In July and August of this year, I am teaching a class for the University of Toronto Continuing Education Department on finding and marketing to customers. We have a wide range of businesses from consulting to retail, with a real mix of B2B and B2C. One of the first exercises we went through was talking about setting sales and marketing goals. It was a good session in the class and here are some of the highlights.
Activities that Support Revenue
Startups are often too focused on revenue and not focused enough on the activities that build revenue. The activities should be aligned to the customer buying stages and your internal sales path. Understanding the activities that lead to sales can help be more consistent and successful at closing revenue. These activities could include things website traffic, inbound leads, sales meetings, or a number of other activities.
Set Smaller Monthly Targets
Take your revenue and supporting goals and break them down into a monthly target. This way seasonality and major initiatives can be taken into account. It is much easier to forecast a doubling of revenue for year and understanding what that looks like on a monthly basis. To double revenue, your company may need to more than double the number of customers as the new customers don’t all start at the beginning of the year, so you may not recognize a full year of revenue.
Pay on Those Targets
Company employees should be made aware of company targets and how you are progressing against them. This is not only for your sales reps, but for the whole team. Set targets for employees based on the metrics that they can help influence. As an example at VA Partners, the marketing team has variable compensation based on website traffic, inbound leads, and revenue.
Regular meetings with the sales and marketing team should occur to review progress and initiatives. This could be a forecast review examining not just revenue projections, but how the supporting activity targets are being met as well.
Growing your business can be a difficult task. Many businesses only have a revenue target and not the right targets or process to support it. It is tough to know where you are going if you don’t know how to get there.
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