Chuck Mache asked:
I listen to talk radio, particularly sports talk. One of the hottest topics, if not the hottest is whether the San Francisco Giants should bring back Barry Bonds. For the two people on the planet that don’t know, he will be a free agent once the World Series is over. One morning last week, the host was emphasizing the impact that Bonds has on revenue by his presence in a Giants uniform.
This particular discussion wasn’t the usual swirl of banter over making the best decision to produce a winner, his diminishing skills, the negativity that surrounds the alleged steroid issue, or the importance of him breaking the home run record in a Giants uniform. More specifically the discussion was about his influence on the numbers. Keep him or lose him, how does it affect company revenue? I think one of the quotes was something like, “At the end of the day, how many rear ends will he put in the seats of AT&T Park and what does that mean to revenue? I guarantee you that’s what upper management is thinking about.”
I found the hosts opinion to be honest, refreshing, and cuttingly truthful. It got me thinking about industries outside of the standard “sales driven” ones that use armies of salespeople (big or small) to proactively bring revenue through the door.
Smart companies (excluding non-profits) in nearly any industry make their key decisions based on their impact on revenue.
If they aren’t, I believe you’ll find that the company is either struggling or existing well below their potential.
There are a tremendous amount of organizations living well below their potential because they are not focused on being revenue driven. Trust me, I’ve seen it throughout my 25+ years of experience in selling, managing, building and leading sales organizations regionally and internationally.
Most people, when they think of the words sales, customer, revenue, they tend to think of those companies that have prototype salespeople whose sole purpose is to proactively bring revenue in the door.
But what about those industries that don’t get their revenue through a sales force model. Aren’t Legal, Accounting, Dentistry, Medical, Architectural firms also an example of revenue driven companies? I mean, call their customers clients or patients, but aren’t they really customers? And, don’t they want to attract more of them so that revenue will grow? Won’t that make for a healthier company?
I must admit, that in my work, industries like Real Estate, Mortgage, Broadcasting, Telecom, and Technology where the practice of proactively marketing their respective products and services is the primary strategy is my sweet spot.
Many of my articles can be found on dozens of websites under various topics of executive management, sales management, and leadership. They are usually on sales and marketing sites or those specific to the obvious revenue driven industries that use salespeople to bring the dollars through the door.
But something interesting has begun occurring.
I got an email from an accountant who said, “I read one of your articles on The Four Kinds of Sales People and I have to tell you, it’s not just about sales people. We need to break through to the next level too.”
Then I got an email from a website dedicated to lawyers requesting to put one of my articles on “Understanding your sales team” on their website. They wanted to change the word “salespeople” to “business developers. I said OK. I mean call it a patient or a client it’s still a customer. Call it a business developer or an account executive it’s still a sales rep.
So I got curious and sent the article that the law site customized to a couple attorney friends of mine and asked them about the importance of revenue.
Here’s what I discovered:
In industries such as legal and accounting, to actually proactively “sell” is considered distasteful. To directly pursue revenue in this manner doesn’t work. The key is to “attract” your customers (I mean clients). Attract through being visible, attract through meeting new people, attract through participating in functions, attract through doing a great job for your customers (I mean clients) so that they will become your advocate and refer you to their friends.
Next week I have to go to the dentist for my six-month cleaning. I’m one of his customers (I mean patients). As I’m leaving, they will ask me if I need any more whitener and they will certainly schedule my next six month visit. I like them. They put out a great service, become involved in the community, get themselves known and take advantage of the opportunities that come their way.
Since I’m not directly involved in any of these industries, I’m going to make an educated guess. They have meetings on revenue and how to bring it in. They struggle with partners and associates who do not “indirectly” hunt for new business. Those that bring in the clients are the kings and queens. And, for those that don’t, they have mediocre careers.
This is my message for all industries. You have a choice, whether it’s direct or indirect, get to bringing in the revenue, or just be mediocre in your careers.