Revenue Alignment

Originally published on Linkedin. 

Why Your Business Needs Revenue Alignment | Build A Modern Revenue Engine Series | Part 4

Aligning & optimising all the resources and functions within your business is where many new revenue opportunities can be uncovered and realised.  Addtionally alignment allows business to develop predictability and consistency in its revenue contributing activities.

As we identified in Part 1 of Building A Revenue Engine Series. Revenue Alignment occurs when your revenue goals and resources are looked at though a CRO Lens.

The Modern Revenue Engine formula

The prevailing model of revenue generation views marketing, sales, customer service, and all the other revenue influencing areas of your business as separate departments or areas of focus. 

In this article, we explore:

  1. What Revenue Alignment Is,
  2. Why Revenue Alignment Delivers Positive Results,
  3. The Characteristics Of A Revenue Aligned Business.

What Is Revenue Alignment?

Revenue alignment is the process of getting all the many revenue-influencing functions (and all of the variable actions needed) and departments of an organisation working in sync towards a common revenue purpose or goal.  It’s getting the ‘sum of all parts’ of your resources, assets, and client understanding  fully optimised and fundamentally, it comes from communication, actions, and an open mind to innovation and adaptation

Managers, executives, and owners should work together to formulate a strategy to address alignment across the organisation. There is no one-size-fits-all solution; instead, organisational leaders should think about the right approach to aligning their people and resources according to their specific needs and objectives.

For optimal revenue growth to occur... your business needs to be revenue aligned...

Revenue Alignment Starts By Looking ‘Inwards’

It’s important to note that it’s possible to get more out of the resources you currently have in your business when you start to look at revenue as a company outcome, and not simply as a sales or marketing one.  

But just how much improvement can be realised by ‘looking inwards’?

Understanding all the areas in which you can internally influence is a great place to start…and covers things like the resources and assets currently available, your history, the business lessons learned, what you are currently doing in your business, and also what your clients want and need.   From these areas alone you can start to gain single and very often double-figure net profit gains.

A Common Business Default.

 

However, the default for many businesses lies in the belief that in order to increase their  revenue, they need to spend more on marketing or additional salespeople or even tech’ in addition to this they also typically ‘look outwards’

And asking questions like…

  • How can we increase our lead volume?
  • How do we get more new clients?
  • Should we change our price up or down?
  • What are our competitors doing and should we follow them?

While all these are unquestionably important things to consider and can play a part in the overall solution they don’t actually solve many issues or lead to more predictable or scalable outcomes.  

By not looking at all the opinions and opportunities that alignment can provide you can end up feeling like you are chasing spot fires and overly relying on departments to come to the rescue.

Revenue Alignment Means Breaking Down departmental ‘Silo’s’ 

Viewing the revenue influencing areas of your business primarily as departments in isolation or as ‘silo’s’…leads to missed opportunities and options… This usually comes from a lack of communication between departments or silos that will often have conflicting agendas. [think sales agendas, KPI’s rewards versus marketings versus the financial side.

Departmental isolation increases the number of inefficiencies in your business. There is a risk of duplicated work, lack of communication between departments, and typically a lot of wasted time and effort. Because your business isn’t working as a well-oiled machine… 

And this is costing your business…and your bottom line.

Align Functions Followed By Departments.

Without taking into account all of the revenue influencing areas of your business and how they impact each other, you are potentially just throwing good money after bad and at the end of the day, it’s unlikely that you’ll achieve the result you are after, particularly in the long term.

Revenue alignment matters because, in principle, it can often be relatively simple to fix. Often you don’t need a massive reorganisation of your company or an overhaul of your IT systems. It can also mean you don’t need to retrain all your staff or even hire many more individuals…


BTW… We refer to all the revenue influencing areas as ‘functions’ rather than ‘departments’ because regardless of the size of the business certain areas need to be addressed for a business to be truly aligned, and ultimately successful.  In a smaller company, these functions might be undertaken by one person, or a single person might be responsible for a number of them… [For example – one person is responsible for sales and marketing or oversees these if one is outsourcing like marketing.] In a larger company, the functions may fall under separate departments.

