Although margin expansion is important, if the organization focus only on increasing its profitability this could have consequently a shrinkage in the market share. On the contrary, increasing the market share without taking into consideration profitability will erode not only margins but also company’s value. Therefore, real organizational growth requires both increase the share of the market as well as expand the margins. However, in most of the cases these are competing priorities that are owned by different organizational areas which usually work in “silos”. On the other hand, in a VUCA world the market assumptions on which companies’ business plan are based will not remain the same for long, hence adjustment to the projections will have to be performed based not only on assumptions’ changes but also the drivers of the sales outcomes. Once value was sold to customers, it must not only be effectively delivered to ensure their experience but also in the most efficient way since productivity is one of the key drivers of margins expansion. Finally, unless value received from customers is effectively and timely capture to be reflected on both company cash flows and balance sheets, the growth won’t be materialized neither to the company nor their shareholders. Thus, accelerate growth will depend not only on the performance of each area but also organizational agility to create a continuous value flow that connects customers, employees and shareholders. But how can organizations achieve an agile business growth?
Agile Marketing & Sales
First and foremost, the company business plan starts with marketing and sales projections based on assumptions. Hence, market dynamic and assumptions’ changes can be more easily followed if instead of only having a monthly comparison of “actuals versus projections”, marketing and sales areas have weekly touch bases. Moreover, by moving from actual results to the sales process’ drivers, an analysis of the sales force effectiveness considering availability, performance and closing ratio will bring key insides regarding new business sales and market share growth. Furthermore, feedback from sales areas could help pricing areas to align how profitability is shown, for instances by deal or business partner, with sales strategy and market demands. What is more, collaboration between sales, operations and customer service areas will contribute to enhance customer loyalty which can be measured not only through renewals but also by cross and upselling which will ensure sustainable and accelerate growth respectively.
Agile Value Delivery and Customer Service
Another aspects to consider adopting an agile business growth approach, are value delivery and customer service. After selling a product or service, the customer experience will be built mostly through key touch points in value delivery and customer service which will define the quality of “the journey”. Therefore, the effectiveness to deliver value and provide service to customer is essential to create great experiences that will ensure loyalty and make growth sustainable. Moreover, great experiences of current customers can contribute not only to renewals but also to cross and upselling as well as new business sales through positive recommendations from “net promotors”. On the other side, efficiency in operations and customer service is very important to drive productivity which will contribute to margin expansion. Furthermore, since in most of the cases customer experience will heavily relay on employee’s one, sustainable productivity must be attained to ensure both profitability and customer satisfaction. Likewise, by integrating perspectives from marketing, sales and operations the organization can estimate the customer lifetime value to project and accelerate growth.
Agile Collections & Revenue Recognition
Last but not least, agility in the collection process is essential to ensure free cash flows generation which today have an impact on price per share. Although from an E2E perspective collections start with an effective billing and remittance process which is followed by customer’s payments, the collection process itself is key because it enables the organization to be able nurture itself from the value received from customers and ensures the integrity of the value flow between customers, employees and shareholder. Moreover, once the collection process ends, the revenue recognition starts to guarantee that value from customers is timely and effectively reflected in the organization’s balance sheets. Furthermore, it is when the comparison “actuals versus projections” is made that the organization can see if the expected growth was achieved both with estimated size and within projected time framework. As a conclusion, while payment and collection processes integration create transparency in cash flow, “record to report” and “financial planning and analysis” processes combined allow the organization to measure and follow up growth. Finally, organization’s mind-set and the culture of everyone in the business needs to be around an agile business growth in order to make it happen.
Thanks for Reading.