Yesterday morning at Dallas Love Field, I crossed paths with a guy I know who leads a sales team for a $10 million company. Over breakfast at Cantina Laredo (love this place!) I shared my concept behind the Revenue Growth Engine.
We talked about his team and their revenue growth. “Darrell, we’re OK at net-new, but cross-selling… we get too busy and good intentions rarely happen.”
I hear this over and over again from businesses. They are good at net-new business but struggle to cross-sell.
Probing further, I asked, “Why do you think that is?”
“We just get caught up in the day-to-day fires taking care of our customers.”
There it is. In the attempt to provide great customer service, cross-selling goes to the bottom of the list and rarely gets done.
As a result, this company is only growing in the low single digits.
Here’s the problem with this. I happen to know of the owner of this company. He’s a great person. He cares deeply for his employees, creating a good work environment. He also is a giver, generously supporting his church and other local non-profits.
I also know of my friends who work for large, faceless companies. These companies RIF employees at will, discarding them like yesterday’s trash when they need to pad the earnings. The only time they give back is for positive PR.
Good companies need to grow—they must grow. As they do, they create great jobs in good work environments. They provide for the churches and non-profits that make our world better.
So, why was my friend’s company not growing? What stood in the way of their best intentions to cross-sell? Two things: Strategy and Execution.
Growing revenue doesn’t magically happen. Growth requires a strategy. This strategy needs to have two components: net-new business and cross-selling current clients. The strategy should align marketing and sales. Revenue Growth Engine provides the roadmap for this strategy.
To grow, you must execute consistently. In the case of this company, poor operational execution ended up hurting their sales efforts, hence the flat growth. To fix this, I recommended the Entrepreneurial Operating System as outlined in the book Traction by Gino Wickman. Applying these principles supports consistent execution company-wide, freeing up bandwidth to be proactive at net-new AND cross-selling. These operational principles can also be applied to drive marketing and sales excellence as you deploy your Revenue Growth Engine. Plus, these operational principles will help the company handle the (good) issues that come with growth!
WHAT ABOUT YOU?
How is your company doing? Is your revenue growth in the single digits or low teens? If so, what’s holding you back? Do you have a revenue growth strategy? Are you good at execution?
When great companies fix these two issues, they grow. This creates new jobs and more opportunities for existing employees. It generates cash flow that can fuel local non-profits.
Are you ready to grow? Let’s get to work building and fine-tuning your Revenue Growth Engine!
Over the past few months, I’ve had the privilege of leading many management teams through Revenue Growth Workshops to make a plan to drive organic revenue growth. My favorite companies to work with are ones that use Gino Wickman’s EOS (Entrepreneur’s Operating System) Traction methodology to run their business.
Several years ago at Convergo we realized that we needed a way to align our growing team. With more people on board, things were falling through the cracks. Team members, clients, and vendors were starting to get frustrated.
I don’t remember how I found the book, Traction. What I do remember is seeing an endorsement from Rob Dube, President of Image One, at the beginning of the book. This got my attention! We devoured the book and grabbed on to EOS and it began transforming our company.
Since then, we’ve met many office technology dealers and managed IT companies that use Traction to improve their business. Our friends at Great America Financial Services even coach dealers in how to implement Traction.
When it comes to building and executing a Revenue Growth Strategy, Traction companies are a great fit for five reasons:
1. They Have Written Goals
The EOS process challenges companies to write goals on a 10-year, 3-year, 1-year, and 90-day horizons. Traction companies know where they want to go. This is recorded on their VTO (Vision Traction Organizer). When it comes time to make a revenue growth plan, the 3-year revenue goals are documented and agreed upon. This stands in contrast to other dealers whose goals are less specific: “We’d like to get to 15 million.” Goals are dreams with a deadline. Traction companies have real growth goals.
2. They Have Defined Values
When working closely alongside a client’s marketing and sales teams, it’s important that there is value alignment. When we work with Traction companies, we know what their values are. We are also transparent about our values. If there isn’t value alignment, we know upfront and can recommend the company find marketing and sales enablement partners that fit their culture. If there is alignment, we can walk in with confidence, knowing our teams will work well together.
3. They Understand Incremental Improvement
Rome wasn’t built in a day. Neither is a great Revenue Growth Strategy. When it comes time to implement a plan, Traction recommends companies chunk their improvement activities into 90-day rocks. This means that every 90 days the company will focus on getting a few things done rather than trying to do everything at once. Once one rock is in place, you go on to the next one. We deliver marketing and sales enablement services in 90-day sprints.
4. They Appreciate Change Management and Coaching
Traction companies seem to appreciate the reality that you don’t just tell your team about a change and expect them to adopt it. Change needs to be managed. New ways of doing things need a change management plan. They need to be rolled out strategically. And, they need ongoing coaching. For example, when we roll out a Target Account Coverage Plan, it takes more than building some prospecting sequences and doing some Fanatical Prospecting training. There needs to be ongoing coaching of the reps and the management team to make sure the new process sticks. When there is no change management plan or ongoing coaching, the investment is wasted, and even worse, the opportunities are missed.
5. They Value Scorecards
Traction taught us to measure leading indicators. Our key metric with our Revenue Growth Strategy clients is a little different than most marketing companies or sales training partners. We track our client’s revenue growth: number of customers and revenue per customer. Then, we scorecard four key leading indicators related to net-new and cross-selling. (We can explain more when we talk.) The thing we like about working with Traction companies is that they are used to scorecards.
There are many more benefits to working with Traction companies. Their management teams communicate regularly and are on the same page. They are used to honest conversation. They have a cascading message strategy to communicate the vision with their team. Most of all, when a company uses Traction, we know that they are committed to working together to drive profitable growth.
If you use Traction, we’d love to talk with you about how you can build a plan to drive revenue growth. Click here to set up a confidential conversation.
If you don’t use Traction, we encourage you to check it out. It’s an incredibly valuable tool that can help you build a great company.
For more growth ideas, check out this article: Consistent Execution: The Secret To Revenue Growth