On an episode of Unleashed, Tiffani Bova shows us how to de-mystify growth in the face of stiff competition and a fast-changing business environment using her 10 Simple Paths to Growth.

Actions You Can Take Right Now

  1. Start with context. Leaders must start with a learner’s mindset and go out seeking input from customers and front-line staff to really understand what is happening with the customer experience. 
  2. Make customer experience everyone’s job. It’s not just limited to Marketing or Service departments; everyone plays a role. 
  3. Experiment with several smaller investments to separate the good from the bad. There is no one size fits all when it comes to growth. Every organization has different capabilities and opportunities.
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Episode Highlights and Excerpts

  • Knowing which growth path to choose starts with really understanding your customer’s needs and experiences. Start by speaking to them and your own front-line people. Dig deep and don’t make assumptions. Too often executives assume they know what their customers need without really going to the source. 
  • Customer Service should not be looked at as a cost center, but many leaders still treat it that way. It is an integral part of the brand experience, and can open new opportunities for growth. 

  • Growth by expanding offerings to existing customers versus adding new ones depends on several factors like how engaged existing customers are, what there problems and needs are, and so on. Every growth strategy is unique. 

  • Reframing products and services from a customer problem point-of-view can help unlock innovation. For instance, Sony thought they were selling Walkmans in the 90s, but what customers were buying was a way to take music with them and why iPod was able to quickly steal market share. 

  • When expanding offerings, try to look for adjacent and complementary products to those you are already selling with similar target buyers. If your product needs a case, sell the cases. If your service requires high-speed internet, consider partnering or bundling with an Internet Service Provider. Shoes usually need socks. 

  • Successful partnerships require full buy-in and participation from many people, not just a handful of leaders or marketing people. The add-on or bundled products or services need to be seamless to the customer experience. 

  • Coop-etition – sometimes the best sources of new opportunities may come from partnering with current competitors. 

  • Implementation of new ideas takes time. Set the expectations from the outset that it might take months or even years to start seeing the data come in to confirm the return-on-investment. 

  • Innovation requires a culture of safety where it is acceptable to experiment and make mistakes without fear of punishment. 

  • Timing is everything when it comes to capitalizing on a growth opportunity. Blockbuster was invested in video streaming before Netflix came along, but not enough households had high-speed internet yet, so they abandoned the idea.  

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Tiffani Bova

Tiffani Bova is the Chief Growth Evangelist at Salesforce, the author of the Wall Street Journal bestselling book GROWTH IQ, and host of the What’s Next! Podcast with Tiffani Bova. A celebrated keynote and member of the Thinkers50 list, Bova inspires people to think forward, be bold and take action.

Bova was named one of 2020’s Top Virtual Keynote Speaker by Read Write and is a guest on Bloomberg, BNN, Cheddar, MSNBC, and Yahoo Finance, among others. She contributes her thinking to publications including Harvard Business Review, Forbes, Entrepreneur, Diginomica, Quora, Thrive, Rotman School of Management and Duke Dialogue Review. See her full bio here. 

Want More Great Content?

If you are interested in the full conversation, or past Unleashed guests, you can find all the Unleashed content – blogs, video, podcasts – on our website here. 

Each episode of Unleashed is hosted by Results’ CEO Jeff Tetz who spends most of his life deeply caring for others, exploring what makes high performers tick, and helping people unleash their full potential. You’ll find Jeff here on Twitter. 

Article by Tim O’Connor