Ten years ago, Britton Manasco and I set out to create a company based on a simple, but an ultimately unique idea: by crafting a compelling conversation that delivers powerful insights, coupled with engaging graphics, we could help companies create a sense of urgency for their buyers and accelerate the sales cycle.
At the time, I was on my third turn as a marketing executive for a Fortune 100 technology company. I was becoming increasingly frustrated and, frankly, a bit burned out. The primary irritant stemmed from the disconnect between the marketing and sales organizations. There was an almost institutional resistance to marketing being able to engage and collaborate with sales. The sales team constantly complained about the quality of marketing material — how it didn’t resonate with customers, that there was too much of it, or that it was always out of date. On the flip side, there was a persistent belief on the marketing side that sales would pull you in directions that didn’t align with our goals — instead they’d focus on the immediate, quarterly sales number without any long-term strategy for achieving success.
Just when I reached a breaking point, my good friend, Britton (who sadly passed away in 2018), approached me about starting a new company. Even though there wasn’t a clear vision at the time of exactly what direction we would take, I was eager to leave my current situation. The timing just felt right. It was a big leap — but ultimately the best career choice I have ever made.
Britton was a content guy, a wordsmith. He could craft a memorable story out of the driest jumble of bits and bytes or speeds and feeds. I was a sales and marketing guy, deeply convinced of the power of strong visuals (something besides those endless decks of logo-loaded slides) to tell an engaging story. In trying to develop a differentiator for our business, we realized that the perfect marketing and selling tools would be a blend of both: convincing content combined with compelling visuals — all built upon an elegant framework that was easy to deliver and easy to remember — would engage customers in an actual conversation.
Visible Impact was born.
As we established ourselves over the years, this unique approach was refined but never abandoned. In fact, it has grown into what we now call The Compelling Conversation™. Based on the well-respected insight selling method, the core idea is that every complex technology story, every brand message, every tagline — in fact, all the content a company uses to support their products or services — can be distilled into a small set of compelling conversational elements. These elements are organized into a story-based framework that is easy to grasp and used to develop well-designed, content-rich, customer- and sales-facing assets that are easy to deploy and purpose-built at each step to create urgency for the buyer.
We’ve proven that this approach works across a diverse collection of clients who have seen it accelerate their sales cycles by reducing friction at each stage of the buyer’s journey. That’s why sales teams love it, but marketing teams love it as well because it aligns strategically with their goals rather than putting marketing and sales in conflict.
As we’ve grown, Visible Impact has expanded our leadership team. COO Rebecca Thorburn (a master at competently controlling all of the moving parts of a rapidly growing agency) joined us in 2017, and CTO Guy Currier (our technology sage with a finger on the pulse of all things transformative) came aboard in 2020. Our primary focus remains working with our clients to put compelling conversations in the hands of more and more sales and marketing professionals.
We have been fully committed from the start to creating, testing, and evolving a variety of asset types to help our customers have compelling conversations with their buyers. We’re always evaluating the latest research on marketing and sales methodologies and have applied new findings to The Compelling Conversation™ approach and the materials we deliver. We’ve even developed a mobile sales enablement app, QCards™, that organizes elements of The Compelling Conversation™ so that sales teams can quickly retrieve and share trends, insights, solution benefits, and product details with the right person at the right time. If compelling conversations are an accelerant for the sales cycle, QCards™ is jet fuel.
When we started this company in 2012, I believed there had to be a better way. My experience had shown me that the old, broken way of selling was limited, inefficient, and focused on the wrong principles. I jumped at the chance to try something new and happily discovered that by helping a company organize its key messages into authentic, compelling conversations (the kind we have every day with our friends and colleagues), we can make an impact — a visible impact — on our clients’ bottom line.
While this post has been a look back, we have a lot of talented people at Visible Impact who are looking forward to writing the story of our next decade by helping as many clients as possible. Here’s to another incredible 10 years for all of us!
Are you ready to have compelling conversations with your customers?
Contact us today to get started.