Hot Takes

Welcome to the Age of Experience-Led Growth with Christine Crandell


Discover the path to doubling your growth and revolutionizing your go-to-market by delving into Experience-Led Growth (ELG), a straightforward solution to the confusion and unpredictability often associated with customer experience.

ELG is here to revolutionize the way leaders like you think about vision setting, customer-centric strategy, and operating models.

Christine Crandell, president of New Business Strategies, will show you how to quickly transform your organization into a needle-mover powerhouse and build cult-like brand preference.

[Transcript] Welcome to the Age of Experience-Led Growth

Although transcriptions are generally very accurate, just a friendly reminder that they could sometimes be incomplete or contain errors due to unclear audio or transcription inaccuracies.

Joe Aicher

Keeping things moving along, we are going to bring our next presenter up. Welcome, Christine, thanks for joining us.

Christine Crandall

Thank you, Joe. It’s a pleasure to be here; I’m really excited. Hey everybody, I’m Christine Crandall, and basically, I spend all of my time and have for the past several decades getting into the heads of customers. So that’s kind of where I live, and I’m really thrilled to be here today to talk about a topic that affects all of us; Customer Experience.

So brands approach experience differently, mainly through marketing customer support, and while we’ve made great advances in meeting customer expectations at scale, we still face challenges. Rapidly evolving expectations are outdating today’s approaches, and they’re creating significant gaps. Like the gap between what a vendor thinks the customer wants as their experience of the lifecycle and what the customer actually really wants. That gap is often pretty huge. 

Welcome To The Age Of Experience-Led Growth With Christine Crandell

Then the gap that’s formed when companies talk about their experience or their commitment to experience and it doesn’t match the actual experience that the shareholders or the stockholders, stakeholders, I should say, have.

Then there’s the gap when automation fails the way customers’ response expectations are, like when you want to talk to a human, and you’ve got a real problem, and the only choice you’ve got is a chatbot, right? 

What I find really interesting in this is that Revenue gaps and experience gaps go hand in hand. While Revenue gaps are not tolerated and are swiftly addressed, experience gaps are often overlooked, so it’s kind of time that we change this perspective; so let’s dive in and explore how bridging these gaps can drive Revenue.

As we strive to close these gaps, we need to be clear, first of all, on what problem that we’re solving right, should we focus on fixing customer experience programs to deliver measurable ROI. That’s kind of business as usual.

Welcome To The Age Of Experience-Led Growth With Christine Crandell

Should we focus on how to use experience and customer experience to drive more ARR and NRR and that’s about everybody’s goal right now, that’s kind of what everybody’s focused on. Or should we view experience as a strategy element to realize an organization’s real potential and that’s actually what I’m hearing a lot of C-suites and boards talk about that’s really how they’re starting to look at the next step from CX.

So why isn’t experience already a strategy element? The interesting part is just as we set aspirations and we plan and set objectives for revenue and product and quality, we also need to do the same thing for experience, and by doing so if we were to plan for experience like we would the other elements we actually address four critical success factors that are really needed to thrive in today’s times of unpredictability.

Welcome To The Age Of Experience-Led Growth With Christine Crandell

The first one is expand the notion of experience; so this, and you’ve noticed I’ve dropped the vernacular of customer, so when we look at experience we have to expand it to include all stakeholders, not just customers, and employees. 

The second is we need to change mindset around what experience truly means, and we’ll talk a little more about that. 

Then the third is intentionally plan experience across the entire organization and throughout all stakeholders’ lifecycles. 

Then the fourth is reinforce ownership of experience by including metrics in OKRs and KPIs.

So the best way to do that, believe me, we can do this, and companies are doing it, the best way to do that is in a straightforward process, and keep it simple, and that’s called experience-led growth. 

We’re going to flip the script here and dive into the world of experienced-led growth, and this is where the magic happens, I’m totally like so excited; I love this. I love ELG. 

