There comes a time when your business hits a plateau.
You’ll come to realize the strategy that attracts your first 100 customers will no longer work. The competition gets stiffer. And worse, the higher-ups become nervous and put pressure on you.
In this guide, let’s break through the dreaded slump with these eight strategies to scale growth.
- 1. Focus on key market segments
- 2. Employ higher-skilled candidates
- 3. Get active at building customer relationships
- 4. Improve your product by multiple folds
- 5. Get seen as an expert in multiple channels
- 6. Put data at the center of everything you do
- 7. Build virality like Calendly
- 8. Make your pricing grow with you
- Which of these scale growth strategies will you try today?
1. Focus on key market segments
Target everyone, sell to no one.
Whether you agree or disagree with this statement, it certainly rings true for Alternative, a B2B sales enablement platform delivering flexible payment solutions.
Jeremy Noskin, chief of staff, shares with Breadcrumbs:
“Since we have a large addressable market, it was important for us to focus on multiple key demographic characteristics. That way, we avoid too broad of an initial outreach to prospective customers.”
There are several advantages to identifying a niche market, such as avoiding tremendous competition and establishing brand recognition.
In Alternative’s experience, the most powerful scale growth strategies were driving value in key market segments, which speeds up market penetration and expansion.
Similarly, Hoist zero-ed in on just one segment: home services, specifically painting businesses.
Even though the business building platform sports a business model that can be applied to any geographical market, John Jacob, the co-founder and CEO, felt that the real-world implications could limit his product’s flexibility.
“Not all communities where these businesses are located are the same,” divulges John.
“For this reason, we focused on the elements of home service that go beyond geographical boundaries. And we’ve found success in scaling growth because of it.”
Finding your niche is one of the most powerful scale growth strategies. Here are three articles to refine your target market:
- B2B Buyer Personas: Everything You Need to Know About Your Customers
- How to Create an Ideal Customer Profile In 7 Steps (With a Free Template)
- Introducing Reveal For Data-Driven Ideal Customer Profiles
2. Employ higher-skilled candidates
Teams maketh companies.
Without the right people under your wings, it’s impossible to grow a profitable business.
In a recent HBR study, a team of researchers discovered that employee experience impacts a business’s bottom line:
“Stores whose customer-facing employee base was more tenured, had more experience in prior rotations, was higher skilled, and was more skewed towards full time, generated a 50% increase in revenue.”– HBR research by Kate Gautier, Tiffani Bova, Kexin Chen, and Lalith Munasinghe
Jeremy Noskin, chief of staff at Alternative, places a large emphasis on these scale growth strategies—so much so that he hires exclusively these three groups of candidates: product-minded generalists, grinders, and customer-centric individuals.
Tip: Early-stage companies should prioritize hiring candidates with multi skill-sets as their scale growth strategies. “Generalists are pivotal as you want individuals who can contribute in several ways,” explains Jeremy. “Now that our business is moving forward, we’re shifting to hiring specialists.”
Identify these candidates through work experience and case study interview questions. Start by providing limited information about your business to provoke questions from these potential employees.
It’ll help you assess their work ethic and aptitude.
3. Get active at building customer relationships
Customer-centric companies enjoy 60% more profits than companies that don’t focus on customers.
If you’re part of the 58% of companies that survey customers, then you’d already know that customer research and revenue growth are closely linked.
Likewise, Alternative focuses heavily on customer relationships, especially during the first month of signing up.
Fun fact: You can reduce churn by 67% when you solve customer issues during the first-time interaction.
“We want many touch points,” reveals Jeremy. “We do this with an activation call, follow-up email, monthly discussion, and onboarding survey with incentives.”
The Alternative team also created materials their clients can distribute to their end customers, streamlining the B2B payment process as much as possible.
A good rule of thumb, in Jeremy’s experience, is to track quantitative data (e.g., product analytics) daily and apply the necessary changes accordingly. As for qualitative feedback, you’ll want to do it every month.
Kevin Joubin, the VP of growth marketing at Branded Surveys, recommends pre-testing your survey with a small group of participants to identify potential issues before sending it to the larger population.
4. Improve your product by multiple folds
Superb user experiences (UX) boost revenue acceleration.
According to Forrester Research, well-designed UX can have up to a 200% higher visit-to-order conversion rate and decrease abandonment rate up to 41%.
“If people can’t figure out how to use your product, they will not use it,” states Omer Usanmaz.
The CEO and co-founder of Qooper, a mentoring and learning software company, uses an in-app tool to track user activity and product growth.
