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The Cost of Chaos – Part III

Imagine that you have a huge digital billboard in your office. It’s something like the national debt clock, and it’s tracking something that is just as critical to your company’s future. It’s the money your organization wastes while trying to generate revenue: the cost of failed products, excess sales salaries, sales support, ads, promotions, campaigns, demos, travel, unhappy customers, re-makes, lost deals, incorrect pricing, channel support, training, and more.

We have a name for these losses — the Cost of Chaos — and your new “chaos meter” would track every minute and dollar lost from uncontrolled revenue generation. And while nothing can match the national debt clock, we can guarantee that you won’t like the numbers you see on the version that hangs in your office.

This topic is so important that we’ve covered it in a three-part series. Today we’re providing examples of specific actions you can take to reduce these costs.

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The Cost of Chaos – Part II

Maintaining a healthy weight isn’t a mystery. We know what to do and we know what we shouldn’t do. And even with all the science and evidence to the contrary, we keep trying the latest fads, buying the books and pills and programs that promise the silver bullet.

The same concept applies to fixing what we call the Cost of Chaos — the penalty for not aligning a principle-based revenue strategy throughout your organization. Companies try this new marketing program. Hire that hotshot sales rep. Add a new twist to the customer offer. Design a new logo and attend the big name trade show. In other words, companies are constantly searching for a silver bullet and, while conducting that search, pour money down the drain at an alarming rate.

This is such a critical concept in the generation of revenue that we’ve divided this article into three sections.

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8 Ways to Listen to Your Market

Look OUT, not IN! If you’re following our CEO Challenge articles, speaking or consulting work, you’ve heard this mantra a lot. More often than not, answers to your most important business questions aren’t inside your organization; the answers lie out there with your customers. What problems are they facing? How is your firm REALLY doing at solving those problems? How do they make decisions? What’s the image they have of your firm versus your competitors? How much value do you really bring? How consistent and predictable is your service? Do you know what your customers wish you did better? But how can you gather this research? This action plan provides 8 ways to listen without breaking the bank.

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“We have plenty of leads but can’t seem to convert!”

Recognize this sales funnel? I call it “the desperate pipeline” because it’s wide enough to catch any breathing soul who meanders by! You know what it’s like to be caught in one, receiving endless calls and emails because sometime, somewhere, you accidentally crossed a seller’s path.

Don’t be one of those desperate companies. A fat sales funnel has dramatic hidden costs and creates a barrier for consistent, profitable revenue growth. Marketing programs that focus on attracting as many leads as possible are no different from aggressive salespeople who pitch every breathing soul at every trade show, networking meeting and playground.

The solution? Shrink your pipeline!

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“I’m lying awake worrying about sales!”

As you’re well aware, a CEO is constantly juggling a myriad of challenges. But when it comes to sleep deprivation, the top culprit is typically revenue-related … burning questions such as

Is my sales manager doing a good job?
Is my star salesperson going to quit?
Why does one salesperson excel while others struggle?
This stress frequently stems from two beliefs:

That consistent revenue generation depends on the talents of a few select individuals
That those individuals operate in a world lacking both structure and predictability.
Good news: You can eliminate this chaos! Revenue generation is a science similar to other disciplines inside your organization. And there are three keys to your success.

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