What’s the Best Way to Scale Your B2B Business? 

10 minutes read
Sarah - 20.05.2024
What’s the Best Way to Scale Your B2B Business? (And Avoid the Pitfalls of Rapid Growth)

Chasing business growth? It’s not always the biggest, speediest, or scariest that wins the race.

While many pursue growth at all costs, As Soon Yu, author of Iconic Advantage, wisely points out, it's not always the most formidable mousetrap that wins—it's the one with the "stinkiest cheese."

You don’t have to be the biggest, baddest or fastest business to be successful. You just need to connect with your audience.

2023 threw B2B sales teams into a bit of a tizzy, facing a bear market with win rates dropping by 18% and sales cycles stretching 16% longer (cheers for the heads-up, Ebsta).

state of sales in 2023

So, in a world of tight budgets and lengthy sales cycles, how do we lure in our 'mice' with the 'stinkiest cheese'?

In this blog post, we'll explore why sustainable growth is crucial, delve into the concept of velocity, and provide actionable strategies to help you scale your business effectively while avoiding the common pitfalls of rapid growth.

Sustainable Growth vs. Growth at All Costs

Sustainable Growth prioritises long-term success over short-term gains. It focuses on building a solid foundation for your business, ensuring that growth is manageable and beneficial in the long run. 

In contrast, Growth at All Costs, a strategy where a company prioritises rapid expansion over all other considerations, often leads to burnout, diminished returns, and potential damage to company culture. Sustainable growth is more than a simple shift in perspective—it's a complete change in how businesses should perceive and pursue growth.

Underpinning themes to sustainable growth include:

  • Strategic Alignment: Aligning all teams towards the primary goal of driving revenue ensures that everyone in the organisation is working towards the same objectives. This cohesion boosts efficiency and effectiveness.

  • Data-Driven Decision Making: This approach focuses on using data and agreed-upon metrics to guide business decisions. By leveraging data, businesses can make informed choices that support sustainable growth.

  • Process Streamlining: Identifying and removing inefficiencies in the existing operations helps in making processes more efficient, which in turn supports sustainable scalability.

  • Standardisation: Once efficient processes are identified, they are standardised and implemented across the organisation. This ensures consistency and reliability in operations.

  • Continuous Improvement: An ongoing commitment to improve processes, products, and services is essential. This mindset supports long-term growth and adaptation.

  • Customer Centricity: Learning from customer feedback and experiences to maintain a focus on customer satisfaction is vital. Happy customers lead to repeat business and positive word-of-mouth.

  • Collaborative Problem-Solving: A culture of collaboration is fostered, empowering teams to identify issues and suggest improvements. This collective intelligence drives innovation and problem resolution.

  • Adaptability: Being adaptable to changes in the market, technological advancements, and evolving business goals ensures that the business can navigate uncertainties and seize new opportunities effectively.

Incorporating these themes into your business strategy will help pave the way for sustainable growth, reducing the risks associated with rapid expansion and setting your company up for long-term success.

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Why the Old Growth Model is Broken

The traditional growth model often involves adding headcount and increasing investments to drive sales and scale operations. This approach typically means hiring more staff, injecting more capital into various aspects of the business, and continually expanding resources. While this historically has led to rapid growth, today, a new playbook is in motion.

The problem with growth at all costs:

  • Employee productivity: This approach strains employees and can cause burnout. Prioritising constant growth over work-life balance and employee well-being may result in high turnover rates and a negative company culture.
  • Diminishing Returns: Simply adding more people doesn't necessarily lead to increased productivity or revenue. For years, brands have prioritised growth at all costs. Across all sectors and markets, they’ve focused on acquiring and converting prospects using aggressive marketing tactics to maximise reach. With increased competition, longer sales cycles (up 16%), and greater deal slippage (44%), investing more to grow without a sustainable approach won't lead to the growth you want to see.
  • Scaling Difficulties: As businesses grow, managing a larger workforce becomes increasingly complex. It requires more layers of management, sophisticated organisational structures, and robust human resources systems, which can be difficult to implement and maintain.
  • Cultural Risks: Rapid growth can strain company culture, leading to disengaged employees and high turnover rates. When companies grow too quickly, they may compromise on hiring standards or fail to integrate new hires effectively, which can dilute the core values and mission that made the company successful in the first place.


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How to Prepare for Sustainable, Predictable Growth

1. Ideal Customer Profile (ICP) & Target Audience

Understanding your ideal customer profile (ICP) and target audience is crucial for effective scaling. This involves identifying the characteristics of your best customers and tailoring your marketing efforts to attract similar prospects. By honing in on your ICP, you can create a targeted and effective approach to both marketing and sales. This process includes building comprehensive strategies that align your technology, marketing, and sales efforts, fostering alignment and coherence across your go-to-market (GTM) strategy.

2. Build Your People & Enablement Ramps

To scale effectively, businesses need to build two ramps: People Ramp and Enablement Ramp.

People Ramp

The People Ramp determines how fast your team can get things done and achieve success. It influences how quickly you can demonstrate the value of your product to customers.

Enablement Ramp

The Enablement Ramp involves equipping your revenue-facing teams (marketing, sales, and customer service) with the tools and resources they need to succeed. This includes:

  • Documentation: Comprehensive guides and manuals for processes.
  • Playbooks: Standardised procedures for common tasks.
  • Kickoffs & QBRs: Regular meetings to align teams and review performance.

3. Lower CAC, Increase LTV

To scale efficiently, focus on eliminating low-value activities and reducing the cost of customer acquisition (CAC), while increasing the lifetime value (LTV) of customers. There are a number of strategies that revenue teams should focus on to improve this ratio, but one core element is AI and automation.

