Protect the Now, Prepare for the After.

Exceeding customer expectations. Allocating resources. Creating the right culture. Driving growth.

These are the charter of the revenue leader. Yet, in times of significant market upheavals, revenue leaders assume a new level of responsibility.

The safety and security of team members and their families take on a heightened level of importance. Customers impacted by the upheaval may fear for their own businesses and jobs. Stakeholders in other parts of the organization look to the revenue leader to shoulder the organization through the difficulty.

Revenue leaders have a seemingly endless set of decisions to make and actions to take involving product availability, marketing, distribution, coaching, training and more. They must strike a balance between protecting the now and preparing for the after.

Alexander Group’s research shows that companies that deploy these six critical revenue growth levers during times of upheaval will reemerge even stronger than before.

  1. Account Prioritization
  2. Value Proposition Messaging
  3. Customer Engagement Model
  4. Cost Structure
  5. Sales Compensation & Quotas
  6. Operations & Infrastructure

Account Prioritization

Validate and rank high impact accounts. To minimize decline and capitalize on the upturn, companies need to be hyper-focused on customers that will “move the needle” the most. Sellers should be given explicit guidance on where to spend their time.

Reevaluate your customer segmentation strategy. The customer landscape may have changed. Buying processes and industries may be fundamentally altered. Previous segmentation and targeting strategies are likely outdated.

Value Proposition Messaging

Recalibrate messaging for sensitivity and shifted customer priorities. Customers may be experiencing impacts on both a personal and professional level; the use of pre-crisis messaging will likely come across as both inconsiderate and unaware.

Make updates based on long-term changes in buyer personas. Effective value propositions are measurable, differentiated and aligned with buyer needs and simple to convey.

Customer Engagement Model

Update your customer engagement model and adopt a Customer Success mindset. Companies who are best able to support their customers and establish themselves as trusted advisors during times of disruption will experience greater customer retention or expansion later.

Evaluate a permanent shift toward more efficient (or effective), now-proven models. You may have learned new ways of working that in some cases should remain intact long-term because they’re more efficient, more effective, or both. Additionally, buyer behaviors may have changed, and your long-term strategy may have been recalibrated; consequently, coverage strategy and roles must adjust.

Cost Structure

Manage costs while maintaining capacity. Near-term costs need to be managed but companies should be structured to effectively capitalize on new demand.

Rethink previously established investment levels and priorities. The crisis may have exposed areas where you can “do more with less” and/or accelerate the shift toward greater digital engagement. Resource and investment levels should be evaluated when markets stabilize.

Sales Compensation & Quotas

Determine a near-term adjustment plan. The crisis may have created a substantial performance variance to prior forecasts. Sales compensation is not a variable cost to be managed down unless the ongoing viability of the business is at stake. Sales talent will be the engine to propel growth as market conditions improve.

Align sales compensation plans to new strategic priorities. It’s possible that the crisis changed the environment to the extent where companies could potentially reestablish their vision, segmentation strategy, coverage and roles. Sales compensation plans should be updated to align with revised strategy and role objectives.

Operations & Infrastructure

Deploy real-time reporting and management cadence and accelerate digital investments. Rigorous forecasting will help monitor revenue impact as well as create an “all hands on deck” approach to key opportunities.

Perform a post-crisis process and infrastructure evaluation. The crisis may have uncovered gaps or new opportunities to address. Alternatively, it may have exposed effective digital tools that previously had limited use.

Leadership Principles

Stretching across these levers and underpinning the success of the organization is leadership. Two proven principles should be remembered throughout the upheaval and beyond:

Over Communicate: Customers, partners and employees will remember a firm’s response to the disruption. Internally, communicating clear expectations on what must change and why is one of the leader’s primary responsibilities. This not only includes expectations for performance outcomes but also how people spend their time, including the day-to-day “on-call” cadence with customers.

Balance Empathy with Sense of Urgency: Empathy is critical when various constituencies are dealing with a range of personal and professional challenges. But team members also need to understand there is a sense of urgency during the disruption. A strong leader can provide empathy and ask for urgency at the same time.

Market upheavals can have both short-term and lasting impacts on employees, customers and the companies go-to-customer model. The companies that balance short-term priorities of safety, viability and Customer Success while also readying themselves for re-opening will be in the best position to accelerate and win long-term. These six growth levers, coupled with strong leadership, represent the core actions revenue leaders should take to successfully navigate a tumultuous marketplace.

Alexander Group is available to help in times of disruption and uncertainty. Contact us to see how our leaders can help your organization.


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Recommended Insights:

Whitepaper: Revenue Leadership In Times Of Disruption

Video: Alexander Group Digital Revenue Blueprint

Webinar: Pricing Strategy & Execution in Times of Change

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Not What You Were Looking For? Explore More…


Contact us

Recommended Insights:

Whitepaper: Revenue Leadership In Times Of Disruption

Video: Alexander Group Digital Revenue Blueprint

Webinar: Pricing Strategy & Execution in Times of Change

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