Revenue Growth

12 Questions for Your Sales and Marketing Plan

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Revenue growth requires a company-wide commitment and responsibilities cut across product groups, customer success, marketing and sales teams.  When developing a marketing plan, sales plan or performing due diligence for a private equity investment,  acquisition or a new CEO or CRO role – consider these 12 questions to develop your revenue architecture and revenue performance potential. The 12 dimensions take a broader view of revenue growth dimensions – beyond sales effectiveness and marketing campaigns.Revenue Growth

While there are many factors to consider, these 12 questions can help focus your sales and marketing planning.  When we first developed the Revenue Grader (now being revised) six years ago, we included 50 questions – or dimensions – in the analysis. While all 50 remain valid, we found that it was a bit cumbersome to consider all 50 when starting with a top-level plan or diagnostic. We now focus on these 12 dimensions and drill down into sub elements based on key issues or priorities.

12 Questions (or Dimensions) for Your Sales and Marketing Plan

  1.  Market Strategy. Is the market attractive and which segments are most attractive for our business? Are their opportunities to enter or exit a market?
  2. Commercialization. How will we bring our products and services to production in our selected markets? How will we make our offerings ready to buy?
  3. Go-to-Market Model. How will we structure our organization to effectively sell and distribute our products and services?
  4. Capability Assessment. How do we determine if our capabilities align with our business strategy and needs? Are we competitive and adopting best practices?
  5. Marketing Operation. What marketing organization and operating model best aligns with our chosen markets and product/service offering mix?
  6. Sales Operation.  How do we structure our sales operating model to maximize sales velocity, close rates, tracking and management?
  7. People & Talent. What talent do we need in place now and into the future to orchestrate the customer life cycle in our markets and commercial portfolio?
  8. Technology Platform. Do we have an integrated technology stack and are we using the right technologies and tools across marketing and sales?
  9. Acquisition Programming. For each of our product/ service offerings how will we develop innovative sales and marketing programs to acquire customers?
  10. Marketing Execution. How will we execute our marketing programs using a mix of inbound and outbound strategies consistent with our target operating model?
  11. Sales Execution. How do we ensure that our sales activities and competencies support good selling and day-to-day sales performance?
  12. Performance Management. How are we going to ensure traction, track performance,  attribution and velocity across the revenue funnel?


‘Make it Ready’ with a Diagnostic Approach

When tackling large and complex assessment or transformation or a pivot in your revenue growth strategy, it helps to start with the big picture. Successful business transformation programs go through logical stages like the ones we used at PA Consulting:  “make it ready”, “make it happen:, “make it stick”. These 12 dimensions can help you assess the overall revenue architecture and ‘make it ready’ by prioritize and planning the changes required.  By focusing on each of these 12 questions / dimensions, you can drill down and rapidly identify and prioritize specific areas of focus.

You also need to consider the dependencies and sequence of implementation. For instance, if you determine that the market is changing and no longer attractive and that you need to fundamentally change your market strategy, it will be difficult to properly assess the remaining questions in the framework until you have clarified this strategy. All these other questions will need to be considered in the context of the new market strategy. There is a natural sequence to rolling out the new revenue architecture. It starts with strategy alignment, then systems alignment and then program execution. Use some simple questions:

  • How effective are we addressing this question/ dimension?
  • What is the as-is and to-be look like for this question/ dimension?
  • What specifically do we need to action for each one?
  • What items are “must do” vs. “could do” – how do we prioritize what we do?
  • What is the logical sequence? What do we need to tackle first, second, third?


Top Down Thinking

While there is a lot to consider in developing a growth strategy, by focusing on these 12 questions, you will also take a top down and ‘revenue first’ approach and properly consider the broader range of issues across the business that impact revenue performance potential. Download the 12 Dimensions Infographic or check out the Revenue Architecture Diagnostic to learn more.