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The Key to a Large S-Curve

You want exponential growth. You want a curve that bends sharply upwards.

It’s easy to be tempted into believing that the next big idea to come along, the next shiny object, will be what finally unleashes the potential within you (or your sales organization). But, as painful as it is to tell you this, a large S-curve isn’t likely the result of your next big idea or shiny object. The large S-curve you seek is made up of a bunch of smaller S-curves.

Just a Little Bit Better

It’s not very sexy to talk about exponential growth in the terms of small improvements, but most of the time that’s how it starts. You get a little bit better. And then you get a little bit better than that. And so on, and so forth, onwards and upwards.

Maybe you get a little better at prospecting. And then you get a little bit better of helping your dream client diagnose their needs, collaborating with them on what’s next. And then you get a bit better at building consensus, all the while capturing these improvements. So one little S-curve leads right into the next little S-curve.

Stacking and Starting from a Higher Point

As you improve, you stack one little S-curve on top of the preceding S-curve. The new S-curve starts where the last S-curve ends. You’re stacking improvement on top of improvement, each time starting from a higher point, until you finally begin to improve exponentially.

It’s not exciting to talk about the small S-curves. Not many are interested in talking about how you make the small gains that eventually build the platform for exponential growth. It’s more interesting to search for the silver bullet, the magic answer, the shiny object that promises to deliver the large S-curve now. But if you want exponential growth, start thinking about how you might link together a lot of little S-curves.


What does it take to produce exponential growth?

Why do we seek shortcuts to big results? How often do they really work?

Why do we avoid making all of the smaller, less interesting improvements that build a platform form which to grow exponentially?

What little improvements might you make that, if linked together, would give you a massive improvement curve?

Filed under: Goals, Sales 3.0, Sales Growth

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