Many companies focus on “lead generation”. However, by taking your focus beyond leads and instead focusing on “revenue generation”, you can build your business faster. To that end, here are the top 10 ways for you to take your revenue to another level:
1. Think Revenue Generation (Instead of Lead Generation)
Truly align your sales and marketing teams. Rather than lead generation goals for marketing, set agreed-upon revenue goals for both groups. Also, provide revenue-based incentives to marketing staff, not just sales staff.
2. Consider a Freemium Business Model
Offer a basic or “stripped down” version of your product for free. The freemium business model, conceived by venture capitalist Fred Wilson, drives product adoption and reduces your acquisition costs. Happy users of your free version are built-in sales leads and a great source of viral marketing.
3. Prioritize Recurring, Syndicated Revenue
Add recurring and syndicated revenue to your business model to establish visibility into future revenue streams. Business leaders, potential partners and financial analysts love predictable revenue, which becomes especially important should your company seek to be acquired or go public.
4. Focus on the Funnel
Get your sales and marketing teams laser-focused on your “lead to revenue” funnel. Have them engineer an in-bound marketing strategy that brings targeted customers to your website (via Google, blogs and social medial channels). To triple sales, triple your funnel throughput and output. Examine bottlenecks. For example, if prospects seriously consider your product but bail when they can’t see enough ROI, strengthen your value messaging in the middle of the funnel.
5. Reduce Churn by Selling to the Right Customers
Acquire only customers that won’t quickly churn. Companies that don’t understand their target customers are flying without an altimeter. Avoid going after too many verticals. Gain a clear understanding of who your right customers are. A winning strategy includes choosing who not to sell to. As David Skok advised in his blog, “For Enterpreneurs,” the cost of acquiring customers (CAC) should be significantly less expensive than the long-term value of those customers (LTV).
6. Remember Renewals Early
Closely analyze retention rates and engage renewal customers far ahead of the renewal date. Don’t view renewal as a one-time, “easy money” event. Put special emphasis on first-year renewals, because these clients typically have higher churn. Accelerate renewal rates with a process that includes multiple touch points designed to educate and satisfy existing customers.
7. Anticipate Market Trends
Have Wayne Gretsky-like agility. Said the NHL legend: “I skate to where the puck is going to be, not where it has been.” Successful startups anticipate the direction of their market before competitors can attack – often without the luxury of deep trend or market analysis. Instead, great startups are nimble. They recognize unmet demands through conversations with customers, intuition and by measuring what matters. Then they outpace competitors by adjusting quickly.
8. Seek To Understand Customer Needs
Create an advisory board of key customers and prospects. Also, use social media sites to listen as much as you talk. Listen – glean market trends, customer opinions and competitive insights. Then talk – engage customers and prospects; generate conversations about your offerings; and inform people about white papers, promotional events, etc.
9. Create an All-Star Sales Team
Delve deeply into the unique skills of your “A+” sales pros and hire more reps like them. According to a survey by The Bridge Group, Inc., half of all salespeople failed to meet their quotas in 2009. Furthermore, Forrester Research, Inc. reports that only 38 percent of sales people understand customer issues and can outline how their companies can help. Hire reps who are relentless about winning and have the intelligence to understand and crisply articulate your value proposition. Great salespeople love competing…so turn product knowledge into a fun competition and test them regularly.
10. Buy Only Highest-Quality Data
Put your data vendors to the test. As you buy targeted prospect lists or update and/or append your own lists, ask vendors to create customized sample lists on the spot (make sure you are not getting “rigged” lists of vendors’ best records), test them and measure the bounce rates to determine quality. When you find data worth buying, tell the provider that you want regular updates so you can always have the most current data.