Leaders must rethink how they source leads, manage pipelines, and harness their resources to grow their business more effectively.
Rather than being overwhelmed, the best leaders have figured out how to overcome the complexity it takes to generate market growth.
They have a Growth Plan“
Planning on revenue growth is one of the most critical components in today’s business world. After all, it is the only method available to create new revenue, in a systematic and sustainable manner. It is also. one of the least understood. We all know our costs to the 4th decimal place.
In contrast, revenue generation seems like a black box.
Create value to gain a premium price by Prof. Neil Rackham (Sales guru)
Here are seven common mistakes that we regularly see when developing and executing a growth plan.
- Not concentrating resources: A good sales strategy looks at all available resources and concentrates them on a few carefully chosen options – to move the market in your favour.
- Failure to understand the customer: Even the largest companies cannot effectively compete in every market. By now, most leaders understand that segmenting the customers is vital. Why then do we still see broad labels such as “women” still crop up. Women make up 52% of the whole market. Don’t our mothers have different needs to our daughters? For optimum results, we need to overcome the fear of specialisation; we need to target a few narrow, well defined customer segments and the problems that your solutions can potentially solve for these customers.
- Over-estimation of business development capabilities: In golf, knowing that we need to hit the fairway and hitting it are two vastly different scenarios. Similarly, it is easy to not fully grasp what it takes to execute the sales strategy once you have identified and secured access to the correct customers. Invest in the business development skills of your front-line to convert the leads from the launch of your next new offering to obtain real results from executing your strategy. Early success is also a terrific motivation tool – share this success.
- Failure to get buy-in from the team for the sales strategy: Leadership embrace change readily, employees often fear it or fight it. True leadership requires getting buy-in from those you lead. It will make your job easier when executing the sales strategy, if you have engaged and aligned your team before you finalise your sales strategy. Imposing a new strategy top-down is easy, but does not work unless you have buy-in.
- Under-estimation of time requirements to effect the changes: Change is key for any business to remain relevant and grow. Change always takes time. Ensure that you allow adequate time for the full impact of the sales strategy, to be understood, and executed by your front-line.
- Failure to orchestrate the plan for growth: World class companies create a culture for growth based on the long-game. They focus on the pivot role – first line managers. They make business development a key priority. They look beyond individual skills to develop organisational capabilities, enhancing customer-centric execution. They invest more time in the field with customers. They look beyond the short term profit by creating the correct tempo for executing the sales strategy. This requires you to orchestrate your plan in many dimensions, with multiple stakeholders. The growth plan is only a starting point.
- Not measuring the success of the growth plan: Once you have the growth plan in place and the new strategy has been launched, it is inevitable that conversations start to fade away after an initial burst of excitement and curiosity. A few months down the road and you have no idea if things are on track. This is a big gotcha moment that derails many transformation programs. Both quantitative and qualitative factors need to be used when measuring sales strategy execution – along with a clear focus on what defines success. This work has to be done at the outset, before launching the new strategy.
How many of these seven bullets can you dodge? How will your company manage the growth plan to fulfil the potential, as desired and planned?