Aligning leadership with your revenue growth strategy. As a business leader, I’d always set ambitious growth targets for the year ahead and in true collaborative style I would ask my leadership team to unreservedly contribute to the strategy.
On reflection of these discussions, I’d be pleased and impressed with their strategic thinking and, feel excited about the company’s future. Yet I would frequently be left with a few reservations. The most frustrating would always be:
“Have we got the leadership bandwidth to execute our new strategy, and if we don’t what do we need to do?”
It would seem I was not alone in my thoughts, as my team would voice similar concerns, including:
What additional resources would we need and where will we find them? Do we have the budget for this? Who will take responsibility not only for the project management but more importantly for the fallout if things don’t work?
Ideas are great and we’re quick to celebrate them but it’s the successful implementation and execution that delivers results.
It’s a common problem among leaders. The mismatch between big strategic revenue goals and having the resources required to execute them.
A top priority is to reassure the team that together we are entirely capable of achieving ambitious growth strategies. But I don’t hide my reservations around HOW. I’m willing to be vulnerable, and while that might sound scary, it’s empowering for them and myself. It shows them I do not have all the answers, and that’s why I need their input; together we can figure it out.
I think the best advice I could offer leaders would be to gain not only trust but also respect and commitment from their team leaders. To adopt the role of facilitator, serving your team to help them do their job to the best of their ability. Offer reassurance, guidance, resources, and be their sounding board.
Encourage your leadership team to work together, breaking down the silo barriers to share ideas, resources, and people. I see my role as the leader, to create a culture that not only enables this type of collaborative workstyle but insist upon it.
Over the years I’ve faced challenges in aligning leadership with revenue growth strategies. As a result I’ve identified some commonalities across them all.
This led me to develop a simple yet effective 5-step strategy that resulted in growing my previous business to 8 figures.
- Bridge the gap between strategy and operational reality.
Create a 90-day plan that breaks down tasks into manageable steps and includes measurable goals and milestones. This provides a manageable scope, a defined timeline, and next steps. This makes it easier to review progress and adapt to emerging changes or conditions.
Action: Ask each member of your leadership team to create a 90-day plan relevant to their function and aligning with the overarching strategy. Ask them to include 2 lists; what resources will be required and what are we missing?
- Resource Allocation and Prioritisation
Begin candid discussions about the resources needed to deliver revenue growth. This requires a detailed understanding of where that new growth will come from. But remember, you have a leadership team that also needs to encourage their people to come forward with feedback and insights.
Explore what can be achieved through new clients and growth on existing accounts? Will new routes to market be explored requiring investment in marketing resources? Or will it come from the development of new products and services?
Include a review of skills and competencies too, and address how to overcome them.
Action: Prioritise resources and investment required.
- Communication and Relevance
Once agreed, the strategy must be communicated to everyone in the business so they understand their part in achieving it. The great news is that you have already involved your leadership team and in turn, they have asked for input from their people. So, the level of support and enthusiasm is likely to be high.
However, sharing your high-level strategic goals without relevance to their specific responsibilities will render them meaningless.
Action: Ensure your revenue growth goals are individualised and relevant to the responsibilities of each team member. Ask for their input to ensure you gain support and commitment.
- A Collective Focus on Innovation
Whilst sales, marketing and business development teams take responsibility for revenue growth, don’t leave it there.
Innovation and evolution of your products, services, structures, and business models must be a priority.
You only need to remind yourself of Blockbuster Video and Netflix to appreciate this.
Create a culture where everyone plays their part in developing ideas to overcome client problems. Implement processes so that everyone is encouraged to come forward with ideas.
Achieve this by encouraging collaboration across functions. Allow time for creative thinking and for fresh perspectives on the problems customers face.
Action: Tap into the collective genius of your team for new ways to overcome the challenges faced by prospects and customers.
- Data and Analysis for Revenue Predictability
Accurate sales forecasting is an asset for every business as it brings confidence to investment decisions and cash flow forecasting. It has the advantage of assessing the success of your growth strategies or where they might need adapting.
To achieve this, it’s important to access relevant data, measure the right numbers and interpret the information to inform decision making and next steps.
Again, involve your teams but reassure them while accuracy is important their honesty is imperative. If the figures don’t add up, there won’t be negative consequences. However, you will expect them to provide recovery solutions.
Action: Use relevant data to inform decisions and signal the effectiveness of your revenue growth strategy.
Aligning your leadership with your revenue growth strategy is not just about setting ambitious targets. It’s also about ensuring your entire organisation is equipped to achieve the plan effectively. Give reassurance and support your team to enable them to implement and execute successfully.