Middle-Market Growth Strategy Is All About People

by RaeAnne Marsh


Leadership development support organization Accelerent vaulted over the Rocky Mountains to bring to Phoenix what has proven successful over the past nine years in Washington, D.C.; Baltimore; Kansas City, Mo.; and Nashville, Tenn. The organization focuses on middle-market companies — helping already-successful businesses grow to the next level. Because membership in each market is exclusive by industry category, participants need not be concerned about exposing their company’s strengths or weaknesses “to a room full of their competitors,” says Troy Peple, founder and CEO, explaining this also fosters members’ willingness to bring their other business relationships into the group’s environment to help each other.

Accelerent maintains a proprietary database of members across the country as well as every guest a member has brought to any of its events. It’s a database of relationships, not just connections, Peple notes, explaining the distinction: “If I have a relationship with you, and a friend of mine needs your help and I ask you for it, you’re probably going to do something to help. How much you’ll do depends on how strong our relationship is.”

To serve its members, Accelerant establishes a team in each city (“market”), and its onboarding process includes a “relationship assessment” of what categories are likely to be most worth the member’s time, and how strong the member’s relationships are in those categories. “We help them prioritize their time and assess upcoming activities as to who will be there, that it would be an opportunity for a good chance to establish a relationship,” Peple says.

Developing a strategy to get a return on investment includes consistently training members on how to be effective in that member’s environment, which is encompassed in Accelerent’s role as a learning organization. “Through our onboarding and support process, we learn best practices within and across industries,” Peple notes. “We can connect with clients in other groups and cities, and if we find a best practice, we can quickly push it out to the group and nationally.”

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