Scaling a business also means that you must shift from star individuals to being the rainmakers and become a company that creates teams of talent in both marketing and sales.
Scaling sales revenue for some companies means achieving well above industry levels of growth, breaking new ground, and becoming market leaders. Other companies plan for consistent growth that drives a strong bottom-line result. Whichever your plan, success will only happen when you have your key players in place to make it happen.
Creating a culture to support scaling
The companies that excel in scaling sales revenue successfully are those that have the right people in positions with a positive influence on their teams. Their people are motivated, focused, energic, seek new information and new ways of doing things and are passionate about their company. You hear reports of companies with great cultures that are magnets for people looking for career opportunities, and the sales and marketing people are lined up at the door waiting to join.
This is not a reality for all companies, particularly those breaking through those early barriers of growth or have become stagnant over time. Many companies struggle with legacy personnel who are reluctant to change and learn or poor hires who struggle to move on.
The culture in the company is the thermometer of how the leadership respond and interacts with their teams, company-wide, and there are companies that craft good cultures and others where the culture grows unguided and forms an environment that is at odds with the overall business strategy and vision. This directly affects your ability to scale the business.
Key players that scale sales revenue
To scale sales revenue, it needs buy-in from important key players, and it goes beyond just the sales or marketing team. Each key player has an important role in determining the scalability, the buy-in from staff and the overall functionality of the business.
Let’s look at those players and their contribution to scaling sales revenue.
How CEOs or Business Owners Scale Sales Revenue
Sales revenue is the reason most companies exist with a growth focus. But to scale sales revenue is another story. Growth and scale are different things. Growth occurs across the business and often means hiring more people. Scaling companies means you are going to deliver higher revenue goals without increasing headcount.
The CEO or Business Owner of a company is responsible for the company’s overall business performance. They are the highest level of authority for key decisions and have the most influence over other key players.
Key responsibilities of a CEO or Business Owner:
- Own the company strategy—Unite all company efforts toward strategy and its implementation. Ensure a solid, detailed plan is in place that delivers the required results and profitability.
- Balance resources—Allocate and prioritise resources and talent between departments and prioritise initiatives.
- Empower culture—Actively empower the culture of the people in the company. They must evoke core values and shared attitudes to guide the culture to develop in the right direction.
- Oversee performance—Measure the company performance consistently, ensuring it delivers goals timely. Ensure strategies are implemented to increase sales revenue and company value.
- Lead key player’s team—Maintain responsibility for the outcomes of the key player’s team decisions and evaluate their work.
A CEO’s potential mistakes:
- Changing Priorities – shifting the goalposts of revenue demands.
- Deprioritising sales compensation – retracting from agreed sales incentives payouts that compensate top-performing sales talent and attract new talent to the business.
- Be overly involved in sales management – A CEO must rely on their sales leader to deliver results once an agreed sales plan is in place. Instructing sales on performance.
- Hiring forecasts – A CEO must follow through on the hiring plan where the agreement of new hires has been made.
The Sales Leader is the head of the sales organisation and directly influences a company’s sales revenue, growth, and culture. They are directly responsible for the hiring of sales talent, their development, and retention of the company’s sales force.
Key responsibilities of a Sales Leader:
- Sales Strategy – having a detailed plan in place, disseminated to the sales team members enabling clear expectations and focus within the sales team.
- People management—Create an environment and culture of success through coaching, robust sales processes and business practices. Hold salespeople accountable for their performance and contribution to the sales plan.
- Compensation and Incentive Plan – Develop the compensation and incentive plan to reward performance and motivate all members across the team.
- Talent acquisition— Lead hiring efforts year-round to attract top sellers and personally recruit the sales talent for their team.
- Customer management—Set standards connecting the customer’s needs, buying processes and business practices to excel in customer acquisition and retention.
- Understand the market – Have a current understanding of the market trends and competition.
- Business management—Align all resources in the sales organisation and structure, investing in technology and data infrastructure to cost-effectively improve processes.
Sales Leader’s potential mistakes:
- Spending too much time selling accounts personally –not leveraging their team. While some amount of oversight on larger deals is beneficial, they must not become central to sales closing or customer retention.
- Insufficient resources to sales support function –operating with all emphasis on customer interfacing personnel and providing insufficient support functions optimise the sales team’s ROI and productivity.
