Are you ready to accelerate revenue growth plans for your business? Is your mindset focused on looking for the new revenue opportunities coming from the pandemic? It is already clear that some business owners are adapting to new ways of doing business whilst others are struggling just to survive.
We have been inundated with graphic images of the impacts of the pandemic in Australia. With seemingly endless stay at home orders, closed state and national borders and daily media calls from our Commonwealth and State leaders there is still no clear path out of this predicament. There is an increasingly frustrated business community looking for an end to this situation. Whilst Australia has done relatively well compared to many countries during the pandemic, the big question remains, where to in 2022?
For the general public and more specifically for the business community, the challenge is how do we respond to what often appears to be factors outside of our control. If we accept that the pandemic is going to continue well into 2022 and beyond there is an urgent need for all business owners to start building strategic resilience. We need to adapt and accelerate revenue growth plans as a way of remaining competitive.
We believe there is in fact a wonderful opportunity to reset our plans and look for the competitive advantages to be gained. The impact of the pandemic on the changing needs of customers will be one of the big challenges facing business owners as we head into 2022.
In making plans for 2022 and beyond, the fundamental objective should be to settle on your optimal revenue growth plan. Then identify the resources needed to successfully execute that plan. Another way to express this is to answer the question. “What needs to change in your business and what needs to stay the same as you build long term sustainability and resilience into your business?”
To begin this business review, I like to ask our clients two further questions. “What are the biggest challenges that keep you up at night?” and “What does success look like for you?” The answers often are not what you expect.
What is keeping you up at night?
To kick off our review I believe there are a number of critical areas to consider. Our list is not exhaustive. Here are some of the answers business owners have expressed as the key impediments to growing their business during the pandemic.
The general economic conditions
As the economy changes and the pandemic impacts on business models, we have witnessed existing products and services offered needing to pivot to new delivery models. Before the pandemic this came under the broad heading of strategic digital transformation for business. Business owners were aware that changes to delivery models were occurring in the market. Since the pandemic the rate of change has accelerated and has become the “new normal”. The general economic conditions across all sectors of the economy have changed forever and has forced many changes onto businesses just to survive.
Sales and marketing skills shortages
A severe shortage of sales and marketing skills has emerged during the pandemic. We have older candidates with traditional sales and marketing skills. Then there are younger inexperienced candidates who are more adaptive to new ideas. Right across all industry sectors, businesses are struggling to find the right talent for their growth plans. This has become a pivotal moment for business owners looking to innovate and accelerate their growth plans. With this lack of competent sales and marketing skills in-house, often business owners struggle to find competent external resources to assist building their sales pipeline.
Another complication for many sales people during the pandemic is general acceptance of negative feedback when using traditional cold calling techniques for prospecting. With the recent growth in cyber security attacks on businesses this has added another layer of challenges for the sales team using cold calling solutions. These days we regularly hear people say they will actively avoid prospective cold calling or generic e-mail campaigns. They fear inviting unwanted sales approaches that risk cyber security breaches in the business. Many will tell you they can still do prospective cold calling well but few can actually deliver the results when it counts.
So many traditional and digital channels to market
As the channels to market fragment the business owner does not have infinite resources for all channels and consequently is forced to pick “winners”.
It is not surprising as a consequence, that many business owners are struggling to trust new ideas. If previous attempts have delivered poor outcomes and led to negative returns on the investment we need to rebuild trust. This inherent lack of trust with new “go to channel” approaches to the market is a real challenge. But these same business owners still need to be growing revenue organically during the pandemic.
The customer needs and expectations are changing
The fact is that there are competitors emerging with innovative new ways to meet the needs of your customers all the time. These disruptors will use the pandemic as an opportunity to take customers away from those who are struggling to adapt.
Often there is a misalignment between customer expectations and those of the business owner in terms of the product or services offered. Over promising and under delivery experiences with customers will see a move to competitors better able to meet their needs.
Another significant factor emerging is the increasing desire, particularly in the younger generations, to only buy from organisations that meet their ESG obligations. This is sometimes called a social licence. Business owners are under pressure to deliver their products and services in a more sustainable way. There is a strong need to tell this ESG story to potential customers or lose out to competitors who do.
Operations pressures increasing with the impacts of the pandemic
No market stands still and competitors are attracting the same customer base as your business. If your sales team relies on price only as a competitive advantage this inevitably leads to sales margins declining. Unfortunately, this approach to sales will lead to more cost cutting and a lack of sustainable profitability. Price cutting of your products and services will be a killer of businesses in the pandemic.
Another common operational issue occurs if your staff culture towards customers is not consistent leading to variable service delivery standards. If this is a problem we need to deal with it. Otherwise it will make it more difficult than it needs to be to engage with your customers and grow the revenue lines.
The pandemic has also led to supply chain challenges for different products and services with longer lead times, additional warehousing costs and increasing freight and distribution costs. There is no end to these Operations challenges.
New Perspectives on Old Issues
For the business owner we need to ask the important questions. What does success look like for you? What has changed and what hasn’t changed with our customers? Why have these issues become critical to the growth plans for our business as we enter 2022? Let’s face it, your customers still want to buy great products and services. So how are we going to adapt to remain competitive and meet the needs of these customers?
Some of these changes arising from the pandemic will be industry wide. Others will come from our competitors doing a better job of pivoting faster, reducing costs and providing a quality customer experience. How you react could severely impact on your business remaining sustainable in this competitive environment.
To accelerate revenue growth plans during the pandemic will require new thinking around the adoption of a Digital Transformation Plan. There has been a growing trend over the past few years within the business world to accept this “new way to do business”. Whilst some have mistakenly interpreted this as a technology driven approach to business, it is more complex than the technology alone. Your business culture is critical in bringing permanent change within your business processes and ultimately in delivering a better customer experience.
Today’s business leaders need many skills to thrive in the pandemic. This starts with getting the team culture aligned with the purpose for your organisation. The pandemic will cause faster failure of businesses who implement “band-aid” changes. Rather our approach is to make real changes that set up a sustainable future for your business.
If this blog has inspired your team to take action to accelerate revenue growth plans, our experienced sales and marketing team would love to talk further. We would examine the challenges you face and to help identify how to accelerate your growth plans. Most importantly we will assist to maximise the value of your investment in these initiatives. Call me on 0401767639 or send an email to email@example.com.
Good luck as you accelerate revenue growth plan initiatives in 2022.