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KD McAlly Group

KD McAlly Group Customer Success and Revenue Growth
KD McAlly Group a leader in Customer Success, CLG, ARR, NRR, CSM, GTM, go-to-market, revenue growth, voice fo the customer, operations and customer delight

Is Customer Led Growth the Best Approach for my Organization?

CLG | Hype or Necessity?

Q: We’re thinking about shifting from an SLG approach to a CLG approach; what are your thoughts?

A: Customer Led Growth (CLG) should not be considered the means to an end; however, it should be a significant part of the revenue journey.  It would seem bizarre to me that leaders would consider mandates that transition their companies from one growth-led initiative to another.  However, there is nothing wrong with companies putting a higher priority on one approach over another, as in the case of Product Led Growth (PLG) organizations versus that of Sales Led Growth (SLG) organizations.  Though we’ve seldom seen complete dismissal of one approach over the other.  In fact, it is our opinion that companies should begin to consider components to all of the “growth-led” initiatives (xLGs) so that all of the various functional areas can contribute to the larger revenue goal of the business. 

Sales, Product, Customer, and Marketing Led Growth initiatives have unique and specific interlocks with each other that not only have interdependencies but also goals associated with each relationship.  In this blog, we will spend considerable time focusing on the interlocks and interdependencies of the CS function relative to a CLG initiative; note however, that a blog could be written at least three additional times outlining considerations from the other xLGs perspectives alike.

Defining a CLG initiative

You will read and hear about different opinions and outcomes of a CLG approach though there should undoubtedly be only one notion common in every thesis; and that is, the epicenter of a good CLG strategy should align and amplify the voice of the customer (VoC). 

The VoC is crucial to a customer-led growth strategy because it provides valuable insights into the customer’s preferences, needs, and expectations.  Listening to the VoC is shared across the entire organization, but the ultimate responsibility of collecting and comprehending the VoC should lie within the Customer Success (CS) function.  However, the capture of VoC can differ from company to company based on the size, scale, and maturity of the CS function. Depending on the organization, a few suggestive opportunities to collect the VoC could be during Onboarding, Time to First Value, Feature Requests, Customer Sentiment / NPS / Verified Outcomes, Periodic Check-Ins / Renewals, and QBRs.

If done correctly, the VoC enables businesses to tailor their products, services, and experiences to meet and exceed customer expectations. The approach fosters stronger customer satisfaction and loyalty, resulting in increased customer retention and repeat business. Moreover, incorporating the VoC into decision-making processes enables companies to identify new opportunities, develop innovative solutions, and stay ahead of competitors. By way of the VoC, there is customer representation in growth strategies, businesses can build lasting relationships, drive revenue growth, and create a sustainable competitive advantage in today’s dynamic marketplace.

Once collected, organized, and understood, the VoC should be contextualized to the other xLG initiatives within the organization.  This ensures a customer-centric approach is adopted across all xLG strategies and outcomes. Sharing continuous streams of customer feedback, insights, and preferences with different teams helps create a unified understanding of customer perspectives and aligns objectives toward a common goal of delivering exceptional customer experiences. This communication fosters cross-functional collaboration, enabling various departments such as product development, marketing, sales, and CS to work together more effectively. By integrating the VoC into decision-making processes, teams can make informed conclusions that prioritize customer satisfaction, drive innovation, and streamline internal processes. Additionally, sharing customer feedback with employees across the organization promotes a sense of customer empathy, empowering them to take ownership of customer success and contribute to the company’s growth strategy. Effective communication of the VoC throughout the organization ultimately leads to improved customer satisfaction, increased operational efficiency, and sustainable business growth.

Let it be known, this is not a mandate for a CLG-focused organization.  Functional areas within a business must contribute their own growth strategies by aligning their objectives and activities with the overall growth goals of their respective xLGs.  Having the VoC incorporated into each functional area, such as marketing, sales, and product development, customer insight can now play a vital role in driving growth through shared responsibilities and the success of the other xLGs. Marketing can develop targeted campaigns to attract and identify new customers through its MLG. Sales teams can now have the enablement and confidence to expand the customer base and increase revenue by way of their SLG. Product development can optimize and prioritize product improvements to enhance adoption and utilization by way of their PLG. By aligning their efforts and collaborating across functional areas, businesses can create comprehensive growth strategies that leverage the strengths of each department and maximizes the potential for all xLGs resulting in long-term sustainability and profitable growth for the business.

Now that we have the means to capture, disseminate, and leverage the VoC within the relevant functional workstreams, we must create a feedback loop to ensure the VoCs long-term integrity.   This feedback loop enables the functional areas to continuously iterate, ensuring that their xLGs stay relevant to the evolving customer preferences and needs. This real-time feedback allows for quick adjustments and improvements to content/messaging for go-to-market (GTM), sales enablement, and product positioning.  By addressing changes to customer sentiment promptly, businesses can enhance customer satisfaction and loyalty, leading to increased retention, referrals, and revenue growth. Finally, a feedback loop supports innovation and drives competitive advantage. By incorporating customer input, businesses can gain insights that inspire new product ideas, service enhancements, and business strategies. Overall, the feedback loop empowers businesses to continually learn, adapt, and improve based on the VoC, fostering long-term success and sustainable growth.

Clayton Simmons is a prophetic believer that in a dynamically changing market, the next dollar earned is dependent on how well the last dollar was served AND what was discovered from the transaction.  For more information on what KD McAlly Group can do for you, feel free and reach out directly to Clayton at clayton.simmons@kd-mcally.com or info@kd-mcally.com.

Contribution for this article was provided by Rachel Provan of Provan Success, LLC a leader in Customer Success Career and Leadership coaching. Rachel can be reached directly at rachel@provansuccess.com

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