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Two Tips for Prioritizing Revenue Generation Initiatives

Contributed by John Butler

If you agree that revenue growth, more than any other metric, is the key driver of long term company performance, then you’ve likely initiated the arduous task of deciding which key initiatives will drive your 2013 revenue expectations.

We all know the drill – it’s time consuming, complicated, and many times contentious.

Having more experience in this ritual than I care to admit, I’ve outlined a couple of straight forward (but immensely productive) starting points that you might consider early in the process.  I will discuss these points and many others with my three fellow-panelist on November 8 in our webinar, “What to Fix First When Revenue Flattens,” which is sponsored by Cerius Interim Executive Solutions.

Here’s a preview of what I’ll present on my topic of prioritizing key initiatives for revenue growth. I hope you’ll join us on November 8.

The goal for the stakeholders in this planning phase is to prioritize, agree to and translate the strategy into the critical activities that will deliver future revenue goals.  This should be an open dialogs, (no PowerPoint’s) with someone facilitating and recording the discussion and outcomes.  Position this in a way that achieves an open dialog, minimizes departmental politics and finger pointing.  The goal is to get as much of the pertinent information on the table so everyone has the same picture as to where you are and what actions are needed for future success.

One would think this is a natural and common discussion that takes place every year.  But I can assure you these discussions do not happen as often as they should, and they can be helpful and serve as a valuable reference point as you get deeper into your planning.  Here is a framework for the discussion.

  1. What factors have been successful in driving revenue?  Which factors have inhibited our revenue growth?
    a. What is working / what is not working?
    b. What should we do more of and what should we do less of?
    c. What are we planning that is different from last year, and what will be the associated revenue impact (and time to impact) with each of these changes?
    d. How can we improve in how we monitor our progress in an open, direct and more measurable way?
  2. How can we better align sales and marketing to ensure the revenue pipeline will deliver on our revenue expectations?
    a. How can we refine the customers buying process, and make sure everyone is on the same page regarding, the key deliverables, timeframes, roles and responsibilities?
    b. Collectively review all your current pipeline stages for consistency of definition with all key marketing/sales stakeholders.
    c. Distinguish between leading and lagging indicators and, how and when the team will monitor these metrics, and agree as to which are most significant relating to next year’s goals.

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