37 min read

What is growth strategy? With Troy Sandidge (HubHeroes Podcast, Ep. 6)

I've been in this game for decades now, and let me tell you something. It doesn't matter what industry you're in or if you're in marketing, sales, or leadership. Virtually everyone I talk to through my HubSpot consulting and training is, ultimately, trying to achieve the exact same thing – growth.

That's why, in the HubSpot and inbound ecosystem, you hear so many folks talking about growth strategy and growth hacking – and everyone has an opinion on what it is, what actually works, as well as what does and doesn't work.

Unfortunately, there's a lot of confusing information out there on what a healthy, smart growth strategy actually looks like. One that truly empowers you to overcome your challenges as a business and achieve sustainable expansion actually is.

"You've gotta go slow, with measurable goals that make sense.

"Nah, man, you're doing it all wrong. You gotta get super lean and move fast."

"Growth strategy isn't about marketing, it's about sales."

"You've got it totally backward; it starts with marketing, not sales."

If you know me, I've made it my life's mission to simplify confusing and complex topics in ways that help you achieve your goals, no matter what role you're in – marketing, sales, or leadership. This episode is no different, because understanding growth strategy on the whole (and what it takes to get it right) can feel very confusing, but it doesn't have to be.

So, gather 'round the campfire everyone, because we've brought in Troy Sandidge, an award-winning growth strategist and Strategy Hacker and epic human as our very first HubHeroes guest to demystify everything you need to know about growth strategy.

WE ALSO TALK ABOUT ... 

  • What growth strategy is (really), as well as what it isn't. Interestingly enough, what a growth strategy is does depend on your perspective and your role, but that doesn't mean you're not marching toward the same goals.
  • What smart growth strategy goals look like, as well as what questions you need to ask to determine your true capacity to achieve your growth strategy goals.
  • How sales should approach a growth strategy, and how that differs from (and complements) the marketing approach to growth strategy.
  • The most common rookie mistakes you can make with a growth strategy, and how to avoid them. 
  • The questions you should be asking yourself to make the smartest choices while developing and implementing your own growth strategy.
  • Also Troy drops a MASSIVE surprise INBOUND 2022 announcement

Are you ready to dig in? Let's do this! 

NOW, LISTEN TO THIS WEEK'S EPISODE

RESOURCES FOR THIS EPISODE

Some of these we talked about, others we're adding because they're only going to make the episode that much sweeter for you ... 

YOUR ONE THING FROM THIS EPISODE

When it comes to the topic of a growth strategy, it can be all too easy to be swept up in (or completely turned off by) people couching the whole topic in becoming the next Elon Musk. Put that out of your mind. There is so much goodness packed in this episode, but the one thing you need to take away is that your growth strategy will be unique to you.

Moreover, your success will hinge upon your ability to ask yourself the right questions, be honest in your answers, and then take action accordingly. What are those right questions you need to focus on? Good news, Troy unpacks them all in this episode! 


TRANSCRIPTION OF THE SHOW


George B. Thomas (01:09):

You know, I just love watching, like, as we play that inter Devin's face, he's just all smiley and he's like, you could just tell he's fundamentally happy, but as we were listening to it today, getting ready for this amazing episode that we're gonna talk about gross strategy. I was like, oh no. Oh no, max is not here. So it actually doesn't care. It doesn't matter if max has an opinion about this conversation, cuz well, thank on it. He's being a good human and taking a vacation.

Devyn Bellamy (01:41):

Yeah. How dare he live a better life max, if you're listening, I'm not jealous at all. That's not what, what, what I'm feeling and your vacation photos are horrible. Yeah. Hate, hate, hate, hate, hate.

George B. Thomas (02:00):

Yeah, that's what we say. And especially, especially right before inbound, I couldn't even pretend to think about taking a vacation right before inbound, but it is what it is. But the fun part about this listeners is that it's not just Devon and myself waxing poetic on this episode of hub heroes. We actually have a special guest, the first special guest actually. So Troy, you can mark that down into your book of like, oh my God, that just happened. Troy Sanders is actually here with us today to help us to have this conversation around growth strategy. So Troy, first of all, just let the hub heroes know if they don't know who you are, kind of what you do, all of that piece of information. And then we'll dive into the good stuff.

 

Meet our very first HubHeroes guest, Troy Sandidge, Growth Strategy Expert

Troy Sandidge (02:44):

What's up. My help heroes. I love being the first. I love getting out there being the first in whatever category I can. I'm like Theo's out here in these streets. Let me get all that I can. I'm sure Sam also known as a strategy hacker. I'm all about strategy. I'm all about growth, sustainability, scalability, and success in a very holistic way. Using a tool that you have to maximize your productivity and maximize your success a little bit about me. I'm a former electrical engineer, turn digital marketer two times CMO three time agency builder. You can Google me. I do a lot of fun stuff, but I'm really here in this moment to be very appreciative.

Thinking about the HubSpot community y'all been with me for a long time. I think back in the day, you know, back even in 2014, just starting connect with different individuals and just learning the ropes from a lot of different people along the ways that has helped my growth. So now my podcast, I digress. It's part of the HubSpot podcast network. I love to be part of the hub fans community and just supporting anyone whenever I can.

George B. Thomas (03:42):

Absolutely. And Devin, I am feeling very secure that we picked a great first co-host guest, a he dropped a Thanos bomb on us almost immediately in the episode. So he gets it. And ladies and gentlemen, you can't see this, but he is wearing a HubSpot shirt to be here with us today. Why in the world are we talking about growth strategy? And let's just take a journey for a hot second before again, we get into the good stuff and the actual topic I want you to think about. And maybe you haven't listened to the first four episodes over the beginning of this podcast, we've really tried to lay a foundation of what people using HubSpot or not using HubSpot should be thinking of. We started talking about starting with why turning humans into heroes. We quickly went into the attract phase. What the hell is great content.

