“What are we going to do to hit our 3-year goal?” Leadership teams regularly ask this question in quarterly planning meetings. The way this question gets answered determines whether the company will hit the goal or whether they’ll arrive at a future quarterly saying, “Well, that goal wasn’t realistic in the first place.”
Traditional ways to hit revenue goals include:
- Do more marketing
- Hire more salespeople
- Buy some technology
These strategies sound good on the surface but often fail to deliver for two reasons.
First, the company threw activity, people, and technology to the problem without considering the process.
Second, most of these activities tend to be focused on net-new business to the exclusion of cross-sell revenue. “We need more new customers!” Yes. And, you also need to sell more to your current customers.
The Smart Way: Process
Boil a business down to its most basic level and you have three things:
Sales and marketing tend to focus on people and technology to the exclusion of process. As a result we have sales teams that struggle to onboard new reps and are held hostage to high-performing reps. Marketing becomes a series of unfocused activities. Technology gets used at only a fraction of the potential. All of this adds up to mediocre results.
What’s missing? Process. Working together, marketing, sales, and operations consider the buyer and client journey from the perspective of the client’s experience. At each stage they consider the goal, the friction, and the motivation to move forward. Then the team determines the experience they want to create. This results in a defined process backed with content. Technology supports the process by providing automation and feeding real scorecard metrics.
These processes live in playbooks. Now the people in marketing, sales, and operations know what to do to drive revenue growth. Current employees see the big picture. New team members onboard quickly as they understand their role in the process. Prospects and clients enjoy a great experience.
How To Know You Need Processes
Why do so many companies struggle with building and optimizing revenue processes? It depends on the size of the company.
You know you need processes when you are hitting an invisible revenue ceiling. This happens to small and medium sized companies.
Smaller companies have depended on the founder to wear the sales hat. Marketing was a nice accessory, but the bulk of revenue came from the relationships of the founder. Over the years, this company tried to hire some sales people but they ultimately failed because they didn’t have a process.
Medium sized companies often depend on the sales manager to drive revenue. Their role is to hire experienced (expensive) sales people and keep them engaged. When less-experienced salespeople are brought on board they often fail because they don’t have a track to run on. After six months of prospecting (and at least $50,000 of expense to the company) they give up. The few accounts they did land get passed off to the experienced reps.
Both of these scenarios tend to ignore cross-selling. The founder is too busy to cross sell. The sales manager is too focused on hiring reps and hitting quota to think about account management.
What’s needed? Processes that become playbooks. Small companies need this to scale. Growing mid-sized companies need it as well.
How Do You Build Processes?
Given the demands of day-to-day business and monthly quotas, the chances of building processes on your own are slim. Most companies will not risk de-focusing their team to work on building processes. That’s why it often makes sense to engage a third party to lead the effort.
Bringing in a third party like Convergo allows you to build processes without interrupting the daily requirements of business development. You also get the added benefit of an outside perspective from a team of experienced Growth Guides.
To learn more about how other entrepreneurial companies are solving the problem of growth by building processes, contact us today to set up a 60-minute explore meeting with your team.