Long-term company performance is determined by revenue growth more than any other metric.
You’re likely to agree with this statement and have begun the difficult task of deciding which key initiatives will help you achieve your 2013 revenue goals.
It’s tedious, complex, and often contentious. Teams are looking at the numbers and allocating budgets to departments to find the best way to make the most of limited resources.
Good planning is essential in today’s business climate. It requires not only an honest assessment of your goals and the actual results but also a consensus on how to fill them moving forward. It is essential to identify, agree and translate the strategy into critical activities that will help you achieve future revenue goals.
Below is a starting point, which I have learned from more experience with this ritual than you care to admit. It can help you clarify the key questions at the beginning of the process. There should be an open dialogue (no slideshows), with someone recording and reviewing the discussions, results and writing a review of what was said. This should be done in a way that minimizes departmental politics and finger-pointing but also considers natural alternatives and refinements to the current situation.
It is essential to gather as much information as possible so that everyone can see where they are and what steps are necessary to achieve their goals. This would seem like a common and natural discussion that occurs every year. These discussions don’t happen as often as they should. However, they can be helpful and a reference point for you as you plan deeper.
Which factors are most successful in driving or inhibiting revenue growth?
What is working?
What should we do more, and what should be done less?
What is the difference between 2013 and last year’s drivers?
What are our collective estimates of the revenue impact of each of these changes on revenue?
What can we do to improve the transparency and directness of our monitoring?
How can you better align marketing and sales to ensure that your pipeline delivers?
How can we align our sales process with the customer’s buying process?
What assumptions are we making? Have we objectively tested those assumptions to make sure they work in the real world of the market?
All key sales and marketing stakeholders should review your pipeline stages together to ensure consistency in terms of timeframes and expected results.
You will need to distinguish between leading and lagging indicators. Discuss how and when you and your team will monitor these metrics. Finally, agree on which metrics are most important in relation to next year’s revenue goals.
These suggestions may prove to be helpful in planning next year’s revenue strategies.
Revenue Factors was founded by John as the CEO and Founder. This company was created to assist senior executives in increasing their revenue with greater predictability and sustainability. He has extensive experience in the design and execution of revenue growth strategies for companies from start-ups to large corporations.