Hiring a fractional CRO or CMO could be incredibly helpful in boosting your company’s revenue. Having an outside perspective – even part time – helps us see all angles and expose our blind spots, which can help us grow. Doug C. Brown discusses hiring fractional CROs and CMOs with House of Revenue founder and CEO Mary Grothe in this episode. They discuss why to hire fractional CROs and CMOs, when you should (or should not), the right ways to guide them within your company, and much more.
Mary Grothe is the founder and CEO of House of Revenue and the Fractional CRO of Spotz. She is a faith-based leader, entrepreneur, global keynote speaker, and the host of two podcasts: ‘Revenue Radio’ and ‘Destination Remarkable’. Today, House of Revenue builds unshakeable revenue foundations set for scale by focusing on all aspects of the revenue engine, essentially creating a Chief Revenue Officer service. In the past year, Mary has helped multiple second-stage growth companies, between $1 million and $10 million in annual recurring revenue, double their monthly recurring revenue within 10 months.
Visit her website: www.houseofrevenue.com
I’m bringing you another amazing guest. Her name is Mary Grothe. She owns a company called House Of Revenue. We are going to talk a lot about fractional CROs and CMOs and how you use them for scale, sanity, and revenue growth in your business. Sometimes when people hear fractional they go, “Why would I want somebody that’s fractional? It’s part-time, isn’t it?” Yes, but we’re bringing expertise to the table. A lot of times they can do things that full-time employees can’t do because they have this expertise and availability of resources, then they can bring it right to your company. We’re going to talk about how to do this, why to do this, why it makes sense, and when it doesn’t make sense.
We’re going to give you the good, ugly, and in-between of all of this. Mary’s very skilled at doing this. I wanted to bring her on because when a lot of companies grow to a certain level, they get stuck. they have blind spots and they can’t figure out how to grow. When you have a chief revenue officer that’s fractional that comes in, they’re looking at this thing holistically from a 360 view. It’s like hiring a consultant, but somebody in there doing the work and driving things forward for you and giving you a growth plan long-term. It is phenomenal when you do this type of thing. Let’s go talk to Mary about it. Here we go.
Mary, welcome to the show. Thank you much for being here.
Thank you for having me.
We’re going to talk about hiring fractional CROs and CMOs, how you do this for growth, keeping your sanity, and how you scale your business. You’re an expert in this area. Let me ask straight out, why does somebody want to hire somebody fractional versus somebody that’s full-time?
Fractional has a time and place where the strategy makes sense. Typically, where we see it be successful is where we play, which is in the second stage of scaling companies. Once you get through the startup scale, it is very chaotic. You do whatever you need to do in order to break through the different revenue thresholds and get your product market fit. Typically, what happens is a company will plateau and then they’ll be stagnant, maybe in that 3 million to 5 million range, maybe a little bit more.
They keep trying to do things like bring in a new VP of sales, “That didn’t work. Let’s get a marketing agency. We’ve spent $80,000 there and haven’t seen a return. Let’s fill in the blank.” They do these little silo fixes, little bandaids and nothing moves the needle. They then start saying, “Maybe we should hire a chief revenue officer, somebody to own revenue that can take us to the next level.”
There are a few flaws in hiring a full-time CRO or CMO when you’re in that second-stage scale or you’re looking to embark on that, especially when you’re coming out of a revenue plateau. Hiring a CRO or CMO alone is not going to scale your company. One of the first things a great CRO are going to want to do is build a team around them, which can be very expensive.
Additionally, some of the challenges with the CRO is that it’s an underdeveloped role. It’s only been popular for the last few years and mainstream in the last couple of years. The biggest mistake people make with hiring a CRO is that they find a glorified sales leader and give them the title. A real CRO is holistic. They understand go-to-market strategy, brand strategy, marketing, sales, customer success, and revenue operations.
A big mistake for a lot of people when they go to hire that CRO is they’re hiring somebody with a great track record in sales and sales leadership, but they don’t understand holistically the entire revenue engine. There’s a fault point. If you go the CMO route, typically in that second-stage-scaling company, it’s too early to hire a CMO alone without it being tied to an overall revenue strategy.