Anyway, we talked about the buyer's journey and Hey oh, they're lost again in the last, well, no, not last week. Last week it was inbound. But the week before last we talked about buyer personas. Who the heck are they? Anyway, we took a quick dive into talk about inbound because well, I mean, you gotta talk about inbound, but today we wanna circle back around and again, a big fundamental piece of what we have to be having a conversation around is you're on this journey. This journey is probably related to growth with that growth.

You should probably have a strategy. Oh my God. Say, it's not true hashtag growth strategy. So with that said, let's just lay a foundation here because in preparation for today's episode, if I search growth strategy, you get everything from like acquiring businesses to growth marketers to 27 other things that we could potentially be talking about. So when we talk today about growth strategy and get into our deep dive of this subject, what in God's name are we talking about?

 

What is growth strategy? (Its definition depends on who you ask)

Devyn Bellamy (05:31):

So real quick, I like to think that when it comes to growth strategy, what it is depends on who you're talking to because like with anything it's just about perspective. So if you're talking to a digital marketing agency, I promise you every single one of their growth strategies is going to be around your brand or your marketing.

At the same time, if you're talking about growth strategy to someone who is an operations consultant or management consultant for them, they might be thinking of growth strategy as your internal operations and how to grow your revenue by lowering your costs and increasing efficiency. And that's a, a method of growing. There are a lot of types of growth strategy. The key is you have to identify what your goal is and that, and your goal. Can't just be, we wanna make more money. I mean, everybody wants to make more money. It's about how you want to grow and the path that you want to take to grow. And it's possible to leverage more than one type of growth strategy at a time.

George B. Thomas (06:41):

I love Devin that you immediately went into cuz I said growth strategy. You immediately went into growth strategies and see, this is why a panel discussion around topics is beautiful because we are able to get into the minutia. Speaking of that minutia, Troy, go with the same thing. I know you've got a different answer, but I also know by the clicks and the finger pointing that you agree with what Devin was saying as well.

Troy Sandidge (07:06):

Oh a million percent. My brother's speaking. Nothing but facts and nothing but truth. I think when I say growth strategy, from my perspective, you know, I think of it as a wider net. And I think Devin really automatically poke the bear and want to expose here are all the different possibilities, the endless universities and like that. But I think for me at its core, no matter what, I don't care what position you're in. I don't care what industry you're in. We all are working towards retaining what we have and increasing more.

The goal is to not lose, maintain what I already have and then add on top of that, just keep adding layers, keep building our skyscraper, going to the moon and beyond. That's the whole goal with that being like the north star, depending on where you are in your industry, your role, whether you are in corporate, you are in agency, you have your own business, whatever face you may be in your metric for your quantitative level of growth could be, are we getting more clicks on our ads with less costs?

Are we driving more views to our website? Are we getting more followers? Are we getting more mentions? Are we getting more conversations? Are we getting more conversions? Is our email open rates doing well? What's the volume of content quality versus the output. All of these things matter. And all of it adds up together to do three things. In my opinion, which is retaining existing customers, acquiring new customers and increasing profitability. I think sometimes people, people can say growth strategy and immediately as rightfully so go to revenue and money. No problem. I understand that we all wanna scale, but I find in 2022, people are making the biggest mistake that is actually hindering effective growth strategy. They're not focusing on maintaining what they currently have.

They're chasing after the big fish, the big whales, the bigger clients it's sexy. It's amazing. And it gives everyone, yeah. Look how many people coming in one, I have a few questions. Do you have the capacity to chase after the goals that you want? Everybody says, they want this number. If I can get to this number of clients or revenue per month or per year or team, whatever, you know, optics, whatever do you have the capacity to do now? You don't have to tell us, but you should know as a leader within your own team or your organization of yourself, what is your true capacity?

Devyn Bellamy (09:24):

Your realistic. Yes. Not just your aspirational capacity. Yes. Not your imaginary capacity. Not your work, your employees to death capacity.

Troy Sandidge (09:36):

Yes. Come on now.

Devyn Bellamy (09:36):

What is your actual capability within your organization with which to handle? I, I just, I just had to co-sign on that real

 

How do you determine your capacity for your growth strategy goals?

George B. Thomas (09:45):

Quick. Yeah. I love this. And it's funny because a, in this episode, the first question that you should be asking, cuz I believe there's gonna be many more as we go through this, you need to write down in your notepad. What is my true capacity? And how can I find that out? If I don't know now another place that my brain went, Troy and Devin, when you guys are talking about this is this whole thing of retaining. And so I wanna dive a little bit deeper into your brains because it might be the same for marketing and sales in the C-suite. It might be different. But when you think about what the hub heroes listeners should be focusing on of that, they're like, listen, ladies and gentlemen, you're letting it go out the back door. What should they be focused on retaining? And again, it might be all the same thing or it might be different for marketing and sales. What are your thoughts

Devyn Bellamy (10:34):

When it comes to retention? For me, I think that Troy just dropped all the gold just now is just like just sauce everywhere. Letting people know that you need to be focused on retention equally, if not more. So here's why the thing is, is that you can have a great product and a broken system with which to manage the revenue that is coming in and that broken system is going to create an unholy level of friction in your flywheel. And what's gonna happen is that as you grow that friction's gonna do nothing but get worse and it can grow at a faster rate than your organization. It can grow at a faster rate than your revenue. You could have something that is so broken that even though you've unlocked the secret to quote unquote growth and with one metric, you're absolutely dying in another metric.

