Developing an Eye for Growth
The world of start-up companies is an exciting, dynamic sphere. It’s also unpredictable; historically, new companies have been very difficult to quantify. But what we do know is that it’s often the young, quickly-growing companies that are most likely to become the future leaders of their fields. So the earlier you target and begin working with a fast-growing organization—and nurturing it as a customer—the better it’ll be for your business. That’s why an efficient, streamlined sales process must begin with an organized evaluation of all individual companies across all relevant industries, followed by the assignment of priority to the most promising (i.e., fastest-growing) leads.
But how to measure the growth of these notoriously-difficult-to-assess, would-be customers? It turns out that looking at a business’s momentum, or its changing rate of growth, is a fundamental step in efficiently identifying and evaluating sales targets. This goes double for early-stage companies, because it’s the newcomers that often exhibit the greatest momentum. If a business starts out small enough, it’s not unheard of for it to experience huge percentage increases in a relatively short period of time, and grow by a factor of 10 or more in a single year.
The biggest companies by revenue or user-base are obvious targets, and are going to be pitched by sales teams constantly; but the smaller companies—the upstarts, the hidden gems—aren’t so apparent. Gauging the momentum of as many targets as you can find is vital when trying to source and evaluate these diamond-in-the-rough organizations; because momentum, as a metric, hones in on the essential indicators of business growth and looks beyond company size or historic success.
Today, momentum can only be measured accurately and in real-time by aggregating and quantifying evidence of traction using modern data sources like web traffic, media coverage, app downloads, social buzz, and hiring patterns—plus more traditional data, like employee count and revenue. Momentum data must provide an incisive snapshot of where growth is really taking place.
Momentum is often an indicator of what is to come and is key in evaluating sales targets, because, as in picking stocks, one wants to invest in a company when it’s young and unknown, but has a bright future. Momentum isn’t about size or revenue; it’s about the accelerating growth curve. And a high level of momentum not only means that a company is growing quickly, but that it will likely continue to grow.
Companies and their service providers often grow together, so picking partners that have high levels of momentum can make all the difference. Sometimes it only takes a few or even one key partnership to ensure a company’s success. Instagram is a great example. It became Twitter’s de facto image system, and in doing so, partnered with a company that was off the charts in terms of momentum. Instagram quickly grew into a company that Facebook would later acquire for over a billion dollars. Obviously, this was an exceptional case—but if your service is key to a company’s business early on, and that company becomes wildly successful, that’s great for your service and your business.
It’s also important to look at things from the perspective of companies that have momentum, and to acknowledge that they are going to need the tools and services to help them handle their quickly-growing customer base. When a young company is successful, it usually means that they’re growing at a pace that makes scaling their general operating behaviors difficult. It is not uncommon for a company to be scrambling to find new, scalable processes and architectures to manage their suddenly much bigger (and still growing!) company. Having the right CRM tools at their fingertips can make or break a company’s chances of success as it goes through those initial rounds of serious growing pains. Streamlining the sales process through the use of good CRM systems, like Stride, will increase productivity, and can prove crucial to company growth.
Focusing on Traction is the Way of the Future
Again, focusing on real traction is paramount. It’s a measurement of momentum—especially early on in a company’s development cycle—that informs prudent sales decisions and offers a whole new and exciting way to compare and assess businesses across entire industry landscapes.
SIGNL is a young startup in New York City. They’re building a new tool to help you discover and track the world’s fastest growing businesses, without all the noise. Through its proprietary Momentum Score metric, SIGNL aggregates real-time data for an objective view of company growth, analyzing both startups and established companies across more than 500 industries.