Most unsolved growth problems are really two problems.

Problem 1: Something is happening. Problem 2: No one knows why that thing is happening.

There’s a lot of traffic to your site, but hardly anyone starts a trial or requests a demo.
No one knows why.

People start trials, sign in a few times, invite their teammates to create accounts, but hardly anyone upgrades to a paying account.
No one knows why.

About 4 months into their subscription, customers churn.
No one knows why.

And in between the myriad projects you’re shipping, investigating the root causes of growth- and revenue-related problems becomes a “someday project”.

Someday you’ll identify a set of customers to interview.
Someday you’ll run some surveys on our site.
Someday you’ll sync with another team to see if they can support a user research project.

Building that long-term scaleable predictable growth foundation will have to wait for someday because today you need to worry about right now.

Or do you?

You have a to-do list a mile long. There are PLG motions to implement and partnership programs to build. Product refreshes to ship and features your customers have been asking for. Content to write. Ads to tweak. Onboarding experiences to re-tool.

You've been operating like a scrappy startup, shipping fast and getting fast results (or at least fast feedback) for a long time, but results are starting to take longer to realize. The projects themselves are starting to seem bigger.

This phase is common for many fast-growing and innovative companies. Prioritize "quick wins" and "low hanging fruit" long enough and pretty soon it's inevitable that your to-do list will only contain fruit high up in the tree that takes more time, people, and resources to get.

Some leaders in this stage double down on their brute force approach, keep chasing quick wins, keep getting disappointed that the progress doesn't come as fast as it used to, keep getting stuck in the muck.

Others say, "The game has changed, and we must change too."

These companies look at what's working, what isn't, and what they need to do differently if they want to achieve their goals -- even if what they have to do is make big uncomfortable changes.

Both teams move at about the same pace and both have slow growth for a quarter or two. But the second group will have spent the time building a foundation for scaleable, sustainable growth.

They'll stop guessing and start knowing. The second group will see growth accelerate again.

The first group very likely won't.

Let's find the root cause of your growth plateau, get the insights to break through it, and decide what projects set you up for long term scaleable, predictable growth.

Here's how we'll lay your foundation for a growth engine that doesn't keep you up at night.

Phase 1:Collect intel on where you're at and where you want to go

We'll begin our work with rigorous analysis of the factors contributing to your growth plateau. We'll collect intel from your data platforms, from your teammates, and from your customers.

  • Kickoff session with project leader and 1-2 key stakeholders to discuss goals and objectives
  • Meet 1:1 with 6 team members (at least 3 executives and at least 3 individual contributors)
  • Review tooling, dashboards, metrics, and SOPs using a company-provided “" email address
  • Core JTBD Scoping: Review existing research and identify “known unknowns” Select one “product point of purchase” and one customer segment to determine the customer segment we’ll investigate first
  • Customer Milestone Scoping: We'll find the most painful part of your customer journey and investigate what's happening for customers or users that stops them from moving forward (i.e. acquisition, activation, retention, referral, revenue)
Phase 2:Find your customers' JTBD and assess what's happening at core lifecycle moments

Next we'll execute our investigation into your customers' core JTBD. We'll start assessing what could be happening during the moments when their progress stops.

  • Recruit participants from your customer base or customers who meet a defined set of criteria from a user research recruitment service such as
  • Conduct interviews for customers who have recently become paying customers of one product
  • Begin analysis of raw voice of customer data (VOC) and discover the circumstances and “switch moments” when customers are most likely to seek out your solution
  • Execute customer journey moment study plans
Phase 3:Co-create a plan to ship work that builds your growth foundation

We'll mobilize our findings, consider the options we might pursue, and co-create a plan to start chipping away and making progress.

  • Complete analysis of core JTBD interviews to identify core customer job stories
  • Complete analysis of customer lifecycle breakdown
  • Insights workshop: Facilitate a follow-up workshop to prioritize the findings from our investigation and align on next steps
  • Hypothesis workshop: Co-create a list of experiments to test
  • Project prioritization workshop: Prioritize the experiments and projects we identified to come up with an actionable plan

How this approach helped MURAL find their core JTBD and crank their growth engine

I had the amazing privilege to work with the MURAL team to plan and execute “Jobs To Be Done” (JTBD) work. I set up a welcome email with a targeted research question that asked users what led them to MURAL that received over 1,400 responses. We used the information gathered to develop customer success milestones that underpinned the revamped onboarding email strategy.

The insights we found were overwhelmingly conclusive: new customers came to MURAL when a meeting that was planned to be held in-person became remote. Identifying this insight early meant that by the time COVID-19 made the whole world become suddenly remote, MURAL already had deep insight into the challenges people would face as they were forced to transition to remote work.

Not only did this analysis generate key strategic insights, but it also meant that the team that hired me could shore up internal support for new initiatives with hard numbers AND use it to inform a new onboarding projects that drove increased conversion rates of 300%.

A bit more about me and JTBD:

  • Jobs to Be Done (JTBD) is the standard of innovation major companies and quickly becoming the standard of growth and innvoation across the board for SaaS companies.
  • The chance that your competitors are using JTBD to figure out how they can help your customers switch to their tool is high and growing higher.
  • I have been investigating customer progress and applying it to product, marketing, UX, copy, sales, PR, and engineering for a decade.
  • The absolute worst outcome of this project is that you keep doing all the things that you know are working AND you learn a ton of things about your customer that you didn't know and can use to sell them more software.

Do you want to know why prospects who *should* become your customers actually become your customers?

When your best prospects look for a solution to the problem your product solves, why don’t they choose you?

When new users sign up for a trial, what makes them disappear after one or two sessions?

When trialists choose not to upgrade (or paying customers churn after a few months), why do they leave? Where do they go? What could you have done differently to make them stay?

You might have a hunch about where the breakdown happens.

Do you want to *know?*

Click to schedule time with me to see how we can find out
We’re able to really cut to the bottom of arguments and have much more productive discussions where the foundation of the decision is not based on the personalities or titles of the people making those decisions. We're able to design experiences that are really for the customer, that delight the customer, enabling us to get the actual numbers that we want.Jordan Skole, VP Product Engineering, Autobooks