The 10 Myths Of Revenue Generation


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Is your company using outdated sales & marketing strategies? Many are. In 'The 10 Myths of Revenue Generation,' we identify 10 strategies and beliefs that impede revenue growth in companies of all sizes and in all industries. If you need to improve ROI, create better campaigns, hire better sales reps, and get more out of your networking programs, this free e-book can help.

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The 10 Myths Of Revenue Generation

  1. 1. The 10 Myths of Revenue Generation And how to replace them with principles, science and process The Revenue Game 14362 N. Frank Lloyd Wright Blvd. Suite 1000 Scottsdale, Arizona 85260 (480) 889-8940 Rick McPartlin, President & Jane Adamson, CEO Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported License.
  2. 2. Introduction <ul><li>What’s the most expensive thing your company does each day? In most industries, it isn’t manufacturing, raw materials, logistics, or even overhead. It’s the process of creating revenue. </li></ul><ul><li>Revenue generation, as we call it, includes everything your company does each day to create and sustain your revenue. It’s sales. It’s marketing. It’s service. It's the time a CEO or senior executive spends helping a team, meeting with partners, or communicating a message to the market. </li></ul><ul><li>Revenue generation is the single most </li></ul><ul><li>expensive function in your company. And yet the process itself hasn’t changed much in the last 50 years. Since the 1960s, we’ve made every other corporate function more efficient with innovations like ERP, Six Sigma and TQM. Yet we're still doing revenue generation the same way we did it 30 or 40 or 50 years ago. It's expensive, it's time-consuming, it’s reactive, and it's really based on a bunch of myths. </li></ul>
  3. 3. Introduction continued <ul><li>We’ve developed this e-book to help you identify those myths in your own business and replace them with principles, science, and process. We want to help you treat revenue generation as a proactive rather than a reactive process. </li></ul><ul><li>If you’re a business owner, CEO or senior executive, you’ll recognize most or all of these myths, and you can start doing something about them today. And even if you’re not the CEO or a senior leader, understanding these myths and this advice </li></ul><ul><li>can help you as you work day in and out to propel your company and your career. </li></ul><ul><li>We’ve been helping companies generate revenue since the early 1970s, and we can guarantee that these myths aren’t accelerators. They’re anchors. </li></ul><ul><li>So let’s get started. Here are the ten myths you need to eliminate from your head and your organization. </li></ul>
  4. 4. Good sales reps are naturals; your success is a matter of finding these naturals. <ul><li>Here’s the scenario: You need to hire one, two or ten new sales reps. You comb through candidates looking for gregarious, “natural” sales people with extensive contacts and experience in your specific industry. And you end up hiring outgoing, friendly people you personally like and who you believe will make rain for your business. </li></ul><ul><li>Unfortunately, all too often, these naturals aren’t the silver bullet you’re hoping for. They’re good talkers, but they come up short in other areas. Perhaps it’s service or delivering consistent messages or sticking with your pricing model. They end up requiring more training, motivation and coaching than you planned. Ultimately, you part ways and start the cycle again with a new crop. </li></ul>1
  5. 5. continued <ul><li>Instead of looking for “naturals,” you should focus on finding the proper strategic fit for the specific position. To do so, you need to truly understand your customers. Why do they buy from you? Is their buying decision based on your price, your relationship, your expertise, on service? Is your offer based on individual selling or team selling? Does the selling involve developing strategy, creative thinking, tactical execution, or detailed implementation? Are you selling something that’s new to the marketplace or considered a commodity purchase? </li></ul><ul><li>All of these variables influence the profile of a successful sales rep for your company; you </li></ul><ul><li>may need a completely different profile than you originally envisioned. For example, instead of searching for an outgoing, strategic visionary, you might need tactical detail orientation. Behavioral profiling tools can be extremely helpful if you’ve accurately done the upfront work of determining the profile most likely to succeed with that particular offer, buyer, and sales process. </li></ul><ul><li>Do your homework before starting the interview process. Otherwise, the most gregarious candidate will win. And you will lose. </li></ul>1
