Tiffani Bova: Growth Hacking Your Business | E128
Tiffani Bova: Growth Hacking Your Business | E128
In today’s episode, we are chatting with Tiffani Bova, global growth evangelist at Salesforce and global speaker. She is also the author of the Wall Street Journal bestselling book GROWTH IQ: Get Smarter About the Choices that Will Make or Break Your Business. Tiffani is a change maker who’s thought-provoking and forward-thinking insights have made her a frequent guest on a variety of industry-leading podcasts and live broadcasts
Tiffani has been named on the Thinkers50’s list of the world’s top management thinkers and is a welcomed guest on Bloomberg, CNN, Cheddar, MSNBC, and Yahoo Finance, among others. She also contributes her thoughts to publications including Harvard Business Review, Forbes, Entrepreneur, Diginomica, Quora, Thrive, Rotman School of Management and Duke Dialogue Review.
In this episode, we discuss Tiffani’s upbringing in Hawaii, how she got into business and her success in the corporate world. We’ll also talk about the challenges many people face with their business, how to retain and grow your customer base, and the power of partnering with other companies and partaking in cooperation.
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Check out our website to meet the team, view show notes and transcripts: www.youngandprofiting.com
00:03:35 – How Growing Up In Hawaii Shaped Tiffani
00:05:08 – Being a White Minority in Hawaii
00:07:30 – Work/Life Balance
00:09:29 – How Tiffani Got Into Business
00:14:10 – Tiffani’s Opinion on Getting An MBA
00:16:04 – How Tiffani Succeeded in Her Corporate Career
00:22:55 – Why Tiffani Decided Not To Be An Entrepreneur
00:26:23 – The Challenges People Have Growing Their Business
00:29:38 – How To Grow Your Existing Customer Base
00:36:23 – The Ways To Mitigate Churn
00:39:28 – How to Keep Clients/Customers Happy
00:33:23 – The Experience Equation
00:48:50 – How To Grow Your Business With Products/Services
00:53:26 – The Importance Of Storytelling In Business
00:56:35 – How To Work With Other Companies + Competitors
00:01:43 – Prioritizing Strategies to Use
01:06:39 – Tiffani’s Secret to Profiting in Life
Mentioned In The Episode:
Tiffani’s Website: https://www.tiffanibova.com/
Tiffani’s Book, GrowthIQ: https://www.tiffanibova.com/book/
Tiffani’s Podcast, What’s Next: https://www.tiffanibova.com/whats-next-podcast/
Tiffani’s LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/tiffanibova
Tiffani’s Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/tiffanibova/?hl=en
#128: Growth Hacking Your Business with Tiffani Bova
[00:00:00] Hala Taha: You're listening to YAP, Young And Profiting Podcast, a place where you can listen, learn, and profit. Welcome to the show. I'm your host, Hala Taha. And on Young And Profiting Podcast, we investigate a new topic each week and interview some of the brightest minds in the world. My goal is to turn their wisdom into actionable advice that you can use in your everyday life.
[00:00:25] No matter your age, profession, or industry, there's no fluff on this podcast, and that's on purpose. I'm here to uncover value from my guest. By doing the proper research and asking the right questions. If you're new to the show, we've chatted with the likes of ex FBI agents, real estate moguls, self-made billionaires CEOs, and bestselling authors.
[00:00:47] Our subject matter ranges from enhancing productivity, how to gain influence the art of entrepreneurship and more if you're smart and like to continually improve yourself, hit the subscribe button because you'll love [00:01:00] it here at Young And Profiting Podcast. This week on YAP, we're chatting with Tiffani Bova, global speaker and Chief Growth Evangelist at Salesforce, where she oversees trends in the market and finds the best ways to enhance customer experience.
[00:01:16] Tiffany is also the author of the Wall Street Journal bestselling book GROWTH IQ, and is the host of the What's Next Podcast. Tiffany is on the Thinkers50’s of the world's top management thinkers. And as a welcome guest on Bloomberg CNN, MSNBC, and Yahoo finance, amongst other TV Programs, she also contributes to publications like the Harvard Business Review, Forbes and Entrepreneur.
[00:01:40] In this episode, we discuss Tiffany's upbringing in Hawaii and how she climbed up the corporate ladder. We'll also talk about the common challenges people face in business, and we spend a lot of time on how to growth, hack your business through ways like retaining and growing your customer base, mitigating, churn, and partnering with other companies.
[00:01:59] If you're looking [00:02:00] for ways to grow your business. Whether you're a business owner or an employee, who wants to stand out at work with new ideas. This episode is for you. This episode of YAP is brought to you by ZipRecruiter, according to Forbes, Jim's mom and Pop Stores, and more are set to go on an epic hiring spree to meet the pent up demand for all these services.
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[00:02:50] Hi, Tiffany, welcome to Young And Profiting Podcasts.
[00:02:53] Tiffani Bova: Thank you for having me. I'm excited to be here today.
[00:02:55] Hala Taha: Me too. I feel like your career journey and all of your experiences are [00:03:00] super relevant to my audience. So let's talk about who you are today.
[00:03:04] You are a Wall Street Journal, bestselling author. You are also the Chief Growth Evangelist at Salesforce, which is huge. You had an incredible journey so far, but I found out when I was doing research for this show that you actually grew up in Hawaii. And I believe that must have had a huge component to who you are today.
[00:03:23] Why you ended up going into the type of business that you went into, what your values are. So tell us about you growing up in Hawaii and how that kind of shaped you in terms of who you are today and what you do.
[00:03:35] Tiffani Bova: Such a great question, because I couldn't agree more. People often ask, Do I think shaped me the most about being an International Business Executive.
[00:03:43] It would absolutely be being born and raised in Hawaii. It taught me so much about culture. It taught me a lot about the different kinds of ways in which different people from around the world might do business and communicate. It was just a special place for so many [00:04:00] reasons. I often say my childhood did not suck, right?
[00:04:03] It's like you learn about what happens in the ocean. And then in the afternoon you get in a bus, and you drive down and, you go and look at the reef and you look at the fish. I want to know how the world was formed in volcanoes that get on a plane, you fly to the big island, you see an active volcano.
[00:04:17] You want to see what it's like, where there's very light air. And it's very cool. And you're at the tallest peak in the world from the bottom of the ocean to the top of that mountain, you get on a plane, you go to Maui and you go to Hollyhock. So it was just really super, super special.
[00:04:33] I feel blessed to have been born and raised there and blessed to continue to go back all the time.
[00:04:38] Hala Taha: Yeah. So from my understanding, you are actually one of the only white kids in school, and then you went to an Arizona State University and, you were one of, probably all white kids at that school, basically.
[00:04:51] So talk to us about what that was like being a minority in Hawaii, growing up. How did that shape your values, your perspective on [00:05:00] life thereafter?
[00:05:01] Tiffani Bova: That's such an interesting question right after the last sort of year and a half, we've had. I've often wondered what's the best way to say that without it sounding insensitive to the current environment that we're in.
[00:05:14] But kindergarten, first, second, third grade, I was definitely the only blonde in the school are in my class, but not in my school. It was predominantly from Pacific Rim, Asia Pacific, Japanese, Chinese, Thai, Vietnamese, Korean, and then you'll have Tahitian and Tongan and Samoan.
[00:05:32] Bali. You just, it really just wrapped the Pacific Rim. And like I said, it gave me such an interesting perspective on culture. I didn't think anything was unusual kids, usually don't it's when you get older, the people start, maybe adults or parents or others start to tell you these things that kids, otherwise they're like, I like, Sally, right?
[00:05:50] Mika or I like, whoever it might be at the end of the day, we're just all human. And so as I came to the mainland and went to Arizona state, it [00:06:00] was a definite adjustment for me. But thankfully I had traveled almost completely around the world before I was 18, not the US but through Australia, New Zealand, Asia Pacific, Europe.
[00:06:11] And so it gave me this really great cultural perspective about what it's like to be raised in a country or a place where you don't have all we had in the US a lot more empathy and compassion for the fact that we are blessed to be in this country, regardless of the current political climate at the end of the day.
[00:06:30] I'm always like, look, if you really think it's terrible here, get on an airplane and go check it out somewhere else, where they control everything you do, women can't drive women, can't vote. Women, have to get chosen to be married and you can't do this. And you can't do that. It's just so I feel like that entire experience made me have a lot more understanding, especially for the current environment we have today, on a global basis, but for sure in the US.
