They say that without profit your business is dead, but I find this far too simplistic. You can’t make a dollar of profit without having at least a dollar of revenue, most companies don’t make profit every month and don’t go bankrupt but nearly all will make revenue every month of the year.
For most companies the words ‘sales’ and ‘revenue’ mean the same thing and are interchangeable but I prefer the word ‘revenue’ as people associate ‘sales’ with something that the Sales department take care of – and that’s where many companies go wrong, sales is far too important to be left to any single department.
Sales managers work hard to leverage sales leads, add to the pipeline, create marketing materials, cross sell, upsell and down sell, all in the name of boosting revenue. But many companies find that they just don’t see the increases in revenue that they feel they deserve. I hear from CEO’s on a weekly basis, that they have a good sales team but are not getting the results that they believe they should.
Here’s the deal, hiring sales people, re-designing websites/marketing collateral, and creating internal training courses all help grow revenue but substantial and long term revenue growth has to come from 4 key areas:
I am not just talking about a sales strategy, but a full business growth strategy. It should include, product development, strategic partnerships, client on-boarding, competitor targeting, market intelligence/penetration and business culture. In addition it should include a calculated sales and marketing strategy that considers, cost per lead, lead conversion rates, optimized sales funnels, sales training, sales management structure and cross/up/down selling opportunities based on existing and potential client requirements.
Every strategy needs to exist in an infrastructure. Once you have a strategy you need to consider the framework required to execute it. Consider the management structure, operational requirements, sales management as well as training, mentoring and development.
Take a look at your existing team, do you have the right people, are they in the right positions and do they have the correct experience? Businesses are living, breathing entities and often outgrow individuals, this doesn’t mean you have to fire everyone but often means that you need to consider who is in what position and what support will they require. If you do need to recruit from the outside you will need to consider your ability to train and develop this person and what type of person best fits the culture you agreed on in your growth strategy.
People need processes at all levels of the organization. Does your team have the correct processes in place to execute your growth strategy?
You should have processes for on-boarding new clients, on-boarding new employees, rolling out new products, pricing, resourcing and specific sales processes for every stage of the sales funnel.
In order to experience sustained revenue growth your business needs to run like an orchestra, and as a management team you are like the conductors ensuring that everyone’s individual efforts will come together to make beautiful music, or in our case profitable business growth.
I work with the Selling Key a company who advises, creates and helps implement business growth strategies; they are currently giving away an initial consultancy for free to organizations they believe they can assist in exponentially growing their revenue, usually costing $2,000.