Everyone likes to compare themselves to other people. I like to play pickleball, and my rating helps compare me to other players. When you go to the doctor and get bloodwork done, you can compare your scores to what is normal and get a gauge of how healthy you are at the time of your physical.
But where do you go to gauge your business? How good are you at marketing? How good are you at sales? How good are you at overall revenue generation execution? Until recently, there was no way to measure your performance and no way to compare your efforts to other companies.
Your business isn’t healthy if it can’t consistently generate revenue in a scalable, predictable and repeatable way. That’s why we created the Healthy Business Score to measure your ability to generate revenue.
When we go about getting you a Healthy Business Score, we do it by asking you a handful of questions in key areas.
To have an effective revenue generation system, you need to be 80% proficient in six areas: process, resources, strategy, tactics, campaigns and technology. Let’s look at each of them individually.
For revenue generation to be more systematic, you need to lean into process. A couple of specific and straightforward processes should be installed.
When we score businesses, we ask about regular revenue team meetings. Do you have them weekly? Are they ongoing? Do the same people attend? Do the right people attend? Is the agenda standard? Are people accountable for their post-meeting action items?
Are issues surfaced during these regular weekly meetings and are people working to solve those issues during the meeting? Most of the time at these weekly revenue team meetings should be spent processing and solving issues.
Finally, what does the planning process look like? Does one exist? Are there quarterly strategy sessions and monthly work planning sessions to organize, assign and ensure work is delivered on time and to expectations? These 30-day sprint planning sessions are critical for prioritizing, optimizing resources and agreeing on what’s going to get done.
We see a lot of companies that don’t devote enough resources to their revenue generation efforts, so part of what we’re scoring and asking about involves resource allocation around the work required to generate leads, sales opportunities and new business.
Do you have the right people? Do you have enough people? Are these in-house or agency resources? Are you leveraging contractors to help you get work done? If you don’t have enough resources, it’s going to be difficult to get any traction and scale your revenue generation efforts.
In addition to resources, you’ll also need alignment across marketing, sales and customer service as well as alignment at the leadership team level. Is leadership on board? Are they supportive of the investment, direction, allocation of resources, timing and expected results?
Just like you can’t bake a delicious chocolate cake without a recipe, you can’t generate revenue and exceed your goals without a strategy.
This is a big part of what drives success, and it’s one of the weakest areas at most companies. In short, if you don’t have anything interesting to say about your business, you don’t have a strategy. If you don’t have defined goals agreed to by all and an aligned investment, you don’t have a strategy.
In addition, you need to have well-designed buyer personas for everyone you’re trying to attract. You need to prioritize which personas you’re going to attract first, second and third. You can’t be everything to everyone.
You need an emotional, compelling and disruptive story that gets people who match your targeted personas engaged with your company. You need to be remarkable when comparing your company with your competitors, and you need an investment that is agreed on and aligned with your expected results.
If you’re missing even one piece of the puzzle here, your strategy is incomplete, and your marketing will likely fall flat or underperform.
So many different tactics are available for marketers today. It’s hard to know which ones are right, which ones will work and which ones you’re capable of executing.
Not to mention, it’s highly unlikely that you’ll be able to afford everything you might want to do, which means you have to prioritize, and that too is challenging.
Having the ability to prioritize tactics, test tactics, optimize tactics and shutter tactics that aren’t working and install new tactics is going to be critical to getting your revenue generation system up and running to produce results.
This is where the 30-day sprint planning process can really help you organize and prioritize based on data.
Tactics that should be part of everyone’s sprints include your website. It has to tell your compelling and remarkable story. It has to get people to visit the site. It has to turn those visitors into leads. You have to nurture those leads, and you need highly engaging, thought-provoking content to educate your prospects all throughout their buyer journey.
If you do nothing else, these tactics must be part of your monthly marketing efforts.
However, and in all transparency, that alone won’t be enough to build the marketing machine most companies aspire to have generating leads every month.
This means selecting the right channels, building out the campaigns, running the campaigns for an agreed-on period of time, investing in the campaigns at an agreed-on level, setting quantifiable expectations for the campaigns, tracking the metrics associated with the campaigns and optimizing the campaigns over their lifetime.
Yes, if that sounds exhausting, it is. Yes, if that sounds complicated, it is. Yes, if you’re not sure whether you can do this, you’re probably right.
But this is what’s required today to get a steady stream of inbound leads for your sales teams.
What we’ve outlined above isn’t doable with just the right people. You also need the right technology. A set of platform tools for marketing, sales and customer service must be part of the system for revenue generation.
Technology specifically is needed in three areas – automation, analytics and your database.
There are just too many repetitive tasks for people to do on their own. Marketing software like HubSpot can automate a big chunk of the reoccurring work so that your people can focus on higher-payoff work like campaign design instead of campaign execution.
You can’t optimize your efforts if you don’t have data. Sales tools like HubSpot provide you with all the data you need to analyze what’s working and what’s not. More importantly, they provide the tools for you to uncover insights buried in the data and make better, more informed decisions around your action plans to improve performance.
Now you’re making decisions based on data – more specifically your data instead of just assumptions, opinions or general performance data. This ensures your program produces better business outcomes faster.
Finally, you need to pay more attention to your prospect and customer database. It must be a highly coveted, curated and nurtured corporate asset. It’s no longer acceptable to not know how many contacts you have, if the quality of the data is accurate and if the records are complete.
If this sounds like your company, you need an initiative to clean up, properly segment, build out and organize your database so that it can be used correctly for personalized, segmented and directed marketing campaigns now and in the future.
The time is going to come when you won’t have any options for marketing. It will be your database or no database. Now is the time to get your data in pristine condition.
I know everything in this article seems like a lot, and it is. But it’s what’s required in 2023 to drive leads, sales opportunities and consistent revenue growth.
If you’re not seeing consistent revenue growth, you have to look at the areas outlined here. Only by identifying them, working to fix them and organizing them as we’ve described will you see the revenue growth you’re striving for.
It’s only by thinking about a revenue generation system that you’ll start realizing the business growth you’ve been looking for.