If the last year was a good one, then you’re probably excited to close the books on a successful year – but the thought of repeating the same success next year can be a bit overwhelming, especially if much of your revenue is project-based.
If you are asking yourself, “Where will our business come from next year?” or “How can we repeat this year’s success?”, then you are not alone. The answers are always hard to predict because our business is dependent on so many other factors – and many of them are outside of your control.
Over the past decade, as I’ve observed the industry, I’ve also noticed something else. The companies that seem to really thrive tend to show strong results no matter the external environment. Usually, these businesses do two things better than everyone else:
- Financial Responsibility: Stronger companies tend to add costs more slowly and understand how to make money, even when revenue numbers are turbulent. With a strong understanding of how to make money even when business is down, these companies can always weather a few bad months (or more).
- Revenue Creation: All of the best companies I have observed are extremely focused on sales and marketing efforts. As technology and online options change the selling process, they make sure to understand what buyers want and how to provide a good buying experience.
Now let’s discuss ways to be better revenue creators in 2016.
Driving More Revenue in 2016
What can companies do to create more revenue and grow their pipeline for 2016 and beyond?
Go Digital. In the B2B space, we see stats about the buyer’s journey before they get in touch with a salesperson – anywhere from half to three-quarters of that journey takes place online. People want to learn about products, services, solutions, and your business before they reach out about projects and opportunities. In this industry, far too many companies lack a strong digital footprint, useful content, and mobile websites that are easily found via search.
Sell More to Those You Have. One of the biggest mistakes I see businesses make in every industry is that they don’t sell to their current customers. In the AV industry, there are thousands of solutions we can offer. If you sold someone a digital signage solution, what other technology might they need? Have you followed up on presentation, conferencing, production, or audio reinforcement needs? Often, we wait for the opportunities to come to us, but sometimes we need to ask – and the best people to ask are those who are already buying from us.
Add Recurring Services (and Market Them). There are more subscription-based services for content, collaboration, and device management available. Sure, they are small revenue, and a less comfortable sale for many of us. But these services are growing fast, and we need to capitalize on the trend and the recurring revenue that these services provide. Make sure to market these services through both your digital presence and by putting these services in front of current customers.
Focus on Customer Service. New customers cost about six times more to acquire than keeping current customers; however, we love to hunt, and struggle with keeping the customers we have happy. A nice side effect of great customer service is the word-of-mouth marketing it can offer. Happy customers are willing to refer you to other businesses. If we focus more on keeping our customers happy, then we can sell more and spend less money replacing customers that leave. It’s a profit creator and a revenue generator!
Next year’s revenue and business don’t have to be scary – but as long as we are project dependent, light on recurring revenue, and without a silent partner in the selling process, we will always be working harder than we should be to make the next year as good (or better) than the year before. —Dan Newman, Cofounder of V3*Broadsuite
Image by: sheelamohan