End to end understanding of all the levers and conversion points is how you build the right growth model for your business.
1) Acquisition -- building the right model to generate the right demand at profitable CAC levels.
2) Activation -- building the right framework to get the right prospects to activate and onboard on your platform.
3) Adoption -- building the right infrastructure to have your customers embed your solution into their environment, while getting all stakeholders involved.
4) Retention -- driving towards customer success with everything you do (marketing, sales, product, UX)
5) Expansion -- identifying opportunities to grow your relationship with customers with increased usage or additional products, services, and offerings.
The more you understand these levers and pull them effectively, the more budget you can invest into acquiring customers in the first place.
The more you can profitably spend to acquire a customer, the faster you grow.
Somewhere along their journey, companies decide to treat buyers like mice in a maze. Want a Demo? Sure, you just have to:
This type of workflow also kills demand gen programs that take a lot of effort to get the right prospect in the door, only to have the buyer end up in the Closed Lost column due to a bad sales process.
Start with the buyer. Remove the hard lines between SDRs and AEs.
Pricing has a significant impact on your operating model. It is also one of the most powerful growth levers available to most businesses (yet also one of the most under-utilized).
Companies are often scared to increase prices for fear of losing loyal customers, lowered satisfaction ratings and being perceived as price-gouging for their products.
Ironically, keeping your prices stagnant is one of the quickest ways to deliver lesser value to your customers.
Lower margins > lower bandwidth to provide value > lower customer experience > lower customer satisfaction
This does not mean increasing your pricing indefinitely. It means finding the right (and fair) scientific price for your product so that you have a better operating model to deliver more value.
Getting to this answer takes work and going through customer data to truly understand what is a fair price for both sides.
At the heart of such a project, a lot of data needs to be analyzed, including:
Scaling growth is a lot like stacking boxes on top of each other. You can safely stack the first few boxes on top of each other as you grow faster.
Over time, however, the entire structure is at risk of collapsing if you don't:
Growing faster is the sexy thing to focus on. It's what companies are taught to show off about. YoY growth rates, more funding, more hiring etc.
Not every company needs to "blitzscale", nor can every company do it. This is why you see a lot of companies go on hiring sprees and then eventually needing to lay off people as time goes on.
People lose when companies scale unsustainably. Employees lose. Founders lose. Investors lose. Customers lose.
Growing sustainably over a long period of time, while building the right foundation, is a much better business strategy.
It's also how everyone wins.
"Our campaigns provide air cover" is one of the most commonly used marketing excuses in the book.
It's also the excuse that sales and the rest of the organization rolls their eyes at, especially in times when targets are being missed.
Air cover is used as a shield by marketing organizations not accountable to revenue. While it is important, it is not the only thing marketing is responsible for.
A marketing function that washes its hands clean of revenue accountability is not a true marketing function. It is closer to a corporate marketing sub-function of a bigger marketing need inside an organization.
Instead, leverage air cover to get your sales team more support when they enter a sales conversation. But also leverage other marketing activities like content, demand gen, social and more to build trust with buyers and generate more sales.
When sales and the rest of the organization notices you taking full accountability of revenue, they also take marketing more seriously.
The first sales call can make or break your demand gen efforts.
That's why marketers need to pay attention to how good the sales process is.
Good marketers do this work and extend their efforts to fine tune conversions beyond what happens on a webpage.
This means doing things like:
It requires a paradigm shift and putting an end to the marketing vs. sales battle. Marketing is Sales....
Every industry has a super community -- a tightly knit group of key influencers, decision makers and authority figures.
Getting into these super communities means drastically different growth rates for companies than if you're outside of them. E.g. think about being the Sales coach SalesLoft recommends to all of its clients
But getting into a super community is incredibly challenging. You need to be part of the community to get into the community. Ways in which this can be accomplished:
1) Becoming a super connector: someone who solves problems for the community by connecting the right people in the community with each other.
2) Becoming a specialist problem solver: someone who helps members of the community with a key problem so that the rest of the community knows who to call on for that special problem.
3) Becoming a content creator: someone who brings together insights and learnings for the community to benefit from altogether.
4) Being an unbiased third party: someone...
In a lot of companies, getting off the hamster wheel of trade shows is virtually impossible.
So much so that even when trade shows have stopped, the trade show budget has been reallocated to the virtual versions of the same trade shows, which are far less valuable (no relationship building or in-person contact).
Meanwhile, digital marketing budgets don't have nearly as much allocation as required by the market. Paid media is underfunded, content is underfunded, social is underfunded.
Instead, it's time to rethink marketing budget allocation altogether. For example, if you analyze the trade shows you went to in 2019 through to Closed Won impact, you'll find that 20% of the shows brought 80% of the revenue.
Those same companies are ignoring digital channels that can bring in better qualified leads at much higher conversion rates. That is money that has been left on the table for years.
It's time to reallocate that budget with the right digital strategy on the digital channels where...
Knowing the financial model for your business is critical to your success as a leader. Things you should have a thorough understanding of:
These are the questions your CEO, CFO and board think about every single day.
As you answer these questions, you begin to understand how your role / team / department fits into the bigger financial picture of the organization.
The more you understand that financial picture, the more you can figure out how to deploy the budget at your disposal to make the organization more successful.
It's also how you can lobby for more budget to grow your impact on the organization.
"Those who lead organizations from good to great first get the right people on the bus (and the wrong people off the bus) and then figure out where to drive the bus. They always think first about 'who' and then about 'what'. Great vision without great people is irrelevant." - Jim Collins, Turning the Flywheel.
There's a reason why the best CEOs obsess about culture and nurturing leaders within an organization.
While the best strategies and tactics can certainly propel companies forward, they don't prepare organizations for uncertainty and chaos.
When you're dealing with uncertainty, having the right people in the right seats is the highest form of strategy.
This is why whether you're a startup of a $100M company, thinking about who is on the journey with you is the most critical question and the question all CEOs and leaders should start with.
Everything else falls into place when the who is sorted out.