The three essential pillars companies must follow to spring from stagnation and reach new heights
I wonder if you share the dream of most business owners and leaders? You want to see a healthy graph showing steady organic growth; a consistent, manageable increase in revenue, with overheads that are controlled and sustained profit margins. In other words, a business that is developing new customers steadily and achieving growth targets.
If you do dream of this, I may be about to burst your bubble.
From my experience, businesses who rely on achieving growth by increasing output always, at some time, hit the dreaded plateaux. They grow for several years as they have a solid offering, deliver some proactive engagement with their market, and work hard to close sales.
But inevitably there is a point when growth slows. The business’s internal practices and processes reach their saturation point. Increased sales cannot be achieved without doing things differently and all the small changes they make stop creating the desired results.
As the organic growth that the business is capable of has stopped delivering what’s need it is time for a new idea to generate dynamic growth.
Dynamic growth is about constant change. It’s about taking new actions to stimulate different results, and it’s what is needed when you reach a profit plateau. But how do you get started?
When building a dynamic approach to business growth there are three key pillars to focus on. These will allow you to make the changes to your organisation that will ensure you can spring from the plateau to reach new heights.
Pillar One: Your customer journey pillar
When they work with your business, the experience that your customers have is everything.
Your responsibility is to shape a journey that both educates your customer on the value of your offering and ensures that they experience your business as credible and professional.
Really robust businesses, that exceed their own growth expectations, have diverse and well-planned customer journeys; they look carefully at the stages through which their customers travel and at the impact, this has on their decision-making. In addition to a highly tuned customer experience, they have internal processes that create productivity and efficiency.
To understand a plateau to business growth the first place to look is in the detail of the customer sales process. A well planned and diverse customer journey that is implemented effectively internally will absolutely maximise the conversion rate and revenue generation.
Really high-quality sales process methodology will allow your business to draw in more customers and make more revenue and ultimately generate more profit.
Action: Take time to interrogate the experience that your customer has when working with you. What stages do they move through? Is how you interact with your customers diverse and well defined? Are they having a consistently high-quality experience? If your customer journey is a smooth and effective one you will be losing money.
Pillar Two: Your customer communication pillar
One of the most powerful tools your business has is customer communication. What we say and how we say it has a huge impact on how much money we make.
This pillar within your business deals with every communication that your customer is exposed to and looks at how it impacts their decision-making. With the increasing choice of channels, we have ever more marketing and sales communications to explore, and a switched-on business will look closely at its communications pillar.
Whether it be the business cards you hand out at face-to-face meetings, the software you use to generate proposals, or the quality of the telephone calls that your sales team are making to your customers, really strong communication embraces multiple channels and creates high-quality guidelines around how these channels should be used.
With email, for example, it requires crafting an email that has a powerful impact within the sales communications pillar. Keep a laser-like focus on the content, tone, structure, and delivery of every sale and marketing activity from your business. If your customer communications are not of the highest possible standards, you will not be achieving the highest possible results.
Action: Make sure that you evaluate your customer communications. Go back to basics. Check all your communications for quality and impact. Create clear communications guidelines and ensure your entire team is implementing them.
Pillar Three: Your people management pillar
Management, it not just about leading your team, it is about the practises that your business embraces to drive the right outcomes. Within management, you need to look at the structure of your business to ensure you have the right number of resources and that each person is working in the right fit in their role. In truly powerful businesses, every resource in the organisation lines up behind the customer journey so that delivery is to the highest possible standards.
Once you are sure that you have the right team, you then need to think about how those team members communicate with one another internally. Review how you train and develop them to ensure they have the highest possible skillset; understand how performance is managed to ensure that everyone is driving towards the right goals and achieving the right targets. Together these form the management culture that is shaping your business. By focusing on ensuring that your people are in an environment where they can perform to their maximum you will achieve better results. So, really dynamic businesses are asking: is my workforce well trained, well recruited and well developed? If the answer to any of those questions is no, there will be a negative impact on the amount of revenue that you are generating. Action: Are all team members in roles where they can best perform and let their skills shine? Do they need additional training? Is every employee aligned with your vision for the business?
Any business that wants to grow and move past a profit plateau, needs to be dynamic and take control of its destiny.
Having the tools to drive constant growth in your organisation is one of the most powerful skills you can develop. Review the three pillars of your business to discover just how dynamic you are being right now.
Karen Dunne-Squire is the owner and managing director of Elation Sales, a company that equips businesses with the skills to convert and retain clients elation-experts.co.uk.