Growing Better As A Company
What does it mean to grow as a company? Is it counting the number of employees or the number of offices globally? Those are good KPIs to measure your growth but it is important to understand if you’re growing BETTER as a company more than anything else.
At the “GROW With HubSpot” event that I attended last month, I understood that there is a difference between Growing and Growing Better. The theme of the conference was focused on how to grow better. With numerous panel discussions and talks, they were namely divided into the ‘Company Stream’ and ‘Revenue Stream’.
Though these sound like buzzwords, growing better has a LOT to do with putting the customer at the heart of all your decisions. This is where the Flywheel comes in – which essentially could be the end of our traditional funnel.
The linear funnel model ends without a structure of ensuring the learnings from the sales team are communicated for better conversions in the future. The Flywheel, on the other hand, looks at a world where ideally Marketing, Sales, and Service departments all communicate with each other to ensure that the best is being served to the star of the show, our customers. In my previous blog, I discussed the importance of every department communicating with each other BETTER to produce successful and informed decisions.
Though this is something that is being discussed with regards to HubSpot, it is a great notion and guideline to make your day-to-day decisions – no matter what tool is used (or not used). Shahid Nizami, APAC Managing Director, pointed out three key points during his keynote that gives more insight into this model:
- How Fast you spin the flywheel2. How much Force you apply to the flywheel
3. Reducing Friction in order to let the flywheel continually spin
So what this really means is that all your efforts (and investment) can’t be put towards just attracting and converting your customers. It is also necessary to keep your customers delighted.
This can be done by ensuring that there is the least amount of friction between Service, Marketing and Sales. For example, it’s important to understand the pain points that a customer faces from the Customer Success team or Inside Sales teams (as they communicate with the customer the most) to make their Marketing Customer journey better to ensure that a customer moves smoothly through the flywheel.
The biggest enemy of a frictionless flywheel is when departments work in silos and don’t talk to each other. However, the flywheel aims to solve that.
Growing Better As A Marketing Vertical
The corporate flywheel can be translated to a corresponding flywheel for the marketing function in an organization that is in alignment with the broader growth goals of the organization.
This marketing flywheel follows a similar concept, wherein each stage of the inbound marketing process is connected with each other to produce informed and better results.
For example: Imagine that you have successfully attracted your perfect customer with the help of paid media activities and have continually engaged (nurtured) him/her into becoming a customer through email marketing and retargeting on social media and Google, but is that where it ends? This flywheel model ensures that we:
- Have a clear understanding of how the customer converted and using that information to actively inform our methods of attracting the right customer
- Delight them so that we provide our customers a frictionless customer journey – make the customer comfortable so that they can provide feedback which in turn informs the process of how to make our current and potential customers happier
All in all, in both scenarios, to make the wheel go faster, we have to effectively continue adding relevant information. This adds force to the wheel which in turn reduces friction. This, in an ideal world, will create the perfect customer journey!
However, this concept might be difficult to adopt when reporting comes into the picture. The traditional funnel when incorporated with Marketing and Sales, is visually relevant to the concept that at every stage of the funnel, there is a certain percentage drop before getting the “right” customer who converts.
Specifically, the traditional funnel makes it easier to get different and useful insights at just one glance such as:
- The percentage of prospects converting into leads who then convert into MQLs and so on
- How well the Marketing and Sales departments work together to attract and convert the right leads
- A better understanding of whether the current strategy is attracting the “right” audience or whether the buyer persona is working (by how many actually convert to leads and then to MQLs)
When analysed further, we can have a better understanding of whether your buyer persona actually matches the personas of people converting. The funnel is extremely personalisable, for example, it can be used to understand where buyer personas come in as leads and which ones convert. This is difficult to gather from the flywheel itself.
The ideal model would be if the flywheel is combined with the funnel in order to create an experience which also includes delighting the customers in the lifecycle journey.