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EOS®, the Entrepreneurial Operating System, is quickly becoming the go-to platform for companies that want a system for running the entire organization.
As an EOS company, we’ve found the platform invaluable for running meetings, organizing our team around the company’s biggest initiatives and creating a scorecard to use data to track progress toward our goals.
But as seasoned revenue and growth experts, we quickly realized the framework is light when it comes to revenue generation, marketing, sales and customer growth.
This simply means EOS on its own might not be enough to get your company to hit your revenue goals month over month if marketing, sales and servicing your customers are some of your biggest challenges.
Here’s where we think the EOS framework could use some additional tools, methodology and support to help companies upgrade their marketing, sales and revenue efforts.
When you learn EOS, you learn about the Vision/Traction Organizer (V/TO). This framework and tool help you answer some very important questions about your company and provides the opportunity to gain clarity and focus.
Niche and target market are similar. Who do you want to attract to your business? What kinds of companies or what kinds of people? Both of these sections in the V/TO are designed to help you define your niche and your target market.
The narrower this is, the easier it’s going to be to create a plan to target these people in these industries. The wider the niche and target, the more difficult. A lot of people don’t understand this and think bigger is better – it’s not.
However, this isn’t enough to drive marketing and sales execution. In addition to understanding and agreeing on niche and target market, you also need persona profiles for everyone you plan on talking to.
For example, if you want to go after manufacturing companies in the metals vertical and you want those companies to be $10 million in revenue or higher, who in those companies do you need to talk to about your products and/or services?
The CEO, the COO, the head of procurement, the VP of operations, the director of plant management or the CFO? In many cases today, it’s all of the above.
Everyone needs their own persona profile. EOS doesn’t address this at all, but it’s critical for the execution phase of revenue generation.
These profiles need to be fairly detailed. While you might have a lot of the company demographic info, you also need to know the individual person’s psychographic information and their exact buyer journey down to questions they might ask at each stage.
You’ll need to do this for EVERYONE who influences your sale and who might come in contact with the purchase process. Yes, it’s a lot, and yes, it’s needed.
What makes you different? What makes you special? As we say, what makes you remarkable? Simply answering this part of the V/TO doesn’t make you unique or special. Worse, we find that most companies don’t answer these questions honestly, and the answers never make it into the company’s story, marketing or sales execution.
Let me illustrate.
When asked what makes you unique, many companies respond with common answers like these:
While this might be true in almost every case, it’s not enough. First, your competitors are likely saying something similar, whether it’s true or not. Next, these are all about you, and most prospects only care about themselves – they don’t really care about you at all.
This strips away any real value from these in terms of their ability to differentiate your business, attract people to your business, engage them with your business and get them to select you over your competitors.
Next, proven processes and any guarantees are interesting but often not leveraged properly.
Most companies do have unique, interesting and compelling processes that can almost always be turned into major differentiators. But that takes work. Those processes have to be identified, polished up and presented as part of your marketing and sales execution.
More importantly, the stories around those processes must be turned so they center on your prospect and not on you.
It’s more about what those processes do for your customers than what they are or what they do for you. Make all your stories about your customers, not about you.
Guarantees are a good idea. They make people feel safe, and prospects need to feel safe to make a purchase decision. However, a simple guarantee might not be enough.
Recent research shows that companies make several mistakes with guarantees, like putting parameters around it, making it too complicated, giving it a time frame and more.
If you want to use a guarantee, keep it simple, make it comprehensive and make it easy for anyone to use if they feel like they’ve earned it.
The last part of EOS that is directly related to revenue is the sections that help you set your 90-day and one-year goals. These goals should directly align with marketing, sales and service execution. If your goals are lofty, your execution needs to be aggressive and comprehensive. If your one-year goals are equally aggressive, you’ll need a process for constantly feeding the sales and marketing machine to hit these goals.
Keep in mind, as you set these goals, big goals need big budgets. Goals that are dramatic and aspirational need a lot of resources and major investments. There is a direct relationship between goals and investment when it comes to revenue.
When you set these, keep this front of mind. If you want to go from $5 million in sales this year to $10 million in sales next year, you had better put aside between $150,000 and $250,000 in marketing investment to drive $5 million in incremental revenue.
Here’s where we think EOS missed the mark completely and what you can do to fill in the gaps.
While EOS does do a lot to help companies with processes, it’s a little light when it comes to processes around revenue generation.
This might be because the process for revenue generation is multi-departmental, is highly complex and requires some very specific experience, skills, tools, frameworks, methodology and technology.
