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    12/05/2023 |

    Revenue Growth Stalled? You’re Missing One of Three Vital Ingredients

    As we wrap up 2023, it’s appropriate to reflect on the year, and if you’re like most business leaders, you probably didn’t do as well as you expected or would have liked. That’s because you’re missing something.

    Every business has a system for paying its bills, for purchasing, for hiring and for managing the finances, but when it comes to revenue generation, almost no company has a revenue generation system.

    That’s what you’ve been missing, and that’s what I’m going to introduce you to today.

    For companies to grow, exceed their revenue goals and thrive, they need a revenue generation system.

    This system includes three critical components:

    1. A marketing machine that generates leads
    2. A sales team that effectively follows up with the leads
    3. An ongoing sales training/coaching effort that helps the reps close more, close faster and close more frequently

    Let’s dig into it.

    1) A Marketing Machine That Generates Leads

    Most companies rely on referrals and returning business – then they just hope to hit their revenue goals. Of course, hope isn’t a strategy.

    When it comes to lead generation, you must know exactly how many inbound leads you need every month, and you should design a marketing program that produces that number of leads or more.

    The marketing program needs six elements:

    1 – Strategy

    Every company needs a marketing strategy to drive leads. What is the profile for your perfect prospect? Where does this person work? What role are they in? You should know where they go for information online, what blogs they read, what emails they subscribe to and what websites they visit.

    You’ll need to know your Big Story, which is what makes your company remarkable, and this has to be so clear that everyone in your company (including your sales team) can tell that story in 10 seconds. This emotional, compelling and disruptive story has to get your target prospects to say, "Wow! I want to know more about this company."

    Finally, this strategy needs to have some numbers associated with it. How many visitors to your website? How many new contacts? How many leads? How many sales opportunities? How many proposals? How many new customers?

    You’ll also want to align these numbers with what you’re prepared to invest in marketing to generate these numbers. Those two elements must be aligned. If you need 1,000 leads, you’ll need an investment big enough to produce 1,000 leads. It’s just that simple. 

    2 – Tactics

    With the strategy behind you, now you can start looking at tactics. You could use hundreds of marketing tactics, but no company can afford (nor should it use) them all. You’ll have to prioritize tactics based on your budget and your expectations from each tactic.

    Your website, organic search, organic social, paid search, paid social, video, email, influencers, events, advocacy... I could go on, but the point is, you have to select the right tactics that will produce the right leads.

    3 – Campaigns

    Next, those tactics need to be orchestrated into personalized and omnichannel campaigns, where your Big Story and campaign message is distributed through multiple channels. You need to hit your target prospect multiple times in multiple places with content that grabs their attention and gets them to engage.

    4 – Technology

    With all these campaigns running and all these tactics in play, you’ll need a technology platform to automate as much as possible and produce data on the performance so that you can measure and then optimize it over time. 

    Analysis and optimization are two of the secrets to getting your investment in marketing to produce results that can be measured and attributed to your efforts and investment. Without a single technology platform for marketing, sales, CRM, CMS and customer service, this gets very challenging.

    5 – Process

    Marketing is an ongoing effort. You don’t run marketing for a few months and then take a break. It has to happen every day, and because it’s an ongoing effort, you must put some frameworks and processes around it.

    We recommend a 90-day strategic review. What’s going on in the business? What’s going on in the industry? What long-term trends might be affecting the business? Are the prospect profiles changing? Might new priorities inside the business affect marketing? This conversation has to happen every 90 days so that it informs the marketing at every level.

    Then do 30-day sprints. This is a set of agreed-on work that aligns with the strategic priorities and includes the selected tactics and designed campaigns. The team agrees on what can get done over the next 30 days, and that work gets locked in. No other priorities or work can be put into the sprint unless something is taken out or deprioritized. This ensures your marketing team is highly efficient and focused.

    Next, have a weekly revenue team meeting. This 90-minute meeting includes everyone who has any revenue-related responsibilities, including leaders from marketing, sales and customer service. The meeting covers metrics, reviews the big initiatives and progress toward completion, uncovers revenue opportunities, identifies issues and solves those issues.

    Every week it’s clear how the company is doing, what issues need fixing and who’s doing what and when to solve those issues. It’s a highly effective way to keep everyone on the same page and help the company makes solid progress on issues preventing sustainable revenue growth. 

    6 – Resources

    Last but not least, it all comes down to people. Do you have the right people in the right seats? Do they have the right tools? Are there gaps in their expertise or skills? How can you supplement those gaps with outside resources like contractors and/or agencies? Do you have enough resources to do everything you’ve agreed needs to get done?  

    It’s an important part of the process, and you can’t ignore it or expect people to just work harder. Get these six elements in play and you’ll have all the leads you need to feed your sales team.

    Speaking of the sales team, let’s look at that next.

    2) A Sales Team That Works the Leads

    Want to grow? Add more salespeople. I’ve heard this thousands of times. But I’ve also heard that 80% of revenue typically comes from 20% of the sales reps. So why do companies keep adding salespeople who are ineffective and inefficient?

    Now consider the cost to recruit, train and support new sales reps. How long does it take a new sales rep to hit their stride? Six months? A year? What if they never hit their stride? Fire them and start all over again? It’s an old model that no longer works in today’s highly competitive business environment.

    Instead, consider leaving the hard work to the experts. Let a partner that specializes in recruiting sales reps, training new sales reps and installing sales processes take the lead on getting you a team of salespeople who can take the leads that marketing generates and turn them into new customers for your business.

    Better yet, why not let the experts take the full burden of hiring, training, paying, managing, coaching and making sure the reps produce? Have them take responsibility and accountability for the risk associated with spinning up a new, dynamic and effective sales team.

    If successful, you get to hire your sales team away and off you go. If they fail, your partner takes the burden of replacing and retraining the entire team. It’s a model that is long overdue and available today.

    Finally, a sales team that is selected, trained and managed to take your leads and turn them into revenue.

    3) Sales Training/Coaching That Helps Reps Close

    Now that you have leads and a sales team capable of handling the leads, you still might be missing one key piece.

    Salespeople need a scalable, repeatable system to get them highly effective and efficient. They need ongoing training to help them get great at using the system.

    They need a methodology and framework to follow. You need your salespeople to follow the same process repeatedly, so that no matter who the sales rep is, you can be sure your prospects are getting the same experience. 

    They’re asking the right questions, sending the right emails, getting the right commitments and moving prospects through your sales process efficiently and effectively.

    Most people don’t have sales trainers, don’t invest in sales training and don’t have a framework for questioning prospects or a sales process that is designed to get people to say yes. Building that in-house could take years and hundreds of thousands of dollars.

    After 20 years of working with hundreds of companies on their journey toward repeatable, scalable and predictable revenue generation, it’s crystal clear to me – you need all three of these major pillars to install a revenue generation system that will fuel your growth.

    If even one of these pillars isn’t firing on all cylinders, it’s going to feel like your growth is stuck in the mud.

    Mike Lieberman, CEO and Chief Revenue Scientist headshot
    CEO and Chief Revenue Scientist

    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.

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