THE WAY CUSTOMERS BUY AND EXPAND HAVE CHANGED 

In 2022, growth by pouring $Millions into traditional Marketing, Sales, and Support—the Big 3 of Growth—hit a wall. Too much spin. Too much friction. Too frustrating. Today's customers shun them.

Growing firms are taking their cues from today's customers.

Growth in the 2020's requires:

Natural customer advocates.

Employees who love them.

A culture that prioritizes these.

______________

Customers nurtured like this will do amazing things to grow your business.

We call this Customer-Led Growth.

Your customers could be meeting–often CRUSHING–
critical growth objectives.

Like these.

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GO TO MARKET

Carl Pei launched smartphone maker OnePlus into a brutal industry, and succeeded with a creative twist: he built a customer community first—with like-minded smartphone enthusiasts—before launching a product. The launch of the OnePlus One was a hit because Pei's community co-created it, promoted it, and supported it better than internal employees by themselves. RESULT: $300M in 1st yr sales with $300 media spend

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RENTENTION

SAS Canada's concerned president considered a high $ marketing campaign to reverse a steep decline in retention rates (from mid-90s to low-80s). Customer Advocacy manager Wally Thiessen suggested that he deploy his “Customer Champions” instead—who organized 20 live events in 13 cities that drew 2,000 people, among others remarkable initiatives. Result: Retention rates fully restored. No marketing spend needed.

 

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MARKET SHARE

When it first launched, Zoom was late to the industry, facing much better known and better funded competitors. Unable to raise funding, CEO Eric Yuan built market share on a foundation of natural customer advocates—nurtured by his fidelity to a culture of "delivering happiness”—as opposed to focusing on financial metrics. Result: By 2020 Zoom led the industry in market share.

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DISRUPT

Despite his various troubles, Elon Musk has focused Tesla admirably on disrupting the EV industry for two decades. No more nerdy electric cars: Musk made Teslas cool. Dealership rip-offs were out—Tesla owns “stores” that amplify the cars' "wow" experience. Musk depended on natural advocates for growth, spent little on marketing. RESULT: Tesla’s value cratered in 2022, but is still 3x of its top 3 competitors combined (1/1/2003).

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DISRUPT, 2

T-Mobil was a perennial laggard when CEO John Legere joined it. Its market cap was a paltry $3B vs. +/-$150B for AT&T and Verizon. Legere vowed to compete with natural customer evangelism by reversing the leaders’ appalling customer practices. He eliminated binding contracts, international roaming charges, hidden fees, and more. RESULT: In just a decade, T-Mobile's market cap was neck & neck with AT&T and Verizon.

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HARDEST SALE EVER?

Efforts to get teenagers to stop smoking failed for decades, until FLORIDA invited teens into a community of peers: Hundreds gathered to brainstorm a new anti-smoking campaign ("truth"), formed an organization to implement it (SWAT, or Students Working Against Tobacco), and led the first successful anti-teen smoking campaign in history. RESULT: Teen smoking in FL reduced 17% in 1st year, 50% in 10 yrs.

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ACQUISITION

Marc Benioff designed early Salesforce events to encourage candid conversations between customers and prospects, no sales pitch needed. Benioff let his customers—and his products—do the selling. That “no-selling” approach spawned incredible "no-selling" close rates. RESULT: 80% of such prospects became customers. 

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COSTS

Many customer communities save costs by diverting support requests to their customer community. But few if any CRUSH such costs like Microsoft did under community manager Sean O'Driscoll—who was motivated by leadership’s dire emphasis on cost cuts against open source competition. Result: O’Driscoll’s community eventually diverted $100Ms of dollars of support costs.

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BECOME ICONIC

When he started Vanguard, Jack Bogle upended Wall Street’s entrenched abuse of investors. He installed a radical regime: provide the best possible investments for its investors/ customers! Establish no firm growth goals. No commissioned sales. Cut costs relentlessly–and pass them to customers. RESULT: Today, Vanguard is the second largest mutual fund in the world.

What stops your customers from crushing growth objectives?
 

You're Fighting Human Nature.

  • KPIs conflict with customer needs.
  • Employees–who aren't peers of customers–struggle to establish empathy and trust.
  • Hyperconnected customers avoid traditional Marketing, Sales, Support and other silos.

Today’s customers prefer to connect with other customers like them–the foundation of Customer-Led Growth.

Bill Lee can help.

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billbook

"Bill's innovative frameworks are critical for today’s C-suites." 
Don Peppers, author, pioneer of 1-to-1 marketing

"Bill is a pioneer of the 21st century customer relationship." 
Chris Adlard, co-founder & co-author, The Customer Catalyst

Bill created the categories of Customer Advocacy and Customer Engagement and the metric, Return on Relationship™—the foundations of Customer Marketing and Customer-Led Growth.

 

He built a global community around these concepts, including Apple, Microsoft, Adobe, Box, Marketo, HubSpot, Palo Alto Networks, AWS, SAS, Siemens, Subaru of America and dozens of others using our educational, research, consulting and advisory services.


Widely published: 20+ publications with Harvard Business Review, including his seminal book on customer-led growth, The Hidden Wealth of Customers. Other pubs include The Wall Street Journal, Oxford Univ. Press, Organizational Dynamics and others.

HBR articles include: Marketing is Dead, Things Customers Can Do Better Than You, The Right Way to Hire Your Customers and more.

Founded longest running (16 years), most respected customer engagement conference in the world, the Summit on Customer Engagement, held in Silicon Valley.