It's all about reducing friction by making sure that who you got you keep. Like for instance, not even if you're not operating on a subscription model, even if you're not operating on return business. Like I worked with one, somebody that all they did was install dance floors. These dance floors lasted for 30 years. They're not going to deal with that customer again, unless that customer is opening up another dance school. But what you have to take into consideration is delight that process where it's word of mouth, even if it was so painful to get everything done, they will never recommend you to anyone again, that is going to contribute to your growth. Or I should say detract from your growth retaining and focusing on your organizational opportunities as well as your basically service opportunities are just as important as focusing on your marketing and your sales opportunities.

George B. Thomas (12:36):

Yeah. And Troy, I'm gonna kick it over to you here in a hot second, because we both had visceral responses to what Devon threw down there in the beginning. Like I wish I wish hub heroes, listeners that you could watch that portion because both Troy and I were like, it was like we needed napkins and like to wipe the sauce off our face and to fan ourselves. And it was kind of crazy, but I wanna kick it back over to you. But first I'll tell you, Devin, I always get these mental pictures when I'm listening to like you or max or Troy in this case as kind of our guest co-host you have to understand these 3, 4, 7 pillars of your business and your growth. And the word that kept kind of going into my brain is consistency across all pillars.

So that one isn't dying and all are ex you know, others are exploding because then it's almost like the other visual I got is this, this guy or gal running around and trying to spin those plates on the stick, you know, and keep 'em going. And that's not scalable that doesn't equal growth because of the maximum amount of friction of paying attention to the things that are going awry. So Troy, the visceral response that you had about five minutes ago, talk me through that. And some of the additional pieces of information that were going through your brain,

Troy Sandidge (13:51):

I'm gonna say it like this, cuz I, I can't, I can't touch with Devon sip. I'm just going, I'm gonna add a little lawyer sauce to it, make it pop little bit. I think people really don't get this. The systems and strategies that you use to get started with with your company, your team, whatever ain't gonna be the same systems and strategies to get you to where you want to go. But we think it will. We think it will. That doesn't mean you won't use a lot of the same tech stack or marketing stack or sales stack. That doesn't mean you won't use certain sales, normalities or messaging and tone, but that does mean you should be always in a constant state of mind of optimization and awareness that this at any point in time can now be obsolete at any point in time, without notice you can be obsessively tracking and still without notice or cause it stops working to really make strategy and systems and structure, all that stuff to help you.

You grow, you really have to treat it all like a baby, what you feed and what you give it. When it's nine months old, you're gonna have to evolve and give more, make changes, make optimizations to continue optimal growth. Y'all still at year 18 trying to feed your system, baby food and think you gonna get all these results and benefits out of it. And you asking people, you hire consultants, you hire things. You get all this to look at what you doing. I don't understand. Well you are approaching this. Like your system is a baby, but you want a 25 year old. Now stay with me the whole point of what I'm saying with this is we gotta make sure that whatever we're doing is our systems. There's a hierarchy of a growth strategy system. So to speak, hold, hold on this thought and I can umbrella to just keep everything else in check.

It's kinda like your body. I can still function. If I hurt my knee, I can still function in my hurt my arm. But that doesn't mean I don't have to adapt as I'm adjusting to these onsite until things realign and that maybe require outside means outside resources, things that we know and things that we know don't know. The last thing I'm gonna say. There's six phases of I I'm a big alliteration person. It helps me memorize. And I think there's maybe value for the listeners to keep your system in check. And I was just go through really quickly phase one investigation, phase two initiation, phase three integration, phase four, implementation, phase five innovation and last phase, phase six introspection. I feel these six phases, no matter what you're doing is always gonna keep you in a state of Florida to make sure that your system, your baby is that it's optimal point at all times. And if you go through the phases every single time, there will be no biases. There will be no missed things because it requires you to do the deep work so you can get the deep reward,

 

What are the growth strategy 101 basics someone needs to understand first?

George B. Thomas (16:43):

Man. Well, first of all, I just feel like that's maybe six episodes in the future for each one of those eyes, by the way, that was super dope. Hopefully hub heroes, you had your pencil out, your iPad out. You're writing those down because there is a deeper level to each of those. And I love it so much. It's it's really interesting though, because this whole you've got an 18 year old and you're feeding it baby food, and you want it to drive, but you're treating it like it's three. And when I say drive, I'm talking about drive sales, drive revenue drive lead gen. And man, there's just both ways that you can go with this, but Troy and Devin, here's the thing I wanna take a step back from that and even dive into when we think about gross strategy, 1 0 1, let's say there are listeners here and they're like, holy SHS. I have like dropped a massive crazy ball and I need to pick it up and run with it. When you think about growth strategy, 1 0 1, what are things that people need to know? And by the way, you might dive into some of those eyes. I don't know what are some of the P things that people need to know as they kind of get started with actually building said growth strategy and giving birth to that baby, if you will,

Troy Sandidge (17:53):

The analogies y'all <laugh> we owned it today. <Laugh> I guess for me, I would say a few things. One, if we're thinking about an investigation, investigation and introspection, I think, you know, Devin touched on it a lot earlier and I think we need to reinforce that constantly perception versus reality. What actually do you want to happen? And what is the market telling you can happen and sit in that reality for a minute. Let's take out dream land. We're not in dream war right now. What is actually possible? Grant people get confused with putting reality and thinking, oh, we can't inspire from, we can always aspire for more. And that doesn't mean you're limiting your possibility of growth potential because you're being real, but we do need a dose of realism to make it happen. So look at your capacity, look at what the market is telling you, make sense.

