The eagle is a tremendous example of strategic leadership. The eagle soars at great heights, surveying the scene below. When the eagle discovers something of interest, it examines its prey intently. The eagle is decisive and responsive, making swift decisions before soaring high once again to view the larger picture. Eagles both protect their young and encourage them to be independent, focusing on the long-term goals they have for them.
The Eagle Has Landed
Middle-Market executives can follow a leadership model similar to that of the eagle. Just as the eagle views the big picture, examining the details and encouraging its young to be self-sufficient, company executives must be visionary leaders who involve themselves in company details while encouraging employees to develop skills of their own.
This is especially true in regards to a middle-market firm’s revenue generation. Without revenue generation, the chances of a company’s survival shrink. Executives must protect their employees and corporations while encouraging employees to work competently and independently, upholding organizational values and striving to support business goals.
Carrying the Load Equally
Driving revenue generation is often overlooked as an executive function because it is exclusively seen as the VP of Sales’ responsibility. Though the CEO and VP of Sales have a direct impact upon profitability, the entire executive team can support revenue generation. Executives have the greatest impact on organizational culture, and a revenue-driven culture can have a trickle-down effect.
It is important for executives at all levels to push for revenue generation from a company culture standpoint because each company department represents a separate customer touch point. If your company has a crackerjack sales team that brings in great customers and clients, but the customer service team isn’t committed to generating revenue, the results can be disastrous. Regardless of the sales team’s success, the failed commitment of the customer service department would dramatically diminish the number of clients who stayed with the company.
An executive who values revenue generation, regardless of the function of his or her department, should instill the need to drive revenue in everyone working under his or her leadership. There are simple ways executives can encourage revenue generation within each department, including:
Leading by example. Executives should display their commitment to revenue generation, and then champion a revenue-generating initiative throughout the department. An initiative that celebrates or “gamifies” increased revenue can lend laser focus to an entire team.
Making revenue generation a departmental priority. Set goals and standards for employees in regards to their efforts to generate or improve revenues. Giving team members concrete standards to meet will not only enhance your bottom line, but they will also improve your employees’ performance.
Rewarding employees for great ideas. When employees come up with revenue-generating ideas, reward them with leadership positions or other incentives. Awards that underscore an employee’s dedication to a central initiative ensure that more teammates will follow suit.
Once individual departments are committed to generating revenues, executives can tap other areas to increase profitability. Creative ways to generate additional revenue include:
Creating service contracts for existing customers. Instead of fixing equipment when it breaks, a great way to generate recurring revenue is to sell prepaid maintenance contracts at a discount over the regular maintenance price.
Creating installation and implementation services. When a customer buys your software or equipment, he or she will often pay to avoid the installation hassle.
Creating needs assessments. Even before a customer buys your product, he or she will often agree to have his or her needs assessed. Needs assessments and capacity measurements can be offered as paid services.
As middle-market executives strive to lead their companies and departments, it is critical to their companies’ success that organizational leaders remain committed to the “eagle’s-eye view” of what it’s all about: generating revenue. Executives should actively seek out new ways to generate more profits. Once executives within each department begin demonstrating a commitment to driving revenue, they have the ability to influence their teams to follow suit, increasing profitability and creating a revenue-driven culture.
“Because this article was published, a donation will be made to Reading Is Fundamental so a book can be given to a child.”
Dush Ramachandran is the founder and CEO of The Net Momentum, an affiliate management company. Dush was most recently Vice President of Sales and Business Development at ClickBank, the world’s largest retailer of digitally downloadable products. During his six year tenure at ClickBlank, he was responsible for growing revenues of the company significantly and making it the digital product powerhouse it is today, mainly through building strong and trusting relationships with the largest affiliates and vendors in the industry.