Series: How To Make Revenue Growth Predictable In Uncertain Times
Part 1 (this article)
Creating steady revenue growth can feel impossible during uncertain times. The headwinds of hiring challenges, price increases, and supply chain issues seem to threaten growth goals. While you can’t change the circumstances, you can be proactive in setting your company up for success, even in uncertain times.
Over the next three articles you’ll discover three ways you can make revenue growth predictable in uncertain times. These aren’t magic bullets. Instead, they are three ways to develop consistency and effectiveness by optimizing your marketing and sales.
Focus Your Message
The first way to make revenue growth predictable is to focus your message.
Hang out in any sales training long enough and you will hear Theodore Roosevelt’s famous words: “Nobody cares how much you know until they know how much you care.” This profound truth is violated by the majority of marketing and sales messages.
The marketing message of most companies reads like this: Our great company sells our incredible products backed by our award-winning customer service. You should choose us because we are the best!
These things are fantastic. I’m proud of you. But nobody cares how much you know, how great your company is, how incredible your product is and how amazing your customer service is. At least not yet. What they care about first is that you care about them.
When we say “Customer First!” in our marketing and then go on to brag about how great our company is we show that the thing that actually sits in first place is our company. Buyers see through this.
Saying “Our company is a customer first company,” is like saying to everyone you meet, “I’m so awesome because I care a lot about other people!” Good for you, but it seems to me you care an awful lot about yourself. Why not just care for other people. By doing this, you demonstrate what you believe.
How do you demonstrate your care? You focus your message on what’s important to them.
Simply put, you make sure that your marketing and sales messaging talks about the outcomes they want.
In Revenue Growth Engine (Get your Free Copy here) I say that buyer’s don’t buy products or services, they buy the outcomes those products and services deliver.
What is an outcome? You know your message is focused on an outcome when the potential buyer says in their head something like this:
- This could help me achieve one of my top goals!
- This could help me solve a nagging problem!
- I’ve been looking for this for a long time. Finally!
You know your message is focused on an outcome when it is specific and not full of corporate adjective soup.
“Our solution helps clients improve productivity, enhance security, and increase user satisfaction.”
Is it true? Maybe.
Does it sound good? Sure.
Is it specific and relevant to the outcomes your buyer wants? Nope.
So you get ignored. And when you get ignored you don’t get the opportunity. When there is no opportunity there is no new revenue. Sure, you may get some referrals from happy clients. But when it comes to predictable revenue growth you become largely ignored by the market in general.
- Focusing your message on the outcomes your buyers want gets you the attention you need to sell.
- You demonstrate that you care about the outcomes they want.
- You show that it is about them and not you.
- You communicate in a tangible way that their business and personal goals are important to you.
- You demonstrate that you focus on your clients and not on yourself.
Benefits of Focusing Your Message
What does focusing your message have to do with predictable revenue growth?
1. You Get Attention in a Crowded Marketplace
The amount of static noise is astounding. Our minds are bombarded with thousands of messages every single day. To survive we are highly trained at tuning things out. We also have very sensitive BS meters.
Only two things will get my attention:
- Something that will help me achieve a goal that’s important to me.
- Something that will help me solve a problem.
An unfocused message does neither. Therefore you get no attention. No attention, no sale.
2. You Get Found Online
Not only are buyers filtering out the noise, many of them are actively searching for things that will help them achieve their outcomes.
None of your prospective clients are asking Google, Siri, or their social networks, “Who is an awesome company that has incredible products and outstanding service?”
Instead, they are searching for answers to questions. They are looking for recommendations on how to solve their problem or achieve their goal. They are looking for ways other people have done it before.
When you actually take the time to answer these questions, you get found. The title of Marcus Sheridan’s bestselling book sums it up: They Ask, You Answer.
Helping your buyers find answers to your questions gets you found. This helps create more predictable revenue growth.
3. You Get More At Bats
Once you get attention and get found, you get more at bats for your sales team. However, I think it’s even better than getting more at bats.
They say sales is a numbers game. In many ways that is true. To use a baseball analogy, the more times I get up to the plate and swing, the higher the probability I will get a hit. More at bats are better.
Focusing your message gets you more at bats. This helps create more predictable revenue growth.
4. You Increase Your Close Rate
Sticking with the baseball analogy, what’s even better than more times at the plate is if I can get an easy pitch. I don’t want to swing at a 99 mile-per-hour fastball. I want to swing at a nice, easy pitch. My chances of getting a hit are much higher.
When you focus your message and lead with outcomes, not only do you get found and get attention, the pitches coming at you are much easier to hit. Your sales team does less “showing up and throwing up” and “hoping they find a pain point” Instead, they are able to have a discussion about the specific outcomes the buyer wants.
The more you focus the message on the outcomes your buyers want the more you increase your close rate and the more predictable your revenue growth becomes.
5. You Build Trust
We’ve all heard the old sales adage, “Buyer’s buy from people they know, like, and trust.” How do we begin to build trust? We show that we care about them while also demonstrating our competency.
Here is how you can begin to build trust. Focusing your message on the outcomes the buyer wants shows that you care about what’s important to them. Providing insight and ideas on how they can achieve their goals or solve their problems demonstrates your competency. This forms the foundation of trust.
My friend and Selling From the Heart Podcast co-host, Larry Levine, sums it up this way: “More trust, more sales.” The more you focus your message, the more you build trust. This helps create predictable revenue growth.
How To Focus Your Message
How do you focus your message? It begins by understanding the outcomes your buyers want.
Don’t overcomplicate this. Go to your current clients and ask them about their business. What are your top goals? What are your biggest challenges. Listen and learn.
Take what you learn and compare it to your marketing and sales message. Do these questions get answered on your website, blog, podcast, landing pages, or events? Do your sales talk tracks, tools, and collateral lead with this message?
The more you focus your message on the outcomes your buyers want, the more attention you will earn. You’ll get found giving you more at bats. You’ll have better conversations giving you a higher close rate as you build trust.
Continue reading part 2 in the series of How to Make Revenue Predictable in Uncertain Times.