Planning for next year almost immediately brings the age-old question, “How can we grow revenue?”
The answers typically involve things like increasing sales goals, new product introductions, a larger marketing budget, etc. Although popular (and in some cases effective), they may not actually drive the types of results the organization is seeking.
Often times, driving substantial revenue increases in the future may actually require getting back to the basics.
The following are 5 foundational tips to consider to effectively grow revenue next year:
1. Have an objective and current understanding of your market
Most companies approach their respective markets based on a foundation of historical information combined with a collection of observations (usually biased) that they have accumulated over time. This is a classic example of not “seeing the forest through the trees.” These types of organizations can strongly benefit from an outside perspective to help re-calibrate their point of view. Without an objective view of your customers, competition and market trends, it’s difficult to take the right steps to grow.
2. Say what you actually do
A common challenge for companies who are trying to grow is not having a value proposition that best communicates what your organization does today. Over time, new products, services, entry into new markets, etc. can dilute your value proposition. Make sure that you are effectively positioning your organization with today’s highly educated and sophisticated buyers to get involved in the buying process.
3. Establish internal best practices
The majority of organizations suffer from the 80-20 rule in their sales force (80 percent of sales come from 20 percent of clients), due to a lack of consistent sales process or methodology. Take the time to capture what makes your high performers successful (not only in dollars, but market share) and formalize those best practices. It makes repeating and managing it much easier and should lead to consistent high performance throughout.
4. Invest in improved performance
Many organizations default their investment in the sales process to new brochures, presentations, software and technology. In order to maximize the ROI on these types of investments, focus on developing your sales organization through ongoing training that builds new skill sets and capabilities to drive desired results.
5. Assess often and honestly
Achieving better results almost always requires different and better performance moving forward. As a result, it also requires that you manage and value members of your sales organization on what they’re capable of doing moving forward vs. what they’ve done previously. Be objective regarding their skills and willingness to evolve and adapt to change. Have open dialogue about your expectations of them, and most importantly, be willing to make changes if the past is brighter than the future.
Revenue growth in 2015 is attainable.
In order to do so means keeping your organization fundamentally sound in its ability to grow revenue. It’s a constant challenge, but one that needs to be met head on.