The Four Highest Impact Revenue Growth Accelerators

Highlights

  • Scaling revenue growth doesn't occur from one-off business development programs. It happens pursuant to rigorous adoption of holistic strategies that work together to systemically increase customer acquisitions, customer share and customer retention.
  • There is a short list of four high impact business development programs that most accelerate scaled business growth.
  • Research shows that the top 15 percent of revenue growth companies applied four overarching programs far more so than their lower performing peers. This post shares those four revenue accelerators.
Johnny Grow Revenue Growth Consulting

Companies seeking growth often look to improve marketing to acquire more leads, improve sales to win more deals or improve customer service to uplift and retain more customers. Each program can be effective but is generally limited to a departmental contribution.

If you really want to maximize company growth you need to apply programs that drive an all-of-company impact. Research published in the Business Growth Report found that four revenue acceleration programs stood above all others in accelerating business growth. These programs were found to be revenue expansion superpowers for the companies that successfully adopted them.

Revenue Accelerators

1

Corporate Culture

Corporate culture is the implicit shared values, unspoken behaviors and social norms that recognize what is encouraged, discouraged, rewarded and penalized. It's created over time, either by design or happenstance.

Every company has a culture. Most low performance cultures are a consequence of unplanned activities, unforeseen behaviors and random outcomes. In contrast, high performance cultures are intentional, proactively designed and in a constant state of awareness and improvement.

A high-performance company culture carefully defines, measures and reinforces shared company values that drive desired behaviors. These behaviors then determine the quality and volume of employee effort. And that determines staff productivity, and the quality and amount of work that gets done.

There are 3 reasons why culture is a revenue accelerator.

  1. First, as companies grow the CEO and leadership team can no longer be the do'ers. They must shift to delegation and achieve a force multiplier effect. Culture accelerates staff desire to step up, assume accountability and be integral to the company's growth plan.
  2. Second, there are a lot of things the company can do to drive growth. But the one thing that will directly impact every other is company culture. It's the human performance engine that directly impacts the level of success, or failure, for every business strategy and revenue initiative. It's a precursor and top contributing factor to anything and everything that requires employee effort.
  3. Corporate culture is a differentiator. Which is why culture is one of only four sustainable competitive advantages.

Culture is both the biggest enabler of strategy and business performance, and the main obstacle to change and transformation. But everybody knows that. What most don't know is how to improve culture, or achieve a corporate culture that energizes staff, increases productivity, and improves employee loyalty. For these benefits you need a framework with a roadmap, phase gates and milestones.

To create a high-performance growth culture, we recommend a 5 step Framework called Culture by Design to define the culture pillars (company identity, purpose, mission, vision and values), design the employee experience, integrate the customer experience, and implement the business processes and information systems to bring consistency, measurement and automation.

Culture Eats Strategy for Breakfast

Until you achieve a high-performance culture, you will not achieve your company's potential. Your business strategies, operational initiatives, staff productivity and employee tenure will remain at comparatively lower levels. This permits any competitor with a high-performance culture to outpace your company. A high-performance company culture is not easy to achieve, which is why those who do outperform those who do not.

2

Company Innovation

Innovation is the process of converting a novel idea into a unique product, service or experience that creates value. It may consist of new or improved products and services. It can also include new ways for customers to acquire, consume, use, experience or benefit from products or services.

Innovation is needed to avoid commoditization. The continuously accelerating commoditization of products and services deteriorates revenues and margins and eventually makes any business irrelevant.

Innovation is no longer reserved to billionaires, eccentrics and unique thinkers such as Elon Musk or Steve Jobs. While innovation has crossed that chasm, we recognize more executives would innovate if they knew how or could leverage a replicable process.

Fortunately, while innovation is not prescriptive, it does follow a pattern that can be repeated. Johnny Grow depicts that pattern in its 5-stage innovation methodology shown below.

Johnny Grow Innovation Framework

It's a structured and repeatable framework to what is otherwise an unstructured and mysterious challenge. It's a mature approach that brings measurement, visibility and predictability to the innovation process.

