Recently, our team had the privilege of attending the board meeting for a large division of a Fortune 500 company. The topic for this discussion was how their organization will grow at 5x the rate of their market. Yes, you read that correctly. Their organization believes so strongly in product and people that they have decided that they will brave the journey to grow not 2x or even 3x, but 5x the rate of their market.
During a thorough review of the meeting materials, the President of the division remarked “Why are we calling this a sales plan? This isn’t just a sales plan! To make this happen we are going to need product, marketing and customer support.”
Naturally, since the topic of the meeting was revenue growth, much of the supporting materials referred to the ‘sales plan.’
This quick aside served as a great reminder of the #1 thing missing from most revenue growth plans – Cross Functional Collaboration.
As soon as the topic of revenue growth comes up, many organizations immediately start spinning their wheels to see what kind of quick wins they can squeeze out of a tweak to the sales comp plan.
However, this kind of thinking just doesn’t cut it when you start talking about growing at 3, 4, or 5 times your market. That kind of game changing growth requires bigger thinking from leaders across the organization. Here are a few things they considered:
- Product – Will the product roadmap allow for enough differentiation to hit the growth plan?
- Marketing – Do we have the necessary market data? Does our messaging adequately support the differentiation strategy?
- Sales – Do we have the right team structure, talent make-up and process for engaging customers?
- Customer Support – Do we have the right structure and approach to retain + grow customers?
At one time or another, many organizations find themselves asking these questions. Frequently, these questions lead to the realization that new functions are necessary to meet their revenue growth targets.
For example, one of our clients recognized that they could achieve substantially higher profits if they were able to effectively quantify and communicate the impact that their technology could have on the customer’s business during the sales cycle.
This sounds simple in theory, but sales and customer success are typically different functions within an organization, making it difficult to manage. In this case, they created an entirely separate function responsible for quantifying pre-sale potential value and capturing post sale value delivered.
As you consider how to make your revenue growth target a reality, don’t underestimate the importance of cross functional collaboration.