Finding Growth. No matter what year, industry, or existing external forces, finding growth is the top priority for most CEOs.
It makes sense, doesn’t it? Growth is the oxygen of business. Without growth, businesses become smaller and smaller until they are no longer a business. Cutting expenses is only a short-term solution. You simply can’t cut your way to growth. You must focus on the top line, which can only be done through success in one or more of these categories:
Win more new logos
Retain a higher percentage of current clients
Expand your share of wallet with your clients
Develop new services to sell to new and current clients
Growth is hard. (If you disagree – take a peek at the S & P 500 list, and you'll see that 406 of the 500 biggest companies in 1957 are no longer on the list.) The answer to finding growth doesn’t lie in having a great sales team alone. It happens because you have a client-centric culture.
Successful client-centric cultures have the following five components in place:
Everyone in the organization is aligned around growing the top line through not just one but all 4 revenue growth initiatives: Selling new logos, increasing client retention, increasing share of every customer, and innovating new service or products that will help solve your customer’s ever-changing problems.
Vision is the critical element of customer-centric organizations. It starts with identifying your ideal customer, really getting to know them and the problems you can solve for them, committing to doing what it takes to help them, and staying true to it through the good times and the tough times.
Test this: Does every executive in the organization, regardless of department, have responsibility for a key client? Does every leadership meeting, town hall or company newsletter have client acquisition, retention, and expansion as the highlight? Can every leader articulate the client strategy? Can everyone in the organization speak to how they solve your customer problems?
It’s great to have a vision, however, without ensuring everyone has the necessary skills to deliver a consistently positive client experience at every touchpoint, there will be many small failures and high anxiety in the organization as a result.
McKinsey’s conducted a survey of 27,000 US consumers across multiple industries. They conclude that
companies must focus on providing a consistent, low effort experience across their customer’s end-to-end journeys.
Firms that do this realize positive business results, including a 10-15% increase in revenue growth, a 20% increase in customer satisfaction, and a 15-20% lower cost to serve.
Growth requires constantly learning new skills, adapting to the market's changing needs, and the willingness to solve customer problems, even if it means temporarily creating new problems for your organization.
The ROI on implementing a continuous training plan for leadership, sales, account management, and customer service is often instantaneous.
Test this: What’s it costing you not to train your teams?
What gets recognized gets repeated. What gets rewarded gets done. The actions the people in your organization take directly reflect how they are paid, receive bonuses, and/or recognized. Without aligning incentives around customer-centricity, you may find people making decisions that conflict with the vision. (See related blog: Avoid The Cobra Effect) When the right incentives are in place, people feel a sense of urgency and a high engagement level to focus first on the customer.
Test this: Does everyone in the organization have a component of client experience in their incentive plan?
If customer experience really is your vision, applying resources to deliver on it today and into the future properly is a requirement. Not only should it be your goal to make the client experience consistent, easy, and satisfying, you should do the same for your employees. Discover what bottlenecks prevent you from efficiently scaling your growth initiatives and apply process improvements, technology, training, or headcount to enable your team to deliver.
Test this: Does your voice of the associate survey rate high in having the tools and training to succeed in their role? How about your overall engagement scores? – High scores reflect an organization's alignment of resources and skills around the vision.
It’s not one action; it is a series of reinforcing activities that enable organizations to deliver excellence in client experience. The critical elements of a client-centric culture are depicted in the following graph and give everyone the action plan to enable the vision.
Test this: Do you have defined and formal actions around each of these elements? Are there accountability measures in place?
If you feel your organization might be too inwardly focused and choking off the company oxygen, we can help. Butler Street has the processes, resources, and training to help you align your organization for strategic long-term growth. Download these examples or contact us to talk.