What’s the secret sauce to successful businesses? How do the best companies continually innovate and grow?
According to Tiffani Bova, Global Customer Growth and Innovation Evangelist at Salesforce, there’s not one secret to success. Growth and success don’t come from just focusing on employees or building a customer-centric culture or going through a digital confirmation — it comes from a combination of all of those things and many more.
Bova created the idea of Growth IQ from her more than 20 years as a sales and marketing practitioner and academic. Her framework is designed to help companies looking to accelerate growth or recover from a growth stall.
The foundation of the Growth IQ is based on three principles:
1. Pause and get context. Before growth can begin, practitioners and companies need to understand the context of their market. They need to know their competitors, what’s happening in the market, why they’ve won or lost in the past and their strengths as an organization. Taking time to look at the industry context creates a strong foundation instead of barreling forward without a full view of what’s happening.
2. It’s never one thing. Growth doesn’t come from one path or action in isolation. Sustainable and meaningful growth is a combination of multiple growth paths that creates a flywheel to drive continued growth.
3. Sequence matters. The order that companies do things in helps them have a better likelihood for success. The steps matter, but the order they are taken in is also crucial.
These growth principles are extremely important as industries change and are no longer protected from outside competition. Technology has made a huge impact on all industries, but Bova says the modern connected customer is more disruptive than new technology. That means companies need to focus on creating a customer-centric culture by putting their employees first. When the culture is right, everyone knows their roles in delivering meaningful customer experiences. That’s when real growth starts to happen.
Employees also need to be on board because everyone owns customer experience. However, Bova says someone needs to set the strategy that all employees follow. If the CEO isn’t involved in the employee first, customer-centric culture, those ideas won’t become integral to the company’s DNA.
Sustainable growth doesn’t come from just one area. It’s more than just putting employees first and creating a strong customer experience, although those definitely play large roles. The challenge is knowing where to focus first. But Bova says once a company decides, they need to stick with it and commit. True change and lasting growth is a process and don’t happen overnight. Committing to Growth IQ allows for a real impact on employees and customers, and ultimately on the bottom line.
Listen to Global Customer Growth and Innovation Evangelist at Salesforce, Tiffani Bova on The Modern Customer Podcast here.