It's also built on customer insights. That's important because successful innovation is less about dreaming up the next big thing and more about listening to your customers. They will tell you what they want, and how to improve your products or services, or create something new they are willing to pay for. But you must ask them.

Automation can help. CRM software capabilities such as Voice of the Customer (VoC) can capture and tabulate customer problems that matter. Problems that need solutions.

Companies that collaborate with customers during product design, manufacturing, distribution, sales, service and returns create more valuable products and services. They are also far more likely to create break-through solutions that achieve competitive differentiation and price premiums.

3

Customer Affinity

Pretty much all revenue comes from customers. That's why customer affinity is a revenue accelerator.

Customer affinity is achieved by knowing your customers better than your competitors, and applying that knowledge to better serve them, solve for them, build relationships with them, and earn their loyalty.

It's no easy task to perform at scale because customer demands are fluid and increasing. Customers are more connected, informed and demanding, and have more options. They expect relevant and personalized products, services and experiences at the minimum.

To be successful a synergistic combination of customer strategy and CRM technology are needed.

Customer strategies may include digital transformation, customer experience management, omni-channel customer engagement, CRM and loyalty programs. Each of these customer strategies have overlap but are unique and deliver unique benefits. Technology can then apply automation for customer engagement and gather customer insights to improve relevancy and personalization.

Customer Strategy Framework

A Forrester report titled, Gauge Your CRM Maturity, summed up the staying power of customer affinity nicely. It shared the quote below.

"The competitive differentiation that companies achieve through brand, manufacturing, distribution, and IT is table stakes. The only source of competitive advantage is the one that can survive technology fueled disruption — an obsession with understanding, delighting, connecting with, and serving customers. This means that effectively managing your company's relationships with those who buy your company's products and services has never been more important."

— Kate Leggett, Forrester Analyst

That advice reinforces that customer affinity is enabled by technology, but not displaced by continuous technology disruptions. Understanding, engaging and delighting customers is a business strategy that is not easily duplicated by competitors or displaced with new technology innovation.

In fact, growing customer relationships for mutual value creates a connection that can withstand disruptive technologies, competitor encroachment and the erosion of all other competitive advantages.

4

Business Intelligence

Most companies are data rich and information poor. Business Intelligence (BI) can fix that.

Often just called revenue analytics or decision support, BI can achieve a 360-degree view of the business and deliver the right information at every customer moment of truth. That is every point where the customer decides whether to accept or forego a company communication, offer, proposal or other engagement.

BI can determine the optimal combination of content, offer, channel and timing for each type of customer. It can also use automation to deliver that intelligence where it can be applied to increase customer acquisitions and customer lifetime value.

But making BI a revenue accelerator is a 4-part formula.

  1. Data transformation is needed to convert data from an unused byproduct to actionable information. When done at scale, this transforms data from a raw material to the company’s most valuable asset.
  2. BI tools such as Interactive dashboards, drill-down reports and predictive analytics are needed to get the right information to the right person at the right time so they can improve a customer interaction or make a more informed decision.
  3. Information insights are needed to elevate information from being merely interesting to inducing action. Information is powerless unless and until it creates action.
  4. A data driven culture is needed to deliver the last mile of BI. Management must promote a culture that shifts decision making from intuitive, gut-based and subjective decisions to data-driven, fact-based and objective decisions. This is often done with what many analytics experts call at DDOM (data driven operating model).

A recurring pattern among low growth companies is that they don't know what actions deliver the biggest financial results, so they pursue the easiest or the most familiar instead of the most effective. This results in incremental and often temporary gains and preserves business as usual. It's one of the most common reasons companies fail to grow.

Data and analytics can show how data rolls up throughout the enterprise to produce financial results. It allows pro forma modeling to compare alternatives and trade-offs and plot the shortest path to the desired destination.

Revenue Growth Predictive Analytics

High growth companies demonstrate the ability to collect and curate the right data, transform data to information that creates differentiating products, services and customer experiences, and apply analytics to make insights actionable at every customer engagement and decision point.

See the four business growth programs that stood above all others in accelerating company revenue.

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