Margin wise, price wise need wise demand wise. I don't know how many folk come in here and say they have the best thing since slice bread. I'm gonna be the next Elon. I'm gonna be the next bill gates. This is the best, best product. I mean, you think none of us has ever heard that. So it's understanding what language and where's the need and how do we mend that too together? Once we have that, how do we make that clarity happen? So for me, when I think of like aspects of growth to kind of judge it traffic, that can be whatever social website, quos, whatever might be. I think traffic's a big one. I do think conversions without some type of result, it doesn't matter. You know, we can live in impressions all we want, but are we moving the needle? I don't know.

Content, I think is a, is a big one. Whether you're outputting it, inputting it or other clients or audiences is telling you about it. And then obviously just analytics in general is gonna tell you what it was now. Obviously the margins of what type and when we can go into that later. But I think that's, there's your box. We need to know what we want. How do we match to what they need? That creates the demand. We need to know how we're gonna attract success. What's our margin for error. What's our runway. What's our cost and be very mindful. I'd rather you add more of what you're going to try to do versus like, we're gonna make this much money and you don't have that much runaway and you, you have too much just keep it simple kiss, keep it super simple. Just gonna say it that way. That's really how you should approach it. And I think we aspire to look at books and podcasts, the videos and all these different things to like give us this genie in the bottle magic word or framework when it really comes down to the fundamentals. And if you continue to do the fundamentals, right, you can expand on that.

George B. Thomas (20:23):

There's a couple things I wanna unpack. First of all, Troy, thank you for saying the word content on this episode, because with max missing and him being our historical content king, he can at least put a check mark and be happy that we mentioned content in this episode. The other thing that I'll say is, and, and my grandpa was talking directly to me. So I buy no means right now am talking to any of you listeners, but I love the kiss analogy, but my grandpa meant, keep it simple, stupid stop overthinking things. Just do what needs to be done. And again, I'm not talking to you listeners. I'm just saying what my grandpa was saying to me. And you could take it how you wanna take it. Now here's the third thing that I wanna lean into. And that is dev and I buy no means wanna put you in a box, but historically you come at things from a sales perspective. And so I am super duper curious with what Troy just unleashed, if there's a sales side of this or something that your brain was unpacking of the things that teams need to be paying attention to. Yeah.

 

How sales needs to approach a growth strategy

Devyn Bellamy (21:22):

Couple things from two different angles. First we'll look at it from the sales side, from the sales side, if your growth strategy from the brand and marketing perspective works, then you will be faced with your own quandary in sales management, which is how to grow your sales by working leads correctly. Now, if you're doing leads correctly, and then all of a sudden you get inundated with leads, you get inundated with interest. It becomes so easy to start. Cherry picking it's becomes easy to just start grabbing the hot irons and just getting people who are Biready and ignoring everyone else because you have to prioritize at that point. You need to focus on expanding your sales team and not just looking at duplicating the cherry picking efforts, but continuing to work leads that aren't, Biready the good examples that I worked at a company that went from two to 25 people on a sales team almost overnight.

It felt like, and we went from having two people that were doing all their own lead gen. They were doing all their own demos, everything to a point where we had to have a structured sales team of business development reps, account executives and sales managers almost overnight because our brand blew up and having to have that mentality going into this new season of sales. You, you have to grow organizationally, not just get lazy because everything happens in seasons. You can have famine coming up right after feast. And next thing you know, you're not able to cherry pick anymore and hear all these perfectly good leads that you could have worked and converted. You just let slip through the cracks. Now it's too late. They're no longer by ready because either they're closed, lost, choose another solution or they're just falling off face the earth.

George B. Thomas (23:29):

Ah, man, fundamentally, you punched me in my chest, my head, my throat. What like you just punched me when you were talking Devin about there might be famine right after feast brother. That is one of my biggest fears as a business business owner is that there are these phases where it's just gonna be so good. And you're just so worried about, well, am I doing any gross strategy elements to keep it going that good? Or is it just gonna fall flat? And the other shoe is gonna fall. And so, man, that is maybe the second thing that I would say people need to write down in their notepad is how do you have a great mental ability to digest this? Maybe unhealthy, maybe healthy relation between feast and famine and the seasons that will come through your life. And we might not be just talking about business right now.

 

Growth strategy mistakes and problems to avoid (and how)

George B. Thomas (24:21):

I'm gonna throw that out there. But just in general, I do wanna circle back around though to this giving birth to a child analogy because here's the funny thing about those kids is they grow up to be teenagers. And as somebody who has three teenagers living in my house right now, man, they can be difficult. So when you think about growth strategy, what I wanna dive into, and again, both Devin and Troy, what are some hurdles that you historically have seen as you've either been part of a business Devin or even helping coach businesses? Troy, what are some hurdles that you've seen around growth strategy that are getting in the way that the hub heroes listeners should be paying attention to and saying, oh, oh snap. I need to like remove those boxes out of what is happening in the processes around my business.

Devyn Bellamy (25:11):

Your growth may not be scalable. Your growth may destroy your company. What may happen is that you can have an influx. You basically, you can buy it off more than you can chew. You can take more than you have the capacity to hold on. Cuz I was talking about from a sales aspect, there's a whole nother aspect, which is your operations. You may not have the people power all the time in the day to get done what you need to get done. And the plan that you thought was gonna work was the kind of plan that had 36 hours in a day with two people. There's a difference between growing and scaling. If your process isn't right, there may be the only way to manage it is to hire more people. But then the profit margins are so off that you end up barely breaking even, or could possibly be in the negatives because you grew incorrectly because you didn't analyze your process and didn't have a foundation or operational foundation that was built for scale.