[00:06:56] That's super interesting.
[00:06:57] Hala Taha: And I guess my last question, in terms of your [00:07:00] childhood growing up in Hawaii and how it shaped you today is really like the work-life balance. Because I imagine how in Hawaii, there are a lot more laid back. And so I just wonder did you take that on, when you went to corporate, you had such a crazy career, did you have a good work-life balance because of that experience?
[00:07:18] Or, what are your thoughts on that?
[00:07:20] Tiffani Bova: Often people don't believe I'm from Hawaii, cause they're like, are you sure from New York? I know that's why I was like, when I first, when you first got on, I was like, I just found out you're from Hawaii. I had no idea because you would never know. So I'd say this, I'd say the second I get on an airplane and fly myself back home.
[00:07:37] And I get off that airplane. I don't honk. I'm not in a hurry. It's got, I got nowhere to be it's on Hawaiian time, and so it, it does definitely a lot more laid back. And so I thankfully have the ability to shift between the two, but I know without a doubt that had, I just approached everything in business, in that very laid back comfortable sort of friendly way.[00:08:00]
[00:08:00] My career might've been significantly different. And and so there is this balance between, when I'm home versus when I'm working, what I may come off as, it's very a matter of fact, and to the point and direct, which is maybe not so Aloha, if you will.
[00:08:17] Hala Taha: It's so funny and it's so cool.
[00:08:19] How, you can come from all different backgrounds and end up at the same place you grew up in Hawaii, but you ended up being in America and being the senior C suite officer at Salesforce now it's absolutely incredible. So let's talk about your career journey, because like I mentioned before you went to Arizona State University, you had a major in Public Programs.
[00:08:39] I think a minor in pre law, almost everybody I talked to who's super successful now was going to be a lawyer and never ended up doing it. It's one of the most recurring themes that I see. It's so funny, but anyway, he didn't end up becoming a lawyer clearly, and you went into business and I know that it's graduation season, lots of people are graduating.
[00:08:58] They're trying to figure out how [00:09:00] can I, land that corporate career. And a lot of people are graduating with majors that might not have a lot of opportunities. So I'd love to understand how you ended up getting into business when you were public programs and pre law as your majors.
[00:09:14] Tiffani Bova: One of the things that completely shaped my career, and I say every time someone asked me this question is everything I learned about business.
[00:09:22] I learned at the carnival and people are going to go okay, what does that mean? And you're so even you laugh, but literally the carnival. So my best friend's family, when I was growing up own the carnival in Hawaii and indoor arcades, I'm going to date this, but this is the early eighties, 1980s.
[00:09:39] And so video games were not in the Palm of your hand. At that time, you had to go someplace to play video games. So it was an indoor arcade and an outdoor carnival. And so at 15, 16, 17, 18, 19 20, 21, 22, I worked for the family and I was there other, it's called Hānai, which means extended family.
[00:09:55] I'm their Hānai daughter. And so I worked for that company for about six or [00:10:00] seven years. And the mom was one of the very first female presidents of YPO. And so I had a front row seat to a female executive who owned her own business, who ran the show. Literally and her husband ran the carnivals.
[00:10:14] It was a family business for her. From the early 19 hundreds, actually his grandfather started the carnivals there and then she had the indoor arcade. I had this amazing experience of learning how to like something as simple as ordering a teddy bear. You'd think it's easy order a Teddy bear.
[00:10:30] No, there are about a thousand different plushes of that teddy bear, which impacts costs. And because you're in Hawaii, it has to be shipped in. So you have to make sure it's three weeks lead time. If you've run out of teddy bears and you need them tomorrow, you're in trouble. It's not like they can just fly them in right from someplace else and you get them in a half hour.
[00:10:46] It doesn't work that way in Hawaii. We are an island in the middle of the Pacific. So when I went to college, I wanted to do Business Administration as my minor. It was the middle of my sophomore year. My college counselor pulled me in and
[00:11:00] let me be really clear. I was not a good student.
[00:11:02] I was an athlete. And so that was my way of always that's where I stuck my energy. Let me just put it that way. And I was not a learner that was read. Right learner. I was a listen, watch learner. So it didn't work for school back then. You'd have to listen to a lecture, read a book, take a test, really bad situation for me because it's just not the way I learned.
[00:11:21] So my College Counselor called me in and yeah. Yeah, business is not for you. We're going to have to pick another major, or you're going to get yourself in trouble. We need, we want you to graduate a thing. So we're gonna have to find something. Now you've got anA, in this class, criminal justice, why don't you pursue criminal justice?
[00:11:38] Pre-law under our public programs. I'm like, okay. And in my head I was literally thinking businesses. And for me I've been running a million dollar business for the last seven years since I was 15. Okay, I get it. And so I, that's why I didn't graduate with an undergrad in business.
[00:11:53] It was just an accident that my college counselor was like, you may want to focus over there. Whenever I get that letter. Donating to the alumni [00:12:00] association. I'm always like, didn't you tell me I wasn't going to be good in business. That's what that said, because you never know. Sometimes people counselors or whatever, especially in your college days may not know what really excites you.
[00:12:14] And it may be false negatives. And the fact that you're not doing well in a class, it could be all kinds of reasons, not interest, but just maybe the way you learn. And so that's that story. And I think it's really important because, I've been able to do well in business without an undergrad in Business Administration, nor do I have an MBA.
[00:12:33] Hala Taha: So I was just going to go into the fact that I was looking on your LinkedIn profile and I saw like Wherein, and then I noticed it said certificate and I was thinking, oh my gosh, she's done all of this without an MBA. Before we get into that. We have a lot in common. Like I actually did terribly in my undergrad as well.
[00:12:52] And same thing. I was just focused on getting experiences. I was on the cheerleading team. I was in my place. I was in my sorority. And like you said, that doesn't [00:13:00] just, because you get bad grades and undergrad doesn't mean that's going to be the rest of your life. So if you're out there in college, remember that getting experiences and having real life skills is just as important as getting good grades.
[00:13:12] And I know lots of people who graduated with top grades in their undergrad who are like doing multilevel marketing schemes right now, and not doing too much with their life in terms of like growth. So let's go into really quick, like your opinion on an MBA. You are a top executive at Salesforce and you don't have an MBA.
[00:13:32] So do you think that's required in today's age or do you feel like you can it's doesn't matter what kind of educational credentials that you have? You can make it either way, like what's your perspective.
[00:13:44] Tiffani Bova: Yeah, my perspective is I think you can make it either way, right? There's lots of people who run some of the largest tech companies in the world that didn't graduate college.
[00:13:51] They dropped out and decided to be entrepreneurs and have done so much to change the world. So I think that education [00:14:00] is important, but I don't think it's the only measure of whether you're going to be successful or not. That's one and two. But for me, I knew in my way of learning.
[00:14:09] That if I took my L sat a number of times, which is the test you have to take to get into law school. And I did. Okay. But that taught me right away that I am not a good read, a ton of stuff. Memorize it, take a test and do gal. If you want to share it with me and tell me a story about why this is what happens in the law.
[00:14:28] And then ask me about it three weeks later, I'm going to remember because the story stuck with me. And once I knew that I made a decision not to go on for my MBA and, at 21, I think that was a good idea. Anyway, and then I considered maybe going back when I turned 30 and saying, should I go back for my MBA?
[00:14:42] Like to your point, cause I want to the latter from an executive standpoint. And thankfully I had a CEO who I was working for, who invested in me and said, why don't you go take this Wharton Executive Certificate Program? And so it was an eight or 10 week program. We lived on campus, we did a whole workshop.
[00:14:59] It [00:15:00] was, you had to be a VP and above. Of a publicly traded company. And all of those things. And so I got the opportunity where people from Johnson and Harley Davidson, and it was just such a great experience for me. And once again, I walked out of there going, I'm glad I didn't get my MBA because it was almost too academic for me.
[00:15:19] Like they would go through these exercises and my gut would say that's not really the way I would do it because I tried this one time. I tried that one time. It didn't work. And so I felt like it was a combination of somebody who had their MBA and myself. And so what I learned from that was that point forward, I always hired a partner, my sort of COO of the business.
[00:15:38] I was running to be that person who knew how to run the business in that very rigorous way versus my mother. Less. So me just say that.
