revenue posts

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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The World Isn’t Flat: Planning for a New 2011

Can you imagine being alive in the late 1400s when Christopher Columbus *didn’t* sail off the edge of the world? After a lifetime of believing the world was flat, would you readily accept that it was round? Or is it possible that you might react as many others do when faced with a new reality [...]

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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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What are you selling? The answers may surprise you.

Pop quiz! Right now, right after you finish reading this article, go to each member of your leadership team and ask them this question: What are we selling?

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Have the Courage to Create a Brand!

Branding is a tricky subject to discuss with small to mid-size companies. It’s a concept that’s more easily associated with consumer products, packaged goods, or the Fortune 500. Branding books use examples like Starbucks, Apple or Dell – examples that don’t resonate with midsize service companies, B2B companies, or industrial product companies.

Many of these types of businesses think of a brand their logo, the look & feel of their web site, or their slogan. Unfortunately, a brand is none of those things. Instead, we define a brand as the combination of what you sell, how you sell it, and to whom. The result is an experience that your customers trust, and it can create substantial value because the right customers will be willing to pay a premium for that experience.

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How to Survive an Investor’s Due Diligence

This isn’t a good time to raise capital for your company. But surprisingly, it may be a good time to sell. An August 2009 New York Times article (“As Deal-Making Returns, Midsize Companies Are Seen as Prime Targets” by Brent Bowers) proclaimed “The United States is ripe for a boom in acquisitions of privately held companies.” But can your company survive an investor’s due diligence?

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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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