Elizabeth Harris

Recent Posts by Elizabeth Harris:

Modifying Your Business Recovery Plan to Overcome The 6-Month Wall

How is your company performing right now? How is your team handling challenges? How are you doing?

Are you hitting a slump?

Do you know you are not alone?

Aisha Ahmad, the highly acclaimed Professor of Political Science at the University of Toronto and global crisis expert, recently tweeted about something called the “six-month wall.” She gave a name to a phenomenon many individuals and businesses have been experiencing and a face to what we can expect moving forward. In case you missed the thread, here it is:

The 6 month mark in any sustained crisis is always difficult. We have all adjusted to this “new normal,” but might now feel like we're running out of steam. Yet, at best, we are only 1/3 the way through this marathon. How can we keep going?

Is Your Revenue Strategy Antifragile?

Turning Market Disruptions into Strategic Growth

The pandemic has led us to ask many questions.

“Are we really more productive working from home?”

“If this is the future of work, how do we keep making sales and growing revenue?”

And mostly, “How are some businesses thriving right now when so many are struggling and failing? How are they turning barriers and disruptions into revenue growth, and how can we too?”

The answer is antifragility.

The conversation happening at most organizations right now is centered around pivoting strategy to make up for lost revenue in 2020. When this is the topic, the focus is on simply getting back to neutral – filling in the hole that the pandemic caused when it upset the market this year and hoping that next year will provide an easier opportunity for growth.

But what if these sweeping disruptions could be a catalyst for growth right now instead? What if the conversation were about how much your business could grow instead of whether it would survive?

Topics: Profitability Profit Leadership Strategic Revenue Growth Action Plan Revenue Generation Business Development Planning Revenue Development Action Plan Change Management

Business Networking - How Do You Make Connections in a Virtual World?

A study on remote work from Xant summarizes its findings in saying,

“Sales teams are facing unique challenges – not only are they working from home, but their customers are too. They are adjusting to remote work, fighting distraction, and also facing an out of sight, out of mind mentality with their leads and potential customers.”

In fact, their research reveals that sales teams are reporting their top challenge right now as the “inability to communicate or connect with customers.”

But salespeople are not alone.

Remember, anyone meeting someone new right now is doing so virtually.

Everyone is in the same boat trying to navigate making virtual connections with new people both professionally and personally. And while some have felt natural, like messaging potential collaborators over social media, others have not, like going on a first date via video call.

Our current normal has changed how we connect with new people. For introverts, this shift has been a welcome change, whereas extroverts have typically found it harder to adapt. However, removing the in-person aspect of making a new connection does not change the reasoning behind connecting in the first place.

Ultimately, the methods to meet new people may have changed, but why we connect is still the same. New introductions require a genuine desire to offer something of value, listening, nurturing the connection, and following-up, whether the relationship is sales-related or not. The people that aim to engage, understand, and build trust will succeed whether they are connecting with other people online or offline.

Topics: Networking Hiring Customer Relationship Management Recruiting Referrals Business Development Professional Development Social Media Inbound Marketing Personal Development

12 Principles for Describing Your Company’s Product or Service

Strategic revenue development is a function of assessing your company’s strengths and weaknesses; filling in the necessary gaps; and optimizing the alignment between core strengths, internal structures, people, products & services, and marketing strategy; followed by ongoing measurement and plan adjustments.

One of the 37 Foundational Questions (FQ) in our Revenue Development Action Plan, is:

“Describe what your company is in the business of:
Delivering… making… servicing… providing…”

In essence, we want to know there is clarity and alignment regarding products and services. In the B2B market, a sales team needs the support to ensure messages are aligned and services are delivered as promised. Though it may appear obvious, too often there are dozens of versions. Marketing takes the description one direction, sales another… and neither serve the customer well.

Every business owner and senior executive dreams about having a great company. And as an engineer, innovator, and business CEO Elon Musk said,

Great companies are built on great products.” (The same could be said about excellent services for service providers.)