  6. 6. Marketing programs are unpredictable hit-and-miss tools. <ul><li>There are two types of marketing programs: branding and everything else. Branding campaigns are, in fact, very difficult to measure. These campaigns build awareness but don’t drive specific, measurable activity. And they’re important, so you should allocate a percentage of your budget to branding and stick with it. Just don’t let branding dominate your activities because you can’t accurately evaluate ROI. </li></ul><ul><li>If you can’t measure it, it belongs in the branding budget. Everything else you do should be designed to create a specific, measurable result that can be tracked, compared, analyzed and improved. </li></ul><ul><li>This type of marketing IS predictable and can prevent that month-end panic and frustration when your team isn’t hitting your revenue goals. </li></ul>2
  7. 7. continued <ul><li>Now, if you think your numbers will be perfect the first time, we’re going to disappoint you. If you’re marketing on the web, you can measure results very accurately from the outset, but the rest of your tracking won’t be perfect. Yet if you start implementing and measuring critical marketing metrics today, you'll get better and better and better each time. You’ll gain the historical perspective and data you need to evaluate which programs work and which don’t. And your marketing will become anything but unpredictable. </li></ul>2
  8. 8. Good networking is about meeting as many people as possible. <ul><li>Let’s use a popular networking example: a trade show. Let’s say it costs $50,000 to attend a particular show, and you generate $20,000 in revenue with $10,000 in profit for an average transaction. You need to generate five deals from the show just to break even. </li></ul><ul><li>Many people will say, yes, I can go to a trade show and generate five deals, no problem. But let’s consider some more variables first. </li></ul><ul><li>What happens after you meet a new prospect? You may set up a meeting or two. At some point, you’ll probably get on a plane, meet all of the key players, do a presentation. If things go well, you’ll submit a proposal. And naturally you won’t convert every proposal into a deal. </li></ul>3
  9. 9. continued <ul><li>At each step in this process, you’ll lose a chunk of your prospects. You may win only one of every three proposals you submit. You may submit proposals after only 50% of your presentations. You may get only two of five initial meetings. And so forth. Ultimately, you may only close one of 20 prospects you meet. Which means you need to generate 100 prospects during the show to get five deals. So if you attended the show last year and generated only 77 prospects, it may not be a good investment this year. </li></ul><ul><li>What if you only generated 50 prospects, but they were highly qualified – the “right” people, if you will? You might say, okay, if we had 50 of </li></ul><ul><li>the right people, then we can close one of every seven prospects instead of one in 20. </li></ul><ul><li>What if you started contacting 50 “right” people three or four months before the show? Let’s say you tell them about something of value you're doing at the event, then pre-set appointments or confirm them for your hospitality suite to make sure you meet in person. Then could you make money at the show? Most people tell us, yes, with this kind of program I can definitely make money at the show. </li></ul>3
  10. 10. continued <ul><li>A lot of people say, wow, I’m busy with all of these networking events. I went here, there, everywhere. Well, how many leads did you generate, and what percentage of them did you close? </li></ul><ul><li>Networking by itself isn’t a legitimate sales and marketing activity . Often it’s just a waste of time. It has to be tied to a program that helps you deliver the right message to the right targeted people. </li></ul><ul><li>You don’t need to network with as many people as possible. You need to network with the right people. </li></ul>3
  11. 11. Quality products along with good service is a winning strategy. <ul><li>Quality products and good service are not a strategy. They’re simply an entry to the game. You have to have quality products and good service or you aren’t going to last. As soon as others in the market figure out how to make a good product and provide good service, that's it. You're done. So don't think that's enough. It isn’t. </li></ul>4
  12. 12. Good sales reps will create the right message at the right time. <ul><li>Let’s say your company has 3, 30, or 300 sales reps making sales calls each day. Each one delivers a message every time he or she connects with a customer. In fact, your sales reps are literally delivering hundreds of messages to the market every day. </li></ul><ul><li>With that many communications floating around, you need absolute clarity on the message. It's like the Blue Angels. They can’t say “let’s turn a little bit left.” They need to say “turn X degrees at X speed at X angle to the horizon.” </li></ul><ul><li>It’s the same thing with your sales team. You can't have them embellishing or changing pricing or saying </li></ul><ul><li>“ I’ll see what I can do.” Every time they tweak the message, they wreak havoc on the true message you want to deliver to the market. Does that make it easier or harder for the company to stay on track? A lot harder. </li></ul><ul><li>Sales reps can't make it up as they go along. Everyone must be on the same page. </li></ul>5
