At Rise Interactive, we had an amazing run at growing our business. We were on the Inc 500/5000 for nine years in a row and the Crain’s Fast 50 for three years in a row. When I look at what caused the success, I honestly believe that if other companies follow these few simple rules, they could have equal success in growing their business.
- Make it Happen: You cannot just “wish” for growth to happen, you need to make it happen. It has to be a part of your organization’s DNA at all levels. And your actions and investments should be driving growth.
- Maximize Sales, Marketing and Innovation: Your goal should be to continually think of ways to increase the percentage of revenue that is dedicated to sales, marketing, and innovation. These areas are key to fueling growth, creating and maintaining your competitive advantage, and getting your products and services in front of your customers.
It is absolutely crucial to go through an annual budgeting process to ensure that you are strategically allocating your resources to the area that will generate the highest return.
- Revenue Projections by Month: We have found it crucial to break-down your annual revenue goals into monthly milestones. This is the foundation for starting your marketing plan since you will need to understand how many customers you need to achieve by month. Once you know this, you need to determine the feasibility of achieving this goal, especially in the short term.
- Sales, Marketing and Innovation Allocation: It is during this process you should go through each line item to determine if it is more important than allocating towards sales, marketing and innovation. The goal is to maximize your investments in these three areas which will help you fuel the growth of your business.
Own Your Target Audience:
- Focus on a Specific Target Audience: It is impossible to be great at all things for all people. So to ensure that you have a strong differentiator, you will need to focus your time and energy on a very specific target audience. The smaller your budget, the more narrow your focus should be.
- Go All-In on This Audience: Your products/services, innovation, sales, and marketing should all be focused on this target audience. By doing this, you will create a strong differentiator, which will increase your win rate with new customers and retention of existing clients.
Outreach Strategy & Tactics:
- Ready for Prime Time: Once you understand your target audience and your customer acquisition goal per month, you can develop a strategy on how you will acquire these customers and achieve your goals.
- A Few Things Great: My recommendation for your sales and outreach tactics is to go all-in on a few sales/marketing tactics to acquire customers versus trying to do a little of everything.
- Foundation of Analytics: The key to analytics is to determine the questions you need to answer, the data necessary to answer those questions, and a solid reporting and visualization infrastructure.
- Key Questions for Propelling Growth: As it relates to propelling growth, there are a few key questions that you should be able to answer at any time. Below are a few questions that are crucial to being able to answer:
- What percentage of your revenue do you allocate to sales, marketing and innovation?
- How many customers do you need to acquire by month?
- How many real opportunities do you need to achieve your customer acquisition goals?
- How long is the sales cycle from opportunities to acquiring a customer?
- If you are behind your plan, what levers can you pull right away to drive demand?
In conclusion, if you want to propel growth, you cannot expect it to magically happen. You need to make it happen by having laser-like focus on your target audience, as well as allocate as much as possible to sales, marketing, and innovation. You will then need to build the analytics infrastructure to determine how your investments are performing and ensure that you are constantly improving the ROI of your sales, marketing and innovation. If you follow these five steps, you will absolutely be on your way to propelling growth.