Game Changers: Reviving Stagnant Revenue Growth

by Cheryl Powers

This year our company's theme is Game Changers. We started the year by asking ourselves how we can help our clients in the most game-changing and innovative ways?

One of my favorite questions to answer for a CEO client is:

What are the three or four initiatives that, if executed in the next 90 days, would have the biggest impact on revenue performance over the next 12-18 months? Then we reveal the impact number -- the opportunity in dollars for executing on those initiatives -- and it's usually in the millions (often multi-millions) of dollars. That's a game changer.

"What are the three or four initiatives that, if executed in the next 90 days, would have the biggest impact on revenue performance over the next 12-18 months?"

Every company is different and every impact analysis we conduct provides a solutions roadmap to each company's specific issues. Yet, with all the differences in companies, their issues and needs, the impact analyses all have some common threads.

First, no company is ever truly finished maximizing their revenue potential. There's always something a growth-oriented CEO can do to optimize for revenue growth.

Whether it's adding new products to existing markets, adding existing products to new markets, aligning key sales leaders with the vision and strategies of the C-suite, or updating the sales and marketing processes with the right benchmarks and milestones so they're as customer-centric as possible, the CEOs job is to clearly communicate the initiatives with the highest return to the company and to facilitate their execution, Bossidy-style.

We show our clients those opportunities and we provide the roadmap for fixing them or our clients hire us to help them fix them. That's a game changer.

Another common issue that shows up is reviving stagnant revenue growth.

Where are the black holes?

Which of your regions or divisions are struggling with low performance?

Where, specifically, are the issues?

Which salespeople and managers need to be coached up and developed?

Who can and can't be saved?

Who are your strongest revenue producers?

Who are your weakest?

What are the skills gaps?

We study the team and especially the outliers, top and bottom, and provide meaningful data that informs the sales and sales leadership hiring process. That's a game changer.

Stagnant revenue growth always points in some way to sales leadership. You need to know that your sales leader can perform the most important functions of sales management. You need to know the impact your sales managers are having on your sales team.

One of the key functions of sales leadership and a solid antidote to stagnant revenue is an effective recruiting process. (You can measure yours here.)A great sales leader is constantly pruning the bottom 20% of the sales force, and finding ways to challenge top players by adding stronger salespeople.

This is also another common area of concern because we find, even in the largest companies, extremely ineffective sales hiring processes. Some have blatant EEOC issues. All have areas for improvement. Most can be effectively overhauled with the right CEO mindset and the right sales hiring methodology. Getting sales hiring right is a game changer because it changes the face of selling in your company and, ultimately, your industry.

We're all about game changers -- and changing the face of selling is our biggest game changer yet. It's a behemoth BHAG but we're committed to helping organizations with sales teams hire the very best salespeople with the right skills for every role. And we guarantee our results. We've rolled out our program and named our game-changing initiative Guaranteed Sales Hire. The name says it all. We provide the strongest guarantee at every level of the program -- from a single do-it-yourself hire to 1,000 hires, to a turnkey placement. If you're in the program, it's guaranteed. I believe that's going to prove to be the biggest game changer of all.

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