Marketing dollars are important in that second stage scale. Marketing needs to make you money. Some of the great chief marketing officers out there could perform very well in brand strategy. Many of them have worked with multimillion-dollar budgets, but often time, when you’re in a second-stage scale company, a CMO is an unnecessary hire if they’re not tied to a revenue component that you can get the results on that.
Full-time challenges are expensive. There’s also a big risk for them. Did you know that the average tenure for a CMO full-time role is 18 months, and then for a CRO is 19 months? I may have that backward, one or the other. The thing is they’re not set up for success. Oftentimes when they come in, the organization needs a lot fixed inside of their revenue ecosystem. They’re put in and they’re expected to perform immediately, then they want to build a team, and then the company may not have a budget for the team so then they’re looking at agencies supplementing some of the work. There is a fragmented strategy. It’s expensive and it may not work.
Fractional allows the company to hire talent without the full-time expense, burden, and overhead. Typically fractional CROs, at least how we see them at the House Of Revenue, need to be holistic. They need to understand go-to-market strategy, brand strategy, marketing, sales, CS, and revenue operations. They need to have that time where they can come in, assess, audit, and research before building and testing, then optimizing and scaling.
Typically, when it’s a fractional engagement, you are getting higher level, better talent for a fraction of the cost who’s able to come in in more of a lower risk environment. There’s a lot to discuss here, but the pros will be to protect your investment by having someone fractionally when you’re in that very pivotal time in a decision to rework your go-to-market strategy, to go to scale versus potentially falling risk to hiring me glorified sales leader.
When I go into a company, and they’re asking me to raise their revenue or fix a sales problem, it’s funny that sometimes people come in and go, “Train my salesforce.” I’m like, “Are they trainable?” They’re like, “What do you mean? Everybody is trainable.” “No. Not everybody has the will to want to be trained. Go in.” For basic words, “Do an audit.” Let’s stay with CRO, then we’ll go to CMO. When a chief revenues officer that’s fractional comes in there, what I’m hearing is they have this holistic view. They’re supposed to, anyways. They’re looking at all kinds of ways to drive new revenue, existing revenue, from existing sources, reconstituted revenue, or whatever it might be.
The first thing I always do is go in there and do an audit on the company to figure out what I’m doing because it’s unfair to the company to walk in and stop making adjustments. That’s how I look at it anyways. Should a chief revenue officer come in and like, “I’m going to come in and audit the company first?” What’s the first step should they be doing?
They should audit. They can’t cast a vision or have any clarity or understanding of how to get to the next level if they first don’t perform the audit and research required to identify where the gaps are between the current state and the desired future state. I am blessed to work with some of the best here. A great CRO will embody all of this when they come to the table. They’re looking at auditing data people processes in the market, the product, and the service. They’re going to want to understand the company’s history, the data behind it, and what’s worked and hasn’t worked.
They’re going to want to understand the original go-to-market strategy that was successful through startup scale. They have this product or service, and they need to go out to the market and do another benchmark and analysis to understand, “Is it still a product or service that the market wants? Is it at the right price point? When is the last time they did a competitive analysis and secret shopping to understand if maybe their product or service is great, but what if they have unnecessary friction in the sales process?”
Maybe they have adopted that predictable revenue model with the SDR or BDR. They’ve got eight steps before someone sees a demo or a proposal, which unfortunately has caused a lot of friction with the buyer and buyers are demanding better. They want frictionless sales processes. They want full-cycle salespeople. They want to be able to part with their money when they identify that they have a solution. Maybe it’s in the product or service itself or it’s in the way that the brand is presenting itself to the market.
They could have a great product or service, but maybe the branding is outdated, and the imagery isn’t right. The buyer’s shifted. Maybe it’s a slightly different type of ICP that is interested in this product or service. What has the company done to refresh the messaging or the imagery? They make sure that their website creates that emotional experience where people are excited that they’ve landed there and you’re like, “It’s like you wrote this for me. I’m glad that I found you.”
A great CRO is going to be able to audit every component of why this company might be plateaued. It starts with that go-to-market strategy. It digs into the product or service and its viability in the market to be successful. It benchmarks it against the competition. It looks at the process in the buyer’s journey. They go through it in order to make a purchase decision, but it doesn’t stop there. They also need to evaluate every person on the marketing team, sales team, and customer success.
