Increase Your Growth IQ, with Tiffani Bova [Episode 700]

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Tiffani Bova, Growth & Innovation Evangelist at Salesforce and author of Growth IQ: Get Smarter About the Choices that Will Make or Break Your Business, joins me on this episode.


  • In Tiffani’s role as a sales leader, so many people asked for growth advice that she started looking for patterns in high-performing companies; then she wrote Growth IQ.
  • Tiffani’s real-world experience gave her a leg up at Gartner over analysts with only academic knowledge. She became a research fellow on the future of sales. Then she joined Salesforce where she meets clients worldwide.
  • Tiffani quotes Ginni Rometty that “Growth and comfort never co-exist.” That set the frame for the book. Tiffani says the one thing about growth is that it’s never one thing.
  • If your organization is comfortable now and it doesn’t have a problem, now is the time to invest in where you think you need to be in two years. Pilot and test things while you’re strong and growing.
  • Successful companies constantly check the canary in the coal mine. If your growth slows for two or three quarters, look at what is slowing you down. 95% of your issues will be internal problems.
  • 80% of companies will go through a growth stall and few of them will recover to robust growth. In a stall, you go into defense mode and cut back on marketing. That’s the wrong time to cut back.
  • Tiffani says there’s only one thing sales reps can control — their behavior in front of a client, whether on the phone, in an email message, or face-to-face. Sales reps need to be serious students of their profession.
  • Sales managers are squeezed between the client-facing reps and the VPs. They manage down and up. They need to empower reps to do what’s right for the customer. Andy wants reps to close a greater percent of leads.
  • Tiffani coined the term Seller’s Dilemma about changing processes while generating revenue. Think about NASCAR pitstops. How long do you pause to change the things you need to change? Watch the data and make the changes.
  • Innovation must be rewarded even if it fails. If a campaign doesn’t work, try a different one. Have a culture where people are willing to bring ideas to try new things to generate new revenue.
  • Tiffani challenges sales managers to enable their reps and also carve time out of their own day to study circumstances and make appropriate changes. Tiffani cites Mike Bosworth on improving quota attainment.
  • Tiffani summarizes the book: Understand the context of your market, the combination of changes you need to make, and in what order you need to make them. Andy recommends the book to you.