Four Ways to Recover From Missed Revenue Targets
Generating revenue is a top priority for your business. Despite your best efforts, your revenue targets can sometimes feel out of reach. Whether it’s due to market conditions, unexpected expenses, or a dip in sales, falling short of your revenue goals can be a low blow; not just to your bottom line, but also to overall morale.
Don’t worry–we’re here to help!
We’ve enlisted SEBPO expert Todd Handy, CRO, to provide actionable tips to help get you back on track and drive revenue.
1. It’s More Than Just ‘Sell More’
Though it may seem obvious, telling your sales staff to “sell more” isn’t the best way to combat this issue. Approaching salespeople with this directive won’t solve the problem and doesn’t give them the actionable tactics they need to succeed.
“You can’t go to salespeople and just say: ‘sell more’.”
– Todd Handy
Thinking sales teams can just sell more is a common leadership pitfall, and a mentality Handy strongly advises leaders against. Telling sales to simply make more phone calls, get more meetings on the calendar, or send more emails isn’t the answer either. Pushing employees in this way gives the impression that you’re micromanaging them, and that’s all they will retain.
Handy’s solution; triage the problem.
He explains that if, for example, your seller comes in at half their target revenue, take a look at why their numbers came in lower than expected. Triage the problem like you’re in an emergency room and someone comes in with a mystery pain.
“You have to diagnose what the problem is so you can prescribe the right solution to the problem. Avoid going at it at the activity level–’go make more calls, go send more emails’–because that’s not going to do you any good. Clearly, your seller needs some help in finding what is actually causing the problem. A few questions you can ask include: Are your sellers setting up meetings with decision-makers? Are they engaging with questions and doing discovery? Are they putting together compelling proposals?”
2. Include Product in Your Review
One thing that might assist in the triage process is approaching the problem from a product standpoint. You may be getting the right proposals…but what if the issue is deeper?
“Put the product under the microscope,” advises Handy. “Are our prices too high? Does a competitor offer something that we don’t offer? Once you’ve gotten through the product side of things, if that’s where the issue is, then you can go past the triage stage and onto diagnosing the problem. Sales is about solving problems and easing pain. Does your product offering do that? If so, can your sellers articulate that? If you can show a prospect how to solve their problem or ease their pain, then they will be very interested in how they can work with you.”
Next, ask some big questions: what is out in the market that competitors are doing, and how come we aren’t doing that too? Could we go do X so that we can take back business from our competitors? As you continue this line of questioning, analyze the general market space. What are clients spending more money on right now? For example, media publishers are spending more money on data privacy, first-party data, etc. Is there anything we can do to tap into that market?
3. Talk to Your Clients
Handy says the final key to diagnosing the problem is to do a win/loss analysis.
“If you’re not asking the clients who you’ve won business from why they chose you, and if you’re not asking the clients that you didn’t win why they didn’t choose you, you’re going to have to make assumptions and that’s not going to help you.”
– Todd Handy
Handy advises approaching the issue from top to bottom: evaluate your sales team, your product mix, current client channels, and how customers are using your product or services. Identify gaps and opportunities and make the needed improvements.
“Soon after winning a client’s business and you’re working to launch the partnership, ask them what about the sales process ‘spoke’ to them. How did you frame their problems and pain points in a way that made them interested? How did you make it easy for them to buy from you? How did your solution stack up against the others they were considering? Knowing this will help you ensure you’re maximizing the value of these learnings for future sales opportunities,” explains Handy.
4. Sell Solutions
Your client has a problem that needs solving. If you have the solution, focus on the solution. At SEBPO, Handy shows clients ways to manage expense reduction, performance improvement, and revenue generation.
“One solution that SEBPO offers our clients is managed services. If we have a client whose revenue is down, or who is looking to drive incremental revenue, we can remind them we not only help clients reduce expenses and improve performance, but we can help them generate this revenue. Look at what you offer to your clients and help them see how those things can be solutions to their problems, especially if you can help them generate revenue and that’s where they are struggling,” Handy describes.
As true partners, we focus on collaborating with our clients’ to drive efficiency and improve task accuracy. As we delve deeper into a client’s processes, our experts can look for opportunities for clients’ to add additional tasks and services to their offering, helping to drive additional revenue.
For example, when helping our Ad Ops partners generate more revenue, SEBPO can offer Creative Services. The client may not have the internal capability to support creative production requests, but they can leverage SEBPO’s creative teams and provide an additional revenue stream.
Relieving sales teams of menial and behind-the-scenes tasks also gives them the time to be more client-facing. They can provide more support to customers to ensure they are happy with the relationship, and that projects are performing well.
To ensure that your team performs well and hits their targets next quarter, remember to take a deeper dive into what’s causing the gap between your organization’s goals and its reality. Make the necessary adjustments. While it may seem like an easy fix to push your salespeople to sell more, it isn’t an effective approach. A thorough review of industry trends, client sentiment, your product offering, and the resources you have in place to support your sales team is imperative to driving revenue.
Get in touch with us today to see how you can engage a SEBPO Ad Operations, Creative Services, Data Solutions, Media Planning, or Quality Assurance Team to give your employees the resources they need to hit your goals.
About the Author
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