  13. 13. Good marketing is highly dependent on creative ideas. <ul><li>Research shows that creative ideas contribute about 16 percent to a successful lead or opportunity. But fifty percent is delivering the right message to the right person. </li></ul><ul><li>As a salesperson, I was taught the first three rules of selling: qualify, qualify, qualify. If I'm talking to the right person, even if I’m not very good, I can sell them if they want what I have. But if I’m talking to the wrong person, I can be the most eloquent guy on the planet and I'm still going hear “I'm sorry, I don't have a car. I don't need tires.” </li></ul>6
  14. 14. continued <ul><li>You just can't win if you’re talking to the wrong people. So while creativity is important, some companies get hung up on things like having the greatest letterhead, the best slogans, the most cutting-edge design. But remember that it all goes back to understanding the customer problem you solve that nobody else solves. With that knowledge, you know who to talk with and what to say. </li></ul><ul><li>Creativity in marketing is important, but it's not as important as knowing who you're supposed to be talking to and what message you need to deliver. </li></ul>6
  15. 15. If the revenue strategy is right, you'll succeed in revenue generation. <ul><li>We’ve seen many well-thought out strategies that are beautifully written, presented, approved, and then wind up in a file drawer in some executive’s office. Usually it’s not because the company didn’t believe in the strategy; it’s because they didn’t A) structure the organization to support the strategy and/or B) execute on it. </li></ul><ul><li>Structure and execution work hand in glove with strategy. Here are a few examples of poor structure and poor execution and how they impact your business. </li></ul>7 Customers are confused Customers are disappointed Sales targets are missed Result A front line employee who isn’t taught the strategic message or why it’s important A manufacturing plant which wasn’t set up to deliver on the strategic promises A compensation program which incents the wrong behavior Poor structure
  16. 16. continued <ul><li>Designing a strategy is the first important step. But it’s your company’s structure and execution that lead to success in revenue generation. </li></ul>7 Well-intentioned employees pulling in opposite directions Executives don’t know they’re losing until it’s too late Milestones are missed Result Goals aren’t specific Critical metrics aren’t tracked A poorly written detailed plan of who needs to do what by when Poor execution
  17. 17. Giving sales and marketing virtual power and budget guarantees success. <ul><li>This idea can easily become a scapegoat. I'm just going to hire enough salespeople, just going to give marketing enough budget and let them do what they need to do. </li></ul><ul><li>The key issue here is accountability. You need to make sure sales and marketing are focused on the right things and the right results. You need to ask them to evaluate ROI, to identify and track against metrics to make sure they’re spending the budget and time in the right place. Just upping the budget and investment isn’t a formula for success. </li></ul>8
  18. 18. Always stick with a winning strategy. <ul><li>Two years ago Rick delivered a presentation to a group of business owners whose strategy was to just answer the phone. They said they didn’t need to market their businesses because the business just came to them – they only needed to answer the phone, schedule an appointment, and show up. </li></ul><ul><li>That reactive “strategy” worked for awhile. But today their story is much different. Their revenue is way off and they’ve never focused on revenue generation. Now they’re not sure what to do. </li></ul>9
  19. 19. continued <ul><li>Your business is always, always, always in transition. You're in transition because the economy is transitioning. You're in transition because your customers are transitioning. You're in transition because your competitors are transitioning. </li></ul><ul><li>Any strategy is only going to work temporarily. You have to consistently monitor your environment, understand your offer, and know why people are (or aren’t) excited about doing business with you. Why? Because it's going to change. Today’s strategy is not necessarily going to work tomorrow. If you don't watch the key variables & elements that impact you, pretty soon you’ll find out that the game has passed you by. </li></ul>9
