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You Need to Fully Align for Revenue Growth

Published in NPSOA Magazine – August 2023

Fully Align for Revenue Growth

Many printing/sign companies are simply not aligned up internally or externally to achieve consistent growth.


The most common strategies to raise top line numbers are increasing prices, adding new clients, selling more volume. Having current clients buy more frequently and selling new products to your client and prospect base. But there is a lot more to growth than those five paths.

  1. Failure of the CEO or owner(s) to share company-wide revenue goals and strategies with all employees. – Key employees must translate to the employees their role and responsibility in achieving goals plus hold employees responsible for their portion of making the goal.

  2. Lack of clear sales goals – Do results stand as hard goals with deadlines or are soft (marshmallow) goals the norm? Who actually owns these numbers? Are the right people being held accountable for the results?

  3. Support staff distanced from client interaction and client need – The impact of inaction or delay in taking care of client is scary. I’ve seen that some in support roles do not care what happens. Failure to follow through endangers revenue and relationships with clients. Lack of accountability, discipline and not sharing financial rewards encourages these damaging behaviors to remain unchanged.

  4. The niche of the business and the competitive advantages of the company cannot be articulated, even internally – No one can explain why the company is a better choice than their competition.

  5. Too many internal meetings with salespeople during prime selling time – prime time is when prospects and clients are available. Every internal meeting held is yet another excuse that can be used by sales for not achieving revenue goals.

  6. Outdated, poorly designed or no marketing materials – this includes print, website promo products, and social media. When you have no “leave behind” you are soon forgotten.

  7. Unprofessional sales behavior – being late, missing appointments, lack of follow through lead the list. This is also manifested in how someone dresses, acts, and talks when representing the company; other elements include lack of personal and professional development plans; lack of account prioritization; confusing action with results; being afraid to prospect, present, ask for the order, and dealing with objections to buying.

  8. Failure by sales management to make data-based decisions about underperforming sales people – Instead of being results-focused in meetings to improve the numbers, managers or owners coddle, make excuses and fail to pull the trigger because they have not documented what is not happening and/or have fallen into the “friend trap” or believe that a turnaround is just around the corner. It rarely is.

  9. Failure of management, including the CEO or owner(s), to listen to the valid concerns from sales – In my experience, management is sometimes so biased against sales that they cannot discern between what a valid concern is or isn’t.

Revenue growth does not happen in a vacuum, and hope is a failing strategy. Sharing plans and strategies, getting alignment throughout the company, and holding people accountable may be basic, but in successful printing/sign companies, it works.

Mitch Evans

Mitch Evans is a management consultant and trusted advisor who works with graphic company owners, CEOs, and entrepreneurs. Mitch is a managing director at Graphic Arts Advisors LLC which specializes in Mergers & Acquisitions (valuations, buying and selling, mergers and non-bankruptcy orderly wind-downs). Mitch is also a partner in The Next Level Group which facilitates formal top executive peer groups for leadership, business growth, including revenue growth, improved internal efficiencies, and greater profitability. Please contact him at mitch@graphicartsadvisors.com or call 561-351-6950.

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