Why we no longer define strategy around the client’s KPIs

by | Dec 14, 2021 | Marketing, SaaS | 0 comments

Before you throw tomatoes and come with the torches, hear me out.

*audience lowers tomatoes for a brief moment*

As marketers, it’s really easy and tempting to focus on just the KPIs that matter to us and our CEOs, sales leaders, colleagues, etc.

We obsess over the number of leads, the click-through-rates on ads, the cost per lead, the number of booked trials or free trials that we started.

We fixate on MRR, ACV, and just about every other lagging indicator out there.

Sometimes it’s so obsessive that we’re convinced by staring at the number more, it will somehow increase.

And yes — we need something to measure and track our progress towards our goals (that’s why KPIs and OKRs can be extremely powerful in the right contexts).

But when it comes to finding the best growth opportunities or troubleshooting growth, we no longer put all of the strategic pressure and stress on KPIs that are lagging indicators of success for the client.

Instead, we shift our focus to the success of the customer.

The old way: What needs to happen to increase MRR?

The new way: What needs to happen to help our customers succeed?

We call this “Customer-Led Growth” — a strategic approach championed by fellow growth strategists and pioneers Claire Suellentrop (@ClaireSuellen) and Gia Laudi (@ggiiaa) of heyelevate.com and forgetthefunnel.com.

The fundamentals truths behind “growth”

Growth cannot exist without customers.

Growth can’t continue without a customer saying “yes” to the product every month and every year after that.

Growth also can’t expand without customers growing into higher-tiered plans and/or recommending it to other customers.

Everything about growth comes down to the customer — an easily forgotten fundamental truth.

Customer success as growth KPIs

In our work, we teach clients to focus on the KPIs that matter to the customer — the success metrics that indicate a customer has progressed along their journey to winning with the product (and therefore contributing revenue in the client’s pocket).

We focus our efforts around the product’s North Star KPI and help as many customers as possible achieve success with the product.

When we see gaps to the customer’s success (an unclear website, unclear positioning, a poor onboarding experience, or less efficient sign-up flow, etc.), we recommend projects to execute and overcome them.

Do customers care about how many leads you’ve generated?

Or how much it cost to acquire them?

No. They care about satisfying their needs and winning.

By defining strategy around the customer’s success and helping them get there, you both win. 💰✨

(And if you still want to throw the tomato, I get it.)