What People Are Saying

Bill leads one of the most interesting communities of customer-led professionals I’ve seen. His book, The Hidden Wealth of Customers (HBR), has innovative frameworks—such as “AIC” customers—critical for today’s C-suites.
Don Peppers, Author, Speaker, Customer Relationship Legend

Under Bill's leadership, now is the time for customer advocacy and engagement managers to up-level your thinking about all the ways that customers can grow the business. And be bold—people like me want you to tell us these things.
Martin Haering, CMO, Finastra

Bill gets to the essentials of an issue very quickly. His knowledge in particular of customer engagement is as good as it gets. I highly recommend his consulting services.
Richard Stanfield, CEO, Tibit Communications, acquired by Ciena; Chairman, Ascend Wireless Networks

There’s really nothing I’ve seen like it in the country, where you get both the deep dive for implementation and the high-level strategic perspective, all in the same conference.
Lisa Arthur, CMO, Teradata Applications

When it comes to developing high-impact customer relationships, I found out very quickly that all roads on that issue lead to Bill Lee.
Jackie Breiter, VP, Customer Success CA Technologies

One of the most useful and enlightening conferences I’ve been to—and I’ve been to a lot of conferences. I learned things and people talked about things I don’t typically hear. Very well worth my time.
Dan Crain, VP, Solid State Systems, Cisco, former CEO, WhipTail Technologies

The value was unbelievable. If we’d had this knowledge when we first started, we’d be in a better place today when it comes to customer excellence.
Vickie Cooney, VP, Market Development, AmerisourceBergen

Bill is a pioneer of the 21st century customer relationship.
Chris Adlard, Co-Author and Co-Founder, The Customer Catalyst

Bill is leading a revolution in the way that customers take us to market and build our business.
Sarah Davis, Director of Customer Marketing, Invoca

Bill gets us out of the day-to-day demands from stakeholders and into our customers’ potential to grow the business.
Genevieve Guerette, Director of Customer Marketing, App Annie

Bill’s ability to pull together communities is really revolutionary in our industry.
Rhett Livengood, Director, Digital Business Enabling, Intel

ROUNDTABLE for a CUSTOMER REVOLUTION

In 2020 with the pandemic raging, we found a huge outpouring of care and empathy by business leaders for their customers. Bill partnered with Jeff Ernst, CEO of SlapFive to select a group of titans—both of business success and customer savvy—to rethink our customer relationships.

So great was our appetite for change that we called ourselves the Roundtable for a Customer Revolution. We began meeting in earnest, creating 14 hours of transcripts over several months, supplemented with research and use cases. 

Our mission is to uncover the pervasive dysfunctions, friction, frustrations and failures we’ve inadvertently built into our customer relationships—and create a new relationship that customers love.

Now, in the midst of deep economic disruptions, that mission has become an urgent imperative.

___________

"With Bill’s guidance, we thought deeply and spoke frankly about the barriers to customer centricity, and developed radical, research-based strategies to overcome them."

Carol Meyers, Independent Board Director, Growth Advisor, former CMO Rapid7, LogMein
Founder, Roundtable for a Customer Revolution

 

Bill's Global Community (partial)

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The Vision

A growth flywheel for today's prospects and customers-at-risk,
who want most to connect with your best ACI customers. 

ADVOCACY

Traditional marketing and Sales are dying. You need customers who provide natural advocacy, word of mouth, evangelism: Customers who create an ongoing movement in your market.

IDEAS & INNOVATION

Your best resource for strategy? Strategic customers. For innovation? Innovative customers. The notion that customers can't provide such input is another common misconception about human potential.

CUSTOMER OUTCOMES

Customers struggling with adoption, expansion or renewal in the post-sale often want to connect with other customers like them to "show them the ropes"—just like buyers do in the pre-sale. You want a customer base that excels at that.

The Plan

You can start connecting customers right away to impact and even crush critical growth objectives.

Here’s how we can help. Customizations include Advisory, internal Workshops, external Roundtables, Consulting and Research.

The
Start Now!
Sprint

120 days to a
Customer-Led
Enterprise

Implement with
Cathedral
Builders

Dare to be
Legendary

Why wait? The customer base of a viable firm has 30% or more promoters or loyal customers. Instead of focusing on detractors, why not insert your promoters–who already love you–into critical  growth challenges?

The CEO’s best leverage point is to build emotional bonds with customers and employees. That requires a purpose that’s about improving customers lives in some significant way–and then living that purpose. That’s the foundation for unlocking immense customer value.

Your customer-impacting employees should see the bigger picture of: Living the purpose of the business. Engaging and connecting your best customers to meet and crush strategic objectives. Rather than subordinate your best customers to traditional marketing and sales motions.

A new offering for companies who want to become legendary—to create a legacy like Nike, Apple, Vanguard…

The Plan

You can start connecting customers right away to impact and even crush critical growth objectives.

Here’s how we can help. Customizations include Advisory, internal Workshops, external Roundtables, and Research.

The Start Now! Sprint

Why wait? The customer base of a viable firm has 30% or more promoters or loyal customers.

Instead of focusing on detractors, why not insert your promoters–who already love you–into critical  growth challenges?

120 days to a Customer-Led Enterprise

The CEO’s best leverage point is to build emotional bonds with customers and employees.

That requires a purpose that’s about improving customers lives in some significant way–and then living that purpose.

That’s the foundation for unlocking immense customer value.

Implement with Cathedral Builders

Your customer-impacting employees should see the bigger picture of:

Living the purpose of the business.

Engaging and connecting your best customers to meet and crush strategic objectives.

Rather than subordinate your best customers to traditional marketing and sales motions.

Dare to be Legendary

A new offering for companies who want to become legendary—to create a legacy like Nike, Apple, Vanguard…

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