It was something that just got the job done. And at that point, it doesn't matter how quote unquote good you are at your job. It's gonna come to a fact where it's too much job for you to do. You're gonna end up defaulting on contracts and you're gonna lose. Sometimes unfortunately growth can be poison, focus on what you can do. And as you see an opportunity for growth, don't get greedy. Don't immediately jump in and say, we'll figure it out. My least favorite quote on the planet is we're gonna build the plan while we're flying. That's how people die. Don't do that. Come at it with a plan. And this is the big one here, come out with a plan that factors in people cuz people aren't, robots, people burn out. People have life happen to them. Sometimes people go on vacation a week before inbound.

We're about to record a video. I mean, that's just, that's just something that happens. You need to be able to plan for that and, and have buffer around it. But the biggest secret sauce is have a process that can grow without having to hire more people. Your process should be able to quadruple in size. As far as your capacity, while only doubling in manpower, you should be able to continually grow your money without having to grow your expenses to match. That's the difference between growth and scaling and what can be really bad is when you have to grow your process and then grow your expenses faster than you're growing your revenue. That's when you go underwater and that's when you drown.

George B. Thomas (28:08):

Yeah. Devin, first of all, let me just give you props for the speed in which you planted a tree that it could throw shade towards max <laugh> being on vacation in, in, in the middle, in the middle. Might I say of educating the community around hurdles that are gonna happen as they're doing gross strategy. Now, Troy, with that said let's circle back around because I know you were chomping at the bit to also give an answer to when you think about these teenagers, these hurdles, these problems around gross strategy. Where does your mind go brother?

Troy Sandidge (28:40):

I mean, I think a lot of times, first of all, I need to sit. Sometimes you just gotta sit towards being said, and it's kind of like, I ain't, I ain't gonna get preachy, but black people, we understand <laugh> sometimes when the word is too good, you just gotta sit in the quiet and let that marinate. And Devon over here, say, hold up, let me get five more minutes on us and drop dropped a word like that was a whole to Glor of viral. That should happen to just let us know what's up and gave us a real moment. So I'm gonna be that one to facilitate that. I think the list is gonna appreciate that. We gotta just what that being said though. <Laugh> I find many times think of our teenagers. Think of this, this system that we're in and our, where we are.

And I don't think I wanna echo real quick that I think I need to remind him from what Devin said. And when I took away growth is not synonymous with scalability. They can run in parallel, but they're not the same. They're not interchangeable. We all want both. But what he said is the truth that a lot of folk, even these growth strategy, thought leaders out here on LinkedIn and all over don't even talk about is the possibility that what you want can kill you. What you want is poison. I'm sitting here like brother, we going that deep on this episode. Ooh, my goodness. All right. Alright, let me get right to it. Obviously the biggest thing that we hear all the time is not enough time. They blame it on time. There's not enough time for, there's not enough time for that. And then where does that lead into from that time?

That's our top one. Everyone says, right. We then have, they're not delegating enough. They don't have enough funds or money to invest in more software. And I always say the four currencies time, money, knowledge, skill, where you started, you, everyone's kinda like the Pokemon, everybody starts with at least one, you at least got one that you was like, yeah. And now you gotta earn the others. And then when you have all four, now we're trying to play the, how do I leverage these other ones to continue to grow what I have not lose what I have, but gain to it. So most times what people do is they burn through so much time in the seed rounds, go to market testing, try to build momentum, to try to break through in the marketplace. And then they're either out of money or maybe they didn't get any money or they just made enough money to make, even if you would've spent some of that money investing in some time to get some knowledge and maybe hire for more skill, you might have got to where you need to go with less time and with less money involved.

And I see sometimes we're to y'all know this as consultants, people sometimes don't want work with real consultants because they see the money up front. What they don't see is the money that they gonna lose or the potential idea they gonna go under because they didn't take the time when they had the ability to invest, to maintain what you have. And your programming process is definitely dimension for growth. And then if you can add that extra layer that sprinkles on the top, that frosted for scalability. And so I find many times, and that all comes down to time and money. We can get knowledge and scale, but at a certain point, there's only so much you can learn. If you're running a business, running a team, managing there's only so much time and also so much knowledge that you can pull out of YouTube university and X amount of time.

There's gonna help you out. You gotta bring on folk or collaborate with folk or hire outside folk. That's gonna help you do what you need to do. And guess what though, if you hire now, it doesn't mean bring people in your folk. Please bring people into your folk when you can. But if you don't, there's nothing wrong. Bring 'em the consultant. That means you getting a high level person at a fraction of the cost to be there when you meet them the most. And then when you don't need, 'em no more you out. Then you call 'em up again when you need 'em next month or next quarter or next year, I think in 2022, as we came through the pandemic, this woke a lot of businesses up of how they do and approach growth. I don't need to have all control. I, I just need to have the right people with the right control to get me to where I need to be.

I don't need to be in the driver's seat. I just need to be in the car, let Soandso handle the ties. Let so and so handle the gas. Let so and so tell me which map and which way I need to go with the GPS. Let someone have some good tunes playing in the backseat. And I just needed to be in the car and let my team do what to do now. Yeah, you got the car. You built the car, you brought on the people you're paying the people, let your people lead, let your people lead and do what they need to do. And I think which 1 22 with remote work being what it is now, man, we can get the cream of the Crump all over the world. Now there is no excuse why you can't build a sustainable business in 2022. None. No excuse.

 

Growth strategy examples and frameworks

George B. Thomas (33:23):

It's so good. My brain and all the things that are smashing around in there of you have to fight this historical. Well, this is the way that it's always been done. No, maybe not for you. You literally, when you were talking about, I built the car, I'm sitting in the car, let me just have the seat immediately. It came to my brain of like, listen, most ballers are in the back seat because somebody's driving them to the next place they're going. And so as a business owner, if you're not willing to let go of the steering wheel, are you gonna be the one that crashes the car? Because again, control can be poison just like this whole thing of what you want, by the way, when you think about what you want, usually it's because you're trying to control something and that you brought in remote workers and I'm like, you have to actually have faith and believe and trust in that.

