A revenue strategy helps achieve traction and attract investment.
While working with many organizations, we see a common threat. Startups and small business believe that the path to revenue at scale, is to repeat whatever they did to achieve early revenue success. This is far from reality.
Organizations that achieve early product success, must focus on understanding and defining a sustainable and repeatable revenue strategy.
The main reason, is that early adopters come in many flavors, here is a brief correlation of product adoption and investor profile:
Encouragement (they like to test the product or service because they know you and want to help out) - Family and Friends
Testers and validators (they have a small business or a low risk project where they can test the product ) - Angel
Production (they like components of the product and are early technology adopters) - Seed
Scale (they see that you have a repeatable process and look at the validation from the previous individuals) - Series A
Operational and at Scale (Organizations that understand the capabilities and feel comfortable on the product, support, operations & finance of the organization ) - Series B+
Leadership must understand that when revenues are not achieved, it is not a sales issue that is preventing them to grow, but a lack of a comprehensive revenue strategy, where sales is a component of such a strategy.
What is a sustainable revenue strategy:
A revenue strategy is a comprehensive look on how to bring your product/service to market on scale
Objectives- What are the company's goal ? are they aligned to support customer demand ?
Market - What is the market that you are focusing on ? why ? what products are being used in those markets ? how do customers in those markets buy similar products/services ? how often do they buy them ? how do they test products ? how do they integrate them into their current processes ?
Customer - Do you know who is an influencer, an evaluator and a decision maker for your product/service ? and how well do you know them - the test is can you describe them in detail ? Do you know how to interact with them ? what channels of communication to use ? How do they gather information about your products ? how do they learn about the company?
Product - What is the impact that the product is delivering to early adopters ? what drove them to select the product ? how often are they using it ? how do they measure the success of it ? how do you integrate the product into their process ? how do you price your product? what is the margin ? did you map the buy process of your product by your customers ?
Marketing / Business Development - How do you reach your customers (communication channels ) ? is your model a partner or direct driven model? if its a partner model, what is your financial model for your partner and is it impact ?
Sales - What is your management process for the sales funnel ? have you defined your ideal sales person ? what is your sales culture ? what is your sales method ? what are the tools you are using to manage the process ? what are the KPI for the individual, for the team for the organization ? how will you measure them ? what is the marketing strategy ?
These are some of the questions that as a leader of an organization you should be able to answer.
As we enter the new quarter, it is a good opportunity to learn from the past and define the future. A good friend, once told me; "There are times that you need to slow down to be able to go faster".
Investing time up front, will provide greater returns than doing the same thing expecting different results .