So ELG is all about understanding and meeting the expectations of everyone. Right, that’s customers, employees, vendors, investors, and the communities that we work in, that we live in. 

It’s about going beyond just products and services and delivering exceptional value to all stakeholders. 

Now I am not separating B2C from B2B, this is just even more relevant for B2B, and so my frame of reference coming into this is B2B. So what you’re going to see is, as a result, when you look at a lot of B2B companies is that they’re stuck either being market or product oriented but with ELG, you know we’re shaking things up. We’re looking at experiences being the driving force behind revenue growth that embraces the best of product and market-led principles. It’s sort of like the ultimate power combo, right?

Before we dive into how to do ELG, let’s talk a little bit about the benefits. This is the stuff that I’ve seen firsthand, so this is what I’m so passionate about ELG, is that number one, you’re going to clearly define what your organization will achieve on its current and its future aspirations. So goodbye to these vague goals. Vagueness does not help. 

Welcome To The Age Of Experience-Led Growth With Christine Crandell

The next is focus your resources, time, money, people, capacity, if you’re a manufacturing plant or a distribution center, on the most critical activities that drive results. We spend way too much time trying to plan everything and trying to spend time on everything. It’s all about focus, it’s all about prioritization, and that makes your business agile, durable, and resilient.

The last benefit is, for many, but the last benefit is saying goodbye to putting out fires all the time. How many of you spent all day putting out fires? Wouldn’t it be better to have a mechanism, an approach, that enables you to be proactive versus reactive? Here’s a little secret about ELG; it works like a charm for small startups as well as for large organizations, so size really doesn’t matter when it comes to unleashing the power of experience. 

Let’s get into the nitty-gritty of how we make this happen. The best part is we’re keeping it simple and straightforward. Before I dive into ‘the how’ because I’m often asked, ‘What does this look like?’, right, I want to show you what an integrated ELG framework looks like.

This is difficult to read, but the key is if you go from left to right, it’s mission, goals, objectives, and strategies. The thing is, it’s literally on one page. This is your combining experience with strategic planning. When we look at the first step, it is to include experience in your mission and your vision statements. 

Welcome To The Age Of Experience-Led Growth With Christine Crandell

Let’s look at Salesforce; their philosophy is all about building bridges between companies and customers, creating those meaningful connections that drive success. 

BMW takes it even further by incorporating stakeholder experience into the mission and vision. So they explicitly call out communities, customers, employees, competitors, and industry players in those statements. So it’s a holistic approach that sets the stage for greatness. 

Then once you’ve done that, you’re going to set up goals. You’re only going to have four or five goals; they’re prioritized, they’re goals related to moving the needle, and that’s how you get the organization to be laser-focused, and in each one of those goals, you’re going to incorporate your view, or you’re going to incorporate what you’re going to do about integrating experience into that. 

So now that you have an idea of what the framework looks like. Let’s talk a little bit more about how to go do this. I’m going to start off with how you understand the experience that your stakeholders want, so we can determine what that experience is meaning by sitting in a conference room and doing sticky notes, but you know that doesn’t work, and that’s actually one of the driving forces behind CX’s elusive impact on Revenue. 

So, Let’s go outside the box. There are three ways that I recommend you do this one is to start with trend analysis and signposting. The second is conduct co-creation sessions with representatives of each one of those groups and then augment it with qualitative interviews. Sounds like an awful lot, it’s not. 

What you’re going to get by using these three approaches is you’re going to get faster data, more actionable and reliable data. So the focus is on quality of the depth and actionable understanding of the definition of experience and what they want when over having gobs and gobs and gobs of interviews and sessions. So you’re looking at focus. 

When we take then that understanding, and we’ve decided what our brand or our admission is based on experience, let’s talk about integrating it into the fabric of an organization into your goals and your objectives. 

Let’s go back to BMW. So BMW wanted to bring experience into the manufacturing process, so one of the business objectives was to ship each customer a video of their actual car being built. 

