How to hire and structure a growth team – TechCrunch

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One hire can’t do the job

Everyone in an organization should own growth, right? It turns out that when everyone has something, no one has it. As a result, growth teams can cause tremendous friction in an organization when introduced.

Growth teams are twice as likely to appear among companies that increase their ARR by 100% or more every year. In addition, they also appear to be more common once the product-to-market match has been achieved, typically after a company has achieved sales of around $ 5-10 million.

Graph of the prevalence of growth teams in companies, by ARR

Image credits: OpenView Partners

I’m not here to explain why you need a growth team, but I will point out that product-oriented businesses with a growth team achieve dramatic results: double the median free-to-paid conversion rate.

Free to paid conversions in companies with growth teams are higher

Image credits: OpenView Partners

How do you hire an early growth leader?

Based on responses from benchmark product surveys, growth teams have shifted dramatically from reporting to marketing and sales to reporting directly to the CEO.

Some of the early writing about growth teams indicates that they can be structured individually as their own stand-alone team or as a SWAT model, where experts from various other departments in the organization converge on a regular cadence to solve the problem. growth.

Chart showing more growth teams now report to CEOs than marketing, sales or product

Image credits: OpenView Partners

My experience and the data I have collected from software vendors focused on business users have led me to conclude that growth teams in enterprise software should not be structured as “SWAT” teams. , with cross-functional leadership coming together to think critically about the growth issues facing the business. I find that if the issues do not have a real owner, they will not be resolved. Growth issues are no different and are often overlooked unless it’s someone’s job to think about them.

Becoming product-oriented doesn’t happen overnight, and hiring someone won’t be a quick fix for your software.

I put the early growth hires in a few simple buckets. You have:

Product-driven growth experts: These people aim to optimize the user experience, reduce friction and expand usage. They are generally fairly analytical and may have a background in Product, Data, or MarketingOps.

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