
At Sagefrog, our mission is to accelerate your success. We do this through brand building and integrated marketing, but we have also experienced, first-hand, the power of EOS and the lessons it teaches B2B companies to work and live by. Dedicated to accelerating your company’s success, we’re sharing the lessons with you here—focus, transparency, accountability, and commitment. Read on to learn more.
Every company faces a time in which they lose focus on what matters to their brand. Often, it’s due to concentrating your efforts on growth and sales rather than initiatives that mature your organization from within. Whether your value propositions are inadequate or you’re falling behind competition, B2B companies must determine a Core Focus (similar to a mission statement) and remain dedicated to seeing it through each day to set themselves up for long-term growth and success.
According to Get a Grip, a solid Marketing Strategy creates laser focus for your sales and marketing efforts, helping you win more of the right kind of business and potential customers. The Marketing Strategy defines four items: target market, uniques, proven process, and guarantee. When you put them together, you form a clear vision for whom you want to attract, what makes you different, how you build success for users of your product or service, and what you can promise to those who don’t feel inclined to make a purchase. Once you nail down this Marketing Strategy, you’ll see the alignment of your entire B2B organization around one Core Focus.
At the beginning of the entrepreneurial fable, Eileen and Vic exchange words and raise voices. At one point, the narrator says, “Eileen regretted her decision to put glass walls and doors on all the executive offices. Anyone from the rows of cubicles outside her office would know the two partners were arguing yet again.” EOS teaches business leaders and organizations to be fully transparent, both internally and externally.
From C-suite changes to new hires, company milestones, individual feedback, and everything in between, sharing information can significantly benefit B2B organizations and teams. In Get a Grip, Swan Services is encouraged to be open and honest with one another. “Open” refers to being open-minded and open to constructive criticism, and “honest” refers to not holding back. While the right things aren’t always the easiest to say, they’re certainly necessary for growth.
One of the most detrimental concerns for any B2B company is the lack of accountability. When lines are blurred, team members find themselves off track, stepping on each other’s toes, or both. This leaves room for tasks being repeated or missed and a lot of time wasted. In a study by the Association for Talent Development, you’re 10% likely to complete your goal after having an idea, 65% likely to complete your goal after appointing someone to do it, and 95% likely to complete your goal after holding an accountability appointment with the person who is responsible for it. The likelihood of achieving goals grows as accountability grows.
At one point in the story, Alan, the company’s EOS implementer, says, “when two people are accountable, no one is accountable.” He then guides the team through the creation of an Accountability Chart. There are three primary functions: sales/marketing, operations, and finance. Every organization requires the right person for each of these functions, and then clarity will drive confidence and get companies back on track with setting and achieving goals.
Last but not least is the ability to commit your B2B company and team members to making small steps and giant leaps towards big-picture goals. It’s human nature to say you’re going to do something and then forget or get distracted; however, it can cause a rift between an organization and its people in the workplace.
EOS companies set Rocks each quarter; Rocks can be larger, company-wide goals or smaller, individual tasks. Teams check in with each other, ensuring accountability and motivation. Upon completion, these Rocks can have a massive impact on the company. The point of dedicating yourself to at least one Rock per quarter is to contribute to the greater whole and lead by example. Without commitment, there’s no passion or enthusiasm.
Do You Have a Grip on Your B2B Company?
Whether you’ve heard about EOS before or this is your first time, Get a Grip, by Gino Wickman and Mike Paton, helps readers see EOS concepts and tools in action. The fable follows a company that faces every business challenge imaginable and then shows how focus, transparency, accountability, and commitment can restore your B2B company’s purpose and potential.
Sagefrog has helped many EOS-run organizations put their Marketing Strategy to work through professional branding and integrated marketing. Get in touch to discuss how we can achieve your company’s goals together.