Regardless of size or industry, growth is a key objective for most companies. When you look at startups, you see organizations where growth is at the core of their strategy, even if there is no formal management of it.
For a business to have success with a growth strategy, they first need to recognize the type of growth they are trying to cultivate. Many firms make the mistake of defining growth as making more sales or increasing revenue. However, a successful growth strategy will focus on developing and refining products to offer more value to customers. In this model, sales and revenue are the result of the growth initiatives, but they are not necessarily the direct target of any growth-focused project.
When it comes to building a growth team, some of the key factors include A/B testing, machine learning, UX design, and data analytics. A growth team will work cross-functionally to break down barriers. This allows team members to gain a greater perspective of how different departments contribute to the overall success and growth of the company.
What is a Growth Team?
When a company brings together people of varying backgrounds and skills to develop data-driven growth initiatives, they?re leveraging the power of a growth team. A growth team is going to be a customer-focused enterprise that will look for new ways to drive customer acquisition, retention, upsell, and revenue.
Growth teams can vary significantly depending on the size of the company and the goals it's trying to reach. A small startup that is still trying to establish itself is going to have a growth team that is drastically different than that of a large company with stable revenue and an established reputation.
Different Types of Growth Teams
To build a growth team that will best serve the needs of your company, you have to recognize the stage of development your company is in and identify the goals you are trying to achieve. The following are general guidelines for growth teams that may work at different stages of a company's growth.
Startups are smaller companies that are generally working hard to get the early stages of the company going. Usually there is a limited number of employees, and people often have to take on multiple roles in order to reach objectives.
At this stage, you generally want to select one or two people to focus on growth. Give them access to company leadership and have them focus on goals that will get products ready for release. They can also look to improve the overall customer experience. For example, a Facebook advertising agency still at a startup stage may have the same team members that are on the growth team assisting with business development efforts. Others may also be part of the Facebook ad creation side of operations. At this stage in a company?s development, a growth team needs to be flexible, dynamic, and willing to juggle roles.
Once a company is more established and has customers, the idea is to find ways to acquire more. A team of about half a dozen to a dozen professionals should be right for this stage.
Usually, you will want to focus efforts on product managers and designers. These team members have a better understanding of customer needs and will have the most useful information for customer acquisition. As the company grows, you may also want to consider adding data specialists and engineers to the team.
Growth can get more complex once a company reaches a certain size. With large companies, you have a lot of employees that work in different departments; interaction between these groups might be limited. At this stage, you want to take representatives from different departments and bring them together as a team that focuses on growth.
The Typical Structure of a Growth Team
Depending on the type of business and its goals, there are three general models that most companies will follow.
In this model, there is a growth team leader that reports to the CEO while also keeping the team focused on its goals. This team would include a product manager, designers, and data scientists. The team will set specific goals and work toward finding improvements for them.
Structurally, this team will be very similar to an independent growth team. The key difference is that a metrics-focused team puts a much greater emphasis on data. These teams may also include marketing professionals and engineers, and they will operate by selecting key metrics to analyze and improve.
Here, you have different departments all focusing on their key functions. The leaders from these departments will report to the VP of product or a specified growth manager. Every team follows its own path in regard to analyzing data and achieving growth, but the growth manager or VP sets the objectives for each group.
Regardless of which type you choose, building a growth team is one way to set yourself apart from competition. By coming up with innovative ways to manage your companies advances, you?re sure to see positive results at all stages of growth.