This is a guest post by Matt Falls.
The primary challenge of CEOs is to generate revenue with acceptable margins. Companies must develop new customers while expanding their beachhead in existing accounts. The drive for revenue growth requires that the CEO focus the whole revenue generation team – from marketing to customer service – on the goal of generating revenue.
A company focused on generating revenue works together as a cohesive unit through marketing, opportunity identification, qualification and proposal development. Here are five ways a CEO can create a culture focused on generating revenue:
1. Install a Customer Relationship Management system (CRM)
The primary reason for the CRM is to generate revenue; it is not the end goal. It is a highly useful tool to organize the revenue generation team’s activities, share information about potential revenue opportunities, set performance metrics and provide the information to better manage the company.
Businesses use the information in the CRM to reinforce the revenue culture with team revenue meetings, by creating dashboards that measure activity and performance, to inform coaching sessions that improve performance and to gauge the effectiveness of marketing activities.
2. Hold team revenue review sessions
A key part of establishing the revenue culture is to hold team meetings where the entire revenue generation team focuses on finding the path to revenue. In this meeting, each team member presents their opportunities, products and services proposed, the flow of conversation, competitors, the decision makers, objections and their strategy for winning the business.
The entire team listens and contributes ideas to help close the business. There may be new products and services to propose, a key introduction, or helpful sales techniques are passed along. The entire team works together to close the business.
A similar meeting is held to discuss open customer service cases. Business development uses the information in these meetings to find revenue opportunities and works with line managers to present a solution to the customer. Line managers have the relationships, knowledge of customer challenges and credibility with the customer. Combined with business development’s knowledge of product applications and solutions, they expand the company’s presence in customer accounts.
3. Set goal dashboards to measure activity and performance
Critical to supporting the revenue culture are performance metrics that measure contribution to revenue. Dashboards track activity and performance goals for marketing, business development and customer service teams. Marketing goals such as qualified leads generated and dollar return on marketing campaigns are monitored along with activity goals such as campaigns launched. Customer service’s contribution to revenue is measured not only by cases completed, but also opportunities presented to business development.
Dashboards tell the CEO the most effective marketing channels, the size of the revenue pipeline, revenue forecasts based on probability of win, and the activities that team members are completing to convert opportunities to winning business.
4. Hold monthly individual reviews focused on improving ability to win business
Many companies use annual or twice yearly performance reviews to provide feedback on team members’ performance. Companies that are focused on generating revenue use the performance information in the CRM to provide a higher degree of guidance to individual team members. Individual performance dashboards highlight opportunities, revenue, cases resolved and activity levels.
Performance reviews can focus on improving the team member’s ability to win business, resolve cases or find opportunities. Action items can be created and assigned for follow up in the next month’s review session. With close guidance, individual performance improves and the team wins more business.
5. Measure marketing’s contribution to revenue
When the revenue culture is established in companies, marketing activities are directly connected to the practice of revenue generation. Campaigns are evaluated on the leads that are generated and the revenue that is produced from them.
Marketing makes better investments by tracking the leads and revenue that are generated by each marketing activity. Monthly review sessions facilitate a culture of continuous improvement by highlighting the activities that are generating leads and revenue and modifying marketing activities based on that information.
Highly successful companies create a revenue culture by measuring contribution to revenue, sharing information about potential opportunities and working together to win business, setting performance goals and holding review sessions that improve team member’s ability to generate revenue.
This post is an excerpt of an article that originally appeared at http://matthewfalls.com/five-ways-to-create-a-revenue-culture/, and was adapted and reprinted with permission.
Matthew Falls helps emerging companies that need a seasoned executive to fill out their senior team. He focuses on driving organic revenue, tapping the expertise of employees to reduce costs, creating innovation teams that transform ideas into highly profitable products, inspiring teams to win more business and creating internal controls and cost systems that sustain profitability. You can email Matthew to learn more.