Product analytics tools offer tons of insights about your product and users. More importantly, they help you identify product-qualified leads (PQLs) without any guesswork.
To get started:
- Connect Breadcrumbs with any in-app tool (e.g., Pendo)
- Determine what makes a PQL (e.g., integrates >2 tools and invites five members)
- Set your PQL scoring model live
Breadcrumbs will send all scoring information back to your CRM, notifying you each time a prospect converts into a PQL.
You can either reach out to the PQL personally and pitch a solution or have your CRM automatically trigger an upgrade email sequence, converting free users to paid customers.
Book a 30-minute demo with Breadcrumbs to make more money with your PQLs today.
Another no-brainer to improve a product is to build compatible integrations.
For Textel, customers often operate their business with multiple stacks from cloud infrastructure. Naturally, the team built an integrated and seamless ecosystem to open a wider market of users.
“We made our product more enticing by integrating our software with the big players in the call center technology industry,” shares James Diel, CEO of Textel.
“By targeting our app partners’ audiences to install our SaaS product as an add-on, we skipped most of the typical sales funnel and converted customers faster and cheaper than before.”
5. Get seen as an expert in multiple channels
Cold leads don’t convert immediately.
Since the average customer needs to interact with a brand message at least seven times before buying, you need to ensure that your brand authority is in tip-top shape in multiple touch points before asking for the sale.
“It’s much more effective to obsess over helping your target audience than converting them,” explains Jane Portman, co-founder of Userlist.
Michaela Mendes, the senior director of integrated marketing at General Assembly, echoes a similar view. He shares with Masooma Memon, a freelance B2B writer, in the Content Workshop newsletter #35:
“You don’t have to structure all your content to drive towards conversion. If you put more of a focus on helping them, it will have a greater impact on conversion than adding a bunch of buttons and calls to action.”
For example, instead of setting up expensive ad campaigns to drive trial sign-ups, promote your best-performing articles to share strategies that can’t be found elsewhere.
You’ll have better odds at attracting customers.
6. Put data at the center of everything you do
Companies that analyze customer data extensively outperform in sales, profit, and ROI by a mile. According to McKinsey, the numbers can get twice as high.
Robust tracking, coupled with company-wide visibility on key metrics, are essential scale growth strategies.
And there’s no better example than Scribe.
The screen capture software company uses a bot called ‘growth parrot’ that posts daily into its slack #general channel and gives everyone visibility on the previous day’s key metrics.
When you base critical decisions on data, you identify more of what works and drive your company’s bottom-line growth.
7. Build virality like Calendly
What got a startup from 0 to 100 won’t necessarily get it from 100 to 1000.
“Growth can come from unexpected places,” says Nick Churcher, VP of growth at Scribe. “And the only way to tap into these opportunities is to test new initiatives relentlessly and with a high quality of execution.”
The startup takes on a product-led growth model to scale.
“The gold standard in growth channels is free, organic, and exponential. In-product growth loops can check these boxes. If your users get increasing value the more they share your product with others, your product can go viral. At Scribe, we tap into this by enabling our users to get more utility from our software by sharing Scribes and inviting teammates.”
Currently, Scribe has a backlog of scale growth strategies scored based on expected impact and level of effort—proving how growth-oriented businesses should never stop experimenting.
8. Make your pricing grow with you
Your pricing allows customers to self-identify their ideal plan.
Don’t be afraid to update your price points across your product lifecycle. While these pricing updates depend on the growth stage of your company, it doesn’t hurt to change it every six to nine months.
Instrumentl, a platform that brings non-profit grant discovery, research, and tracking in one place, rolled out a Plus Plan in late 2021 while working hard to differentiate its product from the competition.
Since then, the startup has doubled the annual contract value (ACV) of its customers.
Pricing is one of the most impactful scale growth strategies. Here are five articles to help you choose your ideal price points and optimize for revenue growth:
- Freemium vs. Free Trial: How 5 Startups Found Their Best Model
- Pricing Analysis: The Process Of 7 Successful SaaS Startups
- Pricing Page Analysis: 12 Interesting Findings of 998 Startups
- Price Optimization: 4 Most Important Tips On Boosting Sales
Which of these scale growth strategies will you try today?
These eight scale growth strategies are nothing new.
Spanning across pricing, hiring, market research, and customer experience, we hope these featured real-world examples give you a new perspective on your business.
Breadcrumbs is a revenue acceleration platform based on a co-dynamic lead scoring and routing engine living at the intersection of marketing and sales. Book your 30-minute demo to identify your hottest leads without any guesswork and boost your revenue growth today.