Some of the lowest hanging fruit in customer success is the lack of differentiation, understanding, and formality between service, success, account management, client relationships, retention, expansion, and advocacy. Usually, there’s a gaping hole in marketing’s role in the customer life cycle and how they’re helping with adoption and retention, expansion, and advocacy. A great CRO is going to come in and they’re going to audit the entire revenue ecosystem.
Some of the lowest hanging fruit in customer success is the lack of differentiation, understanding, and formality between service success and account management, as well as client relationships, retention, expansion, and advocacy. Click To Tweet
One thing I didn’t say, but last but not least is the tech stack. What about CRM and automation? How many different tools do people need to log into in order to do their job, be it in marketing, sales, or CS? What is the customer experiencing as a result of a potentially fragmented revenue tech stack? Where is their data stored differently? Can they log in? Can they get access to the information? Is there a customer portal? What is communication like? Do they have a conversation bot for service? Is it all calling into a phone number? Is it a ticket base? Is it a group email?
Thinking about the customer experience when it goes to the tech stack is should be part of a chief revenue officer’s responsibility to understand that at a macro level, at a whole, so the initial audit, all of those things need to be taken into consideration. If a CEO hires a CRO and the expectation is, “Go increase my revenue starting in month one,” which is honest of how it is.
They get put in these roles and it’s expected you’re a high expense. “We’re burning cash on you. Go produce.” It’s like, “Hold the phone.” If you don’t give that CRO time to appropriately assess the environment, please allow them 1 to 2 months to get a handle on it, then they’re going to need to start implementing, building, and testing before there can be optimization and scaling if you want to do it the right way.
What I’ve always found was that some of what got you there will get you to the next step, but you must alter the course. Let’s say you’re $5 million and you are stuck. I’ve worked with many companies that are $5 million and they don’t even have a marketing person. They did it old school sales, got out there, banging on doors, doing whatever they had to, and successfully got there. Marketing is this big black hole of a universe forum and then it’s like, “Do we do traditional marketing? Do we do online marketing?” No one owns it.
Traditionally, what companies do is hire a vice president of sales or something like that. They might have one already at that level or if they don’t, they’re like, “My salespeople are going crazy.” The owner started the company, they’re moving the company forward, and now they’ve got a bunch of salespeople that are doing whatever because there’s not much for consistency there or measurability. Now it’s time to hire somebody. They do what you said. They’re hiring somebody that is going to take this responsibility and then they go, “I’m out. You are in. Take it all.” As I understand all of this, I’m trying to put myself in the shoes of somebody I built companies that big and much bigger.
Readers might like, “This sounds a lot overwhelming. I got to have all this like stuff going on at one time. I’d barely got my head above water now because I’m still constantly dealing with all the business headaches that are going on.” What do you say to somebody about the overwhelmed component of it? Is this overwhelming or is this something that they should be prepared to be overwhelmed, or is it sounds overwhelming and it isn’t?
It can be overwhelming. I understand that. I’ve had the privilege of working in revenue for my entire career. I talk fast and I say a lot of things because I get to do this every day. It’s basic for me, but I do understand it can sound very overwhelming. Going back to your comment about, “We’ve not had formalized marketing.” This is a big question because people then say, “Who’s the first marketing hire?” It’s a challenge because marketing has 9 or 10 specialties inside of it. You can have generalists who are decent at many things, but it’s hard for a company that hasn’t formally had marketing, especially at that $5 million mark, the plateau, we see this all the time.
Marketing has tons of specialties inside of it. You can have a marketing generalist who is decent at many things, but that may be unhelpful to a company that hasn’t formally had marketing. Click To Tweet
They haven’t formalized a marketing department then they say, “Who’s the first hire? Is it a CMO? They’re going to be a high-level strategy, which we need a strategy, but then who’s going to do the work?” It’s not a single hire because if it’s a CMO, then what do they do? Hire in the agency? That can be expensive. There are a lot of fault points with marketing agencies.
“Is that what we do? Do we hire more of a generalist who can be good enough to get us posting on social media, sending a newsletter, and maybe refining a little bit of messaging on our website? Is that a good first step? Do I need to hire 2 or 3 people out of the gate if I’m going to launch a real marketing department?” It’s a hard decision to make.
That is an overwhelming part. That audit is going to tell you exactly where your focus needs to be first. The audit and research steps are critical. Maybe you’ve got a great brand that doesn’t need a refresh. It’s amplification. It’s outbound marketing tactics. Maybe your website has been untouched for five years. It’s not encouraging conversion and is a mess.