[00:15:50] Hala Taha: Yeah. It's like you like to take a more creative approach or innovative approach to things.
[00:15:55] Tiffani Bova: And so that was my strength and non strength. My non strength, I partnered up with someone to
[00:16:00] do it, with me, and then I leaned into my strengths.
[00:16:02] And so it ended up working for me. But one clarification I want to make, I, I'm the Global Growth of Evangelist. I don't sit on the executive team here. I don't report, excuse me, I don't report to Marc Benioff, but ultimately, I have the ability, from an executive perspective to really influence externally, what's happening from a market perspective versus being someone who's making decisions about what Salesforce does.
[00:16:26] Yeah. That's not so much.
[00:16:28] Hala Taha: One thing that I want to note to all of my listeners out there that I think is also key is the timing of getting your education. So when I was an undergrad, I feel like I actually wasn't ready for college, but then when I got my MBA, I ended up getting a 4.0 because I was so ready for the opportunity and just in a different mindset had different experiences.
[00:16:48] So I think timing is key too, to everybody out there. So let's talk about your corporate career because you rose up the ranks pretty quickly. I think you were maybe less than 10 years into your [00:17:00] career. You were already a Director at a Sprint, which is huge. Like we said, you have a great position at Salesforce.
[00:17:07] Now you're a VP of several companies before that. So talk to us about why you think that you succeeded in your corporate career. What were some of the qualities, what were some of the things that you did that really helped you stand out? Because there's lots of people who get into corporate and move up either very slowly or don't move up at all.
[00:17:25] Tiffani Bova: So I'm going to qualify my answer here because it's different than it was back then. I have been in the corporate world if you will, for about 30 years. So I like to say that my twenties, where I don't know what I was going to do, I was having fun. And how do I pay my bills while still having fun?
[00:17:41] Then in my thirties it was like, oh, I need to get a job. And I need to become serious about my career. And then in my forties, it was like, I needed to take a bit of a break. And then in my fifties, which I am now, it was, I wanted to find a way to give back. And the reason why I give that context is because my thirties was, I [00:18:00] changed jobs every 18 months in my thirties.
[00:18:02] And at that time that was considered a higher risk. Where now, millennials, it's like they change jobs and no one blinks, but back then it was like wow, you've changed jobs three times in three years. What's wrong with you? And I actually changed jobs for the following reasons. I would go into my employer and I'd say, Hey, listen, I love working here.
[00:18:25] I love what I'm doing, but I'd like more responsibility. I'd like to challenge myself at that time. I was a individual quota bearing Sales Rep. And so I wanted to become a team lead or a sales manager or a sales VP. I wanted to move up the ranks. And so I went to my management, my manager or my leadership team.
[00:18:43] And this is what I'd say. And so they gave the obligatory. We love having you work here. We value what we do. We'd hate to lose you, but we don't have anything right now give us like 60 days and let us come back. I'd be like, okay, take the 60 days. I keep doing my job. And I was always hitting [00:19:00] quota.
[00:19:00] I was great at what I did. And so at the end of 60 days, loan and behold, I didn't hear from them. So I would go and I'd sit down and I'd say, okay, it's been 60 days. What can you what have we got to work with? And there was never an opportunity. So I'd leave. And every time I left, once again, as a individual quota, carrying Sales Rep, I increased my base pay.
[00:19:23] I increased my title. I increased my sphere of responsibility. So I forced the hand to say, am I going to stay at this business? And hopefully five years from now, I become a Senior Team Lead or a Director, which, or am I going to go force the hand and see if I can make it happen elsewhere? And that's what I did.
[00:19:41] So over my thirties, literally I changed jobs. And every time I did. I took on, as I said, a larger base, I almost doubled my income and I took on more responsibility, but along the way, I went from sales to then leading teams and ma and marketing and then teams and customer service. So [00:20:00] I, all of a sudden got this chance to have a complete view of the customer facing roles.
[00:20:05] And I was in tech, which at the beginning of what we now, the worldwide web, I'm doing it in air quotes, right? That back then I was a low-cost beta client. I was constant contacts, beta client, like I'm really dating this, that we were selling via chat and recurring revenue and hosting and domain names.
[00:20:25] In a time where people were buying Yellow Page Ads and Billboards, and M ailers. And so I was super early, but what, that also taught me during that time, by the way, considering the topic and the theme of your podcast, I realized I was not an entrepreneur because that was like Marc Benioff, starting Salesforce and Amazon starting and all these things starting.
[00:20:46] And I was in the thick of it. But it was just never going to be my path. I'm much better as an entrepreneur. So through my thirties, I did that. And then at my forties, I said, I was burnt. They had, I'd gone [00:21:00] three and a half years, not sleeping in my bed for seven straight nights. I was managing a ton of people.
[00:21:05] I'd grown a $300 million business within a fortune 500 company and I needed a break. So I took that break at 40 started working for Gartner group, which is world's largestIT industry consulting, an analyst firm, and now had to go from being a practitioner to an academic. And remember, we already talked about the fact that I'm not very good on that.
[00:21:24] So I had to think being an academic, but by about year three, I started to find my stride of how do you. Find data, communicate data, and really be able to persuade executives to think a little bit differently. And I got better and better at that over time. And it really was the foundation of the career I'm in now.
[00:21:45] And so when I was at the end of my forties and I said I want to try to do something else. Salesforce showed up and said, we want you to keep doing exactly what you've been doing, but do it for us. And so it was a perfect creation of a role for me and a culmination of, [00:22:00] 25 years of doing what I love, which is being an Executive and running Sales Services.
[00:22:05] Hala Taha: Yeah, it sounds like it really all came full circle with the Salesforce job. So I want to go back to something that you just said, that's really interesting. And that's, you knew that you weren't supposed to be an entrepreneur and that you felt like you're more successful as an entrepreneur.
[00:22:19] And I think this is really interesting because I think we're in a culture today where it's like side hustle culture. Everybody should start a business. It's so easy to start a business. And a lot of people out there, fail as new entrepreneurs because they're not actually, cut to be an entrepreneur.
[00:22:34] So talk about that. Tell us about your decision process in terms of why you decided not to go out on your own and stay on this corporate path. Like how did you make that decision and talk to us about.
[00:22:46] Tiffani Bova: Yeah. It was three times actually that it came up and it was really at my big job changes. If you didn't notice right.
[00:22:52] At the end of my twenties and my thirties, I decided I needed to get a job. Boom. At the end of my thirties, at the beginning of my forties, I'm like, I need to take a [00:23:00] break. I'm completely and totally fried. I didn't even recognize myself. I've been really working too hard in my forties. I felt like I had achieved and created sort of voice that the market was interested in hearing.
[00:23:11] And then in my fifties it was about payback. So at each of those changes, I sat down and said, okay, should I break out on my own? Should I start my own consulting business? And should I just advise companies and go find three or four clients and just get very deep in there. Should I go work on the consulting side at a big five consulting house?
[00:23:29] Should I, there was all of these questions. The last time I did it, I was in Australia, in Sydney, actually sitting with a friend of mine, Naomi Simson. She is a Shark on Shark Tank, Australia. She's Ernst And Young Entrepreneur of the year. She's, for Australia, she's the most followed on LinkedIn.
[00:23:46] And she is it from an entrepreneurial standpoint and we are friends. And so we were having dinner and we were through our first bottle of wine and she was talking to me about being an entrepreneur. And she was one that was like, you need to go out on your own. You can do [00:24:00] this. You've got the, and by the end of the second bottle of wine I was like, she goes to the app.
[00:24:04] It's not for you because it was not because of the second bottle of wine, but because we'd really talk through it. And I uncovered that. I am risking. That I like the security of Corporate America. It doesn't mean I wouldn't be successful. I'm sure I would because I can hustle and hustle now. And even though my life is very different than it was 18 months ago, based on everything that we're going through, I had to hustle still in my own role to say, how do you stay when you're normally flying 275,000 miles a year giving a hundred keynotes on six continents?
[00:24:37] What do you do when you're sitting at home? Like, how do you recreate that? So I hustle in a different way, but I don't have to hustle for a paycheck. And that I think was the deciding factor for me now, who knows? I'm 55. Now, maybe when I hit the next big milestone, I'll change my mind. But right now that's how I'm feeling.
