One of the biggest mistakes many companies make when transitioning to a digital-first model is putting up “dams” to try to control the volume of growth. When they’re flooded with an influx of customers and huge volumes of information and data on those customers, they create a queue to try to control the flood. This queue requires a person to determine clearance, which slows the flow of energy, and essentially, becomes a dam preventing business growth. Instead, don’t try to control the volume; adapt to a flow model and use the energy of the volume to grow.
When dealing with this type of volume – both customers and data signals – scaling is critical. However, without the proper data, processes, and automation systems in place, it is extremely challenging to scale successfully. At Totango, when we transitioned to a full fledged product-led growth (PLG) business model 18 months ago and experienced a large volume of growth and demand (30x in one year), we had to adjust quickly and implement levers to scale – and we learned a lot of lessons along the way. Below are three lessons we learned and our tips for breaking down dams and effectively scaling your business.
3 Rules to Effectively Scale Your Business
Make decisions based on data, not opinion. When beginning to scale your business, you first need to have access to all the data and information available on your customers in order to make the best decisions and track the acceleration of your growth. Without hard data, many companies tend to decide what next steps they should take based solely on opinion or what’s worked in the past, but this is not feasible when it comes to scale. Data gives you insight into critical factors like how your customers are using your product, whether or not they are receiving value from your product, and if they are at risk, so you can proactively decide what steps to take in order to improve product adoption, prevent churn, etc. It’s crucial to have a reliable digital tool that can not only capture your data, but also democratize its distribution so that everyone throughout the organization is able to make solid data-driven decisions.
Engage with your customers on their timeline. After you have clear visibility into your customer data, you are then able to use that data to determine when customers are ready to engage with you. Marketing to customers on your timeline is ineffective. If they are not ready to engage, then your messaging will be ignored. However, by collecting and democratizing data on factors like product usage, you are able to hyper-target and hyper-personalize your messaging to deliver the right message to the right customer at the right time to better ensure your message will be received. Remember, however, that when dealing with high volumes of customers and data, it’s difficult to predict the patterns your customers will take or to develop a pre-designed linear workflow. You can present them with the right messaging at the most opportune time, but you have to let the customers decide their behavior and choose when and how they will engage with you.
Automate first and save humans for the last mile. To effectively scale your business, you need to build an automated, autonomous system that does not rely on a person to determine which action to take or whether an action is right or wrong. Every human step in your process requires you to stop and blocks the flow of energy needed to scale. In an autonomous workflow, goals are set ahead of time and triggers enabled to automate the rules. From there, you simply have to let the system run on its own and monitor and iterate where needed to make it better. This frees up your team members to handle the last mile, to work on high-impact projects and do the creative problem solving.
Go with the Flow
At Totango, we are unequivocally focused on making Customer Success frictionless and simple to set up, learn, evaluate and try, and even buy and grow. Eighteen months ago, Totango launched the industry’s only free-forever Customer Success solution on the market that allows organizations of any size to get started in mere minutes. We are still learning and iterating but what an impact it’s had for our business growth. To adapt and scale for this flow, we use Totango throughout the customer’s entire journey from first contact to growth to give us the tools we needed to direct the flow and not control or block it.. Ultimately, this data-driven customer engagement approach has been highly effective for us and enabled us to scale at warp speed while continuing to innovate.
So, when you’re ready to start scaling your business, remember to adapt to the flow rather than building up dams. By implementing the right tools, making decisions upfront, and automating your processes, you’ll be able to scale your business quickly and effectively.
Blog post brought to you by Totango