CEOs of Australian companies need to change their game plan when it comes to meeting earnings forecasts. The Synergy Group’s recent industry research report, SustainSales: Outlook and Opportunities, found that while a majority of the ASX50 experienced some level of net profit growth in 2014, 70% also experienced negligible or negative growth in sales revenue.
For the last few years, growth has come largely from cost cutting and efficiency programs, which has masked the true state of growth within many companies. The time has now come for CEOs and boards to deliver real top line revenue growth – but the burning question is, how?
To drive double-digit sales and growth targets, companies need to reinvigorate the way they do things.
In the current business environment, no company can do the same thing as last year and expect to secure bigger and better revenue. Instead they need to refresh their game plan.
Where should a CEO start when reviewing their business plan?
Sales no longer simply relates to new business activity. In today’s digital age, sales transcends across the entire enterprise, and all functions of a business impact upon sales growth. Therefore a new game plan requires a holistic approach, and must focus on strategy, sales enablement, customer engagement and leadership.
Sales needs to be approached strategically, and this starts in the boardroom. After the sales strategy is devised, CEOs and senior management must ensure it is effectively cascaded and executed throughout all levels of the organisation. The capability of sales teams also needs to align with any broader goals that are set. Start with your existing sales force and ensure they have the right skills, mindset and tools to effectively do the job at hand.
It’s also important to radicalise the customer experience by generating deeper insights and understanding, and delivering greater value. In order to do this, you’ll need to use technology and data analytics to understand customers, to analyse and predict sales force bench strength, and to drive insights and differentiation.
Lastly, CEOs need to focus on leadership. Accelerated sales growth is facilitated through strong leadership that comes from the top. Robust leadership can guide the messages and strategy required to engage both sales teams and customers.
Driving sales in the new economy is a process that can be transformative in nature. First and foremost organisations need a plan to achieve their revenue targets, but they also require active collaboration throughout the company.