[00:24:56] Hala Taha: It's so interesting. And you're doing great either way and I just want [00:25:00] people to know out there that there's so many paths to success. There's not one path to success. You can be happy and successful. Just about anything you can make money doing just about anything. So let's talk about GROWTH IQ, because that is such a huge book out there.
[00:25:16] You're a Wall Street, bestselling author. And in that book, you talk about 10 Paths to Grow Your Business. Before we go into some of those examples, I'd love for you to talk about why people have a challenge growing their business to begin with and why that's so important.
[00:25:32] Tiffani Bova: I can tell you that the decade at Gartner, my role was to take what we called inquiry calls from customers from around the world.
[00:25:40] Somewhere startups. Like we had three employees. We want to hire our first sales person to the largest tech companies in the world saying we want to reorganize our 30,000 strong, selling organizations. And our half a million strong channel organization, what do you think we should do? So it was this large swath between small startups, [00:26:00] all the way to enterprise five companies.
[00:26:02] And throughout that time, I took probably 300 or so calls a year. And so do that across a decade. It was almost 4,500 calls I'd done. And it was a constant theme. Growth is getting harder. Sales is getting harder, it's getting much more difficult to be consistent and repeatable. What we were doing last year, isn't working any longer, what should we be doing?
[00:26:25] And going back to me, figuring out how to be an academic and advising in that way, when I've been an individual contributing executive, that had people underneath me first couple of years, I've just answered the question. This is what I think you should do. And about year five, I realized I was probably doing a huge disservice and I started to understand that.
[00:26:42] The blanket answer was not correct for everybody now. Why not? And so I started to uncover the framework if you will, for what ended up in GROWTH IQ. But the hardest thing about growth for me is people are always looking for the one thing to turn the corner. And the one thing about growth is [00:27:00] it's never one thing.
[00:27:01] And I think that makes people uncomfortable. Like I don't want 82 things I have to do to get my business back on track. Like you got to give me some advice. I can actually absorb an action. Monday morning, right? Or in a week or two or three, but it can't be, it's going to take me three years to do this massive transformation.
[00:27:19] And once I started to understand the power of how to pull the different levers, that they had choices of out of those executives and understand what they were competing against and what their product portfolio was. That's when I really hit my stride, I started to have impact on helping design, go to market models for AWS, Microsoft, SAP, Oracle, Deutsche, Singtel, BT, IBM, VMware, Dell.
[00:27:43] Really anybody who is a tech company. And that then was, I also didn't want to write a book. So during that time it was like, you should be writing a book like you should be an entrepreneur. And so I didn't necessarily want to write the book because I am not a writer. I am a talker.
[00:27:58] So it took me a [00:28:00] moment to get over that hurdle. But that was the journey of after all of those conversations and all of those strategy and advisory. Some of the largest and smallest, most impactful tech companies around. I started to see that my advice could help more at scale. And so how could I do that?
[00:28:18] The only way I could do that was a book.
[00:28:20] Hala Taha: And I know that your book is so highly acclaimed and I definitely want to dig into the 10 Growth Strategies that you outline in there. I think it would take too long to go through each one, but I thought I could like categorize them. So let's talk about how to grow your existing customer base, because I know that is so important and is the foundation of everything.
[00:28:38] So what are the ways that we can grow our existing customers?
[00:28:42] Tiffani Bova: Yeah. So one of the things I want to say about the book overall is if you pick it up Growth IQ, if you pick it up, it's not going to be revolutionary. You're not going to go. Wow. I never thought of that. It was actually a modernization of growth strategies that have been around for decades.
[00:28:57] And in some cases almost a hundred years fell a little [00:29:00] more than that. So I modernized it using social mobile, big data cloud AI machine learning, right? All the things we now have at our disposal. And one of the areas, especially last year, When everything came to a screeching hall, I made a statement that I believe 2020 was the year of the existing customer and not necessarily the net new customer, right?
[00:29:20] Because you've already done a lot on CAC for your Customer Acquisition Costs and getting them in the door. It's much less expensive to sell to the existing base. They're more loyal. They're more willing to forgive. They're more willing to try new new products and services. They're more willing to be advocates for your brand.
[00:29:36] So if you can get them to buy just one more time. So usually I'd say to small businesses, if you could get every customer, you have to buy one more time from you. Would you not double your business? And if you're spending all your time and energy to go out to a hundred people, who've never heard of you to convince them to buy from you.
[00:29:52] You could spend a third of your effort into your base and get them to buy one more time or more, or try a new product. So that [00:30:00] customer base to me is that unmined gold. The gold miners came to the west, looking for gold in the mountains, and they didn't say we found gold in this hill. Now let's go find it.
[00:30:10] Hill no, that's not what they said. They mined that hill until it was almost gone while someone else went out and looked for the next place, they would mind for gold. It's the same in business. And that whole thought process came to me on a flight from San Francisco back to LA. I sat next to a small business owner.
[00:30:27] He had a three and a half million dollar textile company. And we were having this conversation because he was reading over my shoulder and asked me what I was doing. And it said it was writing a book. So I had to close my laptop and have this whole conversation with him. But I will tell you that was such an important nugget for me so much.
[00:30:44] So I included it in the book that he had a hundred thousand customers and he was struggling to grow. But then when I asked him, how many of those customers bought from you this month? Did know this quarter, didn't know this year, didn't know what's your most popular products once, what's the net and [00:31:00] he knew nothing.
[00:31:01] And so I'm like, so you're just out there chasing net new business when you've already got this a hundred thousand. So I said, whatever you take. Out of everything I've just said to you hire an intern, USC is right down the street, find three, have them come in, clean up your database, set something up. I'd love for it to be on Salesforce, but please get something.
[00:31:21] And then, get all that information in and start to love those customers you have. And I said, and I'd be surprised if you had more than 10,000 active, valid, clean sets of customer information out of that a hundred thousand. And so he challenged me on it and he said, we're going to go to lunch in 30 days.
[00:31:36] And I'll tell you, we went to lunch in 30 days later. He hadn't done it yet. The thing you know is you can just leave lead executives, people, entrepreneurs, small business owners, but unfortunately there's so much happening simultaneously that they spend very little time kind of planning the future because they're so in the now.
[00:31:55] And so that customer based penetration path that you mentioned is such a [00:32:00] critical part of any organization's growth. No question.
[00:32:05] Hala Taha: This episode of yap is brought to you by Gusto. If you're a small business owner, this is for you. Running a business is just playing hard. There's endless to do lists employees to take care of and your ever present bottom line.
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[00:35:04] Let's talk about the customer experience because customer experience is key retention. Keeping your customers is really important, because like you said, you don't want to just be in the business of chasing and chasing.
[00:35:14] You want to keep and grow your customer base. So talk to us about churn and some of the best ways that we can improve our client experience and mitigate.
[00:35:24] Tiffani Bova: Yeah. So I'm going to go back to 2002. When I was the SVP for sales marketing, and customer service at the US is the largest web hosting company. At the time, it was about four times the size of Rackspace.
[00:35:35] We almost bought Rackspace actually. And we had recurring revenue, web hosting, right? So someone's website. And that business is now called web.com. It used to be called Interland. web.com took the shared business. The dedicated business became peer one and a lot of our custom IP got sold off to GoDaddy.
[00:35:54] And so during that time, when we were selling hosting at the end of the month, we would have this [00:36:00] spike in churn. And if you understand anything about churn you add a hundred customers. If you're losing 10, the next month, you have to add 110 just to keep it going. So you don't want the bucket to be losing customers as you're putting it in because it puts more strain on your selling organization to make up for what you're losing from a revenue stamp point.
[00:36:17] So we'd get the spike in churn. We didn't know why. Now this is long before very comprehensive CRM and AI and machine learning and analytics. Like we were running the business on an Excel Spreadsheet, a little bit of post-it notes, follow up, right? It was not as elegant as it is today. And I think I was using a single user version of goldmine or act one of the other anyway.
[00:36:40] So we did some analysis and we realized that people's credit cards were expiring at the end of the month. So their website would go down. Their email would stop. Our call customer service call center would spike on calls and our churn would go up. We didn't know that's what was happening. As soon as we realized that's what it was.
[00:36:58] We ran a report whose [00:37:00] credit card is going to expire in the next 90 days. Let's proactively communicate. You're going to lose your email or lose your website now while it was only 2002. Those early adopters in E-commerce right. And even brochure where of their website, take what they had in their PowerPoint or in their brochure and just slap it online.
