5 Must-Have Elements To Ensure You Exceed Your Revenue Generation Targets
Setting, hitting and then exceeding your revenue goals is more complicated than ever before. The key complicating factor is one you have little control over: your prospects. They’re not sitting in their offices waiting for you to call them anymore. They’re out and about, they’re on their smartphones, they’re actively running their own purchase cycle without you and they’re only bringing you in at the end of that journey.
This makes getting their attention, telling your story and actively engaging in their buyer journey with them a major challenge. This revenue generation strategy challenge requires new thinking, new processes, new tools and new expectations around the behavior of your marketing and sales team. But it’s not all bad news; there’s just as much good news.
Today, almost every aspect of that process is measurable, scalable, predictable and visual. Yes, you can see how you’re doing at every step of the way. Here are the five elements that must be in place at your company if you want to crack the code to revenue growth.
1) Marketing And Sales Strategy
I’ll make this simple. Do you have a written marketing plan that you update every 90 days? Does that plan include detailed personas for the prospects you want to attract? Does it have detailed disruptive and emotional messages designed to connect and engage those prospects in conversation? Do you have the stories you need to tell these prospects that get them excited to want to work with you? Do you have the analytical models required to benchmark current performance and uncover the delta necessary to get you to your goals? If the answer is no, you need to get that done immediately.
On the sales side, the question is equally simple. Do you have a written, graphic illustration of your designed sales process? Is every email, phone call, meeting, question, content offer and interaction (internal or external) clearly documented in a single flow-chart-style graphic? Is everyone in the organization following that process? Do you review the performance of that process and make adjustments regularly? Are the metrics for the conversion rates for each stage in that process being measured weekly? If the answer is no, you need to get that done immediately, too.
Bottom line: If you don’t have each of these, you don’t have a revenue strategy. You’re just hoping revenue comes in, and hope is not a strategy.
This is where a lot of the complexity gets introduced. Think about a recipe. If I said “get me a recipe for a chocolate cake,” you could find hundreds of recipes. Some would be great, most would be fine and all would produce the chocolate cake. The key is this: Which recipe would you like and which is right for you? In the case of today’s marketing and sales, we have to work closely with clients to configure their program recommendations to match their requirements. Not all clients are created equally, so we don’t do the same thing for every client.
For example, some clients have very aggressive short-term goals. They need a more aggressive mix of short-term tactics and a very agile approach to the strategy development so we can get started quickly. Other clients have a longer-term approach to marketing and are comfortable waiting for tactics that are slower to kick in, such as organic search and website optimization. This also means we work on all of the strategy first, get that solidified and then start building tactics.
The same configuration conversation impacts how much demand generation you might be comfortable with versus how much inbound marketing is in your program. Do you want to aggressively go to marketing and drive demand, or do you want to be there when prospects are looking? This balance must be determined up front and then your program configured accordingly.
This configuration is a big part of what an experienced digital revenue agency can help you with.
Want to drive revenue? Give your prospects a remarkable experience like no other experience they’ve ever had before selecting a company that does what you do. If you can strategically design a click-to-close experience that matches your buyer’s journey to a tee, you’ll win a lot of business. The challenging aspect of this task is you have marketing people and salespeople touching the experience at different stages, making a seamless and truly remarkable experience a challenge to implement.
Every call, every meeting, every email and every touch point needs to be remarkable and include what we call a little “wow.” For example, never send a naked email. A naked email is one that’s sent to a prospect without some educational content in context to their issues, challenges or the stories you’ve been sharing with them all through your experience to date.
Make sure you have an understanding of what your competitors are doing with prospects in their sales process, and be sure your sales process is head and shoulders above theirs. We’re striving for our prospects to say, “we have to hire this company.” When our process is over and we’ve done everything we do, if they’re not saying that they have to hire us, we failed and our sales process needs upgrading.
Marketing and sales are sciences, just like physics and chemistry. Almost every aspect of marketing and sales today is metrics-driven and trackable. We can measure the impact of our adjustments. Prospects not signing your agreements? What is the current conversion rate? What do you want it to be? What are industry averages? What can you do to improve that conversion rate? Let’s shorten the agreement, take out the most contentious sections or make it easier to read and understand by using more graphics.
As we make these upgrades, we can watch the close rate and conversion rate on submitted agreements move. The more it moves, the better we perform and the more adjustments we make until that number is as high as possible. Once you crack the code on conversion rate for submitted proposals, now look at visitor-to-lead conversion rate on the website. We impacted a bottom-of-the-funnel metric, now we’re working on a top-of-the-funnel metric. Over time, we’ll cover almost all of the key performance metrics and revenue will follow.
It’s going to be almost impossible to get this right out of the gate. Your first pass at creating the strategy, experience, configured program and analytics benchmarks leaves a lot of room for improvement and adjustments. That’s why iterating on the process is so important. You need a methodology to help you identify what needs help and to prioritize what you’ll work on based on impact. You then need a process for designing and rolling out the improvements over time.
You’ll also want to set up some dashboards and KPIs to help you track the performance of the program regularly and make smart data-driven decisions around what to work on and when to work on it. These five elements must be in play for you to hit your revenue goals, and they must be actively in play, meaning everyone in the organization is engaged, working on them and focused on using these tools to drive revenue for the company. It’s not about selling; today, it’s about being smarter and more focused on how you use data to make improvements.
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Posted By Author Mike Lieberman, CEO and Chief Revenue Scientist
Mike is the CEO and Chief Revenue Scientist at Square 2. He is passionate about helping people turn their ordinary businesses into businesses people talk about. For more than 25 years, Mike has been working hand-in-hand with CEOs and marketing and sales executives to help them create strategic revenue growth plans, compelling marketing strategies and remarkable sales processes that shorten the sales cycle and increase close rates.