- Hiring with gut feels or “winging it” as soon as vacancies open – reacting to departures with an urgency to fill vacancies. Successful sales teams are built over time by using rigorous, structured interview processes to fully evaluate candidates. The decisions are not rushed nor sacrificed by filling immediately available talent.
- Failing to have a risk management plan in place for unplanned departures – salespeople voluntarily leave or involuntarily depart for many reasons. A risk plan should be in place to provide time to secure quality replacements.
B2B marketing departments have evolved from brochures, product catalogues and trade fairs to highly skilled digital marketing experts with a direct contribution to how you scale sales revenue. They are responsible for the generation of sales-ready leads either through an internal marketing team or the use of third-party service providers to fulfil some or all of the functionality required.
Key responsibilities of a Marketing Leader:
- Understand the plan – a detailed understanding of the company strategy and the sales plan
- Market intelligence – invest resources in understanding the target market, available market, and competitors and monitor changes and movements, conveying information to the sales leader.
- Disseminate the sales plan – develop a communications plan and campaigns to support the sales objectives.
- Engage Resources – to deliver campaigns across digital media and other platforms.
- Monitor campaigns – measure and provide feedback on campaign effectiveness and ROI.
- Strategise to compliment the plan – identify initiatives to compliment the sales plan through branding, event and PR opportunities.
Marketing Leader’s potential mistakes:
- Lack of understanding of the plan – not disseminating the sales plan sufficiently to
- Campaign failure – not identifying failing campaigns quickly enough and taking action to remedy them, causing a loss in lead flow.
- Poor reporting – unable to track conversion rates and ROI across all campaign activities
How Human Resource Leaders Scale Sales Revenue
Human Resource Leaders contribute to the overall culture of the business and the performance standards and experience of all employees. HR impact the scalability of the company through its processes and systems and ability to serve the disciplines of hiring talent and onboarding. They create the brand for attracting talent spanning across all employees.
Key responsibilities of Human Resource Leader:
- Hiring Support —Develop a robust talent acquisition strategy spanning employer branding to recruitment, assessment, and interviewing strategies.
- Onboarding – Develop robust onboarding processes for new hires to rapidly increase ramp-up times to be effective and productive in their roles
- Retention—Implement initiatives to retain top talent across the company providing stability during growth.
- People and culture —Supporting growth initiatives and adapting to change. Supporting talent to adapt to the changes in reasonable time frames to support the delivery of the strategies.
Human Resource Leaders potential mistakes:
- Being resistant to releasing talent – letting go of talent versus wanting to “rescue” them. This often happens in situations involving high-performers who are not team-orientated or likeable individuals who are underperforming.
- Not delivering on sales hiring demands – HR must cultivate a pool of potential sales and marketing talent to meet hiring demands timely of nurture connections that can support them in identifying top talent when required.
The Chief Financial Officer manages all financial matters and financial performance. In sales revenue improvement, they are instrumental in analysing cost-benefit for product or service lines and budget development. The CFO should work with the sales leader to understand the impact of compensation and incentive planning and be informed of structural changes affecting headcount.
Key responsibilities of a Chief Financial Officer:
- Financial performance— Providing reporting and analysis of sales revenue performance to sales goals.
- Optimise Cash Flow – to support transformation initiatives ensuring all initiatives can be delivered
- Sales Compensation and Incentives — Work with the sales leader to perform what-if analyses to test the incentive schemes.
- Managing the company’s financial risks—Identify potential risks related to shifting away from sales revenue planning and develop strategies to mitigate them with the team.
Chief Financial Officer’s potential mistakes:
- Limiting resources to support sales and marketing talent acquisition efforts – responding to finding pressure by cutting resources required for scaling sales revenue.
- Withholding Incentive Payments – Scaling sales revenue means increased payments to the sales personnel, and this can make the CFO uncomfortable. Finding reasons to withhold payments when what-if testing should have removed loopholes in plans.
- Not becoming growth-focused – Too many CFOs are still process-oriented with a keen eye on historical comparison. Modern companies require horizon management and measurement as part of company reporting, providing insights for all departments.
Successful projects that scale sales revenue demand a cohesive team that not only agrees at the commencement of the project but remains engaged and focused throughout the process. It must become part of the DNA of the company if increased revenue is to be achieved.
To learn more about how to scale sales revenue, check out our ebook, The Complete Guide to Sales Revenue Improvement.
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