[00:37:18] But this is 2002. So it's almost 20 years ago. They didn't want their website to go down. As soon as we fix that, what happened? Call center volume dropped churn, dropped. Now our sales were even exponentially more impactful. And so something that simple, right? And so I call it in the book, not being like when your customer's back in a defensive mode, but offensively getting ahead of them leaving you, which was that example, right?
[00:37:45] 90 days, getting them not to leave in the first place, then you don't have to win them back. They just are with you. And also they feel like you're paying attention and care enough about them that you don't want their website and email to be down. I give that as an example, but that ties, as you [00:38:00] mentioned, Paula, right into customer experience, that the experience a customer has with you has implications into how loyal they will be to you as a brand.
[00:38:10] Hala Taha: So what's your guidance in terms of actually keeping your clients happy? Have you worked with like customer service and NPS surveys? What do you suggest is the best way to keep your clients and customers happy?
[00:38:23] Tiffani Bova: So I'm going to go back to that same example. So there was something in the system that was not allowing the customer service call center agents to actually reactivate a customer when they'd call in and give their credit card.
[00:38:34] Okay. So remember I'm sure the problem, but customer service agents are taking the calls. They need to reactivate. They basically had to open a ticket instead of instantaneous activation. And, back then we had control panel. It was plastic at the time, which powered a lot of what was happening from a user interface to websites, right?
[00:38:52] Provisioning, sites, emails, and domains. And so I could not get the executive team. [00:39:00] To prioritize, getting the customer service agents to be able to reactivate a site on the fly, versus opening a ticket. And that didn't matter how I tried to persuade them. Sell them on the churn stories, sell them on all, everything I just shared with you.
[00:39:14] So I said, okay, I have an exercise because I was on the executive team. I said, once a month, all of you have to spend one day in the call center. No excuses. It wasn't. But one day, and it was fixed because right. Heard the client complaining that. What do you mean I'm giving you my credit card? I don't want to wait 24 hours to be reprovision at, we're just going to go take it somewhere else.
[00:39:39] And they realized like it was consistent. That was the message that it literally took, maybe 24 or 48 hours for the IT team. To Recode that and change it and get permissions and all the things train everybody, etcetera. But it took the executive sitting in. So going back to your question, net promoter is good for real time. It's telling you something, but executives
[00:40:00] have to get closer to the customer and closer to the employee, seeing them, now it's in a virtual environment, but we have lots of things opening up, but executives need to see it in real time. Out in the wild, what does it look like?
[00:40:11] How do we fix it? And so I am a fan of surveys. I'm a fan of net promoter scores, of course, and customer satisfaction, but I'm much more of a fan of executive spending time with their people, their employees, to see how that interaction with the customer is either viewed by the customer good or bad and or viewed by the employee.
[00:40:32] Good or bad. And so I often give undercover boss as a fun example. I'm sure you've watched it. Yes. Okay. So what do they do in the first five minutes of the show? After the introduction? They take the executive, they sit them down in a chair. What do they do with them? They didn't disguise him. They disguise them.
[00:40:50] So that's five minutes of very expensive TV time, right? Prime time prime channel in the US and then they go out amongst their people. I would [00:41:00] argue that they could go out undisguised and no one would recognize them anyway, because they never went there. They never leave their desks. Cause if you really watch the show, you're like, how do they not know that's what their supply closet looks like behind their retail store, right?
[00:41:16] A Tasmanian devil has run through it and there's no tags on it. No one knows what inventory is there. They don't know what is damaged versus millions of dollars of asset. In inventory sitting back there, we don't know it's there, or your people are getting hurt from picking up boxes and putting them in a delivery truck.
[00:41:33] Instead of putting a forklift on the back of the truck, like, how do you not know that's what's going on in your business? And that happens when executives don't go out and manage by wandering around, which is I'm going to give that to Tom Peters. Cause that's his sort of moniker in search of excellence, which is the first business book I ever read in 1982.
[00:41:51] But that is a great example of get out there. And you will have a much different perspective of what your employees and customers want from you.
[00:41:57] Hala Taha: I want to ask one more [00:42:00] question on kind experience. So you have this quote, "The fastest way to get customers to love your brand is to get your employees to love their job and you call it the experience equation".
[00:42:09] Could you tell us about that?
[00:42:11] Tiffani Bova: So 10 Paths to Growth and GROWTH IQ. I missed employ didn't include it. I talked about it lightly, obviously throughout the book, but I did not by any means, give it the level of focus it required or should have gotten. So let me in full vulnerable transparency, I missed it.
[00:42:32] Coming to Salesforce was a huge eye-opener for me to understand the power of that. And so I had a hypothesis, I would say on stage all the time. I didn't think it was a coincidence that Salesforce was one of the best places to work in 17 countries. It's number one and the rest of the world. It's in the top three.
[00:42:51] It's one of the most innovative in the companies in the world. This is all based on many lists. And we're the fastest growing enterprise software company. Okay. So is there a correlation or [00:43:00] connection between really great place to work, inspires people to innovate more, have more care in the products.
[00:43:07] So more people, and then you grow faster. So I went to our previous CMO, Stephanie Buscemi, and I said, I have a hypothesis. Would you help me prove it out? She said, sure. So we did a project with Forbes Insight and Lo And Behold, we found that brands that had higher employee satisfaction, had higher customer experience scores had faster growth.
[00:43:26] 1.8x Faster Growth rates. So for a billion dollar brand, it's a $40 million impact. So if you're listening and you have a million dollar brand, it still has meaningful impact, especially as you're growing that, if you're having an unhappy employee, dealing with a happy customer, it's a bad combination.
[00:43:45] If you have an unhappy customer dealing with an unhappy employee, also a bad combination, but if you have a happy employee dealing with an unhappy customer, you have a shot of turning it around. And if both are really happy, even better. And I think Zappos is a great [00:44:00] example of how you can really instill that all the way to the right of the extreme of what that looks like.
[00:44:05] No, no roles, no rank, no authority. Everybody's and everything is about that customer experience. Even if you sit on the phone for eight hours, that's the extreme of it. Yeah. And then you have companies that don't look at it that way at all. And so what we found in the research was brands are either hyper-focused on CX or Customer Experience or hyper-focused on EX, but rarely, both rarely, both.
[00:44:27] And so that has been the platform for the conversations today that I've been giving we're in the middle that see.
[00:44:33] Hala Taha: What X stand for, just to be clear, what does EX stand for employee experience, or so you're saying they're either focused on the client experience or the employee experience, but not both
[00:44:43] Tiffani Bova: Correct at the same time. Rarely does it happen, so an example would be your Chief Human Resource Officer or whoever you have, that's responsible for hiring, sitting down with your Chief Marketing Officer or your Chief Customer Officer, whoever owns customer experience and including IT to figure out are we all on the [00:45:00] same page for those of you listening?
[00:45:01] How many times does that happen in your country? It's not about who do we hire, but it's about once they're hired, what's their experience as an employee. And then also what's their experience as an alumni. Like you want them to refer good people to us. You want, lots of people boomerang back.
[00:45:16] And so you want them to have a great experience. And so that was a US-based study. Now we're on a global study right now for, in seven countries across all sizes. And it's the going to be the foundation. Oh for the next book.
[00:45:30] Hala Taha: It's so funny that we're having this conversation. Cause I feel like these are all things that I'm thinking about so much for my business right now is the employee experience.
[00:45:38] I have 63 team members now. So it's a lot different than when we were just 10 people. And now I have to worry about all these personalities, and how to keep everyone happy and productive and how to have a great culture and maintain that culture. And then the client experience, which is so as you scale, you have less, I used to, be able to hop on a call for 10 hours a week with my clients.
[00:45:59] I can't [00:46:00] do that anymore. So how do you scale that? So always thinking about these questions too.
[00:46:05] Tiffani Bova: Yeah. And the disease and the decisions you make now, all of the decisions you make now. So anyone listening, right? If you're a small business startup entrepreneur and you're hiring your first, fifth, 10th, 64th employee, whatever it is, the decisions you make now, the systems you put in place, the processes you put in place, the culture and feeling you're trying to create.
[00:46:26] If you start, when you were small, Marc Benioff started Salesforce with a concept of give 1% of our time as employees. And when there was only three, it was easy to do. And now there's, now that Slack is closed, I don't know what the number is now with how many employees we have, maybe it's 75,000, but 1% of our time, 1% of our equity and 1% of our software.
