All businesses must deliver acceptable bottom line results to their owners or shareholders, or eventually perish. Most often, these bottom line results are sought in the form of lower input costs, better operational efficiency, more cost-effective overall business processes, automation, and the like. And all of this has an impact, up to a point. But what then? How much can costs be cut, realistically, before one starts hacking into the long term viability of the business? How much can one gain in increased operational efficiency, without eventually short-changing the customers who are the real source of long-term corporate success? In many cases, the answer is “not much”.
Almost always left unexamined, in our experience, is the question of what can be done to raise revenues and actually grow the business. All too often, revenue is assumed to be a constant, or worse, declining. Revenue generation, in general, is seen as being somewhat mysterious, and fundamentally hard to manage. Sales are seen as events that are inherently hard to predict with any real accuracy.
It may not be the conventional wisdom, but our 20 years of consulting experience strongly suggests that nothing could be further from the truth. In our experience, businesses systematically manufacture (or destroy) revenue in the same way as they go about producing their core product or service. And everyone in the company is involved, in some way. Starting with the Board of Directors, who define earnings targets. Executive leadership must then set the strategy and define the key corporate objectives. At the other end of the spectrum, products must be developed, produced, distributed, and maintained. Or services resourced. In between, leads must be generated, and followed up. Sales must deliver closed deals. In the end, Product, Marketing, Sales, Administration, Information Technology, and Executive leadership must all work together in a coordinated, focused fashion to maximize revenue potential. This we call the Revenue Manufacturing Process©. And each business has its own distinct version.
So the starting point for any successful Revenue Optimization initiative is to understand how your organization systematically manufactures revenue today. And far more importantly, how it systematically destroys potential revenue. How easy is it for a customer to buy something from your company? How do they find you? How do you find them? What happens when you connect? What do they need? Do you have it? Do they get it? How? Do your customers keep coming back? Why? More importantly, why not? Do you have the information infrastructure needed to effectively manage all these business processes and dynamics? Bottom line, how does management at all levels direct and manage the entire Revenue Manufacturing Process©?
Once all this is understood, you’re in a position to do far more of what counts to manufacture revenue, and far less of what destroys it. The result – revenue optimization and top line growth. And bottom line results.