5 Essential Steps to Build a Growth-Driven Business

5 Essential Steps to Build a Growth-Driven Business


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The B2B CEO’s Guide to Growth: 5 Essential Steps to Build a Growth-Driven Business

As the CEO of an emerging or middle-market business-to-business (B2B) company, you face many competing imperatives as you work every day to build your business. From operations to talent, and from information technology to accounting — these competing challenges can make it difficult to effectively execute a sustainable growth strategy. Growing your B2B company today requires a different approach — one that is more strategic, more flexible and more integrated than before. To achieve sustainable B2B business growth, you need to focus on five key steps: 

1. Hire a Chief Growth Officer 

2. Embrace Concentric Growth TM 

3. Develop a Growth Playbook 

4. Build your Growth Stack 

5. Partner with a Growth Consultant

Step 1: Hire a Chief Growth Officer As recently as a decade ago, 80% or more of the information that B2B buyers needed in order to select a product or service was in the hands of the seller. If you wanted detailed product information, you had to request it. If you wanted a demo, you had to take a sales call. If you wanted to compare specifications, you needed to fill out an inquiry card and request a catalog. Today, all of that has completely changed. Now, your buyers control nearly everything in the sales cycle, not your salespeople —- and as a result, marketing must become far more responsive to sales support and sales enablement than ever before. That’s why, instead of one executive for sales and one for marketing, it’s essential that you appoint one leader for the entire growth function —- including both sales and marketing. This individual, who needs to be experienced in business and brand strategy, customer relationship management (CRM), sales leadership and marketing execution, will serve as your Chief Growth Officer.

 Step 2: Embrace Concentric Growth TM What is the most effective way to grow an established B2B business? Start at the core. In the Concentric Growth model, the core consists of your: 

■ Promoters who passionately tell your brand story. 

■ Evangelists who have been truly transformed by your products or services.

 ■ Influencers who have the ear of your buyers. 

■ Partners who can sell or refer business to you. Research shows that most established B2B companies can double their revenues just by effectively leveraging these four communities, who are already at the core of your business. Concentric Growth starts here, at the core.

After optimizing your core, we move to focus on your customers, then your prospects, leads, suspects, and ultimately the marketplace as a whole. This ‘inside-out’ approach ensures that you build your growth efforts on the strongest possible foundation — the people who already know, love, partner with and buy from your business.

Step 3: Develop a Growth Playbook Now it’s time to create your playbook. This playbook will define the strategy and key priorities for all of the elements in your growth program. From market opportunity analysis and competitive benchmarking to brand messaging, sales positioning and marketing content architecture, the B2B Growth Playbook will serve as the comprehensive guide for your growth efforts. Ideally, the process of developing the playbook will be led by your Chief Growth Officer.

Step 4: Build Your Growth Stack In order to make sustained revenue growth possible, you need the right tools. Simply building a new website, sending a few emails and making some phone calls is not enough. Today, you need these functions fully integrated, using the best technology to make it possible. We call this integrated toolset the B2B Growth Stack. An effective B2B Growth Stack brings together five key components: 

■ Business strategy 

■ Brand strategy 

■ CRM platform 

■ Sales enablement 

■ Marketing automation By building an integrated set of systems and processes to support growth, we’re able to deliver a ‘full-stack’ solution that will support your growth in a truly integrated manner.

Step 5: Partner with a Growth Consultant Achieving sustainable growth requires a range of expert resources. Traditionally, this was addressed through a ‘divide and conquer’ approach in which the CEO would hire a consultant for strategy, a designer for branding, a technologist for CRM, a trainer for sales, and an agency for marketing. The results of this flawed approach are obvious: a great deal of money spent, multiple competing agendas, and a bevy of experts all giving conflicting advice that is often incomprehensible and ineffective. Partner with a B2B Growth Consultant instead. A growth consultant combines business strategy and advisory expertise with full execution capabilities in one organization. In addition, a growth consultant avoids cookie-cutter approaches by building a unique strategy for your business. This will be led by an outsourced Chief Growth Officer (CGO) who will work directly with the CEO and executive team to ensure that both internal and external resources are aligned to achieve success.

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