[00:46:47] And he made that decision day one. And or you could say Jeff Bezos day one, it's never day two. It's always day one. You're now with a new CEO, a play on day two, but I think you get the point. And however [00:47:00] you start that business, look at those entrepreneurs that have done it. That way, the value of understanding the power of those two things will be so important to you.
[00:47:09] As you start to get to 1 million, 2 million, 5 million, 50 million, a hundred million dollars. You can't get there if you're turning people because it's a bad place to work.
[00:47:18] Hala Taha: I totally agree. So let's continue on with some of your Growth Strategies. Let's talk about products and services. How can we grow our business, leveraging products and services?
[00:47:28] What are the different ways?
[00:47:30] Tiffani Bova: So I'm going to frame this in a concept called Jobs To Be Done. I'm not sure how to, if you're familiar with that concept, are you familiar with the concept Jobs To Be Done?
[00:47:37] No. I'd love to hear about it now. All right. So Jobs To Be Done is do people go to theater? Love it? It's really his concept.
[00:47:46] Do people go to home Depot or Lowe's to buy a quarter inch drill bit or do they go to buy a quarter inch hole?
[00:47:53] Hala Taha: A whole, I guess the solution, right? Yeah. Yes, that's right. That's right, but what they [00:48:00] actually do is they actually buy the ability to hang a shelf or build a desk that's what they really do.
[00:48:06] Tiffani Bova: Because a whole, for wholesale, you're okay, I got a hole in my wall at this quarter inch big. Ooh. You need to do something with it. So the Jobs To Be Done, it's a great way for you to understand that, a thousand years ago, people use smoke signals to communicate right? Hala you're in another town.
[00:48:20] I'm going to smoke signal you. I want to communicate with you today. I want to communicate with you and I text message you. The job to be done is the same. I want to communicate with you. The solution to do that has gone from smoke signals to text messages, but it's still the same job. Make sense. All right.
[00:48:41] So if you're a small business, if you're an entrepreneur, what job to be done, are you trying to solve? So even if you think about Steve Jobs in the iPad. What was the job to be done? I run and I run 10 miles from my house and my radio station on my Walkman. Does it work, or I have to listen to the same CD [00:49:00] over and over again.
[00:49:00] Or I have to listen to the same tape for those of you who are listening, who don't know what those things are, look them up. But if you can think about what are the things that you can do, the job to be done was listened to music while I'm working out or listen to music when I'm on a walk or whatever it might be.
[00:49:16] The job to be done was the same, but how am I going to make it better? How many to make it 10,000 songs? How am I going to put the power in the hand of the listener and send it the radio station? And you can't run with 10 CDs for your, for your. So the job to be done was the same, the solution changed.
[00:49:33] So if you can understand a master that concept look it up, there's a ton of stuff on it. There's books on it. That if you can understand that if the job to be done is the same and the solution has shifted and you have a new solution, better, faster, better experience, better design, whatever it might be, that's where you double down.
[00:49:53] But if you don't understand the job to be done, I was just watching a video on, do you know why [00:50:00] it's called I in front of iMac, iPod ,iPad? I phone.
[00:50:03] Hala Taha: No, I don't. I don't think so.
[00:50:05] Tiffani Bova: So the, I was four at the time. Everyone wanted to be on the internet. So I Mac this Mac, we'll get you on the internet, iMac, iPad, iPod, iPhone.
[00:50:18] But it was also about the connection with people, right? Having it be much more people-centered than technology centered. And so those are the kinds, some of our greatest innovators we always use as examples have been very understanding of jobs to be done. And so that's what I would tell you when you're thinking about, should I develop a new product?
[00:50:38] Should I develop a new service? Should I keep investing in what I'm currently doing? Is it still solving the job to be done or as somebody changed the solution for the same job and you're no longer as relevant. So even your business, you can advertise in a Magazine. You can advertise on Instagram.
[00:50:55] Yeah. Are you going to write an article for a Magazine or are you going to do a [00:51:00] Podcast. It's still communicating my message. It's the same, but the solution has changed and the solution is different generationally, right? So the one thing we have working in our favor is now because of the pandemic, every generation has become digital, right?
[00:51:15] Because you were forced into it, but that's a great way to frame it. So when thinking about launching new products and services, always keep in mind, are you putting a hole in the wall or are you hanging a shelf? And if you're trying to hang the shelf, you have to tell the story in a way that gets your potential customers and existing customers to understand the value of what it is you're providing.
[00:51:37] Hala Taha: Totally. I love that. I love that jobs to be done. So speaking of storytelling, I know that you believe that telling a story for your brand is imperative, and that's a great way to actually get people to buy in on your brand and what you're selling. So talk to us about the importance of storytelling in business and some of your tips there.
[00:51:57] Tiffani Bova: Yeah. So I would say that I [00:52:00] realized maybe about, I guess it had to be maybe 10 years ago that when I would give keynotes, I would ask people if you want a copy of my slides, which they always did, you have to give me feedback on the presentation and it couldn't be like, I enjoyed it. Or I liked, like you had to say, like I disagreed with it, or I didn't like this.
[00:52:22] I didn't like that, that you did. And I started to hear a consistent stream that they thought I was a really good storyteller. And so the moment I started to get that kind of feedback, I doubled down on that as my superpower. And I realized that if I can deconstruct complicated concepts, like even just jobs to be done, right?
[00:52:42] Like I could talk to you about how to develop a product strategy and a solution strategy, but why not? Give a really simple framework in a story that now whoever's listening to this the next time. If you are in a meeting and in your mind pops jobs to be done, I have done my job, right? Like I have inspired you to for a moment, [00:53:00] think differently. And so there is huge power from persuasion, communication, the impact that you have. But I think many brands underestimate the power of the story about their company. What do you do for a community? What are your values? What do you do for your employees and your customers? And how can you share that in a more broad way to the greater stakeholder and shareholder community?
[00:53:24] Because for me is businesses the greatest platform for change, which is a Marc Benioff quote, and it has to be purpose over profit. And so if you can understand the purpose of your company, the value of your organization, to the people that work there and the communities you serve in the schools where you work.
[00:53:40] Go and your employee's kids go like that has impact. And so storytell beyond, here's what my product is. It's the best in the world. And here's the speeds and feeds and aren't, I fantastic, no longer is as effective as what's the whole story of this brand. Where do you stand on [00:54:00] issues? What are your values?
[00:54:01] Can I trust you? What are your employees think of your organization? Like how have you treated them over the last 18 months? That goes a long way. So that complicates storytelling to be a lot more vulnerable and transparent about who you are, especially as entrepreneurs and startups.
[00:54:17] Like it's important to understand what your business stands for and who you are and how do you leverage that in a way that tells your story? So people want to buy from you want to work from you and want to partner with.
[00:54:31] Hala Taha: I feel like that summarizes so much of what we were just talking about. It fits perfectly because your employees can be your advocates.
[00:54:38] Your clients can be your advocates. And it just helps, especially if you're any sort of service-based business, that those referrals are so important and it just helps the overall experience. So we talked a lot about customer experience. We talked about product and services, the last area of Growth Strategies that I want to cover is working with other companies and even competitors.
[00:54:58] So talk to us about [00:55:00] that and how we can grow our business in that way.
[00:55:02] Tiffani Bova: Yeah. So I grew up in what is known as the Indirect Channels. So that is brands that sell with and through partners. So the example I give is Heinz Ketchup. As an example, you cannot go to heinz.com and buy ketchup. At least, I don't think, I don't know since the pandemic, but before that you could not go to Heinz and buy ketchup.
[00:55:21] You'd have to go to your local grocery store. So I grew up being that distributor that would buy from Heinz and sell to the grocery store, except in my case, it was technology. I get something from HP and then I would buy it out of distribution. And sell it to an end-user customer. And then I started working in distribution.
[00:55:40] So I was that middleman. Big brand and end user. And so I was one of the very first female channel chiefs for the large tech companies around the world. And that was really my platform. Indirect Sales was what I know and what I knew and where, I guess I really cut my teeth from [00:56:00] a career perspective where brands get that wrong is do I have to hire 10 more salespeople or should I just partner?
[00:56:07] So I was 30. It was my very first sales job in software. I was the only sales rep. I was dialing for dollars every day, a hundred calls every day. And I was reading a magazine and it said, work with this value added reseller will, bring you what you and I was like, what is a VAR? What is a Value Added Reseller?