While you need a weekly revenue team meeting, which can be an EOS-style L10 meeting with a slightly adjusted agenda, other process-related steps need to be added outside the EOS methodology.
The first one is a 30-day sprint planning session. This monthly session is designed to get everything set up for an entire month of work. Any marketing activities, sales execution-related activities and service activities that contribute to revenue generation should be discussed, agreed on, planned and assigned to the appropriate resources.
At the end of this session, everyone on this cross-functional team should be clear on what they need to work on over the next 30 days.
The other session is a 90-day strategy meeting. Remember, to eliminate random acts of marketing, you have to lean into strategy, and checking in with leadership every three months is a great way to talk about competition, review positioning, get clear on priorities, discuss new products or services and get alignment around events or happenings that need to be supported over multiple months.
After this session, your revenue team should be able to break up all the work required into your three 30-day sprints. This rhythm is key to helping you get to your goals, so don’t shortcut it.
We’ve talked a lot about strategy in the above section, but there are some very specific elements that need to be in place, and EOS doesn’t cover those within its framework.
While we covered the idea of detailed personas and having unique elements, the other major missing piece is your Big Story. You must have a compelling, emotional story that is about how you help your prospects. It’s not always easy to come up with this story and sometimes requires hard work with professional strategists and storytellers.
Finally, what’s almost always missing from the strategy work is expected results and the aligned investment. Again, EOS doesn’t offer any guidance here, but this has to be part of your revenue generation system.
A regular review of expected results and a continual optimization of the investment required to deliver those results need to be part of your ongoing revenue generation system too.
If we continue to dig down into what it takes to generate revenue growth month over month, then selection of the right set of tactics is also critical.
Today, there are hundreds of marketing and sales-related tactics that you could deploy, but not all of them are right for every company.
Each tactic selected should be looked at to contribute a certain portion of the total leads and sales opportunities needed to get you to your revenue goal. This is how you build over time the right set of tactics and align them to your goals.
Too often companies have big goals but too few tactics. By building a portfolio of tactics and doing so with the intention of your goals, you’ll have the right tactics and then know the exact investment required to execute those tactics.
Once you have your tactics, then they have to be combined into omnichannel, highly personalized campaigns. This requires a special set of skills, and we regularly see clients not running their campaigns correctly.
Simply executing tactics is not campaigns. When you get your campaigns organized, you’ll see a significant improvement in results because you’ll get the benefit of one plus one equals three.
Today’s demand generation, lead generation or even account-based marketing (ABM) campaigns require email, social, paid social, sales motions, ongoing nurtures, content, SMS and more to make sure prospects get a constant stream of educational, advisory and highly helpful touches.
These campaigns have to match the buyer’s journey perfectly and not be salesy. We use a specific framework to design and execute these campaigns that help improve performance and ensure the campaigns are executed efficiently.
With all these tactics in play and the complexity of campaign design discussed above, you can’t successfully drive revenue without a technology platform across marketing, sales and customer service.
The most important aspect of this cross-functional technology platform is going to be your data. First-party data and the ability to access it, segment it, keep it clean and leverage it to attract new prospects is quickly becoming one of the most important issues facing marketers today.
With regulation and changing privacy rules, your database is going to be everything. It’s going to be the cornerstone of any marketing you want to do in the future, and your perspective around it has to change today.
For most companies, it’s going to take a concerted effort to segment it properly, clean it up and put in place the practices to keep it clean and accurate.
Then it’s going to become obvious that automating all these complex campaigns is also a major issue. The more you can automate, the more efficient your marketing.
Finally, you’ll want to start making marketing, sales and service execution decisions based on data, and that means analytics. Every decision you make should be based on data. No more guessing and no more assumptions – just smart moves based on how your prospects are engaging with your marketing and sales execution.
Now that you have your strategy defined, tactics selected and campaigns designed, you’ll need people to handle the execution. Do you have enough people? Do they have the right skills and experience? It’s an important question that is a requirement for success. Without the right people in the right seats with the right experiences, even the best plan can fall flat.
Evaluating your current resources and then working to fill in the gaps with more experienced team members, freelance contractors or an outside agency is going to be an important step to make sure you have all the pieces in place.
Regardless of how you build your team, you’ll then need all the process pieces to get this team working efficiently together. But if you install the process and pay attention to the other frameworks outside of EOS, you can configure your marketing and sales execution to drive to your goals month over month.
Yes, this entire effort is complex, especially today. This is why you should consider leaning into a systems approach like RGS™ and EOS.