By Karen Dunne-Squire, Elation Experts
As a business owner do you find yourself dreaming of a nice healthy graph plotting steady organic growth; a consistent but manageable increase in revenue, with controlled overheads and sustained profit margins; a business that is developing new customers steadily and regularly maintaining growth targets.
Unfortunately, in over 25 years in business, I have rarely seen a company that has achieved this goal without complex merger or acquisition. Businesses which rely on achieving growth by increasing output will, eventually stall. They hit a plateau. The practices and processes internally within the business reach their saturation point. They cannot achieve any more sales without doing things.
Unless a merger or acquisition is an option that a business wants to take up this means it’s time to think about something new. You’ll need a new idea and the corresponding new actions to generate dynamic growth.
Over the last 10 years I have been working on defining the characteristics of highly successful businesses to understand how they harness growth.
To support a dynamic approach to business growth you need the follow three pillars:
Pillar 1: The Client Journey
The experience that your customer has when they work with your business is everything.
Really robust businesses, that exceed their own growth expectations, have very diverse and well-planned customer journeys. As well as a highly tuned customer experience they have internal processes that create productivity and efficiency.
Dynamic businesses will be thinking today about specifically what experience their customer has when dealing with their business and will be asking questions about how to enhance the quality and content of that journey. Really high quality sales process methodology will allow your business to draw in more customers and make more revenue and ultimately generate more profit.
NEXT STEP: Put time into interrogating the experience that customers have when working with you. What are the stages that they move through? Is the way that you and your team interact with your customers well defined and diverse? Is their experience one of consistently high quality? Unless the journey your customers undertake is smooth and effective your business will be losing money.
Pillar 2: The Client Communication
The customer communications pillar within your business deals with every communication that your customer is exposed to and looks at how it impacts their decision-making. As the range of channels increases, a smart business will look closely at its communications pillar.
Whether it be the quality of the telephone calls that your salespeople are making to your customers, or the software you use to generate proposal, a really strong communication pillar embraces multiple channels and creates high quality guidelines around how these channels are to be used.
It is not simply a case of using email, it is a case of crafting an email that has a powerful impact within the sales communications pillar. Keep your eye on the content, structure, tone and delivery of every sales and marketing activity. If your customer communications are not of the highest possible standards, you will not be achieving the highest possible results.
NEXT STEP: Make sure that you evaluate your customer communications. Go back to basics. Look at all your communications and check them for quality. Setup clear communications guidelines and make sure that your entire team is across them and implementing them.
Pillar 3: People Management
The management area of your business refers to the processes and practises that your organisation uses to ensure that your customer journey is implemented to the highest possible standard.
Within the area of management, you need to look at the structure of your business to ensure you have the right number of resources and that each person is working in the right fit in the right role.
With the right people in place, you need to be thinking about how they communicate with one another. How can you train and develop those resources to ensure they have the highest possible skill set? Understand how performance is managed in an organisation to ensure that everyone is driving towards the right goals and achieving the right targets. All these areas form the management culture shaping your business.
NEXT STEP: Review all the members of your team. Are they the right fit? Are they where they can best perform and let their skills truly shine? Is additional training required? Is everyone aligned with the vision for the business?
Focusing on the three pillars is a great way to drive the growth in your business successfully.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Karen Dunne-Squire is founder of Elation Experts, which is on a mission to empower SME’s by giving them the knowledge and skills to increase revenue, build powerful sales opportunities and create committed, loyal teams that are motivated to drive change.