There are countless ways to achieve business growth. Also, there are numerous internal challenges organizations face that can block the path to business growth. In this blog, we'll identify the four key factors that affect business growth and explain how you can make sure they don’t stand in the way of your success.
1. Strong brand proposition
Successful, growing companies have a number of things in common. One of these things is having a strong brand proposition; a concise statement that summarizes why the customer should prefer your product or service over the competitor’s. Does your company have a distinctive proposition? Is this proposition internally clear and is it communicated to the outside world in a uniform way? You may also wonder whether all business activities are in line with this proposition. It is important that all stakeholders have the same idea about your brand proposition.
To create a strong proposition for your organization, bear in mind the following four factors:
Research the demand for your products/services. Do research into the market in which you want to operate so you can use figures to determine whether it is an attractive product-market combination. Base your strategy on market data and not on assumptions or gut feeling.
Define the approach as specific as possible. Highlight any unique/innovative aspects of this in order to really stand out.
What's in it for your client? List the benefits of purchasing your product/service and explain why. Do not make unsubstantiated claims.
Don't just mention that you are better than your competitors, but also mention your competitors and explain why you are better.
Good communication and cooperation is crucial for any company. Especially if you want to expand your team, it’s important to clarify the decision-making structure and division of tasks. By putting your heads together on a regular basis, you can ensure that all teams are aware of each other's activities and stumbling blocks. In this way, you are on the same page and can keep optimizing.
Marketing & sales: a well-oiled lead generation machine
Two departments in which communicating really pays off are marketing and sales. Together, these departments work on one of the most important tasks of an organization: attracting customers. If these two teams can guide prospects through the customer journey flawlessly, the road to company growth is mostly cleared. An optimal collaboration leads to a well-oiled lead generation machine, which ensures a continuous, predictable flow of customers. Together they ensure that potential customers are attracted, convinced and - ultimately - attracted.
To achieve this, it is important to meet regularly to go through the flow of leads and give each other feedback. Questions like "did marketing deliver qualitative, nurtured leads?" and "were all leads followed up by sales?" are essential. It is important to make clear agreements about which responsibility lies with which team. So, let marketing and sales activities flow seamlessly into one another, use the same definitions and pursue shared goals.
3. Digital transformation
We are currently in the fourth industrial revolution; technological developments are taking place at a rapid pace. The economy has changed considerably in recent decades with the rise of i.a. Artificial Intelligence, big data, the Internet of Things and blockchain. It is becoming increasingly easy for companies to measure everything into detail, and to optimize processes based on collected data. Companies that do not start investing in the implementation of new technologies are missing out. Is the technology within your organization up-to-date?
Measuring is knowing and in this day and age it is no problem at all to understand the most complex processes by collecting and analysing data. For example, you can make clear how much budget is needed to bring in one customer. To do this, you need to be able to understand the entire marketing and sales funnel, which is difficult without using the right technologies that collect and combine the necessary data.
Process automation is also playing an increasingly important role and can make a difference when it comes to efficiency. It is interesting to invest in the implementation of marketing automation, for example, because relatively few companies still make use of it and you can therefore distinguish yourself.
4. A predictable marketing and sales funnel
Mapping out of the marketing and sales funnel and knowing where the bottlenecks are, is extremely valuable. This way, you have a good overview of your lead generation and you know where in the funnel you need to optimize to guide leads through the entire funnel, on their way to becoming a customer. However, for many companies it remains a challenge to achieve this; their way of generating leads and lack of the right technology make the funnel an unpredictable place that doesn’t provide valuable insights.
Companies that rely too much on their own network to generate leads are often characterized by having an unpredictable funnel and most of them fail to reach their targets. Lack of insight into the funnel means that you can't count on a certain number of customers in a certain period of time. When you invest in more sustainable lead generation options that extend beyond your network, such as inbound marketing or Account Based Marketing, you can make lead generation a predictable process.
Successful companies are making less and less use of cold calling and fairs, because they know how to use the digital landscape to generate (and nurture) leads. By using online lead generation and the right technologies, the marketing and sales funnel can become clear, insightful and predictable thanks to a complete data file.
To summarize, as a company you have to take into account several factors in order to get a grip on business growth. Four internal factors have been identified that influence company growth. Firstly, having a strong brand proposition is important. Based on this, you can start building your brand and set up a realistic strategy. Within this strategy, marketing and sales alignment play an important role; good cooperation between these teams is essential for successful customer acquisition. In order to support this collaboration and to make your marketing and sales funnel transparent, it is also important to invest in digital transformation. This way you get a grip on business growth.