So what happened? What was the result of that? Manufacturing quality went up, customers ordered more extras, and employee pride soared. I mean, that’s a total win-win. That is the power of ELG. We focus on needle movers, on what has to happen that keeps the process focused, simple, and flexible. So there you have it; ELG experience lead growth is a game changer.

As I wrap up, I want to leave you with a quote from the great Peter Drucker that perfectly captures the essence of why ELG is rising in popularity in a world of constant change and uncertainty relying on outdated strategies and approaches can spell disaster. 

Welcome To The Age Of Experience Led Growth With Christine Crandell

So ELG empowers us to break free from the shackles of yesterday’s logic and embrace new ways of thinking and new ways of thriving, so as we embrace ELG, let’s remember to stay open to possibilities, to challenge the status quo and to infuse every process, strategy and interaction with the power of exceptional experiences.

To get you started, as I am so passionate about this, to get you started, I’m offering a 30-minute consultation. The Calendy link is down at the bottom. We’re going to talk about where you are, where your team is, your function, your department, we’re going to talk about a quick assessment, and then we’re going to talk about how to get started. You know–do this, do this, do this, do this, do this.

So, I hope you take me up on it. You know, like I said, no obligation, really, really, really. Thank you for joining me on this adventure to the age of experience-led growth; let’s go forth and let the experience revolution begin. Back to you, Joe.

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Hot Takes Live


Catch the replay of Hot Takes Live, where 30 of the top SaaS leaders across Marketing, Sales, and RevOps revealed some of their most unpopular opinions about their niche.

These leaders shared what lessons they learned and how they disrupted their industry by going against the grain (and achieved better results in the process).

Joe Aicher

Thank you, Christine. That was awesome. Let’s leave that slide up for a bit so people can grab that link. I really just had one question for you from your presentation; it was about getting started on this pathway. 

What are really some of the biggest or most major indicators you get from a business that tells them or lets them know that they’re suffering from a lack of this experience-led growth thing that you’re trying to help solve? 

What are some of the big breaking points that you notice within a business that says we haven’t been focusing on this?

Christine Crandall

That’s a really good question, and there are so many. I think the easiest ones or the prevalent ones that I see; one is if we’re talking about a SaaS business going from a sale to onboarding, there there is oftentimes a disconnect that happens there in which the customer had a great experience on the sales side, and then they get into onboarding, and it’s different. It winds up causing dissatisfaction.

What’s sitting underneath it, because I see the world through the eyes of customers, what’s sitting underneath it is that question of, ‘Did we make a mistake?’ and ‘Well, maybe we won’t renew’ or ‘Maybe we will get out of this contract.’ I see that a lot. 

I think the other side of it is they have one experience, and you then encounter finance, and you have a completely different experience. What we don’t think about from the vendor’s side; is we don’t think that from the customer’s view, or the investor’s or the supplier’s view is; they don’t see the differences in the departments; they’re just seeing it as an experience. 

So at each one of those points where there isn’t an opportunity exploited to deliver value and a great experience, is an opportunity where that vendor may say, ‘I’m not going to do business anymore with this brand,’ or that prospect is going to go somewhere else, or that investor is going to become an activist investor or may not do that next round. So there are so many places that we don’t think about it because we’re so focused just on the customer or just on the employee and just on the revenue.

Joe Aicher

Yeah, and it sounds like if you’re just looking at your metrics, you can always find a point of friction and kind of start digging there, but once you move beyond just the internal, it sounds like there’s much more opportunity external, too, you said with stakeholders, with your community and things like that; so super excited to kind of dig into this a little bit more. 

I hope everybody caught your link there and is taking that opportunity to book some time with Christine. Christine, thank you so much for joining us today; this is an awesome topic, and best of luck as the summer moves on.

Christine Crandall 

Thank you, Have fun!

Joe Aicher

Thank you.