Yet, there is something else that is essential to success, something that has a significant impact on revenue. That element is a great product or service description. A great product or service description is essential because every business must be able to articulate clearly and appealingly what it makes, delivers, services, or provides. Without that, how would a buyer find, understand, get excited about, or purchase what is being sold?

Topics: Brand Management Revenue Development Action Plan

Sales vs Marketing – Who Owns Revenue?

Plenty of marketing professionals will tell you that their team is often misaligned, misunderstood, or competing against the sales team at their organization. Unsurprisingly, many sales professionals echo this same sentiment. In fact, a 2019 survey commissioned by LeanData and Sales Hacker uncovered that more than a third of those surveyed (37%) do not believe that sales and marketing are properly aligned.

Topics: Revenue Growth Strategy Strategic Revenue Growth Chief Revenue Officer Revenue Generation

What Kind of Content Do B2B Buyers Want?

Most sales and business development teams understand that B2B audiences are less influenced by emotion, preferring value-driven content with hard data instead. According to a recent study, 73% of B2B buyers surveyed indicate that they have less time to devote to reading and research than they used to, which makes creating compelling content even more important. However, even with less time available, 60% of B2B buyers still want access to industry insights from thought leaders, opening the door to provide access to this critical audience.

With fewer opportunities available to reach decision-makers, you must demonstrate that you can exhibit thought leadership by increasing quality, demonstrating value, using the right voice, and making content easily accessible.

Topics: B2B Sales B2B Thought Leadership Content

Sales Management Strategies to Grow Revenue During a Recession

As stay home orders were instituted across the country businesses were forced to rapidly adapt to changing market conditions. Employees began working remotely and sales functions went virtual to meet business and consumer audiences where they were.

While some industries surged with revenue growth overnight, other industries abruptly saw these business operation changes create barriers to meeting revenue projections. Businesses that previously relied on face-to-face and in-person interactions to sell were left scratching their heads as they tried to figure out how they could leverage their strengths to conduct sales in a new way.

Topics: Sales B2B Sales Strategic Revenue Growth Revenue Generation Management Referrals Revenue Development Action Plan Change Management

Business in Crisis: How to Restart and Move Forward

We are currently in a recession that is being felt across all industries. An April McKinsey & Company survey indicates, “Consumers are feeling the impact of COVID-19, with about 34 percent noting that either their income or ability to work has been negatively impacted.” Rising unemployment and consumer economic uncertainty are rippling through organizations in both B2B and B2C arenas.  

However, consumers and businesses are still spending. How and what they are consuming is changing. Those changes will likely stick around after the pandemic is over. The same survey indicates, “The next normal has started emerging, with consumers indicating that they will adopt long-term behavioral changes that will last beyond the current situation. Consumers who have switched to new brands or retailers largely intend to stick with them, with almost two-thirds of consumers indicating an intent to continue.”

Businesses are following suit – making purchasing changes based on supply chain availability and selling changes based on necessity. Additional survey data on B2B sales indicates that “Almost 90 percent of sales have moved to a video conferencing(VC)/phone/web sales model, and while some skepticism remains, more than half believe this is equally or more effective than sales models used before COVID-19.”

Do you know how to move forward in a restart? Ask yourself these questions:

  • Do you know how to control your spending without thwarting growth?
  • What will you do to preserve essential customer relationships?
  • Are you equipped to find revenue in new ways?
  • Do you understand where new revenue opportunities exist?
  • Can you change your way of thinking to adapt?

In a recent webinar Paul Single, Managing Director at City National Rochdale, explained the forecasted economic curve as being shaped like a Nike swish – with a sudden drop-off and a slow but continuous upward swoop. While the economic rebound will almost certainly happen slowly, your business needs to be poised for revenue growth now to capitalize on opportunities as they arise.

Topics: Profitability B2B Sales Strategic Revenue Growth Action Plan B2B SMART Revenue Revenue Generation Innovation Planning Revenue Development Action Plan Change Management