Growing B2B Revenue: Principles vs Methods

growing-b2b-revenueTake a moment to answer this question: How does your organization generate revenue?

(This isn’t a rhetorical exercise. Pause for a moment and actually do it!)

Once you have your answer, look at it and try to discern whether the answer you gave was related to methods you use to generate revenue (the how) or the strategic principles behind them (the why).

As a fractional CRO (Chief Revenue Officer) I frequently talk to business leaders who will discuss the ways that they generate revenue with statements like, “We sell through numerous channels to reach a wide market” or “We use reliable manufacturers to source all of our parts so we can get new products to market quickly” or “We provide extensive customization options so our customers can get exactly what they need.” And while these statements may be true, they miss the point of how their organizations are actually generating revenue. These are things that companies do – approaches they take, practices they use, or competitive advantages they rely on. However, they aren’t the true ways that those companies generate revenue …or at least they shouldn’t be!

Your revenue strategy should be more than just a collection of methods – it should be a set of principles.

As my colleague Michael Hartzell says when giving leadership lessons, “Principles before rules. Progress before perfection.” With the right principles in place, you have a basis around which you can structure all your marketing and sales activities.

When you’re looking for ways to grow revenue, focus on the why, not the how!

Once you have the vision of who you are and where you want to go, then you can determine which kinds of activities will align with those organizational principles and values to best get you there.

Clarifying Principles and Values

Write a purpose statement for your company by defining what your company does and what it values. Specifically focus on the core principles that should be reflected in your company’s activities. Those may include things like:

  • Aspirational ideals.
  • Key traits and characteristics.
  • Audiences you specifically want to serve.
  • Benefits you want to provide.
  • Change you want to influence.
  • A story you want to tell.
  • Something else critical to your company’s ethos.

No matter what’s included, ensure that your purpose statement explains why your organization exists to serve as the foundation for what you hope to accomplish.

Goal Setting

Human beings are action oriented. We want a checklist of things to do or steps to take. We want a fix-it-all cure or a secret to success. Unfortunately, that’s now how revenue growth works. Before you can decide what to do, even if you have strong self-awareness as a company, you need to know what you want to accomplish.

So, when a CEO asks me, “What’s the most important thing we need to do to drive revenue growth?” or “How can we improve our go-to-market strategy?” I can’t effectively answer them without first knowing more about their business. I first need to understand the organization’s goals (or help them clarify them) and then I can start to dig down into what’s working and what isn’t based on where leadership wants the organization to go.

Every organization should have short-term and long-term goals as part of its strategic business planning that its leadership can point to when deciding what kinds of activities to undertake. Most organizations will have a standard 12-month plan, but some could also have a more detailed 3-year, 5-year, or 10-year plan with goals spelled out in there as well. As I have shared previously,

“One of the key advantages of planning is that it can serve as a guide to help you understand when your organization needs to change course. …The plan creates a lens through which you can evaluate every possibility that’s presented to you to determine whether it’s an opportunity or not. With a strategic plan in hand, you can ask whether the option in front of you fits within that plan and whether it will help get the company closer to achieving its goals.”

That strategic plan will serve as your compass as you make operational decisions and adapt to changing market conditions. It should also serve as a framework to align business activities to ensure that everything your organization does is going to move it closer to where it wants to go.

Moving Forward

The part that really gets business leaders excited comes next – the doing. With principles and values established and clear business goals laid out, individual organizations can determine which specific mix of activities will be best suited to get them where they want to go in alignment with their overall purpose.  

With your why clarified and your what established, you can embark on your how!

When you need help developing your revenue strategy, please reach out to us! We will work with you using your core principles to strengthen your most valued relationships and grow your business. As B2B revenue consultants we help B2B companies develop a profitable and sustainable revenue strategy. Find out how we can help transform your revenue strategy to achieve results today!

Topics: Revenue Growth Strategy Strategic Revenue Growth Revenue Generation