|Summit's Sales Coach|
In today's market, like any other, some people are motivated because they have aspirations while others are motivated by looming consequences. For the discussion on commitment to revenue growth, it doesn't really matter whether the commitment comes from an impending mortgage payment or a shot at the Inc. 500 (which Coach Mike led his company to achieve, by the way). It doesn't matter whether the recent history of the company has been shiny or scary from a sales and customer retention standpoint. It's the decision to be focused on, and to allocate resources toward growing the top line, and in a way that doesn't compromise sustainability or the bottom line.
What's the difference between a leader who is interested in revenue growth and a leader who is committed to revenue growth?
When you're interested you want it - with a small "w". Or you might want it with some attached reservations, because you are thinking that you might have to work longer hours, improve your processes, or hire people in order to handle the influx of work. If you grow your company you might reach the point where you have to change your personal habits and leadership methods so you can stay on top of an increasingly complex business. When you're only interested you have an opportunistic mindset that says, "If it stops in my shop or drops into my lap, I'm all over it."
When you're committed, you want it with a capital "W." There is no standing by and waiting for the revenue to appear. You define what kind of business you are seeking, and how much of it you want to bring into your company. You begin with the end in mind (thank you Stephen Covey!) and then make the resource allocations that create the infrastructure to attract clients and deliver the goods. When you are committed to revenue growth you know that is not all about sales - it's truly about customer loyalty. Loyalty brings repeat business and referrals, so you won't be reinventing your book of business every quarter, every year.
Behavioral Differences When You're Committed, Not Just Interested
Commitment means taking action, whereas interest doesn't do more than stand by. In case you're not certain whether you're beyond interested, your actions will tell the story. Leaders committed to revenue growth exhibit these behaviors:
- Leaders committed to revenue growth truly believe that there is a greater future possible than has been manifested so far in the company. These leaders also believe that the potential of the people working in the company has only been partly tapped, whether the company is already successful by conventional definitions or not.
- They have a long term written plan (beyond 12 months) that establishes a vision for the company, incorporates input about the external environment and internal resources, and the leader uses the context of the vision and current situation to develop an operational mission.
- They translate the vision and mission into a set of 12-18-month actions that pull the plan into daily operation in all of the functional areas of the business.
- They develop the skills, attitudes, and goal-directed behavior of all of their staff in alignment with their company vision. Their development effort includes the highly-educated, highly experienced senior staff, because they know that development transcends sales skills and goes beyond the sales department. Revenue growth is not solely a function of the salesperson - every single employee contributes to (or detracts from) the company's ability to win and keep customers.
- They define performance standards and then provide regular, actionable feedback. This includes interim predictive sales dashboard information, and it also includes feedback on staff behavior that is either supporting or interfering with the revenue growth goal.
No list of behaviors could be completely encompassing. Leaders come with individual talents and experiences that create multiple paths for success. It would be safe to say that the be-all and end-all list for revenue growth has not yet been discovered. The point here is the commitment. The willingness to act to create something new and better in your business, your life, and the lives of your employees and customers. Interested?