By Lori Johnston, Founder and President of Allied Exchange
In my career as a sales professional with the focus to business process improvement, I have had the pleasure to work with a variety of companies. Last year I conducted market research for my own business and the same concerns kept coming up. What all the concerns had in common was how to achieve sustainable revenue growth. Sustainable being the key word here. With this research, I set out to investigate further and study what are some of the components to achieving sustainable revenue growth. Taking what I already understood in business and what I found further, I have put together the following three challenges that companies face. In doing so, I believe the solutions to these challenges are attainable for any business.
How to Prevent Misalignment to Revenue Growth
What you think the problem is that there are not enough new and recurring sales. So, what do most companies do? They put their focus on increasing revenues. Makes sense, right? Wrong. That is an issue because the stagnant or declining revenues isn’t the problem, it’s a symptom.
The problem is somewhere else and more likely probably more than one issue. One main question to ask yourself – Is everyone in the company on the same page and heading in the same direction?
What the true problem is that the team is not properly aligned. It’s very likely that even if sales do increase for a period of time, you will still end up with employees who are confused, making the sales increase unsustainable.
Here is what is really going on. Your employees don’t understand your business and they certainly don’t understand your risks.
A company with the team properly aligned will find that their employees care about the direction of the company, knowing it requires a sustainable effort on their part. If the team understand the business goals and risks, they will feel connected to the results. By connecting with individuals, you are helping them to feel like they make a difference.
Steps you can take for Innovative Change
What you think the problem is is that most organizations have barriers to creativity, ideas, and innovation. Some are obvious while some are not. Barriers emerge from attitudes and perceptions of the organizational leadership, while others come from the overall structure or even from the employees themselves.
What the true problem is the resistance to new ideas and processes. This happens because it’s human nature to become uncomfortable when it comes to potential change.
Here is what is really going on. Old habits, beliefs, and assumptions cloud the openness to new ideas and will overpower any creative or innovative initiatives. Therefore, once again, the status quo remains, and nothing changes.
I am one who believes in the benefit of sharing stories about innovation in the workplace setting. By doing so, you can put creativity into context and eliminate any preconceived ideas about any barriers. It is important to communicate the benefits of adopting new ideas, for both the company as well as for the employees. This will help gain acceptance throughout the organization and for everyone to become adaptable to change.
Gain New Incoming Clients
What you think the problem is that you work hard, you’re doing all the right things, but your client list is not growing, and new customers are not coming in a manner that meets your expectations. You think that your sales and marketing teams must not be doing their jobs effectively.
What the true problem is that it’s no secret that buyers have changed. Salespeople used to have all the information. But in our digital age, buyers can do their own research, diagnose their own problems, and to a certain extent, design their own solutions to problems.
Here is what is really going on. It’s a new age of selling! Less prescriptive and product-focused than in the past. The rise of the inbound selling process requires new strategies for salespeople and companies to adapt to their changing reality.
By definition, inbound sales are the process of focusing on individual buyers and their personal needs, points of pain, frustrations, and goals. A company needs to recognize this and change the way their salespeople sell to match how people buy.
When Attempting on Your Own…Sometimes you need expert help
Many businesses struggle to stay ahead of the competition, the day-to-day operations of the company are more than enough to keep a management team busy. The only focus is to continually attempt to maintain the status quo. That is not enough. Sometimes employees and managers are just too close to a problem inside an organization to see it or identify the root causes.
No one likes to change, but sometimes change is needed. Businesses should be concerned with the company culture, employee morale, and any other issues that get in the way when an organization is trying to implement change.
In order to achieve sustainable revenue growth, you must have the following in your arsenal:
- Clarity on Goals, Risks, and Strategy!
- Sales Engagement Tools, Processes, and Coaching!
- Create an Outreach Program and Be Relevant!