They're gonna do the things to get you to the direction in which you're envisioning because you're the visionary of the growth strategy that people are implementing. And man, it is so true and it is so part of what I personally am going through, as we're trying to figure out the growth strategy and scaling of what is the new business. Here's the thing I wanna keep on digging in on this because we've almost almost at like 35 to 40 minutes of value around growth strategy. And Troy, I wanna circle back around to your six eyes and Devin, maybe even some other type of scenario that you historically may have used because Troy, that very much felt like a framework that somebody could take and implement and use. And so I just want you to take some time to unpack the fact of is there growth strategy framework or framework examples that we can share with the listeners so they can have something to plug in as they move forward. And maybe even if there's some tips or tricks or hacks to go around with those frameworks so that they're listening to this and we're activating them into a place of success.

Troy Sandidge (35:23):

I mean, you talking to the strategy hacker, I literally wrote a book on this thing and I am full of mnemonics and acronyms and frameworks for date, for date y'all for date. So you don't wanna ask me that question. If y'all don't know the trick is I can turn any word into some type of framework, acronym thing, build a whole thing around it and send it to you in like 10 days. That's how my brain works. Just wanna make that very clear. I, I am full, do not ask for that question. If you don't want a two hour synopsis webinar breaking it all down, but I'm gonna kiss. Keep it super simple and give y'all two for now, cuz I'm really tired to it. So one, a lot of people who know me who have seen me in the last two or three years, they know it and they might be tired of it, but guess what it works.

If it ain't broke, if it still gives you the results, what Devon said, it's all all about. Making sure that maintain that growth is, is the program working. If it ain't working, why am I stopping it? It's called Clover y'all. And I think I'm more on a focus on that vision that G B T talked about because really when you're important of leadership, we have to be aware of active listening and motivation. Those are the two things, fundamental things. If you're gonna be any good of a leader, those are the key things you need to do to make everything run. Actively listening allows you to be aware of what's happening to see any crisis and pitfalls address things that have happened and be aware and in tune with everyone of your team. Now, maybe you can do that by yourself. You can have a community, a collective, a group to do this for you.

The other part, motivation. Yeah. Everyone say more red, but also culture environment. These are the intangibles being able to work one. I want having that trust factor that I've hired you as the expert in this role to do what you need to do when you set the foundation that way, Ooh, growth can be easy y'all because you take away a lot of the mess. And a lot of the BS that a lot of your competitors are dealing with, they don't tell you about on the LinkedIn thought posts on the Instagram posts on the paid advertisement and pod bots. But I won't get into that. That ain't really don't don't get me started today. Let me go back. So first thing is Clover and this is we've kind of talked about. I'm just gonna run through it really quickly. Clarity, having clarity about what you want, what you need, what you can offer and to whom it's for, but also clear it around.

What does the marketplace say? What is your audit demand that they need? And where is the overlap? The next thing leveraging, I think no matter if you don't have any money today and you remember my four currencies, time, money, knowledge, and skill. If you don't have any money today, you don't have the time today. Not whatever the one you don't have, any of you can leverage the others. You can leverage your community to help you get there. I think we don't think of that enough as a possibility for girls control. How's this guy grocery. I'll give that a minute. The next thing on top of that is to optimize, always be in a state that what can go wrong, not to be negative, but be real. That things out of your control can literally happen. I mean, hello, pandemic that can just change the very fabrics and a snap, another pun there of your business, of your process.

It just doesn't work anymore. And then tying in that vision, which I think that's what most leaders and what businesses need to do. When people get around that vision, you don't have to work as hard, cuz it aligns with everyone else. Now what the key incentive, the value that drives them to work as hard as they do to achieve that vision and what your artists and customers expect from that vision, you know, could be different. But when at this core, when you create that vision, which requires culture requires branding. That's when things happen, next thing is execute. You can listen to this podcast. You can follow. And I mean you can search George B. Thomas on YouTube and get YouTube university for days, for weeks, for years, even Devon too. And if you don't take what you are learning and executing was all for nothing, for all the people going to inbound, which we got a super surprise coming to you later on in a minute, I challenge you to execute more, stop saying what you can't do.

If you don't have the time, then you have to find a time and take something out to put something in. If you don't have the money, you gotta go acquire and focus on getting more money, then trying to spend more money on PR and branding to look like you're somebody. When you shale of yourself and you need to feel more cash flow. If you need more knowledge or skill hire for the knowledge or skill and let them do what they do, don't come in with your lead of knowledge and think you're gonna tell them how to do what you hired them to do in the first place. Why are we still doing this in 2022? Last thing is results, execution results. We got to make things happen. We have to see fruit from our labor, how much energy, how much effort, how many people did it require to get there?

Can we reduce it? Can we simplify? Or can we at the very least replicate it? Because if we can replicate it at that cost, we know how much it costs time and value. Now over time. Yeah, you improve, but that's Clover. And the last thing I'll say on this one, it's very easy. We want head east, make it easy, make it attractive, make it social, make it timely too many times. The reason why we don't grow or we fail or we miss out on opportunity is because we didn't make the decision when it was necessary to happen. We have all these pillars of, you know, committees and email threads. And we just can't make a decisive decision. Why? Because we didn't make it easy. We didn't make it easy to get to the decision maker. We didn't make it easy to send the report and information to the other person.