Maybe your logo doesn’t speak to your brand and you want that changed as well. Maybe you’re even considering a whole new name for your company, which many companies have done, ourselves included. You’ve got to do the audit. You have to understand where the marketing and brand strategy currently is sitting. Is it helping or hindering your overall trajectory to scaling revenue?
A great CRO is holistic. They’re proficient in branding, marketing, and sales. They’re not going to be building websites. They’re not going to be super granular on a lot of the marketing components. However, they can guide and direct an overarching strategy. If the company is fortunate enough or has a budget to also pair with a CMO, then the CMO is going to be the right hand of the CRO in that strategy.
The CMO should be able to take the overarching strategy, then dissect it and carve it up into a very tactical execution plan. A great CMO is going to be able to say, “Based on this plan with this company at our stage of growth and the market we’re in with our type of buyer, product, and service, we need a full-time focus on, let’s say, SEO. We need to hire an SEO specialist and a content writer,” or maybe the focus is more on webinars and events, “We need to hire somebody who’s proficient in that.”
Go with the hire that you need the most of in that type of work for marketing, and then figure out where you can build out the rest of the function with contractors, freelancers, potentially an agency, or maybe the company is fortunate enough with enough cashflow or capital that they are able to build out a team then you can identify the specific roles and people that you would need to have. Building out a marketing department is overwhelming.
I’ve been extremely fortunate to have a couple of what we call Swiss army knife marketers here that like happen to be wildly proficient in strategy and these execution pieces. They’re super hard to come by. I wouldn’t rely on having that person. Additionally, it’s a high point of failure. If you have that person and then they leave, you’re most likely not going to be able to quickly find a replacement for them, and you’re going to be filling out those other seats.
You can’t do all marketing all at once. That’s a mistake I see companies do all the time. It’s like, “We’ll go out and run six initiatives at one time.” It’s like, “Come back to Earth because all 6 initiatives are like having 6 separate children running all around and you got to manage those processes. Not all children want to be managed in that capacity.” It’s a good way to never know what’s working because you never be able to get enough time for it. That’s what I have found. I’m putting myself in the shoes of the readers, saying, “What’s the difference between a CRO and a consultant? Wouldn’t if I brought a consultant in, couldn’t a consultant do this?” What would be your response?
Maybe is the answer. A fractional CRO can be viewed as a consultant or as a part-time contract worker. There are multiple kinds of fractional CROs out there. We are the latter. We are the actual part-time contract worker. Our CROs only serve two clients each. They are deeply embedded. They’re sitting in on every meeting. I have a CRO that is making sales calls with the sales team and progressing the pipeline because the pipeline progression had completely stalled with recent inflation and market economic concerns and worries.
She got on the phone with the salespeople and called through everything in the pipeline to move the needle because that’s what needed to be done right then and there. She’s also leading a website project, brand refresh, and messaging. There are consultant fractional CROs that might have 5, 6, 7, or 8 clients or they are just consulting. That’s not a bad model. It depends on what the business needs.
Sometimes an earlier-stage company that doesn’t have the budget for a full fractional CRO may only want to buy a few hours a week to get some of that higher-level strategy and have some of that interpreted to what they need to do for tactical execution. That could be a perfect guiding light for that startup scale.
Also, fractional CROs could be great for larger companies where the larger company needs a full-time CRO, and then maybe they are serving as a fractional assistant to them to bring in some of that strategy, a sounding board, to have somebody to throw ideas off of and have those higher level brainstorming conversations. There are a lot of advantages in different stages of growth to having more of a consultant-based fractional CRO versus an actual fractional CRO who goes on contract, is embedded in the organization, sits in the seat, and is performing the work. There’s a time and place for both types.
One of the biggest differences is to remember that if you’re hiring a consultant, they make their money consulting. A consultant is naturally going to want to sell more consulting time. That’s where it comes down to it. They are handling numerous clients if they’re successful as a consultant. There are only many clients that one can handle. When I was consulting full-time, six is pretty much it.
You start going over that and everybody starts blending together a little bit, even coaches. Coaches can only handle many clients. I remember one time I had 37 coaching clients a month, and I couldn’t do it. It was the reality, but the coaching or consulting model is to sell more coaching and consulting. That’s the business they’re in.
