What does it mean to “grow revenue”?
Once you have a validated business model, there are two main challenges for any startup — find the funding to keep the lights on in your business, until you can get your first customers.
“Grow revenue” is all about that second challenge and the skills you need to develop are around sales and marketing. Even if you are not in charge of sales and marketing, any strong entrepreneur will be proficient in the basic skills detailed below — to be able to weigh in on and support important operational decisions in the sales and marketing group.
The ABC’s of growing revenue
Most startup entrepreneurs who come from a research background find this competency to be the most mystifying. At District 3, we have broken this competency down into 7 main skills that need to be developed to demystify what it is to “grow revenues”. You need to be proficient in the following areas:
I can engineer my sales organization to add new sales resources — including more sales staff, distributors, resellers or agents — to generate and close leads in an existing or new geographic market.
I can lead my team through a brand building exercise to come up with my visual brand assets such as a logo, fonts or colours, as well as the written brand assets such as the company slogan, one-liner etc. (with graphic/copywriting support if needed)
I can build a website that will help me to convert visitors to customers.
I can build and manage online lead generation campaigns such as email marketing, content marketing, linkedin mining and search engine marketing to generate leads for my startup.
1. Sales: Generate leads
“I can generate leads by creating an ‘ideal client’ (company) profile, building strong call lists, and creating a strong product sales pitch (problem, benefits, features) — this differs from my investor pitch.”
2. Sales: Manage a sales lead pipeline
“I can define the key stages in my sales pipeline aligned with my selling process. I can define the conversion objectives for each stage including time spent in stage, probability of success, dollar value per lead, etc. I can prepare for and effectively run any type of sales meeting in my pipeline.”
3. Sales: Manage customer success
“I can onboard and train new customers; create a customer success report card; develop a customer feedback system including surveys and other feedback; define appropriate support documentation; and share feedback with the rest of my team.”
4. Sales: Scale the sales organization
“I am able to engineer my sales organization to add new sales resources such as distributors, resellers or agents, to generate and close leads in a new geographic market.”
5. Marketing: Build a brand
“I can lead my team through the brand building exercise, reviewing the vision and mission, understanding my startup’s place in the competitive environment, to come up with my visual brand assets such as a logo, fonts or colours, as well as the written brand assets such as the company slogan, one-liner etc.”
6. Marketing: Build a conversion website
“I can build a website that will help me to convert visitors to customers.”
7. Marketing: Generate online leads
“I can build online lead generation campaigns such as email marketing, content marketing, linkedin mining and search engine marketing… to generate leads for my startups. ”
These 7 skills are critical to help you convert your first customers and will stand you in good stead long after you have closed your first and important sale.