Where is your firm on the Growth Maturity Matrix?

The four quadrant Growth Maturity Matrix — www.delage.biz
The four quadrant Growth Maturity Matrix.

Two core dimensions that drive this matrix:

The Growth Maturity Matrix is designed to help correlate the impact of having the appropriate level of sales processes that yield consistent and predictable sales success.

Plotting where your firm falls on the matrix

The key to plotting where your firm falls on the matrix is to be honest and, ideally, as data driven as possible. Additionally, since the scoring is primarily relevant to where your firm is today to create the starting point as you plot where you want to be, one approach that I often recommend is to start with the end in mind…

  1. Critical Sales Success Challenges: winning is elusive; the business is contracting
  2. Poor Sales Success: winning is sporadic and the business is contracting (potentially masked by organic growth/existing clients)
  3. Neutral Sales Success: winning enough to essentially maintain the business “as is” but not enough to materially grow
  4. Good Sales Success: enough activity and success to create positive momentum and grow the business
  5. Optimal Sales Success: near ideal state in terms of both sales activity and success, which translates into consistent growth outcomes for the business
  1. Chaos: what sales process?
  2. Forming: various processes & tools used by different sellers and/or applied to different opportunities without clear rationale
  3. Storming: while not consistent, key processes & tools begin to emerge as team members see the benefits of leveraging “best practices” from peers and managers
  4. Norming: a systematic approach or OS for growth takes hold with consistent ways of working for opportunity qualification, use of weighted sales stages, and pipeline management
  5. Performing: with roles, processes, and tools in place, the team is able to focus on achieving common goals, often reaching unexpectedly high levels of success

I understand what quadrant my firm is in — now what?

Whether you intuitively know where your firm falls on this two-by-two or you went through the exercises outlined above to plot your location, the logical question is “now what?” — so here are some thought-starters:

  • This is where nobody wants to be, although it’s actually the easiest situation to impact positively by making a few changes.
  • Start small; I recommend isolating down to one or two things that are having the most consequential negative impact on Sales Success and identifying no more than one or two things that can be done from a Sales Process & Tools standpoint to address these.
  • Assuming there’s more than one team member involved in the sales process, a brief workshop with these individuals using proven Design Thinking co-creation activities can be an effective way to harness the collective intelligence of this group.
  • This can be a really fun starting point if your assessment is accurate, because you likely have a really talented team, compelling offering or both.
  • The key phrase, though, is “if your assessment is accurate”. In my experience, organizations that lack good sales processes and corresponding high-quality data on all opportunities tend to remember the good vs. the bad. So, if you’re in this quadrant, definitely double-check your data as a first step.
  • Assuming your firm really is performing well without much process, I recommend a similar incremental approach to the one above for those in the lower left. Do a quick workshop with your team to identify and prioritize just one or two things that have the potential to make a positive impact. Now test, learn and optimize.
  • In reality, this is likely the toughest quadrant for a firm to be in. On paper you’re doing a lot of things right, but it’s not converting materially to the outcomes that you need to drive the business forward.
  • Three “must do” recommendations for anyone in this camp:
  • Additionally, you may need to consider if there are any aspects of your process that are getting in the way of winning. It could be issues with bandwidth, a misprioritization of roles, and/or an aspect of the process that exists but is broken.
  • Congratulations, you’re in the most coveted quadrant on the matrix!
  • Beyond a celebratory toast, there are three highly recommended actions for those in this quadrant:

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Saul Delage

Saul Delage

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I help companies grow (to learn more: www.delage.biz), dad of 2 teens, and husband of 1 very patient woman... Additional musings can be found on Twitter @Sauld