Successful growth teams are the ones who failed the most!
What a team that controls all the company metrics can define as a mission accomplished? Sales success is clearly defined by the new revenue it brings, customer service is well-scoped in terms of retention and expansion, marketing amidst other things, owns the top of the funnel and branding — but what about growth teams that surface all these different stages of the customer journeys, what should they be responsible for?
Growth Hacking here is defined as the methodology of constant experimenting and testing across the whole customer journey, aiming to unlock hidden opportunities and achieve long-term sustainable growth so… with that in mind, how can we clearly define a win for the growth team? Should it be a test that validated a hypothesis? Should it be a series of successful experiments? Should it be moving the needle of the NSM? Or should we call it the OMTM?
Later last year, we’ve launched research (The State of Growth 2019) to better understand how growth teams across the board were structured and measured. A one finding that stood out, during our analysis:
The most successful growth teams were also the ones who failed the most;
What may scare you first hand, makes a lot of sense once you dive deep into the strategy of a growth team (which, by the way, is essential for it to work as a process, as opposed to a “hack).
Layers to build successfull growth teams
The rationality behind such discovery is pretty straightforward: growth teams are owners of three types of KPIs that are structure in a cadence (from macro to micro):
First layer: NorthStar Metric
Second layer: Objectives, or One Metric That Matters
Third layer: Experiment or Test;
Each of them has a different purpose but an equally important responsibility in the trajectory of a growth team:
First layer: the strategic level, to ensure that growth has an in (company) and out (customer) perspective of where they are heading.
Second layer: the operational level, to ensure that the growth team is focusing on the right problem at that point in time, which is also the biggest growth/improvement opportunity;
Third layer: the tactical level, to ensure that the growth team’s activity is deploying high-tempo and small scale tests
So what does a win means for each layer of the growth KPIs?
First layer: You are growing both in terms of value perceived by your customers (who are using more your product) and by your company (who is growing in revenue, market share, etc)
Second layer: You have reached your target (sub-metric) and found a new way to solve a problem that is scalable, repeatable, and can be deployed on a larger scale.
Third layer: You are taking measured and control risks by running tests and experiments — always connected to the challenge above — to unlock growth opportunities;
Highly effective growth teams are not the ones who have all the answers. Highly effective growth teams are prioritization masters, who are both (1) excellent in defining the problem (second layer) that will have the biggest impact in their company’s goal (first layer) and (2) superb on executing a high-volume of experiments (third-layer) that will move the needle closer to their goal (second-layer).
In other words, focus on 1 problem at the time (spend time figuring what that should be) and execute as many tests and experiments as you can (effectiveness) — if 1 out 10 experiments is validated (90% failure rate), jackpot, you’ve got it, just scale that up (mission accomplished)!
“No matter how successful you are, change is always good. There can never be a status quo. When you have no money you can’t afford long-term solutions, only short-term ones. You have to always be upgrading. Otherwise you’re fu****.” ―
Michael Lewis, Moneyball: The Art of Winning an Unfair Game
Experiments by GrowthHackers solve this by allowing teams to organize their strategy into multiple Objectives. They eventually become a blueprint of everything the growth team has done to achieve their goals, including progress, ideas, tests, learnings, assignee, watchers, etc. Get your FREE trial here
Successful growth teams are the ones who failed the most! was originally published in Growth Hackers on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.