If what famed management consultant Peter Drucker said is true, that “the purpose of a business is to create and keep a customer,” then most businesses are failures waiting for a pandemic to happen. They may have customers, many of whom they’re able to retain, but they lack the singular focus that allows them to be resilient, agile and consistently innovative. Firms that apply The Revenue Room™ model are different. The traditional way in which firms in the live-event industry pursue revenue has made them the “poster” children for disruption. Arguably, an easily transmissible killer virus doesn’t help, but neither does a disjointed approach to sales, marketing, product development and customer success. A realignment of people, processes, product and organization is a way out of COVID-19 and a framework for long-term revenue growth and acceleration.
What it means to be customer-centric
Making customers the primary, if not the exclusive, focus of the business looks easier on paper. It requires more effort than just thinking about how to serve customers better. It demands slavish attention to discovering what customers want and working ALL THE TIME to deliver it. It’s the opposite of developing a product or service and bending over backward to convince customers they need it.
For example, in exhibitions, organizers put a lot of effort into selling square footage on the exhibit floor. The reality is that exhibitors don't want square footage. Many don’t even want a booth. What they're after is relationships (with buyers), pipeline development, a seat at the table, and yes, revenue. Customer-centricity means a relentless focus on delivering relationships, pipelines, and the rest, regardless of the delivery channel.
Without getting too deep in the weeds (we’ll be going there in the next post), The Revenue Room is a blueprint for aligning all marketing, pre-sales, sales, post-sales and product development activities to achieve optimal revenue velocity and growth. It spells out who in the organization participates and how (tactics, tools and processes) team members achieve alignment. Four pillars are central to The Revenue Room concept:
People, including marketing managers, digital marketing specialists, sales development representatives, account executives, customer success managers, product development managers, as well as their C-level and director-level counterparts.
Processes, including sales enablement, customer collaboration, guided selling, reporting, compensation, forecasting, inbound marketing, social prospecting, account-based selling, internal meetings, training and more.
Product, which includes a communication and feedback loop with the product team.
One Company, including support of The Revenue Room model with resources, organizational objectives, culture and dedication to change-management practices.
Benefits now and in the future
Organizations that use The Revenue Room effectively can expect to experience faster sales cycles, higher-performing teams, greater customer wallet share, improved customer retention, fewer failed event/product releases and repeatable sales processes. It is relevant in the best of economic times, but it’s especially appropriate when businesses are deteriorating, internal resources are scarce and customers have specific (and possibly different) needs.
The Revenue Room isn’t for everyone.
Before getting serious about shifting to The Revenue Room, organizations should understand a few things. The Revenue Room isn't a one-size-fits-all approach. The pillars remain the same from group to group, but the playbook changes. It works best for organizations interested in innovating on revenue acquisition and those in which maintaining long-term customer relationships (versus processing transactions) is a goal.
Not every organization strictly follows Revenue Room practices, and it shows in their success metrics. But staying with the status quo as a revenue strategy isn’t a great alternative either. It exposes for-profit companies and nonprofit associations alike to vulnerability. Without ears to the ground, cross-departmental collaboration (no more silos), incentives for doing it right and reliable support from the c-suite, performance suffers. This time the disruption is a global pandemic. Next time it’s anyone’s guess.
Interested in learning more about how The Revenue Room can help you transform your sales results?
H2K Partners owns the trademark to The Revenue Room.