  20. 20. Listen to customers - they know what they want. <ul><li>This is the trick one. It's half right. Yes, you should listen to customers. Absolutely listen. But don't believe for a second that they know what they want. Focus group after focus group after focus group will say, geez, if you had a red one and it had an extra door, I would buy it in a heartbeat. So a company goes out and creates a red one with an extra door. And then nobody buys it. </li></ul><ul><li>The issue here is commitment. “I would buy it” is hypothetical. Customers may think it sounds good; they like the idea. But just because they say they like it or want it doesn’t mean that when the time comes, they’ll pull out their wallet or pen and buy. </li></ul>10
  21. 21. continued <ul><li>When your customers tell you something that they want, you need to hold them accountable and get them to make a firm commitment. For example, you can say, great, if you want a red one with an extra door, we can have one available in 90 days, are you ready to make it happen? And if they say, oh, no, no, I’m not ready for that, or I’m not sure, or whatever the excuse, then you know that’s not something they really want. </li></ul><ul><li>If you’re going to ask customers to provide input on products and services, listen carefully and hold them accountable. Their responses aren’t real unless they’re willing to make a commitment. </li></ul>10
  22. 22. Conclusion <ul><li>Everybody wants economic growth, but honestly, nobody wants to change. If your business is in a rut, or even if it isn’t, you simply cannot generate consistent, sustainable growth without doing anything differently. </li></ul><ul><li>Revenue generation is a science. It has principles and it has best practices. So if you want to change, and you want growth, you have to make the decision to apply the science. Eliminate the myths. Apply the best practices. Create the discipline. </li></ul><ul><li>Yes, it’s work. It’s the most expensive thing your company does each day, and it’s the most important thing your company does each day. And if you eliminate the myths and treat revenue generation as a science, you'll get results. </li></ul>
  23. 23. About us <ul><li>Rick McPartlin and Jane Adamson co-founded The Revenue Game to help companies focus their organizations around the critical function of revenue generation. They’ve spent their careers consulting to and working in senior executive positions in both large well-known organizations and in small entrepreneurial companies, including </li></ul><ul><li>McDonnell Douglas </li></ul><ul><li>Image Craft </li></ul><ul><li>Bell South </li></ul><ul><li>Siemens </li></ul><ul><li>Impact Sales </li></ul><ul><li>Dynamic Images </li></ul><ul><li>Vistage (formerly TEC) </li></ul><ul><li>Sun Microsystems </li></ul><ul><li>ColorHouse </li></ul><ul><li>Ernst & Young </li></ul>
  24. 24. About us continued <ul><li>Rick McPartlin has spent the last 20 years focused on his passion of &quot;Revenue Generation&quot; as a science. He has spoken at professional conferences and numerous Vistage CEO groups, spearheaded major product launches, been a national sales manager in the industry leading CAD/CAM engineering company, formed a national consulting company in launch management called Impact Sales, and developed several trademarked sales tools and systems models. </li></ul><ul><li>Jane Adamson has focused her career around management systems and processes. She has been the president of two manufacturing/service organizations, sat on industry and professional boards, orchestrated the successful turnaround of a financially distressed organization, implemented performance management processes and metrics, and ran the sales/marketing efforts of a company voted &quot;best in the industry&quot; by its peers. </li></ul><ul><li>To learn more about The Revenue Game’s services, </li></ul><ul><li>please visit or call (480) 889-8940. </li></ul>
  25. 25. Image credits <ul><li>Old computers: </li></ul><ul><li>Zapped: </li></ul><ul><li>Abacus: </li></ul><ul><li>Blue Angels: </li></ul><ul><li>Waving audience: </li></ul><ul><li>Entering the conference: </li></ul><ul><li>Pug calendar: </li></ul><ul><li>Chess pieces: </li></ul><ul><li>All other images were purchased from . </li></ul>The following images are generously available for commercial use under the Creative Commons “attribution-share alike” license:
  26. 26. Thank you <ul><li>Jane Adamson, CEO Phone: (480) 889-8940 </li></ul><ul><li>Email: [email_address] </li></ul><ul><li>Rick McPartlin, President </li></ul><ul><li>Phone: (480) 889-8940 </li></ul><ul><li>Email: [email_address] </li></ul><ul><li>Please feel free to share this e-book with colleagues and friends. It is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike Unported 3.0 license. For terms of use, please click the image below. </li></ul>To download additional copies, please visit .