Elizabeth Harris

Recent Posts by Elizabeth Harris:

Building a Strategic Business Plan in the After Times

Strategic business planning has always been an organization’s key to finding success. However, when the pandemic hit, strategic plans went out the window. Changing consumption patterns and buyer expectations rendered sales forecasts obsolete and supply chain challenges turned “business as usual” on its head. Businesses pivoted, shifted, and rode the wave eagerly anticipating a “return to normal” that never came.

In the wake of this massive disruption, it has become abundantly clear that the business landscape as we knew it has been permanently changed. How we do business has changed, who we do business with has changed, and the kind of business we do has changed. The long-term planning that companies once relied on to guide their strategic moves was largely put on hold, and continuous re-forecasting served as a tenuous foundation that companies came to rely on for their short-term planning.

Topics: Action Plan Revenue Generation Planning Revenue Development Action Plan

Learning from the Sherwin-Williams Debacle

A colleague of mine has been living in his basement Airbnb rental for almost four months as he renovates the rest of his home. As is typical these days, every part of the project took longer than expected with the contractor running into delays getting materials and problems finding subcontractors to do the work. Finally in the home stretch, he and his wife gave the contractor an exact shade of Sherwin-Williams paint that they wanted used on the walls. This is not their first home renovation, and as such, they are picky about their paint. Previous experiences, both good and bad, have made them die-hard Sherwin-Williams brand loyalists.

But when the painting was complete, they immediately recognized that the paint they had requested had not been used. They asked if the painters had used Sherwin-Williams paint. They insisted they had.

Topics: Brand Management Brand Integrity

Is a CRO a Change Agent?

Over a decade ago, an article in the International Journal of Management, Business, and Administration defined a change agent in the following way:

“A change agent is anyone who has the skill and power to stimulate, facilitate, and coordinate the change effort. Change agents may be either external or internal. The success of any change effort depends heavily on the quality and workability of the relationship between the change agent and the key decision makers within the organization.”

And in the time since, this definition has remained relevant while the use of the term “change agent” has become more widespread.

However, this term has not always been looked upon favorably. Back in 2016 Forbes published an article declaring change agents “a hoax” and setting the internet ablaze with well-articulated counter perspectives arguing the importance of change agents. In the years since, the business world has come to embrace the idea of change agents and understand the value that they can bring to organizations undergoing significant changes.

Topics: Leadership Strategic Revenue Growth CRO Chief Revenue Officer

What to Look for When Hiring a Chief Revenue Officer: The 8 Characteristics of Highly Effective CROs

In more than 20 years as a Chief Revenue Officer (CRO) I have seen the difference between effective and ineffective leadership first-hand. And while the names and organizations may vary, the professional attributes and character traits largely do not. There is a core set of characteristics that makes the top CROs the best at what they do.

Topics: Leadership CRO Chief Revenue Officer Recruiting Excellence Personal Development

Do You Need a New Go-To-Market Strategy this Year?

If you are asking this question, you are already doing something right. Taking the time to analyze whether your Go-To-Market (GTM) strategy needs to be either refreshed or overhauled is a critical component of keeping up with both the market and your industry.

Determining whether you need a new B2B GTM strategy this year will depend largely on how old your existing plan is. If your GTM strategy was developed before COVID and has not been updated since, it definitely needs attention. If it was written or updated over the last two years, it likely still needs work but may not have to be rebuilt from the ground up.

Topics: Revenue Growth Profitability Strategic Revenue Growth Action Plan Planning Revenue Development Action Plan

Why Does a Professional Services Firm Need a Chief Revenue Officer?

Anyone who has ever been responsible for revenue generation at a professional services firm understands that their revenue model is fundamentally different than a product-based company because they are selling an intangible. And while it is a common misconception that their sales cycles are longer, services companies do face many distinct revenue hurdles that often lead to broken revenue strategies.

What kind of unique revenue challenges do professional service firms have?

How do their revenue strategies differ from other industries?

Can a Chief Revenue Officer (CRO) add value to service firms?

Topics: Sales Strategy Strategic Revenue Growth CRO Chief Revenue Officer

The Evolution of Revenue – Lessons from the Frontline

Back in 2012 Forbes dubbed the Chief Revenue Officer (CRO) “the CEO’s new secret weapon,” highlighting the importance of this role in C-suite leadership. Over the last decade the way we view revenue has evolved, paving the way for the CRO role to expand and flourish. In fact, Stephen Hurrell has forecasted that, “By 2023, almost one-quarter of organizations will establish a Chief Revenue Officer leadership role, focusing on all channels of revenue, not just direct sales.”

Anita Little explains the business rationale behind the rise in CRO roles when she says, “Businesses are realizing that to stay agile, strategic, and most importantly, sustainable, they need a CRO who can fold marketing, sales, and customer success into one seamless revenue machine.”

However, whether a company employs a CRO or not, it is still crucial to understand how revenue has evolved. Staying ahead of your competition requires a firm understanding of how to evaluate revenue, where digitalization has changed revenue generation, who should be included in revenue conversations, and what strategic revenue planning looks like in a post-pandemic world.

Topics: Revenue Growth Strategic Revenue Growth SMART Revenue Chief Revenue Officer Revenue Generation Revenue Development Action Plan

B2B Revenue: Handling Supply Chain Disruptions

Globalization has given B2B companies access to a seemingly endless list of suppliers and buyers, lowering prices and shortening delivery times. That is, until a disruption is introduced into the global network that ripples through the system.

Some disruptions have a more limited scope (only affecting certain industries or regions), while others have a more widespread effect. The pandemic has been the widest reaching business disruption of our time, and it is not going to be resolved anytime soon.

In fact, over the last few months “supply chain” has quickly become the new trending topic that everyone is talking about. However, most B2B companies have been dealing with supply chain woes for almost two years now. And with no end in sight, they are feeling the pressure to get even more strategic with how they approach supply chain disruptions.

So, how should you handle today’s ongoing supply chain disruptions… and tomorrow’s?

Topics: Profit Strategy B2B SMART Revenue Revenue Generation Analysis Planning Forecasting Revenue Development Action Plan