Founders are stuck relying on luck or a silver bullet strategy to generate revenue. Unfortunately, the truth is that there isn’t one fantastic question at the end of a sales call that will gain you more customers.
The good news is that you are likely sitting on untapped revenue. We’ve worked with hundreds of startups around the world, and we’ve overwhelmingly proven that revenue generation doesn’t revolve around a new campaign or a new sales hire, but instead around intentional activities.
Here are three intentional revenue generation activities we’ve helped founders employ to achieve real results.
1. Pivot Your Startup to be Sales-Focused
Have you taken the time to sit down and list all of the tasks you could do to start gaining revenue? If you haven’t, yesterday was the time to start.
Revenue doesn’t come out of thin air, it comes from specific activities. Start committing time to gaining revenue, and start actively managing that time. Establish a routine of proactively generating revenue, rather than reactively hoping that it comes from some unknown source.
Here’s a short list of revenue-focused behaviors you can start implementing today:
- Drive your own selling activity
- Measure the effects of your activity
- Hold yourself accountable
- Follow up with people (customers, prospects investors) multiple times, even if you don’t hear back!
For example, have you gone three months back in your email inbox to track lost deals and leads? You’d be shocked how many good opportunities are likely waiting for a reply or an email friendly email bump. Start doing these types of revenue-focused activities so you aren’t stuck relying on hope as your sales strategy.
These new activities don’t have to be something that requires a large investment of time or money. Rather, revenue comes from persistent, intentional activity to keep the momentum in your sales cycles from stalling.
2. Align Every Revenue Activity to Your ICPs
You might think your sales method is the most important part of your startup revenue strategy. However, you should not focus on aligning only your sales method to your revenue channels. You need to align every activity and every part of your business towards a specific Ideal Customer Profile (ICP).
Your Ideal Customer Profile is the most important asset for revenue generation. It directly impacts your success with every step that’s required to obtain revenue. Your messaging and sales strategy is dependent on your ICP.
Once you define your ICP, then you can determine your pricing strategy. Once you know how much you can reasonably charge a customer, that informs how much you can spend to acquire that customer. Since you have a budget to maintain, your ICP forms the channels and the methods you use to acquire customers.
Drive alignment through them all to make sure they are not creating friction. The most common outcome our team at GrowthX sees while working with entrepreneurs is that startups can increase revenue while actually shortening sales cycles.
Our MXP Online program has helped hundreds of founders accelerate sales cycles after working with our team.
“MXP Online, a product-market fit virtual accelerator from GrowthX, is the best curriculum and training I’ve seen for early-stage founders. Can’t recommend it enough.” (Jeff Kaplan, Venture Asheville)
3. Be Intentional About Revenue Generating Activities
Once your revenue generation activities are aligned to your ICP, you are in a sweet spot to set goals for those tasks. Companies that spend time managing their revenue generation grow 28% faster.
If you are constantly running experiments, but you never stop to analyze the data you are generating, then you are not actually learning anything. You are not running an experiment; you are just splashing water.
Be cognizant of and regularly evaluate your startup’s progress with intentionality. That’s how you learn when you need to pivot or reevaluate your approach versus when you step fully on the gas.
You have to start identifying friction in your process on a regular basis, and to do that you can build structure around your revenue generating activity.
Acquiring revenue is the natural byproduct of a sales process that is fully aligned and geared towards a targeted ICP.
But how do you actually do this? To gain revenue, you must have a regular cadence of aligning these steps to your ICP:
- Align your sales process
- Align your messaging
- Align your calendar
- Align your contacts
- Align your pricing model
For example, remove distractions off your calendar, and only give time to people who can help you generate learning and revenue. Everything comes back to alignment with your ICP. Acquiring revenue has to start with laser-focus on acquiring customers that match your ICP.
The most successful revenue generation strategy is to be intentional about acquiring revenue with the right ICP and the way you decide to acquire those ICP’s.
To acquire revenue for your startup, you don’t necessarily need to do anything new or different, you just need to be focused. Look at your current tools, and you might realize you have put the puzzle pieces in the wrong place.