We didn't make it easy to process what the audience was saying. We didn't make it easy to comprehend or respond as needed than the other thing to, we didn't make it attractive. If we make the process attractive for everyone to get on board and be in aligned with that vision, it's easier to instill implement cuz it's less resistance. Make it social. It's not just regarding social media, but make it social. As in collaboration, connection, communication to make these concepts come into reality and then make it timely. You can do all these things and say what we're going to do. What we're thinking of doing. If you don't move, if you don't act now, that could be your only window to get ahead. And then your next window was five years from now. So east Clover apply it, do it, rewind it, make it happen,

George B. Thomas (41:24):

Man. I feel like I just went to growth strategy church or something. And, and the more of the story was head east and find your four leave Clover and then kick ass and take names. That's literally what I feel was thrown down Devin. First of all, you were smiling, nodding fist pounding, pointing like along the whole way, which means you obviously have some of your own thoughts around this. Go ahead and unpack those for the audience. 

 

Hire experts and then let them be those experts, let them do the job you're paying them to do

Devyn Bellamy (41:49):

Big one is especially about hiring people and then letting them be the experts that you paid them to be letting them do their job. You don't bring people in and then tell them how to do something when they're better than you. Worst case scenario is that you're going to end up with a substandard thing. Like I, I, I think it was the movie dictator where he Sasha Baron Cohen. I think it was, he walks into look at a rocket and he says, how come the rocket's not pointed? And he says, because we've spent thousands of hours in, in physics. And it determines that the rocket is best when it's round. And they like, no, I want it pointy. And it's like, no, you just, you just shot yourself in a foot. You got all these people who you're paying millions of dollars for and, and you're telling them what they need to do in order for their job.

You might understand the product, you might understand the market. But the thing is, is that you can bet shaped all day long, but as you scale, as you grow, you're gonna need specialists and you need to let these specialists do what they do and come back with results. The real magic is not in being able to understand a point, understand what they do to a point where you can tell them what to do. You need to be able to understand how, what they do to a point where you can help them contribute to the overall goal, which is growth. That's that thing. The other thing that's important with growth framework that I like to use is simple for growth strategy on marketing and for sales is pipeline analysis, conversion analysis. From the moment someone comes into your CRM to the moment they're either closed one or closed, lost identify the customer journey in between identify what your visitor to lead conversion rate is what your lead to marketing qualified value.

Whether our marketing qualified lead value is whether or not there is a space within that pipeline where they skip a stage and go straight from lead to sales, qualified lead, then you need to evaluate, am I just sending everyone who fills out this form to the sales team? That's not scalable. Then I need to take a step back and fix that and start analyzing that process and where the growth comes in, the growth strategy comes in is identifying the bottlenecks, identifying where the numbers drop significantly things can be going fantastic. And then all of a sudden they fall off at the demo. Why do we have such a low conversion post demo conversion rate? Well, maybe your demo sucks. Maybe your sales people don't know how to demo. Maybe you never train them. Maybe it's like this one guy I met who literally went through every single feature in the product, even though the customer's displaying by actions.

He's like, Hey, that sounds great. That solves my problem. I definitely hear it. Let me get my credit card out. Dude literally said, no, hold on. There's still a few other. And it's like, shut up and take as money. It could be something as simple as that go through and identify and then identify the steps it takes to rectify that. And that goes back to basically cleaning up your process. What can happen is that you can have the goal of driving thousands, hundreds of thousands of people to your website. The problem is that if your website isn't designed to convert, it's not gonna matter. You're gonna have eyeballs on eyeballs off. That's it. If you get them and it's designed to convert, but you don't have a post conversion process lined out, they're gonna fill out a form. Then that's the end of it. It's like you have to identify every stage of your conversion process and your sales pipeline in order to find out where people are falling out and then you need to plug that hole up. You need to take that and you need to make it work for you. Instead of working against you, you need to get rid of the friction in your flywheel to keep that bad boy spinning. Once you're able to do that, then you're able to apply more force to your flywheel while using less energy. In this case, energy equals

 

What a growth strategy isn't for a business (yes, isn't!)

George B. Thomas (46:02):

Money. First of all, Devin, you officially get the ding, ding, ding, ding, ding of this episode, cuz I had a personal bet with myself. If we would make it through this episode, without somebody mentioning T-shaped anything T-shaped marketer, T-shaped sales T-shaped company. T-Shaped I just was like, somebody on this podcast is gonna say T-shaped at some point and sometimes so dinging ding, you are the winner. Fine, sir. Now in a minute, I'm gonna ask both of you the final question, because again, we are almost at 45, maybe 50 minutes of value around this topic of growth strategy. The last question I'm gonna ask both of you is what isn't growth strategy. But before that we have alluded a couple times. If you've paid close attention to that, there is a big announcement that we should be making because Troy is on the podcast. So Troy, why don't you take the time, give the big announcement to the community. What is it that they don't know that in a few seconds, they're gonna know

Hoo boy, we've got a piping hot INBOUND 2022 surprise announcement from Troy! 

Troy Sandidge (46:59):

If you all remember inbound 20, 21, I was tweeting like crazy and made a lot of noise. Well this year your boy is gonna do some little different you are hearing or looking at the host of inbound 20, 22. I will be your spark plug. I will be your Energizer bunny throughout all three days coming in with energy, getting the, the energy kind of set up in the right way in the right stage for our have y'all seen our speaker list. Oh my goodness. It's about to be great. Coming from hybrid virtual to in person and hybrid. Oh my goodness. It's gonna be a great time. And I, since I'm well aware of, you know, a lot of people still can't attend. It's still gonna be a virtual. I have that hybrid model. I'm gonna do some things to give that energy so that even if you're watching from the comfort of your home or your office, you gonna still feel the love. You can stick with them. Heart prints, Oprah 20, 21. I still remember how old it true to me too little today. And we're gonna make sure that you have a great time.