AI and Automation

AI and automation can drastically reduce operational costs and improve efficiency across various segments of business operations. According to HubSpot, leveraging AI for sales and marketing tasks can lead to more personalised customer experiences, which are essential for boosting LTV.

By automating routine tasks, businesses can allocate human resources to more complex and strategic activities, thus enhancing productivity and creativity within the team.

AI should not be viewed as a replacement for human work, but rather as a powerful enabler that complements our efforts. It can handle repetitive and mundane tasks, freeing up employees to focus on critical thinking, strategic planning, and innovation.

4. Having a Purpose

GTM as a Vehicle

Your go-to-market (GTM) strategy is not just a plan—it's the vehicle for delivering your company’s mission and vision to customers. It ensures your purpose resonates in every interaction. Your people become your brand ambassadors, embodying and promoting your core values with authenticity and passion.


Positioning is pivotal in ensuring that your brand's purpose is clearly communicated and resonates with your target audience. As Al Ries & Jack Trout eloquently stated, "Positioning is not what you do to the product, it's what you do to the mind of the customer. It’s how you differentiate your brand in their mind." This underscores the importance of crafting a unique and compelling narrative that sets your brand apart from competitors.

Positioning compensates for our over-communicated society by using an oversimplified message to cut through the clutter and get into the mind.

It is essential to remember that positioning focuses on the perceptions of the prospect, not the reality of the brand or product.

By aligning your brand's positioning with its core purpose, you ensure a consistent message that reinforces your company's mission and values, effectively captivating and retaining your audience.

Positioning thus becomes a vehicle for embedding your purpose within the customer's consciousness and establishing a lasting, meaningful connection.

Strategy on a page

5. Improving Sales Performance

If you're going to scale, it sounds obvious, but you need to improve sales performance. Enhancing sales performance involves a multifaceted approach that starts with setting clear and achievable goals. The buyer journey has changed, and businesses need to adapt. Focus on:

  • ICP: Tailoring Your Approach to Your Ideal Customer Profile: Understanding and defining your ICP is paramount. Tailor your sales strategies to target these ideal customers, ensuring your efforts are directed towards leads that are most likely to convert and provide long-term value.
  • Enablement Tools & Processes: Providing your team with the necessary sales enablement resources to succeed is crucial. This includes comprehensive training programs, advanced CRM systems, playbooks, and automated processes that streamline operations. Effective enablement tools empower your sales team to work more efficiently and focus on high-impact activities.
  • Alignment & Empowerment: Ensuring all departments—marketing, sales, and customer service—are aligned and empowered to achieve their goals is vital. Create a seamless flow of information and collaboration among teams to enhance productivity and coherence. Empower your employees with the autonomy to make decisions, fostering a culture of accountability and innovation.


By concentrating efforts on these key areas, businesses can significantly enhance their sales performance, driving sustainable growth and success in a competitive market.

6. Operate More Effectively

RevOps to Support Sales, Marketing, and CS

Revenue Operations (RevOps) create interconnected processes to support sales, marketing, and customer service, driving revenue growth through collaboration and data leverage. Key components include:

Repeatable Processes: Standardise tasks for consistency, reduce errors, and improve efficiency, allowing scalability.

Data & Systems: Use data to inform decisions, providing valuable insights and ensuring accessible, accurate information for quick, effective decisions.

Tech Stack: Implement tools and technologies for optimal operations, including CRM systems, marketing automation software, and analytics platforms for streamlined workflows and better team coordination.

Metrics: Set clear KPIs to measure performance, identify improvement areas, and align strategies with business goals through regular reviews and data-driven insights.

Marketing and Sales Alignment: Ensure both departments work towards common goals through regular communication and collaboration, creating a seamless customer journey.

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Pitfalls of Rapid Growth

Inadequate Customer Segmentation

Failing to segment customers properly can lead to ineffective marketing and sales efforts. Without a clear understanding of different customer groups and their specific needs, your strategies may lack focus, resulting in generic messaging that fails to engage or convert. Proper segmentation allows for targeted campaigns and personalised experiences that resonate with each segment, driving higher engagement and loyalty.

Weak Value Propositions

A strong value proposition is essential for attracting and retaining customers. It clearly articulates the unique benefits and value your product or service offers, distinguishing it from competitors. Without a compelling value proposition, customers may struggle to understand why they should choose your brand, leading to lost opportunities and decreased market share. Craft a powerful, clear, and relevant value proposition to capture attention and build lasting customer relationships.

Common Question: "How many salespeople do we need to hire?"

Instead of fixating on the number of salespeople to hire, a more impactful question is: "How quickly can we get our salespeople to reach and exceed their quotas?" 

Focusing on training, support, and enablement can accelerate the ramp-up period for new hires, ensuring they contribute to revenue growth more rapidly. 

Inconsistent Team Speeds

Different functions running at their own pace can lead to inconsistent customer experiences. When departments such as sales, marketing, and customer service are not synchronised, it creates disjointed interactions that can frustrate customers. Develop cross-functional processes and communication channels to harmonise efforts and deliver a seamless, cohesive customer journey.

Focusing on TAM Instead of TRM

Not all teams can focus on Total Addressable Market (TAM). Balance between TAM and Total Relevant Market (TRM) is crucial. While TAM provides a broad view of potential market size, TRM focuses on the segments where your offering can deliver the most value. Concentrating your efforts on the Ideal Customer Profile (ICP) and segments where you can offer real value ensures more effective and efficient market penetration. Build enabling structures such as ramps and enablement rocks, and help each revenue-facing team hit their Objectives and Key Results (OKRs) before expanding further.

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