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You are sick, dummy! Call a (revenue) doctor!

You are sick, dummy! Call a (revenue) doctor!

March 1, 2016
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I keep finding my clients do not know they are sick.

There is an old expression: “whistling past the graveyard.” It means to display a false sense of confidence in the face of a dire situation. Too many times, I get called in to consult when it is almost too late because owners or execs have been whistling past the graveyard and ignoring the signs of (revenue) sickness.

I am sometimes SHOCKED by what I see. People don’t know they are sick, and part of the problem is a crappy ability to self-diagnose.

It’s not like there is a lack of indicators businesses can use to gauge their health. Things like average sale, gross margins, cost per sale, cost of client acquisition, revenue per client, lifetime value of client, industry growth rate, market share, and client satisfaction/engagement numbers are very concrete metrics – which can shed a lot of light.  Even something as simple as creating a sales process with specific steps can show conversion rates between steps. The point is, recording the data allows you to track, establish patterns, and tweak.

But surprisingly, most people don’t know their sales process or metrics.  And most companies are more internally focused than externally. And VERY FEW are focused on the most important perspective – the buyers.

Now, if you don’t know your metrics…how can you possibly formulate strategy and plan around it? If you don’t even know that you are sick, how can you cure yourself?

You simply can’t. So that’s where self-diagnosis comes in.

Questions to self-diagnose your business

In my experience as not only a consultant, but as an entrepreneur who has “been there” through lots of sleepless nights, personal guarantees, and blood, sweat and tears to build my own companies, the more questions below which are answered “True,” the better a company’s health is.

  1. Are you continuously voicing your vision to your employees so they know where you are heading?
    _____True.  _____Somewhat true. _____False.
  2. Do they know “what’s in it for them” if they achieve your mission?
    _____True.  _____Somewhat true. _____False.
  3. Do you have a succinct, readable, understandable business plan – that gets read and used?
    _____True.  _____Somewhat true. _____False.
  4. Is there a formal sales and marketing plan?
    _____True.  _____Somewhat true. _____False.
  5. Do you have a clear, repeatable, and scalable Lead Generation, Sales and Marketing process?
    _____True.  _____Somewhat true. _____False.
  6. Do you clearly understand your buyer?  Demo, psycho, geo, etc.  For example: “We sell to Persian females between the age of 35 – 60 in San Diego County who have the titles CIO, CFO, and CEO and work for companies in the healthcare industry with 25 – 200 employees and are willing to invest $200 per employee on XYZ.”
    _____True.  _____Somewhat true. _____False.
  7. Are you clear on your messaging: why your customers came to you, what they like about you, and what they don’t like about you?
    _____True.  _____Somewhat true. _____False.
  8. Can your employees succinctly explain how the company provides value to your customers? (IMPORTANT: This must be understood from the BUYER’S PERSPECTIVE)
    _____True.  _____Somewhat true. _____False.
  9. Do you understand your competition?  What they are great at; where they are vulnerable?
    _____True.  _____Somewhat true. _____False.
  10. Have you developed “battle cards” to equip your team to expose the competition’s vulnerabilities when going head to head.
    _____True.  _____Somewhat true. _____False.
  11. Is everyone “chunking down” the company’s overall plan into parts they can manage from their scope of responsibility…and getting their part done?
    _____True.  _____Somewhat true. _____False.
  12. Are individual, departmental, and divisional plans all in complete alignment with the overall mission and each other, and there are “no other fish to fry?”
    _____True.  _____Somewhat true. _____False.
  13. Are you managing and rewarding people based on their performance figures — rather than on whether you personally like them or on politics?
    _____Somewhat true. _____False.
  14. Do you measure results based on how well you are executing and realizing your vision, rather than just quarterly profits or stock price?
    _____Somewhat true. _____False.
  15. Does everyone know how they directly contribute to revenue, and have plans for increasing it from their zone of responsibility?
    _____True.  _____Somewhat true. _____False.
  16. Are you incentivizing and rewarding them fairly for their contributions to increased revenue?
    _____True.  _____Somewhat true. _____False.
  17. Do you have a meeting matrix? (who attends what meeting for what reason)
    _____True.  _____Somewhat true. _____False.
  18. Are you a sales organization? (If, at the next all-employee meeting, you ask the team to raise their hands if they are in sales — and EVERYONE does not raise their hand…)
    _____True.  _____Somewhat true. _____False.
  19. Do you randomly choose an employee to tell you the company Vision, Mission, Values and identify your Buyer Persona (Avatar). Suggest you give them a $20 every time you ask and they get it right…makes it fun.
    _____True.  _____Somewhat true. _____False.
  20. Do you understand your industry benchmarks? (i.e. – you feel great that you are growing at 10%, but everyone else growing at 30%)
    _____True.  _____Somewhat true. _____False.
  21. Do your employees feel like owners with a personal stake in the company’s success, and not just employees with a mere job?
    _____True.  _____Somewhat true. _____False.

I know how hard it is to sell, and how hard it is to build a successful company. I know about personal guarantees, sleepless nights, scrambling to make payroll.  I know how hard it is to deal with customers, employees, difficult vendors, lawyers, bankers, poor morale, layoffs – and the lack of revenue to afford necessary resources. I know the personal turmoil which results when a company is “sick.”  Healthy revenue solves SO MANY PROBLEMS!

A strong vision, effective planning, and a sound methodology for driving revenue are the way out. When solutions are formulated with the buyer’s perspective in mind, and plans and processes drive that strategy forward – magic happens.

Revenue flows. Sick companies can become healthy again.

In this post, I gave you some tools to self-diagnose and start your journey towards business health. But just like there are times to head to the trained, experienced MD – there are times to call a Revenue Doctor.

If your company is in need of a thorough revenue health assessment, call me. No cost to chat. (760) 815-4464

 

 

 

 

 

 

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