The Fundamentals of Growing Revenue

Jan 16


Jim Logan

Jim Logan

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If you want to grow your ... revenue, the most critical thing to get straight in your mind is that there are in fact only three ways to grow revenue - you can get more new ... you can inc


If you want to grow your company's revenue,The Fundamentals of Growing Revenue Articles the most critical thing to get straight in your mind is that there are in fact only three ways to grow revenue - you can get more new customers, you can increase the value of your average sale, and you can get more repeat business. That's it...there are no other ways.

This sounds simple enough - and it is!

You need to keep this reality on the forefront of each marketing and sales activity you undertake and target one or more of these ways to grow revenue in each campaign you undertake to seek more business. Use it as a "litmus test" for each prospective customer interaction and communication.

Get More New Customers
Getting more new customers is a result of successfully executing on two broad objectives - increasing your prospective customer's awareness of your offering and communicating with your customer from their perspective of the benefits of your product or service. If you can achieve these two things, you can increase your number of new customers.

Increase Your Prospective Customer's Awareness of Your Offering
More than just simply creating leads, creating awareness is about establishing a brand. You have to be known for something, you need a message, and you need a "voice" that speaks consistently about your benefits and why customers should want to do business with your company. By consistent, we mean your "voice" should be heard from your web-site, presentations, tag-line, mailers, sales letters, demonstrations, etc.

Communicate From Your Customer's Perspective
Put yourself in the shoes of your customer for a moment. Looking at your offering from their sole perspective, what exactly does your product or services do for them? Forget the products and services you provide, these are just the things that enable the benefits you provide your customers. Think instead about the solutions you are providing, the use of your products and services, the "things" within their business that you're enabling. These are the "things" that your customers are really buying.

A huge mistake many companies make in the presentation of their products and services is made in their initial contact and meeting with a customer. The initial contact is the encounter whereby the customer is first introduced to the products and services your company offers. The mistake is most company's introduction of their offering focuses on their products and service, not on the benefits they offer their customers. What happens in this case is the prospective customer has to interpret everything they are being told about the features and functionalities of a product or service into something that is meaningful to them. This interpretation is where many sales opportunities are lost; the customer doesn't understand what they gain by employing your offering.

The main point here is that you need to be sure you're presenting your products and services in the context your customer is thinking: "What do I get from using your products and services?"

Increase the Value of Your Average Sale
You can likely sell your current products and services at a greater price than you are today. We've found time and again opportunities to actually increase the price of an offering or stay out of a "price-discounting" discussion with a prospective customer, even in a highly competitive sales environment.

"What's the secret?" The "secret" is to sell from your customer's perspective and get the buying criteria focused on your "orange."

Selling from your customer's perspective means you forget the speeds, feeds, features, and functionality of your offering. Instead, you communicate from the benefits your customer is most likely to value as a result of using your product or service. This point could never be over stated, you need to communicate from the perspective your customer brings to the conversation.

The greatest sales "mistake" you can make is to be so rapped-up in your own offering, all you do is talk, present, and demonstrate endlessly about how great your product or service is...speaking tirelessly about the wonderful features and functionality you offer. All this does is leave the real selling up to your customer, making them interpret your features and functionality into benefits they value.

The results of selling features and functionality is your customer often commodities your offering, reduces your value to a spec sheet, and compares your features and functionality to other vendors in an eventual "price war" to win their business.

When I talk about a business "orange", I am speaking about the difference you offer as compared to your competition. Note, I am not talking about your product or service features and functionality...I'm talking about the uniqueness you offer your customer. This could be the expertise behind your solution, your customer support willingness or availability, your terms of business, your guarantee, your price model, your unique perspective on the benefits your customer values, etc. The objective here is to position yourself in the sales opportunity in such a way as to never allow your competition to draw a true apples-to-apples comparison of your offering. You always remain an "orange" to a competitor's "apple"...regardless of the opportunity.

It is amazing how often I've encountered companies that let their customer and competitor draw apple-to-apple comparisons of their product or service when they easily could have raised the stakes by making their heritage, pedigree, past success or creativeness in their market change their customer's buying criteria. By selling your "orange" you insulate yourself from direct comparisons to other vendors and in turn, make it more difficult for your customer to commoditize your offering. This means you are more protected from having to discount your offering. A premium price can often be justified.

Get More Repeat Business
An important question to ask yourself is if your business or offering disappeared tomorrow, what would your customers really loose? Do you offer anything beyond your products that create loyalty in your install-base of customers?

You want to look for opportunities to add value well beyond your basic offering. The objective is to have your customer value something about your relationship with them beyond your basic offering. This value could be information, insight or consultation, possibly supported by a position of preeminence. Value in this context can be delivered via newsletters, whitepapers or periodic presentations on subjects such as market updates, industry trends, topics of interest, etc.

Do you communicate with your customers regularly? While not appropriate for every business, do you have a 90 or 120 day business review with your new customers? Can you become a source of information that your customer can't live without?

Look for Opportunities to Align Your Price Model for Recurring Revenue
Look for recurring revenue within your current offering. When your customers purchase from you, do they pay once or are there opportunities for them to purchase time and again?

For service offerings, recurring revenue may be obvious; customers likely buy from you each time they consume your service. However, there may be additional means to recurring revenue by packaging your services differently that they are now or adding new services that are natural additions to your core offering.

For product offerings, there may be these same natural reasons to purchase again and again. If you have more than one product or service offering, are they linked? Do your customer's see more than one product or service when they look at what you have to offer? Does your pricing model and product "packaging" lend itself to recurring or one time purchases?

Look for a service offering for each product you have in the marketplace. Support and maintenance offerings are often thought of, but look beyond the obvious. Are there customer needs for consulting or informational solutions in support of your products and services? Don't overlook opportunities to partner in providing add-on products and services

Getting more repeat business is about customers buying routinely...and it starts well before the first purchase. The easiest sale you ever make should be to an existing customer.