[00:56:25] So I did some investigation and Lo and Behold, I'm like why am I dialing a hundred people a day? I'm going to go recruit like five bars and have them sell for me. And all I have to do is recruit and train and we literally 10 X the business for. Founder. I was working for an and as soon as that happened, I was like, oh, I really like this.
[00:56:43] Then I went and worked for another software company and then I worked for a VAR and then I worked for an integrator and then I worked for a distributor and then I worked for a Delco. And that was where I for sure had my career success brands make the mistake of thinking. They're going to partner with someone and if we build it, they will [00:57:00] come.
[00:57:00] Like we've struck a deal with a big like Walmart or Amazon or target or something like that. And then you're like, we're going to sell and they're like, they don't sell anything. So you have to figure out a partner strategy requires a lot of time, patience and investment and people who know what those levers are to pull.
[00:57:17] But on the flip side of that is the competitive side of partnering. You may not ever think to work with someone you compete with. So an example I use in the book as an airline industry, when I first started flying as a kid, you'd have to get off one airline, pick up your bag, go to another airline, check back in and check.
[00:57:36] The only reason that worked together. Now when you get on an airline flight to London and I'm going to go on to Italy and I'm going to fly American Airlines into London and air Italia into Italy. Now I don't have to do anything, my bank shows up in Italy. I can go from one gate to the other.
[00:57:50] That is competitors working together, right? American Airlines and Air italia. But at the end of the day, if they hadn't done that, imagine what travel would be like for [00:58:00] us as consumers, they had to do it. And now we've seen, an amazing forward movement on drugs, right? You've had drug manufacturers working with competitive drug manufacturers to solve the worst pandemic we've seen in a hundred years.
[00:58:12] And so that is that co-op petition right? Working with someone you might not otherwise work with either because the customer demands it like the travel example I gave and, or, there's something that happens from a societal standpoint where something absolutely has to be put together and built in sharing IP and sharing in the development of that.
[00:58:31] So don't always think you can, you only are the only one that can develop it, partnering manufacturing. And the last example I gave I'll give is Kylie Jenner. If you were to, if Kylie was to have tried to build her business, 50 years ago, she would have built her own R&D lab and manufacturing plant and packaging plant and everything.
[00:58:50] She didn't do that. She partnered for all of it. And so she got to, it depends, whose numbers you believe. But when I wrote the book and I used her as one of the stories, let's call it a half a billion dollar [00:59:00] brand. She had 12 employees, half a billion dollar brand with 12 employees, got to a billion dollars faster than the top cosmetic brands in the world.
[00:59:12] And she did it now, mind you, she has 10 countries and followers, right? So you need that, but go back to the strategy of how she did it. She said, I'm going to partner to deliver it versus building it on my own. So that's the power of partnerships, both intentional. And then co-op petition in that way that I described.
[00:59:30] Hala Taha: Yeah, I love those examples. Thank you so much for sharing them. I love that you like give actual case studies that really helps to stick in the mind. I'm sure everybody's enjoying this conversation. So my last question to you in terms of like Growth Strategies and GROWTH IQ is really the fact that one of my biggest takeaways was that you can't do these in isolation, right?
[00:59:50] You have to layer them together. And it's really all about the timing as well. So talk to us about how to prioritize, what strategies to use and the importance of [01:00:00] realizing that it's not like a one solution is going to get you on your way to success. You have to think of multiple things.
[01:00:06] Tiffani Bova: There was two sort of aha moments for me for the book.
[01:00:08] One is this combination it's and I said probably half hour ago, right? It's never one thing about growth. It's always multiple things and that's this it's never one growth path. You're always gonna want a great customer. You're always going to want to not lose customers. You're always going to want to optimize the way that you sell.
[01:00:25] If you just pick those three, they're consistent, no matter which other path you pick, I'm going to launch new products, I'm going to enter a new market. So the combination of growth paths is the holy grail. It's which ones it's very much like a Lego set, right? Put it together, see what works and you may have to change it along the way, but the big one was GROWTH iQ is, as I mentioned that I'm a listened learner visual learner. That the way I remember is through stories.
[01:00:51] So the book has 30 stories, 30 case studies, two positive use cases of each of those growth paths and one cautionary tale. [01:01:00] And so it gives a good example of the Kylie example I gave.
[01:01:03] It's quick, it's four pages. You can get the gist of it and move on to the next story. And so that was the way of me telling this without it being very academic and heavy and content, and not a lot on the story side, going back to the power of story. But the aha on it when I started to deconstruct those stories was the sequence or order in which you do those make those decisions or make any decisions actually has the greatest impact on your ability to be successful.
[01:01:30] Example. If Netflix had started streaming in the US before they started mail order with DVDs and VHS, do you think they would have been as success?
[01:01:42] Hala Taha: Probably not. Probably not. No.
[01:01:45] Tiffani Bova: And there's a reason why we didn't all have high speed internet in our homes. At the time we had VHS players in DVD players because blockbuster had trained us to go get what we wanted.
[01:01:56] We had to drive there, drive home. Put it in. [01:02:00] So let's go back to jobs to be done for just one second. What was the job to be done?
[01:02:03] Hala Taha: Watch a movie,
[01:02:04] Tiffani Bova: Entertain my family on a Friday night, watch a movie at home. That's the job to be done. The solution changed. I have to drive to blockbuster drive home, or I can choose it.
[01:02:15] And it will mail to my house, saving me all that time. But I still get to watch a movie on Friday night. So if you take that job to be done the solution changed, but the job was the same. And then you could say right, applying it to a phone and watching it on your iPad and watch it.
[01:02:29] It's still entertainment. Solution changes back to the the order in which you do things. So if they had just started with streaming, we all wouldn't have enjoyed it because we didn't have high speed internet. Interestingly enough, blockbuster had tried streaming almost a decade before Netflix, but found the same problem had they just hung on and started to give people an option.
[01:02:50] As they started to get high-speed, into their homes and say you could come here or you can watch it on high-speed. Netflix would not be Netflix, but they didn't hang on. And so when [01:03:00] Netflix left the US and went to the mainland, I went to Europe, they didn't start with mail order because they already had a high speed internet because the market had shifted.
[01:03:07] So the order in which you do things has implications McDonald's is another example I give, they went to all day breakfast, which their customers, we all had been asking for over a decade. We want all day breakfast and they never did it. Finally, a new CEO came in and said, Hey, we should do all day breakfast.
[01:03:25] What a good idea. So if they had made that decision on a Friday and turned it on a Monday, it would have failed because you can't cook burgers at the same temperature, you can cook eggs. So they needed to add a grill, which meant they had to remodel the kitchens of 3000 franchisees. Then they could launch all day breakfast.
[01:03:43] So that's what I mean by seeking. The order in which you do things, if you hadn't reorganized the kitchen, the idea which actually got them back to growth and gave them the best growth rates they'd had in well over a decade would not have happened. If Netflix had started with streaming, we probably wouldn't have them [01:04:00] around today as they are.
[01:04:01] So I give that to you as a, just cause you have the right decision. Is it the right timing? Is it the right combination of things that you're doing? So that's why I say the one thing about growth is it's never one thing.
[01:04:13] Hala Taha: I absolutely adore that. Thank you so much. The last question I ask all my guests, and this is your opportunity to give us any sort of last Jim is what is your secret to profiting in life?
[01:04:25] Tiffani Bova: Trust the process. It's a short answer, but I gave you a lot of history on my career. Had I thought that I had to stay one place and move up and trust the fact that was going to happen or did I bet on myself and change jobs? Not always moving up. Sometimes it was lateral. Sometimes it was down, ultimately I had to trust the process and when you're young, you don't, you have no patience.
[01:04:49] You want it to be done. You want it all to be perfect and ready. And as you get a little bit older, you realize that's rarely if ever possible. So you have to trust the process that even if [01:05:00] you try and fail, you will have learned something, you either win or learn. You never lose. I'd say trusting the process is absolutely the best piece of advice I can give anybody.
[01:05:10] I completely concur. And where can our listeners go to learn more about you and everything that you do? So GROWTH iQ is out in bookstores still and online it's translated in nine languages, which is just awesome. It's in Portuguese and Spanish, Korean, simple Chinese Mandarin. What am I missing? Polish, Vietnamese, Thai and something else.
