Increasing Sales in Business
When addressing the most critical challenges in business, revenue will unequivocally be among top priorities. But how often do we see the big picture? How often do we try to understand the amount of moving parts that are there in the success of a particular product or a business? Let us separate them and look at them individually and understand their importance and contribution.
It all starts with that! And the impact it has on the consumer. If this goes wrong during the R&D stage, what might follow later is a “domino effect”. Some marketing folks might disagree and say “your product is as good as your marketing” but let’s be honest, what would they rather have? A genuinely exceptional and innovative product? Or a mediocre attempt, with intent to make money being a substitute? Any product/service will not be considered tangible by consumers if it does not help solve a major problem. Must one always have the consumer at the centre of the product experience and build the surrounding product (not the opposite). The right product gives much fewer worries to the stakeholders when looking at annual company growth numbers.
This is as important as getting the product right. A lot of new businesses failed to create an impact despite having a fantastic product due to bad people strategies and in some cases no strategy at all. Successful companies focus and spend a lot on their people in education, skill development, enablement, and empowerment. This creates a unique and very healthy company culture. According to a study, it is estimated that by 2020, 50% of the workforce will be Millennials and Generation Z as well. It further adds that the young workforce of today is most likely to refuse 1/3rd salary hike and choose to remain loyal with their current employer because of the culture and growth opportunities that may come due to the learning that they are receiving. Investing in people develops top talent, breeds loyalty, increases motivation & productivity and tantamount to “top-line” and “bottom line” growth. Futuristic business leaders have already accepted the fact that their people are their biggest asset and are not afraid to invest in them.
Approaching sales augmentation strategy is dependent on multiple factors in a company’s current stage of business.
∙ A Start-up must focus on getting the product right by leveraging market research and hiring the right people for the right job, matching their skills to the short-term and mid-term goals of the company. The short-term goal should not be generating immediate revenues and showing profits to the investors but getting the product right by choosing the right people. Define clear processes and accountability for targeted goals and handling issues that may come. Ensure the “voice of the customer” is captured and use analytics to help align your product development strategy. Remember, there are plenty of years to sell if your product is relevant.
∙ An SMB which is already on the way towards their long-term goal achievement must start focusing on their process improvement. Operational excellence is paramount as it helps reduce risks and Op-Ex while improving productivity. Equally important is people strategy and talent retention. Losing people at this stage could be detrimental and it can be controlled by having a core team in place. This team must have top talent, people who have been with the company since the beginning and who have given invaluable contributions. Identify and prepare those future leaders, innovators, administrators, etc. across various departments as their loyalty will help build a future enterprise.
∙ Large Enterprises often struggle with sustainability issues like product life cycles, customer retention, and innovation. But when a company grows to the tune of $1 Billion or more in size, what most business leaders’ fear is the value proposition of their company becoming irrelevant. We will explore some strategies to mitigate such challenges below.
Customer vs Products
There are typically 4 revenue growth strategies and their expected business growth outcomes.
▪ Sell new products to new customers. (3% growth)
▪ Sell existing products to new customers. (10% growth)
▪ Sell existing products to existing customers. (15% growth)
▪ Sell new products to existing customers. (25% growth)
Before the internet age and disruptions began, it was considered that keeping a client is 6 times cheaper than going out and find a new one. In today’s date, it is probably 20-25 times cheaper than finding new clients is extremely challenging. Therefore client retention is of utmost importance if we want sustainable revenue growth. But we also want to grow our market share, therefore it is important to find new customers and sell them our existing and new products as well. Sales teams should focus 75% of their time on existing customers as that is what drives revenue growth and 25% on acquiring new ones. Remember, sustainable growth needs a focused strategy!
The future roadmap and success of companies largely depend on R&D spends and efforts in creating new products. Market research will probably pave the way in creating breakthrough products and excellence in innovation. Sustainability is never easy to achieve, in fact, is an ongoing and never-ending process. But without innovation and evolution, the industry has seen many success stories turn to dust.
It would be unwise to isolate sales as an independent process and trying to augment it without synergies with other business functions and aspects. Approaching this problem from a “10,000 feet view” allows us to see the interconnections and complexities of our business. When we have a multidimensional view while trying to foster revenue growth, we are in a much better position to take well-informed decisions and minimize assumptions.