The biggest differentiator between a growth-oriented CEO and an execution-oriented CEO is the former focuses on growing the business where the latter focuses on the day-to-day operations. In today’s society, we cannot afford to just be execution-oriented. The greatest growth-oriented CEOs are strategic by nature. They also know how important it is to leverage the expertise of others in overcoming the big strategic issues and obstacles to growth they are battling daily.
As we come out of this pandemic and get back to a place of normalcy, we need to be aware that the same ole tricks may not cut it. If we look around, a lot of businesses have already closed their doors for good. So what is helping those that are thriving in today’s economy?
RedRover is here to help answer those questions. We will be sharing the top 10 pain points that most every CEO is facing in 2021 — those gut-wrenching, keep-you-up-at-night issues – and how to navigate them and come out with your tail wagging!
Pain Point #3: No Predictable Returns
FAR TOO MANY COMPANIES look to past growth as the single best predictor of future growth in setting annual revenue targets with little analysis of the factors driving that past progress, anticipated market shifts over the coming year, and the predictability of the sales and marketing strategies built into their annual plans. But what about now? COVID-19 scraped every prediction and forecast made prior to the pandemic. 2020 was like no other year.
Assuming you’ve measured prior years’ marketing efforts and assessed anticipated competitive and market factors, you can still develop a sales and marketing strategy — ideally one with predictable returns.
While plan predictability may sound like fortune-telling, there’s no hocus pocus to it. It’s a science that begins with the examination of returns on past sales and marketing efforts, as past measurement is what drives your ability to predict future results. Yes, even when unprecedented worldwide events shatter all your forecast models. Especially, when the unthinkable happens. Why? Fear, this is one of the most natural human emotions, still, many CEO’s deny they have any fear about their organization’s future. Yet their business decisions are founded in fear, like indiscriminate budgetary cuts. Having metrics, and creating new forecasts gives CEO’s the ability to analyze the data rather than their instinctual emotions. Interestingly enough, focusing on the data relieves much of the emotional stress leaders endure.
Not every sales and marketing strategy should be cut. The key is to “heavy up” your budget toward strategies that are, ensuring the returns generated by those measurable strategies more than cover your entire plan budget.
Digital strategies, such as search engine pay-per-click campaigns, are highly measurable. Set up properly, you can easily gauge a consumer’s conversion to a sale after entering your targeted keywords into a search engine and ultimately clicking on your sponsored campaign.
Let’s say that last year, you had a $50K search engine pay-per-click campaign budget. For simplicity sake, let’s assume you invested half in keyword combination A and half in keyword combination B. Combo A generated a 2 to 1 return, turning $25K into $50K, with combo B generating a 4 to 1 return, generating $100K from that same $25K return. All in, you earned $150K from a $50K return.
Now this year, you opt to put the full $50K into combo B that you can predict, assuming all other marketplace factors are even, will generate $200K in returns. Now naturally, all marketplace factors are never even, and their anticipated impact on your returns must be accounted for.
Generally speaking, look at your sales and marketing plan investment in two buckets — proven and unproven. Put about 80 percent of your budget into strategies with a history for proven payoff and 20 percent into testing new, innovative strategies for possible larger-scale deployment in future years or those tactics that you know you must deploy but cannot be easily measured.
With more and more companies feeling pressure to deliver a return on their sales and marketing investments, and increasing technological advancements allowing sales and marketing professionals to do just that, say goodbye to hope-based goal setting. Demonstrate your value by utilizing cutting-edge marketing or sales strategies. When you’re ready, let’s talk.