[01:05:34] Yeah. Anyway, so it's really cool to see it in other languages. Because hopefully they translated it. And it has the same meaning I have to trust that. So that the book What's Next is my Podcast with Tiffani Bova, where, I have some really amazing guests. I'm super active on LinkedIn and Twitter and Instagram.
[01:05:51] So follow me, let me know what you think, what stood out, what you didn't agree with. I, I'm always open to a great conference.
[01:05:58] Hala Taha: Awesome. And we'll definitely stick all your [01:06:00] links in the show notes. I highly recommend her book GROWTH IQ her podcasts. What's Next make sure you guys go check it out, Tiffany.
[01:06:06] Thank you so much for all of your time and your wisdom. It was an absolute, oh,
[01:06:12] Tiffani Bova: Thank you all for having me. It was my pleasure being here.
[01:06:15] Hala Taha: Thanks so much for joining us on another episode of Young And Profiting Podcast. If you haven't yet take a moment to subscribe to this podcast. So you never miss when we drop a new episode.
[01:06:26] And if you guys are tuning into the very end of this show, you've got some bragging rights. I love to see that you guys listened to the full episode. So do me a favor, take a screenshot of your app right now, then upload it to your IG story. Tag me at @yapwithhala, and then I'm going to reshare it to all my followers and let's have a conversation in my DM's.
[01:06:45] I love to talk to my listeners. I love to get your feedback. Over the years, Tiffany was asked by many executives at the world's largest companies to help them with one thing. That would help drive growth. She realized that too many companies seek out that [01:07:00] one right move, which rarely exists in order to grow.
[01:07:03] The reality is when it comes to growth, that one thing is never just that one thing, growth is actually far less complicated than most people make it out to be. As Tiffany explained, during this podcast and in her book, GROWTH IQ, there's just 10 simple ways that are often misunderstood, that are passed to your growth as a company.
[01:07:24] Most of them, we covered in this podcast, but some of them we didn't. So I'm going to quickly outline each one. And if you want to learn more, go grab a copy of GROWTH IQ. It is a best-selling book for a reason. So here are the 10 Paths to Growth as outlined by Tiffani Bova. Number one, customer experience.
[01:07:41] Inspire additional purchases and advocacy. Number two, customer base penetration sell more existing products to existing customers. Number three, market acceleration. Expand into new markets with existing products. Number four, product expansion, sell new [01:08:00] products to existing markets. Number five, customer and product diversification.
[01:08:04] Sell new products to new customers. Number six, optimize sales streamlined sales efforts to increase productivity. Number seven churn, minimize defection, retain more customers. Number eight partnerships, leverage third-party alliances channels and ecosystems like sales and go to market. Number nine.
[01:08:27] Coopertition cooperate with market or industry competitors on things like product development or IP sharing. Number 10 unconventional strategies disrupt current thinking. So here you go. Here's an outline of all 10. Again, if you want to learn more about each one, go grab a copy of GROWTH IQ or go re-listen to this podcast.
[01:08:46] We covered a lot of it, but remember, it's not enough to just have one new growth strategy. Companies have to fully understand the current market context prior to making any moves, otherwise even the right decision or the right growth path can [01:09:00] backfire putting you in the wrong place at the wrong time.
[01:09:03] Every successful growth strategy can be boiled down to picking the right combination and sequence of these 10 paths for your current context. So I hope you guys learned something new in this episode with Tiffani Bova. I certainly did. And as always, I'd love to shout out a recent Apple Podcast reviewer.
[01:09:21] And this week, shout out, goes to Alexander Hoff. All right, here it goes. This one is a long one only podcast to listen to Hala. Pretty sure I owe you this review from two years ago, but I finally got an Apple account since Google podcasts does not allow for reviews for anyone that wishes to enrich themselves and acquire actionable advice.
[01:09:41] YAPis the only podcast you need main takeaways from my point of view, Hala does not make this podcast about her. She brings together the best and the brightest minds in the world. Literally and lets them teach her audio to glee. The app brand is selfless. She provides free value and gives her guests a platform to share their knowledge.
[01:09:59] Second, [01:10:00] Hala and her team have to be the best researchers when it comes to these interviews. It's comical. When even the guests gets caught off guard by how well versed she is in their history. This leads to some of the most thoughtful questions and insights questions that the audience listening simultaneously asking themselves last Hala is entertaining and authentic.
[01:10:19] If the person reading this is an avid podcast, consumer like me, you understand how rare it is to find a podcast that you literally cannot get sick of. Most podcasts are a lot of the same content and the host eventually wears out their welcome with the audience. Hala is enthusiastic. Engaging and above all authentic, the interviews do not seem scripted.
[01:10:37] And this conversational dynamic adds to the accessibility of the content for the audience Hala. Well done. Keep up the unbelievable work. It's been fun to watch you grow the YAP brand from the beginning. Oh my gosh, Alexander, thank you so much for your support. Thank you for listening from the start.
[01:10:53] Thank you for all your support with the podcast and on LinkedIn and what a detailed and thoughtful review. And I especially [01:11:00] appreciate the fact that you went out of your way to create an Apple account. Just to leave me an Apple Podcast review. And you don't understand how much I appreciate that because if all my listeners did that, it would make such a huge difference for me and the podcast.
[01:11:12] Our Apple ranking would drastically improve if we got more Apple podcast reviews. So you've, you're out there listening and you listen on platforms like Castbox or Podbean. I happen to have a lot of people who don't listen on Apple Podcasts. If you guys can do me a favor and borrow a phone, get that access to Apple Podcasts, to write me a review or create an apple account just like Alexander did.
[01:11:35] And take a few minutes to write as an Apple podcast review, because we spent a lot of time on this content. And I never asked for money from my audience. We don't do any paywalls. We don't do any donations. It is completely free for my audience. And all I ask of you guys is to leave us an Apple Podcast review.
[01:11:52] It is absolutely the number one way to thank us here at Young And Profiting Podcast. And if you can't get access to apple, you can drop us a review on Castbox [01:12:00] or Podbean or your favorite platform. Or you can share a screenshot of this podcast in your app and tag me @yapwithhala so that all your social media followers can learn about this podcast too.
[01:12:10] And if you guys are still tuning in and want to get more ideas to grow your business and improve your customer experience, why don't you check out number 75, Grow your Business like Amazon with Steve Anderson. He's the author of The Bezos Letters: 14 Principles to Grow Your Business Like Amazon in this episode, you're going to learn how Jeff Bezos uses risk strategically to grow Amazon and we'll gain insight into why Amazon focuses on their customers instead of their competition.
[01:12:37] Here's a clip from that episode.
[01:12:39] Steve Anderson: One of the themes throughout the shareholder letters is this idea that Bezos has that failure is necessary for success. And he talks about it in several different ways. At one point he says, I think Amazon is the best place in the world for an employee to fail. Because we understand that's part of the process. [01:13:00] And so experimentation absolutely has to lead to failure because. If, the experiment's going to work, it's not an experiment, right? The whole nature is testing out an idea, finding out if it works or not. And so that idea is just woven throughout what he talks about.
[01:13:19] And I think is a real key to, again, how they've grown. And also they are unique in terms of the number of different businesses they've been able to create. So you have the E-commerce business. You have AWS, you have Amazon marketplace, all the third-party sellers. Each one of those they've been able to start small and grow.
[01:13:43] And here's where I think the current terminology gets it backwards. You have to start with an experiment in order to invent and only then can you innovate, but everybody's talking about needing to innovate, but they're not talking about the work [01:14:00] necessary to experiment. And most companies in essence, punish employees for failure, right?
[01:14:08] So you've got to, yeah. We want you to innovate and do all these things, but you better be right. And I'm convinced employees. Aren't actually afraid of failure. We all understand that's part of learning, but they're afraid of the consequences of that failure, especially in a business environment. And I think that's where Amazon stands out as something unique.
[01:14:28] Hala Taha: Again, if you want to get some more ideas to grow your business, head to number 75, Grow Your Business Like Amazon with Steve Anderson. Next, as we wrap up, make sure you subscribe to the podcast. If you enjoyed the show and why don't you tell a friend or family member and spread the love? You can find me on Instagram @yapwithhala or LinkedIn, just search my name.
[01:14:49] It's Hala Taha, much love to the incredible YAP team. I'm so proud of everyone. This is Hala signing off.[01:15:00]
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