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Four Executive Investments to Drive Revenue Growth in 2022

Alexander Group recently partnered with Chief Executive Group, a leading community for high-level executives worldwide, to conduct a survey of 450 U.S. CEOs and business leaders.

While the past two years have brought significant disruption for companies across all industries, this survey shows the year ahead presents an opportunity for organizations to grow through investments in the revenue team. By optimizing investments and execution across four key areas, firms have the potential to lay the foundation for enduring leadership going forward.

1. Achieving Growth by Investing in the Revenue Team

One undisputed outcome of the disruption of the past two years is that buyers have changed. Their expectations when engaging with commercial teams is driving companies to invest in their marketing, sales and service divisions. Perhaps it’s not surprising that companies are placing a focus on these areas since two-thirds of CEOs rank the acquisition of new customers as their top revenue growth priority for 2022—well ahead of any other strategy—according to our survey.

However, with rapidly changing customer patterns, it may be wise to ensure the acquisition of new customers isn’t at the detriment of existing ones. To that effect, 38% of surveyed CEOs say launching new product/service offerings will be a priority for growth this year.

Companies must invest in the right resources to ensure sustainable growth. A strong segmentation model and keen sense of market share and share of wallet at the account level is required for focus. Best-in-class organizations are investing in customer data and buyer journey analysis, which are table stakes for staying competitive and ensuring an informed and real-time set of interactions with customers.

2. Digital Investments Are Now a Permanent Line Item

At the time of this survey, 73% of CEOs said they were planning to increase their digital technology investments in 2022. Of those, however, the near majority forecasted the increase to be no more than 10% over the prior year’s investments. According to the survey, the top three digital investments are expected to be in digital marketing (including digital marketing content, website/SEO optimization and social media marketing), customer data analytics & AI and sales enablement & tools.

With this in mind, taking a coordinated and holistic approach to digital technology investments is critical. Companies should first seek to align roles (i.e., people), processes and rules of engagement to provide a seamless experience for the customer. This requires coordination and collaboration between marketing, sales and service teams.

3. Agility: Your New Go-to-Market Model Mandate

The findings show that virtual selling may be here to stay. More than 40% of respondents (53% of respondents in Manufacturing and Distribution) said they planned to increase their inside and virtual sales headcount this year, despite the lifting of Covid restrictions across the country. A hybrid in-person and virtual approach is likely to be the norm across industries in 2022 and beyond.

Determining the right segments and accounts to cover virtually vs. in-person will be an important part of the strategy, as a growing number of non-strategic accounts and select strategic accounts might prefer virtual interaction and may no longer receive face-to-face field coverage. Companies should, therefore, invest in technology tools that not only enable but also enhance virtual selling—in addition to virtual selling training and development programs.

4. Don’t Just Throw Money at the Problem to Win the Race for Talent

For months now, talent has been cited as a top challenge by all members of the leadership team when polled by Chief Executive Group. In this February 2022 survey, CEOs said that to win the race for talent, they are prioritizing flexible work options (55%), training and development (43%) and pay adjustments (48%).

Successful companies take a holistic approach to talent management, including expanding flexible work options; revamping recruiting strategies and timelines; designing new job roles, competencies and career paths; investing in programs for coaching, training and enablement; adjusting to market benchmarks for compensation; and tracking progress through key metrics and dashboards. Leading organizations also consider the principles of diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) throughout the talent management process.

The world changed with Covid-19, and the series of events that have since occurred has placed businesses in an ever-evolving state of affairs that requires agility, foresight and flexibility. The ability to adapt to changing trends and behaviors has been key for the past two years and companies that expect things to settle and take an ordinary course in the near term may find themselves struggling to survive. Management teams must revisit their commercialization strategy and processes and ensuring it is still suited to today’s reality. For further insights on these survey results, download the full whitepaper.

Join Alexander Group and Chief Executive Group on May 11, 1:00 – 1:50pm ET, for an interactive webinar to explore the new frontier of revenue growth. We will present the findings from this survey and experienced CEOs will join the panel to provide real-world insights on challenges and best practices to optimize investments and lay the foundation for enduring leadership going forward.

Register Now

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