Press Release: June 1, 2019
CLAREMONT, CA— In a world with increasing complexity, organizations need to be clear on their strategy to successfully drive continued growth in revenue and profits, according to The Society for the Advancement of Consulting® (SAC). Customer experiences and interactions, as well as keeping employees engaged are at the heart of this strategy.
Work Smart on Customer Interactions, Value, and Experiences
“Our most successful clients continually look for opportunities to achieve profitable, scalable growth,” points out Lisa Anderson, president of Claremont, CA-based LMA Consulting Group, Inc. and manufacturing expert known for creating supply chain resiliency. “Start by looking at every customer interaction for ways to enhance customer value, tailor the customer experience and create a happy customer who will spread the word.”
“Simultaneously, think about working smarter; not harder. How should you treat your most valuable customers in comparison to the rest? Should you keep the bottom 20%? Often, you must scale back to scale up,” she says. “Next, take aim at your top suppliers, and look for ways to collaborate to achieve a win-win result. Where does it make sense to automate and streamline business processes, and where should you add that personal touch where it will pay back in spades?”
Take a Three-Pillared Approach
To operationalize a profit and revenue growth strategy in the age of disruption, use a three-pillared approach, advices Stephen Wise, President of Integration Professionals, a firm that helps clients dramatically improve traction on complex initiatives.
“Executives should meet quarterly to review the top disruptors,” says Wise. “The technologies surveyed should include Cloud Solutions, Internet of Things, and Artificial Intelligence, among others.”
“Separate funding buckets must be allocated to progress implementation of these new projects. Otherwise, the typical project priorities, such as regulatory need, organic growth, and customer service, will absorb all the available resources,” he adds.
“Finally, companies must raise the role of the Project Manager (PM). The PM is a partner in the project selection process, expected to motivate teams to implement, and responsible for identifying and supervising course corrections.”
Be Top of Mind
“Whether in a B2B or B2C market, a key to the continued growth and success of any firm is being top of mind with prospects, customers, colleagues and referral sources,” according to Kathleen McEntee. She is President of Kathleen McEntee and Associates, Ltd. a full service marketing firm known for its direct, no nonsense approach in developing the message, the method and the marketing mix.
“Positioning your firm and products to become top of mind requires marketing—marketing to the right audience with the right message in the right mediums. It is especially important when sales are soft,” she notes.
“Create a marketing strategy,” McEntee continues. “Involve sales. Develop a marketing plan that includes multiple mediums. Solicit sales input. Create a message that speaks directly to your audience. Implement the plan. Measure your success. Provide data to sales. Be nimble and open. Make adjustments when and where appropriate.”
Create and Deliver More Value than Your Competitors
“There is only one way to reliably drive continued growth in revenue and profits: continually create and deliver more value of importance to the market than your competitors do,” says Rebecca Morgan, president of Cleveland, OH-based manufacturing operations strategy firm Fulcrum ConsultingWorks, Inc and author of 100s of published articles and the book Start Smart, Finish Strong: Forging Your Path to Operational Excellence and Long-Term Success in the Manufacturing World.
Build Emotional Connections to Customers Before They Jump Ship
“We now live in a trial culture, and that completely changes the rules,” says Ron Evans, who has helped more than 200 nonprofit leaders exceed their expectations, creating millions of dollars of revenue in the process.
“Consumers can access multiple competing offers, try products and services for the first time at a huge discount, and then move on to the next company offering a deal,” Evans points out. “We must stop this cycle, right at the point that first timers are about to jump ship. When organizational leaders stop competing on price, and instead put effort into creating strong emotional connections at this key point, consumers not only stop to listen, they stick around, curious for more. But if an organization doesn’t make the effort, success rates plummet and acquisition costs rise dramatically.”
Execution Culture Positively Impacts the Bottom Line
Dr. Maynard Brusman is a San Francisco Bay Area consulting psychologist, executive coach, and emotional intelligence & mindful leadership consultant. He coaches emotionally intelligent and mindful leaders to cultivate trust and full engagement in a purpose-driven culture which produces results.
“An execution culture energizes your employees,” he notes. It fosters more productive, efficient and committed employees. Mindful leaders know that when people are spending their time achieving company goals, you can bet your bottom dollar it’s going to have an impact on your bottom dollar.”
According to Dr. Brusman, “Creating an execution culture driven by purpose is a leader’s most important job. Execution is a culture with specific set of behaviors and techniques that companies need to master in order to grow revenue and profits.”
Dr. Brusman advises his clients, “The discipline of execution should be a central part of a company’s strategy and goals. It requires an understanding of the business, its people, and its environment. An execution culture links the three core processes of any business – the people process, the strategy, and the operating plan – together to get things done.”
Use the Power of Your People
“My most successful clients use the power of their people to drive continued growth in revenue and profits,” says Roberta Matuson, The Talent Maximizer® and president of Boston-based Matuson Consulting, and author of The Magnetic Leader.
“They understand that you need great employees who are fully engaged, in order to innovate and create high levels of customer service,” she adds. “This starts with hiring the right people, being very particular about whom you let into management, and providing on-going training and support to ensure employee and client satisfaction.”
Put Implementation on a Par with Strategy
“The implementation plan can be just as important as the business strategy,” says Bob Legge, president of Legge & Company a New York-based advisor to senior leaders, and author of The Effective Leader. “A so-so strategy that is executed superbly by a sharply-focused organization will usually beat the most astute strategy that isn’t implemented well.”
“Align your organization structure with the strategy, get the best people in key positions, and set good metrics and reviews,” Legge explains.
“Finally, be sure your organization understands the strategy and each person knows his or her role in its success,” he adds. “ You’ll have to articulate the strategy many times. A good rule of thumb is that by the time you’re sick and tired of communicating the strategy, that’s the point when you’re beginning to get through.”
Growth Comes Through Customer Acquisition and Retention
You’re either moving forward or moving backward—there is no such thing as status quo, according to Linda Popky, president of Redwood Shores, CA-based strategic marketing firm Leverage2Market Associates, and author of the book Marketing Above the Noise: Achieve Strategic Advantage with Marketing That Matters.
“If you market is growing, you need to understand how to grow at least as fast as the market,” she says. “If it’s not, you need to develop a plan to take market share away from your competition. If you don’t do that—they’ll do it to you.”
Every business should have strategies for customer acquisition and customer retention. ”Excessive churn means you are consistently looking to replace customers. Developing a strategy for retaining your best customers while increasing share of wallet is a much more cost-effective way to grow your business than continually searching to replace customers that defect,” Popky says.
Two Paths Lead to Strategically Intelligent Growth
“First, ensure that continued growth is desirable and strategically intelligent,” said SAC Founder Alan Weiss, PhD. “You can grow too fast to maintain your competitive edge.”
“If it is intelligent, then you need to do two basic things. First, create “evergreen” clients, whom never disappear but find you essential to their own well being continually. Second, triage your customers so that you know the best potential for continuing growth. Then focus there, not on everything,” he notes.
The Society for the Advancement of Consulting (SAC) is the premier association for independent consulting professionals who subscribe to an industry code of ethics and provide significant consulting results among their clients. Founded by Million Dollar Consulting guru Alan Weiss in 2003, SAC offers a series of in-person and online programs to help consultants share best practices and learn from industry experts and thought leaders in the business world. SAC today has members in 10 countries around the world.