Every for-profit business is designed towards one goal: generating more revenue and along the way, profit. So, to grow your business, we will need to aim to achieve growth in revenue.
However, driving more revenue is certainly not a small task: there are many different variables that can affect revenue growth, and we won’t be able to achieve it without a clear, sound strategy.
While there can be many different strategies in achieving revenue growth, in this guide, we will discuss three of the most effective tactics that can grow your revenue quickly. By the end of this guide, you can implement these tactics to achieve not only growth in revenue, but also in profit.
Without further ado, let us begin.
1. Improving Marketing and Sales Alignment
Improving the alignment between your marketing and sales team is a very powerful strategy for improving overall business performance, and thus achieving growth.
Why? Because when marketing and sales teams are properly working together, both marketing and sales ROI will be dramatically improved, which will translate to revenue growth.
While the concept sounds easy and obvious enough, aligning the two teams is actually very difficult, especially because two main factors:
- Different goals and expectations
The main issue here is that most marketing activities and tactics are long-term based: establishing a strong brand, developing performing lead generation devices, building online presence through various means, and so on.
On the other hand, sales team is often more about the short-term game, which is often defined by monthly or quarterly target quota.
So, the different sense of time and urgency can be an issue. While marketing team look at metrics to measure the effectiveness of their campaigns, sales team is all about getting that purchase done.
- Different roles (and how they often misunderstood each other)
The role of the marketing team is mainly to generate leads, while the role of the sales team is mainly to convert those generated leads into purchasing customers. The difference seems clear enough, but in practice there can be many misunderstandings.
For instance, marketing might opt for a more long-term and long lasting lead generation strategy, and the sales team might shun this in fear of not meeting their target quota. Marketing activities are also often hard to measure, and sales often perceived this as time-wasting and unimportant. Another common occurrence is when the marketing team does generate a lot of goals, but the sales team feel these prospects are not fitting, and so ignore what marketing has generated.
Breaking Down The Barriers
As we can see, the main issues here is how the marketing and sales teams have different goals, and thus often don’t know what to expect from each other. So, the key here is how we can break down these barriers to create a better alignment.There are three main strategies here to consider:
Develop Lead-Generation Strategy Together
As we have discussed, marketing and sales teams often misunderstood a lot of things in the lead generation process, a lot of the time because they have different definitions of the lead generation strategy. So, by collaborating together to define the lead generation strategy, we can prevent them from misunderstanding each other. Furthermore, there are three main areas to define together:
Lead Generation Metric Differences
A common misunderstanding in this area comes from the different involved metrics: there’s the Marketing Qualified Lead (MQL), which is a prospect deemed as “qualified” by the marketing team. On the other side of the spectrum, there’s the SAL (Sales Accepted Lead), a prospect acknowledged, and hence, worked by the sales team. There’s also the Sales Qualified Lead (SQL), the prospect of which the sales team believes is almost ready to convert.
So, you see the main issue here is how marketing is commonly the ones defining the criteria of an MQL, while sales define SAL and SQL. This is often the cause why sales team feels that marketing is giving them unqualified leads.
By working together to define MQL, SAL, and SQL (technically by combining MQL and SAL together), we can avoid this common misunderstanding.
We often use lead scoring as a method for qualifying leads. The idea here is to score leads based on their perceived interest to your brand, their current position in the marketing/sales funnel, and their overall fit to your brand. However, again, marketing and sales teams often differ with each other in defining the scoring system.
This is why defining the lead scoring system together can tremendously help in aligning the sales and marketing perceptions.
Both teams should work together in developing standard operating procedures in how to treating the prospects. For example, what should happen when an MQL is given to the sales team? How long should the sales team maintain contact? What is the next step after that?
When both teams agree with the procedures and the processes become automated, both teams can perform better to achieve a more optimal result. Also, getting a standard procedure system in place can help with the documentation process: sales can have a record of their contacts, while marketing can keep track on how a prospect was captured among other processes.
Sales and Marketing Alignment: Optimizing Budget
When marketing and sales teams align together, not only you can get better performances from both and achieve better results, but you can also optimize the costs of both teams. Most companies spend a significant amount of their revenue on sales and marketing activities, sometimes can exceed 40%. If you can optimize this cost, you can save a lot of money.
2. Performance-Based Marketing
Marketing can be a very expensive process when not managed well. If you have an unlimited budget, technically you can place advertising in virtually all possible places and they will surely generate results. Yet, obviously, we don’t have that luxury.
So, to manage your cost, essentially it’s all about placing the most effective promotional activities to the right audience at exactly the right time. This is what we call the performance-based marketing.
Generally, there are 5 performance indicators to focus on in online marketing activities:
The number of clicks on advertising or other promotional activities. Clicks here are tied to customer trigger: in practice, more clicks will translate into more traffic.
Impressions is how many times the promotional messages are displayed to your prospects. So, having more impressions will translate into more awareness.
The concept of assessing advertising performances from cost per engagement is relatively new, and was only introduced in mid 2000s or so. Engagement here means user interaction with the promotional message in various ways from viewing, commenting, sharing, reviewing, taking a poll, and so on.
Leads here refer to how your prospects have considered your brand, and are (almost) ready for a purchase.
Fairly obvious, here the prospects finally converted into a customer after seeing your ad.
By measuring those 5 metrics, performance-based marketing allows us to track how much we are actually spending, and what you are getting in return. Here are some key strategies you can apply in implementing performance-based marketing:
- Less Is More
While it’s always tempting to include many different keywords in a single ad placement, it is often counterproductive in the long run.
First, working with a lot of keywords in a single ad can be difficult, as you will need to include all of those keywords in a single copy. Second, it is going to be harder to measure the performance.