Revenue Alignment Delivers Results.

Revenue alignment works because it looks at the entire business, not just focusing on sales or marketing or pricing etc. 

Alignment means understanding of the interdependencies – looking at all the areas that affect the potential revenue and the cost of that revenue and identifying where the revenue and costs that could be eliminated are. Its looking at how all the functions impact each other both positively and negatively. 

It’s about looking beyond the symptoms of the problem and investigating what the root cause of the problem is… it strives to provide a ‘cure’ rather than simply providing ‘medicine’ in an attempt to alleviate the symptoms.

Realising ROI For Your Revenue Alignment Efforts.

Well-aligned functions and teams are more strategic and organised around the generation and management of revenue outcomes. 

Research shows us that the more effective this is, the less wastage and the greater the ROI.  SiriusDecisions in their 2016 Sales Effectiveness research found that aligned firms had 19% faster revenue growth and 15% more profit, and because of this concluded that a better-aligned business can gain a significant competitive advantage over those who are not as well aligned 

Revenue alignment means your business gets the best results from any investment you make and any efforts you put in.

Revenue Alignment Needs To Be A Key Part Of Your Business.

Typically revenue aligned businesses are overall more competitive and capable than their less aligned counterparts. Aligned businesses can also better address new market opportunities and scale because they can move with greater agility.

When your business is aligned… it means you have …

  • The ability to generate more consistent revenue & additional revenue streams
  • Greater sales predictably & budget outcomes
  • Better control & understanding of your business & clients 
  • Improved business efficiency & performance
  • More flexibility to pivot & recalibrate In changing times.
  • The ability to sustainably scale and grow.
  • Faster time to market
  • Increased operating margins
  • Higher efficiency and less wasteful spending within teams.

While it’s true, companies themselves can benefit enormously from strong revenue alignment,  there are many other benefits as well.

Businesses that achieve alignment are in a much better position to be client-centric and as a result, operate in such a way that enables them to find and do more business.

  • Clients gain a better & clearler understanding about what your business does. 
  • Clients are more likely to trust your company and as a result, buy from it or engage with it. 
  • Clients are more likely to rate their experience with your business as positive and as a result are more likely to refer it to others.

What Characterises A Revenue Aligned Business?

Revenue alignment occurs when your business has…

  • A clear understanding of the revenue growth pathways with defined actions in place,
  • Solid predictability of income and margin growth, 
  • The right volume of quality potential clients, 
  • Quality staff actively contributing to revenues outcomes,
  • Comfort to alter prices in line with your perceived value to your client,
  • Your marketing efforts are delivering the desired outcomes, 
  • Retention, upsell, and yield programs are in place, 
  • Optimised & efficient use of tech and digital tools, 
  • Clear roadmap & playbook outlining process -AKA for what to do & when and how to do it, and who should do it,

Key Takeaway.

Typically revenue aligned businesses are overall more competitive and capable than their less-aligned counterparts. Aligned businesses can also better address new market opportunities and scale because they can move with greater agility.

Conclusion.

Modern revenue engines are built as whole systems, fueled by aligning all the potential revenue-contributing functions in your business with end-to-end work and data flows that support orchestrated potential and current client engagement. 

Every step and stage is tracked by metrics to encourage continuous improvement and the flexibility to pivot and recalibrate to changing conditions and outcomes.

Alignment ensures that all your resources are working together, in sync…

Alignment ensures you understand and position yourself to deliver what your clients need now and into the future.

Revenue Alignment is about optimising operational and alignment processes that are internal to the firm and, for many, this represents an untapped opportunity to drive incremental revenue through strategic planning from within. 

Ask yourself this…where does your business currently fall on the revenue alignment scale?

If you fall in the range where over 76% of SMEs do… it is time to build a revenue engine for your business so you can take it to the next level.

The series continues with Part 5 | Lesson Learned On The Way To Becoming A CRO.

If you want to build a robust revenue engine to grow your business revenue and take your business from good to great…

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