By Jim Hughes
Founder and Managing Partner, Quick Start Strategies
This is the first in a yearlong series of blogs that will incorporate all things lead-to-cash. It is the culmination of our 10 years of collective IQ delivering go-to-market revenue strategies, measurable sales metrics, and aligned KPIs. A special thanks to all who helped us build this playbook, and for those of you we have not had the pleasure of working with we hope you find this useful and impactful.
Welcome to 2024!
After working with 200+ clients and collecting over 1,400 surveys, you start to recognize patterns as to what separates ‘High Performers’ from those companies that fall short. ‘High Performers’ consistently exhibit:
Alignment: executives, managers, and front-line teams use the same consistent metrics and attributes to value opportunities in the pipeline.
Insights: they align the ‘buyers’ journey’ to their unique ‘sales process’ to ensure prospects understand why they need your solution and what value they can attribute to deploying it.
Why now: they recognize and act on the principle that there is no time like the present to address existing or looming revenue challenges.
Since the inception of our survey in 2017, most participants self-assessed themselves as either Erratic Performers (43%) or Under Performers (35%). It is one thing to select where you believe you are on the matrix – quite another to determine how you got there.
Enter philosopher George Santayana, “those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.”
So, what to do? Although change management is hard and takes time (5 months+), there are 3 steps you can take now to impact revenue growth in 2024.
Step 1: Anonymously survey key executives, managers, and front-line stakeholders, and instruct them to be 100% intellectually honest as to where see the company in relationship to the following x-axis and y-axis:
- Revenue Performance: confidence that the company will make its near-term sales projections.
- Revenue Predictability: confidence in mid- to long-term sales projections.
(Spoiler alert, we are going to ask you to take a self-assessment survey at the end of this blog.)
Step 2: Ensure the data captured matures stage-to-stage across your sales process, and that it aligns to those benefits (anchors) and values (attributes) your ‘buyer’ achieves by investing in your solution. This includes the minimum viable information (MVI) required for opportunities to enter and exit each sales stage and includeinformation such as:
- Market Segmentation: vertical market, company type, company size, and geography.
- Solution Attributes: existing versus new business, opportunity size, and opportunity source.
- Performance Metrics: metrics such as win rate by opportunity type, age by stage, and velocity through stages.
- Behavioral Metrics: opportunity management behaviors such as number of contacts, persona of contacts, close date changes and opportunity stage entry.
By consistently gathering this information across all opportunities you can then create a Revenue Insights dashboard to identify all opportunities in your pipeline that require corrective actions to optimize your probability of success.
Step 3: Create urgency. Doing nothing is the vast majority of why opportunities are either lost or delayed. The key is to build a simple business model that establishes that your solution is accretive and therefore deserves to be apriority by documenting the following:
- Why: your prospect would be 'far better off' with your solution?
- What: benefit and value they will achieve by deploying your solution?
- Why now: what is the compelling event?
Acknowledge to your prospect that you are promoting disruption – i.e. changing priorities. To justify this disruption, create a clear business case that outlines the benefits and value derived from your solution so it warrants moving your solution to the ‘must have’ pile of priorities.
Where to start
Like any classic ‘step program’ the first key is to establish where you are, and then you have a fighting chance to correct your revenue performance, predictability, and insights. At QSS, we start every engagement with our executive alignment and stakeholder survey. We make this survey publicly available and recommend that you take five minutes to see where you align in the matrix. Here is a link to the survey:
Upon completion of the survey, you will immediately be supplied with your results benchmarked against all other survey participants. We look forward to your participation.
About Quick Start Strategies
Founded in 2014, Quick Start Strategies is a boutique consulting and technology firm focused on helping under- or erratic-performing companies improve revenue performance, predictability, and insights. Since our inception, we have analyzed and worked with companies of all sizes around the world to benchmark and improve revenue performance.
Learn more about us today at www.qsstrategies.com.