So just wanna give the announcement again, that as inbound 2022, your boy trust San will be the host for the main stage and keep the energy all the way through all three days.

George B. Thomas (48:08):

That's right ladies and gentlemen, you heard it here first, which is why you should always tune in to the hub hero's podcast. Cuz you never know what secret information we're gonna release or we're gonna help you grow your business. Now with that said let's close this episode out. The question simply is what isn't growth strategy.

Devyn Bellamy (48:26):

I can jump on that first. Congrats Troy hosting inbound is legitimately on legitimately on my bucket list. So I can't wait to hear about how that goes. Well hear about it. I'm gonna be there. <Laugh> yeah. What isn't growth strategy is figuring out how to just make more money by cutting corners. That's not growth. That is just that's cutting corners. What isn't growth is figuring out how to get more out of your employees in the way of productivity. You heard the term quiet, quitting. It's a real thing. Another way of saying quiet, quitting is doing my job. That's just, people are just not going above and beyond anymore. Like they used to they're coming in and doing what they're paid to do. They're understanding that life is short and they're not gonna continue to tie their personal value to the goals that you set for them.

That's what's fueling quiet, quitting among other things. And so understanding don't focus on how to crack the whip harder, focus on how to get value and give value is just focus on your human beings. The people in your organization, the opposite of that is, is not growth strategy. I, I guess the, the last thing that is is not growth strategy. And I don't even think I should have to say it, but cheating. Don't cheat. Don't cheat your customers. Don't cheat your employees. Don't cheat to market. Don't water down the liquor stay true. Stay honest. Your market will know and appreciate you for it. As will your employees and your shareholders. If you have them.

 

A growth strategy isn't avoidance of reality, trying to be too lean, too quick to market

Troy Sandidge (50:05):

I think growth strategy is not accepting reality. I think many times when people don't apply growth strategy, what they're trying to do go to market as quickly as possible. They jump immediately to scaling. They're too lean to a fault. Then they try to sell it. That's that's not what you should be doing. What you should be doing is testing your go-to market strategy, sustain output, scale growth. Then you wanna stabilize, simplify, then sell. I think too many times we think it's growth strategy because we just gave a metric to an action. And didn't ask the question, is this metric or series of measurements even relevant to the action and is the actions even possibly going to help us achieve the goals that we want just because you put it on a spreadsheet and show me some numbers. Oh, well here, how do I quantify that in terms of success or failure?

The other part that I'm gonna end on this is that what's also not growth strategy, not anticipating, accepting and modifying for failure to grow. You will fail. Cuz what is marketing a constant series of trial and error hoping for one that sticks. And I hear all the time, a lot of organizations, a lot of people, whether you're SMB, you're an entrepreneur or you're army of one or a leader. They're so afraid of failure. They see that as a disruptor for their business and that they, they can't get over that psyche or the reality of that truth. And the reality of the truth is every month ain gonna be a good month, every quarter gonna be a good quarter every year, gonna be a good year. That is literally, we know that for a fact, 500,000 businesses occur in the United States every single year. Not too many of them go past a 10 year mark. Part of the reason why is they condition that their settings are always gonna be the same when our conditions are to be changing daily, weekly, monthly, yearly as if this pandemic hasn't taught us anything. What not to do is to just assume that what you built and set up is just gonna work indefinitely forever. And if life has taught us anything that is preposterous and not the case, prepare for the worst strive for the best, go get yours

George B. Thomas (52:21):

Growth strategy. Isn't a single road, gross strategy. Isn't a set of poison that you hand to your employees, a growth strategy isn't being allergic to the pivot and the transitions that you'll need to grow your business hub heroes. I'm super curious. What do you think growth strategy is? What do you think it isn't let us know using the hashtag hub heroes podcast and we'll see you in the next episode.

🔥 YOUR HUBHEROES HOSTS

YOUR LEAGUE OF HEROES LEADERS

 

DEVYN BELLAMY

Char_Devyn_AlphaDevyn Bellamy works at HubSpot. He works in the partner enablement department.

He helps HubSpot partners and HubSpot solutions partners grow better with HubSpot.

Before that Devyn was in the partner program himself, and he's done Hubspot onboardings, Inbound strategy, and built out who knows how many HubSpot, CMS websites.

A fun fact about Devyn Bellamy is that he used to teach Kung Fu.

 

GEORGE B. THOMAS

Char_George_AlphaGeorge B. Thomas is the HubSpot Helper and owner at George B. Thomas, LLC and has been doing inbound and HubSpot since 2012.

He's been training, doing onboarding, and implementing HubSpot, for over 10 years. George's office, mic, and on any given day, his clothing is orange. George is also a certified HubSpot trainer, Onboarding specialist, and student of business strategies.

To say that George loves HubSpot and the people that use HubSpot is probably a massive understatement.

A fun fact about George B. Thomas is that he loves peanut butter and pickle sandwiches.

 

SPECIAL GUEST: TROY SANDIDGE

Troy_Final-SmallTroy Sandidge is an award-winning growth strategist who transforms emerging businesses into sustainable and scalable enterprises by creating strategies, systems, and solutions that scale revenue rapidly for businesses looking to expand their growth potential.

Known as the Strategy Hacker® and recognized as a Top 100 Marketing Leader, Troy is the author of Strategize Up, host of the Webby nominated Top 100 Marketing Podcast iDigress, an internationally-acclaimed speaker, a 3x agency builder, startup advisor, and angel investor who has launched over 35 brands and generated over $175 Million in revenue for clients worldwide.

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