In the other blogs in this series, we’ve gone over the steps in the Revenue Performance Management (RPM) cycle and given some tried-and-true tips for success. And now here we are at the last two steps: repeat and scale.
Repeat … what, exactly?
When you close a great sale or win a big new customer, your instincts may say, “we’ll just do that again!” But in order to REPEAT a success, you have to first understand in detail what works and what doesn’t.
For example, maybe the customer service department always shares their notes so sales knows when their contacts are having a problem and can follow up – that’s awesome! Be sure to keep that up! On the other hand, maybe some reps aren’t capturing all of their contacts with the CRM and they’re missing opportunities for nurturing. That’s not awesome. So be sure to review procedures and train those who need it.
For a comprehensive picture, you need feedback from two groups of people:
- Your client-facing team. This is anyone who works with your customers from marketing and sales, to customer service and technical support. Each has a different role with your customers and gains different insights about which processes are efficient, what steps add extra time to their work, or what consistently causes problems.
- Your customers. Both big and small accounts have useful insights. Your customers chose to work with you for a reason, so ask them why they picked your company and why they stay. Don’t assume you know what value you bring or what selection criteria they used.
There are a few ways to gather feedback (and we suggest employing more than one of these for optimal results):
- Q&A/surveys. One-on-one conversations with open-ended questions are ideal, but even a few multiple-choice questions over the phone or via online survey tools can provide the details you need most.
- Email. It’s a nice touch to regularly email your customers, either as a group or individually, to check in. Always include an invitation for their feedback or even a direct question about their experience with you.
- Social media. Establish an active presence on sites like LinkedIn or Twitter so customers can leave feedback (and check it consistently).
- Testimonials and case studies. It’s ok to request these from your customers! And most of the time they will be happy to share. Not only do testimonials show customers their business is important to you, they illustrate your capabilities and value to prospects.
Scale Up If You Measure Up
Once you’ve identified everything worth repeating (or refining), there’s just one more step to the revenue cycle – scale it up!
A word of caution: scaling can cause more harm than good if you’re not prepared for the added workload and potential results. Make sure you’re prepared in terms of these three things:
Is your staff ready and able to handle every aspect of the revenue cycle? Do they understand how it relates to their roles and responsibilities? Remember that it’s not just about sales and marketing! For example, the way you bring new customers onboard counts. Your operations and program management team members are just as critical to the process as the sales team. Don’t dive in without sufficient communication and coordination between teams about goals and procedures.
When the volume of prospects and campaigns (and hopefully customers!) increases, it’s even more important to have a streamlined set of procedures to follow for things like nurturing, sales forecasting, and CRM training. Just like an assembly line or a series of metal forming machines, everyone must have the skills to do their work, and must understand how they fit into the big picture to keep things going.
If you’re not already using a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) and/or marketing automation software, you’ll need it if you’re to scale up effectively. These tools accomplish different but related data that shows you who your best prospects are, how your online content performs, and where customers are in the pipeline. They also allow you to standardize your data so you can analyze it for accurate sales forecasting, goal-setting, and marketing strategy planning.
When you’re prepared to scale up, you can do great things! But sometimes what your team is able to do for a single customer or a brief campaign is more than what they can do for everyone all the time. So, think about your options. Can you refine and simplify processes without missing opportunities? Hire more staff? Outsource some tasks?
Even though we’ve reached the end of this series on Revenue Performance Management, know that the RPM cycle never truly stops. The market is always evolving and you need to adapt to stay competitive. If you’d like to talk about how RPM can revolutionize your sales pipeline, please contact us today.
Editor’s note: This blog was originally published in 2014. It has been updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness.