As a business, of course you want to succeed and grow, but these days it isn’t enough just to grow, we must grow better.
Removing friction in your business means that the prospect to client experience through to the lifecycle of that client is as seamless, efficient and positive as possible.
Each business is unique, but Secret Source see some commonality in the challenges.
Here are 7 real life stories on how organisations are trying to overcome challenges and grow better, to help develop with sustainable businesses into the future.
1. Earn my attention, don’t steal it
We were dealing with a prospective client who frequently expressed a desire to work with us but was always too busy to move forward! They were growing fast but we could see they were not growing better. Time was being wasted on short term objectives and systems that were creaking despite in theory having the capacity to do far more. The more customers they got, the more challenges they faced. While sitting at the keynote at Inbound 2018 and hearing the description of a ‘frictionless business’, we immediately identified with their business situation as a wheel riddled with 'friction'!
We laid out a vision to what life might look like if they set their stall out differently, which meant turning their back on past investments in their systems and starting afresh. It took guts, spending more money, but in a different way, with a fresh focus. This was to the detriment and delay of our own future retainer; however, the prospect saw this as a selfless act following the successful roll out of a Sales, Marketing and Service automation system. As a result, we ended up doing business with them and they are thriving!
2. Treat me like a person, not a persona
With one client who operate in an enterprise market, we have focussed on key personas within their ideal brand names. We have mapped out key dates important to that persona and tailor key material that will aid the individuals to do their job better. Using marketing and sales automation tools, content is then generated and builds up over time, solving pain points using our client’s offering/solutions. This approach helps them engage at the right level at the right moment and not waste people’s time.
3. Solve for my success, not your systems
We try and operate in a transparent way with our clients, showing them our inner workings, behind the scenes and directly view our project management tools if they wish. This helps to build trust early in a relationship and as time goes on, clients are able to focus on their own deadlines rather than having to managing Secret Source. If we ever have a conflict of two deadlines potentially colliding, then we will be transparent and educate our client as to how long things take and the resources involved our end. A process of change management is highlighted as early on as possible if the goalposts are ever moved.
Our clients understand that we have a process, but we are not slaves to it and will be accommodating when and where required. An example of this is whilst attending a client board meeting, where we were presenting future plans, a recess was called and when we reconvened, they had bought another business to throw into the mix! Instead of panicking due to being tied to a rigid system, we discussed together on how to work smarter and make sure that this major addition wasn't neglected or a treated like a 'bolt on', but as a part of an overall cohesive strategy.
4. Surprise and delight
Between our team and clients, we tend to have something in common outside of work, and we use this as a nice distraction from working so hard. Because we help senior leaders’ coach and mentor, then while we are going about doing our job, we tend to recognise individuals that are going above and beyond. We try to surprise them with things they do not expect and it also demonstrates that we listen. We've motivated and recognised individuals within a client that we can see goes the extra mile. Our objective is to be as accountable as the business leaders. As a result, then each Secret Source team member become part of the team and seen more of a partner than a supplier.
5. Ask for feedback, and act on it
Secret Source listen a lot! Regular meetings on and offsite with our clients mean we are always adjusting and acting on comments from internal feedback but importantly market feedback. We try to turn the microphone both ways; client and market side, engaging with our clients' customers and prospective audience. Because our clients are growing, to help them ‘grow better’ is the key challenge. We therefore try to be as proactive as we can and bring our experience into play. It’s always important to remember that feedback is a two-way thing.
6. Share expertise rather than keeping it secret
The mantra of, teach a man to fish, is key within our team. We try to coach our clients’ employees to understand how and why we do things. We find that this helps to build trust and respect. It has helped us to become more involved in their businesses and for them to get more strategic as time goes by and the more transactional items become second nature. They do not feel an over reliance on us but like having us around as 'specialist teams'.
7. Don't block the exit
One client has a number of well-established suppliers, who have grown with them over the years and therefore have a lot of loyalty. Our client is growing rapidly and are trying to grow homegrown talent. We have helped to train and empower their internal staff as well as educating complementary suppliers on how HubSpot works and the power of automation. We've suggested many times that they can take this on and work with anyone they want to in the future. This has kept their options open and they understand the exit isn't blocked and that we're not doing what we do to 'keep an account' but to help them to grow better.
To find out more about how Secret Source could help you to remove friction, delight your customers and grow your business better, contact us by e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org, phone us on 01522 700266 or leave your details below.