The Art Of Scaling In And Scaling Out For Profitable Trades – How do you scale a high-growth startup? It’s a challenge to maintain the agility, energy and commitment of an early-stage company while adding the necessary processes and structure to a larger organization.

In my opinion, scaling is an art, not a science, with unique challenges for every company and every leader. It’s something that’s not just about executive management, but everyone in the company should be thinking proactively every day.

The Art Of Scaling In And Scaling Out For Profitable Trades

The Art Of Scaling In And Scaling Out For Profitable Trades

I have developed a simple guiding image that I share in my all-hands meetings as CEO at Coupa. It is a seesaw that balances on the top of a triangle with a slippery slope on either side.

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On the one hand, you’re sliding into an overly structured CYA culture. On the other hand, you slide into anarchy. There are signs all along the way as you start to slide too much on either side.

In terms of scaling, you start seeing long, unproductive meetings and email strings. It takes longer to get things approved and there is less common sense in the process. The roles are too defined and you start hearing people say things like, “It’s not my job” and “Because that’s the way I’ve always done it.”

In terms of agility, you don’t have meetings and multiple people doing the same thing, stepping on each other. There is also less common sense, but in a different way; it is a free environment for all. In a software company, that might show up in coding, where the same bugs are fixed in five different environments.

To scale effectively, there needs to be a constant awareness of balance and what it looks like, and it needs to happen in a climate of mutual respect and alignment to shared goals.

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I recall a situation we faced when scaling SuccessFactors that demonstrates this balancing act perfectly. There were eight of us – four of whom started with the company at the beginning and four new hires who had come from larger corporations – and we were meeting to discuss a marketing campaign.

A competitor offering a similar product was lowering its prices. Until then, we hadn’t done much to create awareness of this specific part of our offering, and many of our customers and prospects didn’t even know we had it. We needed to get the word out quickly, differentiating ourselves and preventing the competition from gaining ground.

The startup team would create an email campaign, send a PowerPoint to the sales team, and then start calling customers and prospects. That would have taken us a week, maximum.

The Art Of Scaling In And Scaling Out For Profitable Trades

The new team members were talking about forming a committee to refine the message, taking a week to figure out what resources to allocate to the project, debating the right serial process for delivery, what targets to hit, and so on. He was starting to feel very heavy.

Alexander Calder. Scaling Up

The people at the startup felt that these new people would cram everything into Gantt charts and need a month and a half to do what we can do in a week.

New people felt like we were running a mile a minute but not putting cohesive messages together or following replicable processes and best practices. They felt that six weeks to execute a campaign was quite agile. For the old, it was a lifetime.

It was a tense meeting, where past and future members of the company came together, got to know each other and found that balance. I was aware at that moment of how the two sides were pulling at each other. I could tell the new people were thinking, “These people are crazy.” And the old guard was thinking, “Oh my God, is this how we are now? Is this the company we will become?” The meeting ended in frustration on all sides.

We slept on it, met the next day and negotiated a compromise: we would finish the campaign in three weeks.

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The new people realized that they would have to roll up their sleeves, work faster and apply the 80/20 rule. The old guard realized that maybe their sense of urgency could be toned down a bit to deliver something of better quality, which we eventually did.

The positioning was tighter than in the past because we took the time to define the messages. The email campaign was targeted to the right audience – it wasn’t just our usual ‘spam everyone’ blast. The time it took to prepare the sales team to deliver the positioning paid off; we found that when clients and prospects called, they were much better qualified.

We achieved a better result by carefully balancing agility and scalability. It was a negotiation, and the key to its success was that it was conducted in a spirit of mutual respect.

The Art Of Scaling In And Scaling Out For Profitable Trades

It was important that the people at the startup respect the experience of the new hires and consider the best practices that were proposed, and that the new hires consider that a campaign like this really could and would have been executed by a small team from space. for one week.

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Building that campaign, the team really came together. The campaign went well, but more importantly, we established a working relationship where these eight people now had a framework for balancing agility and scalability in other situations.

As an early adopter, I learned that I needed to slow down a little and put a little more structure into how I did things. New people were trying to learn, “How does it work here?”

If the company is to have any hope of scaling properly, the response must be, “Well, now you’re part of the way it works here. We didn’t hire you structured thinkers to come here so we could keep working the same way we’ve been working. I added you to the mix to change the color a bit.”

It is the task of each individual within the company to blend the old and the new while maintaining this balance. You can change more in one direction for a little while and you won’t slide, but when you start going too far down, you have to pull yourself up. And you have to pull each other. That’s the fun and beauty that comes with scaling a high-growth startup. While the ultimate goal of any business is to continually grow, there is often the challenge of matching your organization’s available resources and capabilities with your total number of customers.

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When customer growth outgrows the size of your company, you must not only adapt to the sales and service needs of your base, but also keep up with ensuring new and existing customers are getting the results they want from your product or service.

All of this falls under the umbrella of increasing customer success. Managing the relationship between your customers and the solutions you provide is an important part of achieving monumental revenue and retention goals. A positive experience keeps them engaged, satisfied and more willing to upgrade or purchase additional products or services from you.

During high-growth phases, focus first on prioritizing platinum-level customers with whom you have strong relationships and spend the most on your solutions. Ensure that customer health score goals for this subset are met by prioritizing human connection.

The Art Of Scaling In And Scaling Out For Profitable Trades

Once the first 20% of your customer base is stabilized, you can use automation, digitization and third-party software solutions to communicate and manage the other 80% of customers. Journey steps like customer onboarding, for example, can be easily accomplished by setting up automated communication with a new user with account management information, self-help guides, and tutorials without the hand-holding of a company representative.

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Third-party automation technology and outsourced services give your business the opportunity to grow without having to hire tons of new employees—saving tons of HR costs. These additional resources can help you handle an additional 80% of your customers while keeping costs down.

Technology and solutions that integrate with automation tools can also extend their capabilities to help you figure out how to leverage key investments. As you automate certain customer success workflows and communications, you may find insights into customer behaviors that lead your business to improve inefficient workflows or adjust content and calls to action—requiring reallocations of resources and strategy adjustments.

Increasing customer success is a holistic goal that requires expanding your organization’s headcount, total financial investment, and technology capabilities. With all these moving parts, management will ultimately need to understand the benefits of scaling as well as what it takes to achieve scale.

The stronger the case you can make, the more likely you are to get the top-down support and enthusiasm needed for any major change. Build that case early before your business needs to scale customer success operations, and do so primarily by using hard data to back up the intuitive.

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Quantify the direct effect customer success has on reducing churn and improving customer satisfaction, and how existing customers can be the best driver of growth, naturally driving revenue.

Alternatively, you must also show the negative consequence

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