As states begin to implement, or consider, plans to re-open, businesses must make the transition from cost-cutting (survive) to revenue growth (thrive).
The Artemis Partnership has been advising its clients since March to start preparing right away for growth. We’ve heard strong agreement – in principle – but many have been holding back on the steps that are necessary. Growth requires investment of focus, energy, time and money. And some investment has been hard to rationalize.
Now, it’s evident that it’s time to get serious about revenue growth.
Revenue Recovery is Now Job One
McKinsey recently published this article on the post-COVID-19 business world. Their number one area of strategic focus for companies as they consider how to emerge from the pandemic was Rapid Revenue Recovery. Here’s an important comment from McKinsey:
"Speed matters: It will not be enough for companies to recover revenues gradually as the crisis abates. They will need to fundamentally rethink their revenue profile, to position themselves for the long term and to get ahead of the competition [emphasis added]."
The authors took a B2C perspective. We feel the connections to B2B are clear and tight. Consider their three priority steps to achieve revenue growth:
Identify and prioritize revenue opportunities
Act with urgency
Develop an agile operating model
All three are elements of the Artemis playbook for winning new business at higher rates with more profit. We could write volumes about each one. For now, let’s take a very high-level look at first two. And note that these activities should start NOW.
Identify and Prioritize Revenue Opportunities
Careful consideration of your opportunities will go a long way here. Your best revenue opportunities are likely to come from re-engaging those clients you’ve already done business with. Before chasing every new project that surfaces, make sure you’re providing outstanding service and attention to current and recent clients.
Then, as you look for new opportunities, place your emphasis on those that are winnable. Don’t spread yourself thin by pursuing too many low value or low probability RFPs. Keep this in mind: Winning requires “intensity.” You’ll need concentrated effort to win in an even more competitive environment. This effort will be obvious to your prospect, as will the lack of effort.
Act with Urgency
If you do business in a highly competitive market, especially one driven by RFPs, it’s likely there will be fewer being issued over the next 6-18 months. And the income available per RFP might be depressed as well.
You must therefore have a line of sight for anticipated new business opportunities, before RFPs are announced. Focus your resources only on those that meet your growth, operating and brand criteria. Then do everything you can to put yourself in the best position to win - that is, to be the hands-down favorite – before the RFP is issued. Establish relationships now. Provide support and thought leadership now. Build trust now.
We believe in this idea: You can’t cost-cut your way to growth. We understand how important it’s been to focus on the bottom line in the last couple of months, just to stay in business. The time is here to look seriously at how you’re going to grow your topline. Revenue recovery isn’t for later. The path to it is for right now. Companies that are aware, and aggressive, will thrive. And those companies will be able to rehire employees, support their communities, and delight their clients. This quote from the McKinsey article means so much today:
"Rapid revenue response isn’t just a way to survive the crisis. It’s the next normal for how companies will have to operate."
- Bob Wiesner, Managing Partner, The Americas