Every company wants to hit its revenue goals every month. It’s the main measure of success – as well as profit, of course.
When your top-line sales numbers are going up every month, most business issues are easily solved. But when that top-line number isn’t going up, you usually have bigger issues that need your attention.
Yet most CEOs don’t realize that while they have systems for hiring, firing, purchasing, financial reporting, operations and delivery, they rarely have a system for revenue generation.
The secret to growth is using a revenue generation system.
Your business needs a solid flow of leads from people who are interested in what you do and how you can potentially help them. The more leads, the faster your company grows. Most businesses rely on referrals and an organic flow of leads.
People find out about you, they call you, they get referred to you and you get leads. This is fine, but it’s not predictable, reliable or scalable. There’s no systematic approach to it.
If you want to grow, you need to reconsider how you generate leads, the investment you put into building this part of your business and how these leads fit into your overall business.
For example, inside the marketing elements of a revenue generation system there is strategy. Who are you targeting, what are you saying to them, what are you saying that your competitors can’t say and how do you get prospects excited about your company?
Part of strategy is defining exactly how many leads you need and the investment required to deliver that level of leads. These have to be aligned.
Then you need the right tactics, like your website, email and social media, to be set up and executed.
You need campaigns, which are a collection of tactics that run across a variety of channels for a specific period of time and are optimized to improve performance over time.
Finally, you need the right people who have the right expertise and skills to create the strategy, build out the tactics and orchestrate the campaign execution.
But marketing alone won’t get you there.
Once the leads start coming in, you’ll need your sales team to pick them up and continue the conversation, continue advising and guiding them, and work them through the sales process so they say YES and get started.
How is your sales team situated for that? I’ve had a lot of clients ask me, “What do we do with these leads?” It seems like a crazy question, but when your sales team has historically been reactive and most of the leads are referrals and call-ins, getting them to proactively work leads can be a challenge.
Getting a top-notch sales team together, including business development reps (BDRs) and account reps, is a big undertaking. Upgrading your existing sales team is just as big. But you have to recognize the sales team is just as important as the marketing and lead generation.
You need to recruit the right people and hire them quickly. This can take months for some companies, and if you want to hit your numbers, you can’t afford to make mistakes here. Having experts at recruiting, hiring and onboarding reduces this risk down to almost zero.
Then you need to train them and ramp them up quickly. You want them prepared to hit the phones, follow up on those leads and move prospects through the sales process so they close.
You need to come up with compensation plans that encourage and motivate them to drive the right behaviors and activities. Are you paying for appointments, sales opportunities uncovered and closed business?
You might not know this, but you don’t have to do this yourself. This can be outsourced, and once these sales reps are up and running, you can decide if you want to bring them on to your team. It’s a very compelling value proposition.
Get experts to recruit, hire, onboard, train and ramp up your sales team. While they look and feel like your people, and they are part of your team, they’re paid by a company like ours. Then at your discretion make the decision to either bring them in-house or keep them running as I’ve described.
It’s a more modern way to think about scaling up your sales efforts, and it should be on the table. Click here to learn more about this innovative approach to scaling sales.
Whether you have an internal sales team or you’re outsourcing, the team needs to be trained in an ongoing way. Training shouldn’t happen once or twice a year. It should be ongoing and delivered within a sales framework that’s proven to improve sales rep performance. This framework should include an effective methodology to uncover early if a prospect is a good fit and qualified enough to continue in the sales process.
If a prospect is qualified, you’ll need a methodology for diagnosing what that individual needs, wants and cares about. You’ll need to ask them the right questions to uncover their pain, and then you’ll need these questions to help you design recommendations that align with their pain.
Finally, make sure that all this effort produces a very high close rate. This means continuing to train sales reps so that they’re experts at getting new deals over the finish line and driving new revenue.
It’s a process that takes time, expertise, methodology and skill. Are you able to deliver this type of training to your sales team?
In addition to traditional sales training, you should be thinking about a sales process that everyone can follow. If you want a scalable revenue generation system, all your sales reps should be following the same sales process.
This process should be documented, with everyone trained in it, following it and executing it perfectly. This also allows you to measure your own performance across the sales effort.
Where is the process working well, where is it slowing down and where is it challenged? By having this data, you can dig in and work to fix areas that will inevitably need fixing.
Finally, today’s revenue generation and growth can’t be handled manually. You’ll need a technology platform that spans marketing, sales and customer service.
You’ll need one that helps you automate and analyze all your marketing programs. The platform should give your sales reps a place to document all aspects of their interactions with prospects while also reinforcing the sales process, reminding reps of upcoming tasks and giving managers access to all their interactions with active prospects.
This should also help reps be more efficient, automating their ongoing tasks so they can spend more time talking to highly qualified prospects and less time populating the CRM.
Tools like HubSpot are designed for companies that are trying to grow better and faster.
It’s a combination of all four areas that make up today’s revenue generation system, and it’s what’s missing in most businesses today that are struggling to grow.