At the heart of your business should be a revenue machine, a set of systems that drives revenue and enables your company to move forward – and ultimately enables you to do the things you really want to do.
When you set out to build a business, you may be driven by passion. You may have grand ambitions, visionary mission statements, and a sincere desire to change the world. However, the foundation on which a successful business is built is revenue.
Revenue is the fuel that will drive you to the heights to which you aspire, and it simply has to be the core focus of any founder or executive team.
Growing your company’s revenue base is the most important action you can take. Building a business around your passion makes plenty of sense, but you must consider how to turn that passion into revenue – or surround yourself with people who can.
That’s because your passion, however inspiring and contagious it is, will not automatically make the phone ring and ensure that people spend their money on your products and services. It could make you excellent at providing it, but it doesn’t make you able to fund it.
Only when you have cash flowing through your business will you have the freedom to choose how to use it, whether that is investing in marketing, hiring more people, creating a new set of products and services, or donating it to charity.
How a Revenue Machine is Like a Carousel
Think about what it’s like to go to the park, maybe with your kids, and see a carousel. There are beautiful horses and other animals, they’re all brightly decorated and going up and down and round and round, and the kids can choose which horse they want to ride on. They ride the horse, and they’re excited and passionate about it.
But what often gets missed is that right in the middle of the carousel is a cylinder, with mirrors and bright lights on it. Inside that cylinder are ugly gears, machines, systems and grease – things you don’t want to see while you’re riding the horse.
In business terms, what’s locked inside that cylinder is the revenue system. That’s what makes the horses go up and down and round and round – the messy areas that make the whole thing work.
You may be passionate about riding the horse, but somebody needs to show up and spend time in the cylinder and make sure everything works. Because if you don’t have the electricity, systems, gears and levers, the horses won’t go up and down and round and round.
Similarly, as the founder of your business, you may be passionate about riding the vision, operations, or product horse, but that horse won’t go up and down either without the revenue system.
Key Steps in Creating A System That Drives Your Revenue Base
1/ Engage Your Target Audience
The first action you need to take is to think about the broad universe of contacts – all the people you might be able to sell your products and services to and who need to be aware of what it is you do.
You need to be highly diligent about the systems you build and the way you reach out to people, down to every detail of the words you put on your website and in your emails. You need to reach out to them continually with valuable contributions so that when they discover a need for your product, you’re in the right place at the right time.
In addition to using the right words, you also need the right systems, such as CRMs, email systems, and dialling systems that allow you to engage with people optimally at that right time.
2/ Ensure Your Customer Engagement Excels
At the moment when a potential customer does engage with you, it’s essential that their experience is ideal. You need mechanisms in place so they can book a time on your calendar, and when you have a call with them your words need to be prepared so that you can understand their real needs, questions, and objections.
These are systems that will make customers want to come in and do business with you. They need to receive an excellent proposal, or be able to click on an easy link. You need to understand what touch points are necessary to deliver a great experience at the point when you ask someone for their money.
That’s the most important and visceral element of doing business with someone; making it feel good for them to give you the money they could keep in their pocket or spend with somebody else. If you deliver an amazing experience, people will love spending their money on what you have to sell.
3/ Systems are Key to Your Sales Process
Many founders and executives take for granted that sales just happen. It’s assumed that, simply by taking a potential customer’s details and telling them once about your services, they’ll remember you and buy from you when they’re ready. That’s simply not the case.
It’s not even enough to have people on your team with innate salesmanship skills and a persuasive script. Indeed, what we have seen from our years of experience is that 80% of success in generating revenue through the sales process is attributable to the systems you put in place and only 20% to pure salesmanship.
Of course, you want to have excellent salespeople with charisma, understanding, and a broad knowledge of the business. But if you build systems that bring in the wrong people – those who don’t understand or need your product – even the most gifted salesperson is going to struggle.
Think of it as a Broadway play, with your salesperson as the actor. They have to play a part and understand the script, but the vast majority of the operation is scenery and pulleys and lighting and the orchestra. Yes, you need talent; but if you take away all those back-up systems, you are left with a person sitting on a stage without a costume yelling to an empty auditorium.
This may not be the default way in which entrepreneurs are taught about the sales process, but it is a big orchestration process and, when you do it right, you get much better results.
4/ Finding the Right Customers at the Right Time
The quickest way to understand who buys your product and is happy with it is to talk to your existing customers. Ask them what was in their head when they bought from you and what has kept them loyal to you. You might find out it was your amazing product, or you might discover that in fact it was the awesome vendor experience.
If you can understand the person who is paying you already, you can translate that into messaging that attracts other people like them.
It’s not always easy, however, to identify the right time to talk to prospective customers. In practice, you need to be in front of people all the time in an effective and cost-efficient way. Think of the fact that you may see the same ad online nine times before you buy; in the same way, when the right time arrives for your customer, you need to be in their mind. It’s a question of striking the precious balance between being attentive and not annoying.
But when your product matches with a need they have at that moment, it’s your opportunity to put them together with an excellent salesperson who makes it easy for them to buy. That’s the magic formula.
5/ Deliver Communications With Value
It’s not always easy to be attentive without being annoying. The process is made far smoother if your content marketing provides value at every step. You can move someone forward, even if they’re not your customer, with material that delivers both interest and value.
When you deliver a newsletter or an email with good articles or a link to a free resource, while educating a potential customer about what you do, they will be more inclined to buy from you in their time of need.
That content takes a great deal of time and energy to create, but it can make a significant difference because of the impression of value it delivers.
What a Basic System to Drive Your Revenue Machine Looks Like
It’s essential to identify the tools and structures that will build awareness of, and generate demand for, your product. This can be achieved with the following methods and mechanisms:
- Use email tools as part of your CRM, including Hubspot, Pipedrive, and Salesforce
- Find a vendor partner that can seek out leads using a tool like LinkedIn Navigator
- Ensure your website is extremely efficient at processing leads with effective content and calls to action and landing page tools such as Unbounce
- Collect their name and contact information so that you can drip-feed them with content
- Employ a calendar booking tool such as Calendly or Hubspot to make it simple to book meetings
- Collect a mobile number so you can text a customer directly and set up a Zoom meeting
- Use a CRM system that allows you to take detailed notes during calls
- Track every touch point and interaction during the deal flow
- Send an automated proposal or additional information to follow up
- Make sure all your tools are aligned so they can exchange the right information effectively, using project management systems such as Asana or Trello
How Can Add1Zero Help Your Sales Process?
We understand that generating revenue involves considerable effort. It’s not just about sales, it’s also about creating a system that works for a particular client.
The extent to which Add1Zero participates in your process depends entirely on how much of it you want to outsource. Many founders of growing businesses still enjoy the sales process that was at the core of their life in its early stages. Others want to focus more closely on the strategic side of a growing enterprise.
If you’re a founder who still wants to sell, we can build the support services that enable you to do so. If you no longer want to sit in that chair, however, we can take over for you. Our aim is not to make you dependent, it’s to set you free.
Contact Us Now to Find Out More
If you’re a B2B services company, and the information here resonates with you, book a free consultation with us, and we’ll be happy to talk to you about building your systems – and growing your revenue.