So, work with a less is more mentality, and it is far better to perform well in a single keyword ad over a lot of different keywords. If you are using Google Adwords, this approach can tremendously affect your Quality Score, which will translate to a higher cost per sale/conversion.
- Targeting The Right Audience
The more specific your audience and the smaller your segments are, the more effective your ad will be.
Thankfully, most of the major ad platforms and especially Facebook Ads offer advanced targeting options to target custom audiences.
This way, you can specifically run an ad that is effective for a specific audience. If you are a company selling baby strollers, for example, you can probably target women between the age of 25-35 with interests in babies or children’s toys.
The key in implementing this tactic is obviously to have a better understanding of your audience: the better you understand your audience’s needs, problems, and behaviors, the better you can target them.
- Utilize The Right Platforms and Channels
Google AdWords and Facebook Ads are the most popular platforms if you are planning to run advertising. There is good reason for that: they are extremely effective.
Yet, we should consider the fact that most of the major social media platforms also offer advertising. For instance, LinkedIn as a platform is more effective if you are a B2B business targeting professionals.
Again, the key here is to understand your audience’s behavior, and especially finding out how your target audience is spending their time on various networks and platforms.
Thankfully, there are many different tools that can assist you in this process. BuzzSumo, for example, can help you in finding out how your competitors are spending on advertisement and how effective their headlines are.
- Optimize Your Headlines
The headline is the one thing that will ultimately captures your audience’s attention. So, it is fairly obvious that by optimizing your headlines, we can increase the effectiveness of your promotion.
While there is no one right way in optimizing your headlines, the first step is to always be yourself: every single one of your headlines should align with your core brand messages.
There are many different approaches in optimizing your headline, and you might want to check out this guide by Higher Visibility to help you further.
- Optimize For Time
When thinking about advertising optimization, more often than not we are only focusing on audience targeting, content optimization, and probably keywords. Yet, there is another very important factor to optimize which is time.
By showing the right promotional messages at the right time, you can dramatically increase the chance for conversion.
Also, consider optimizing your ad frequency, which is how many times your users see your advertising. The key here is to find that delicate balance: show too many times and you risk annoying your audience, while showing to few and you might not get the desired exposure.
Remarketing can be a very effective way to maximize the ROI of your advertising campaign. The main concept behind remarketing (or retargeting) is to show your advertising to people who have visited your website, or have triggered a certain action.
This way, by showing your ads to those who have shown interest to your brand, you can dramatically increase the chance of conversions.
Most advertising platforms and especially Facebook Ads and Google AdWords offer some forms of retargeting options, and you might want to check out our previous guide on retargeting here. (link)
3. Become a Recognized Thought Leader
In this highly saturated marketplace, it is extremely hard to get our voice heard by our target audience. This is why it is extremely important to establish trust and credibility.
Becoming a recognized expert or thought leader of your industry is one of, if not the most effective way to achieve this, where you can establish reputation, build your brand equity, and ultimately, attract your target customers.
This is where the concept of inbound marketing comes from: by consistently publishing high-quality and relevant content, you can attract inbound visitors who are looking for information and solutions, mainly via Google searches.
Here are some key strategies you can apply:
- Keyword Analysis
Inbound marketing is part content marketing, part SEO. As we have mentioned, search engine visibility is one of the most effective ways to attract your prospects, and we all know a huge part of SEO is about keywords.
Use the available keyword planner tools like Google Keyword Planner, SEMRush, and Ahrefs among others to check your target keywords, search volumes and competition difficulty. You can also check how your competitors are approaching their keywords, as well as their content types.
As you are starting out, focus on a few keywords that are relevant and valuable, check out the top Google results for those keywords and attempt to create better content pieces than them.
- Pick Your Niche and Build a Brand
Ideally, you should aim to be a thought leader of your specific niche according to your product/service. For example, if you are an SaaS company selling a marketing automation tool software, you can produce content pieces on digital marketing strategies.
Even when you are selling the simplest possible products, there is always the possibility for more knowledge and information. As usual, the key here is truly understanding your audience, especially their needs and problems. If you can answer those needs and provide solutions with your content pieces, you are effectively providing value.
- Promote Your Content
Content development is just one aspect of the journey. To effectively reach out to your audience, you should also promote your content using various marketing channels.
For starters, you can always use various social media platforms to promote your content. Study your audience’s behavior and pick a proper time to promote your content. Frequency is also important here, and you should promote your content pieces as frequently as possible without annoying them.
Another effective tactic here is to utilize influencers to promote your content pieces. You might want to check out this guide to help you further with influencer marketing. However, the key to a successful influencer marketing is choosing the right competitors, and building relationships with them.
You might also want to check this guide by Neil Patel on advanced content promotion tactics.
- Guest Posting
While many marketers have said that guest posting is dead, it is still a very effective strategy when done right. Generally you can achieve three benefits with proper guest posting: reaching a bigger audience, getting more backlinks, and build credibility.
The idea behind guest posting is that by guest posting on high-authority blogs and sites with more reach than yours, you can also reach their audience.
The key to a successful guest posting campaign is relationships. Slowly build relationships with relevant blogs and sites of your industry, engage in their conversations and contribute with relevant questions and answers whenever possible. Once you’ve felt like you’ve built enough trusts with them, you can pitch your blog ideas.
There are certainly many different strategies you can implement to achieve revenue growth. Yet, the three we have discussed above are some of the most effective, and can act as a good building block before you expand with more tactics and activities.
As we have mentioned, the key in achieving an increase in revenue is to target the right audience, and deliver the right value according to their needs. Monitor your progress regularly, observe the right metrics and adjust your strategy whenever necessary.