Don’t get me wrong. I do still some consulting and advising still. It depends on the need of the company, but what I love about a CRO is that they’re tasked with doing one thing, grow revenue. That’s the outcome and their success point where consultants at success point could be in multiple facets. It depends to be in 100% agreement on what the mission is and what we’re trying to do next. How does somebody start with this? I’m a $4 million company. I’m starting to go into that second stage. I’ve got half a dozen friends that are there.
I’m their friend so they won’t listen to me because they’ve known me for many years. I got $700 million in sales. They got $4 million. I get it. They’ll come to you and it’ll be a different perspective because they haven’t been playing football with you or something like that. What would you tell somebody that is at that level and now want to start? What is the starting point for them? A fractional CMO or CRO, in most cases, makes sense for most companies, but they’re a little afraid of, “They’re only going to be there X amount of time,” or whatever the thing that’s coming up in their head. What would be the starting point? How do they get going at this?
My council in response to, “They’re only part-time,” is great fractionals. Their quality is good that what they can do in 20 hours, a full-time person may not be able to do in 60 or 80. That’s part of your screening process to figure out whom your fractionals are going to be. They need to be high urgency and capacity.
They need to have a lot of depth knowledge, experience, and great fractionals who have scaled companies before to make sure they’ve done the work maybe not once but twice. A great fractional has worked in a lot of different industries and held roles not just in the same path throughout their whole career. They’ve done different types of revenue roles to get that firsthand experience. It is important.
The first step would be to identify where you want to go because if you’re a company that’s $4 million and meaningful growth for you is to get above the $5 million threshold and get a little bit more profit into the business, that’s a different type of fractional need. If you’re thinking, “I want to go from $4 million to $8 million to $12 million to $20 million,” That’s a different type of fractional. Figure out where you want to go.
We used to ask for a twelve-month commitment out of the gate. Surprisingly, we had a dozen or so companies per year say yes to that which was a lot of faith going into, “I hope this works out.” We’ve changed it now that we do a 40-day intro period. Everything you read me talk about at the top of this show with the audit, research, and the new go-to-market strategy and recommendation, it’s also coupled with a new revenue org chart so they can understand if they have the right people in the right seats today, who might need to be swapped out in a seat.
It also has a revenue economics model, which should show 12, 24, or 36 months. It explains, “If you want to go from that $4 million to 8 million, this is the length of time it’ll take. This is the headcount we will require. These are the other investments it’s going to take, marketing and technology budget. This is when you can plan to break even on this. This is when you’ll be profitable. This is when you’ll have more of the economies of scale.”
That type of deliverable then allows them to have a decision point to say, “If this is what it’s going to take to scale, can we afford this plan? Do we finance it through cashflow? Do we go get a capital partner or get access to capital?” That’s a service to the community that we didn’t have before. It is to say, “Let’s spend 40 days together and answer that question for you.”
It takes time to do it the right way, but then you’re not hooked to a big twelve-month commitment and several hundred thousand dollars, “Let me have somebody who knows how to scale. Tell me what it’s going to take for us to scale based on our product or service, market, buyer, or team we already have. What are we going to need to do to produce results?” Allow them to be in a decision seat to say, “We want to take on this project or not.”
I’m on the choir seat with you on this one because I see people who do this incorrectly and correctly. I wrote down a bunch of things here. I love what you said, “Start with the end in mind.” Stephen Covey wrote that in a book one time. It is true. Many times when I’m talking to business owners or CEOs who run their own companies, they’re trying to grow revenue. There’s nothing wrong with growing revenue, but the question is, how effective or efficient are we at growing that revenue? That’s where this audit comes into play.
What drives me a little batty is that they look at those usually as an expense. They go, “It’s going to cost X amount of tens of thousands of dollars,” or whatever it’s going to be. They go, “This is an expense.” Anybody who is reading this for a while, trust me on this, you have blind spots that you can’t see. You have been in the company, in the business in 2, 3, or 4 years, or whatever it’s taken you to get to that level, and you’re driving and missing stuff.
What I have found is when they do this particular audit, the 40-day engagement, they find way more money that they’re leaving that they’ll never get until it comes along that somebody points it out. Even when sometimes people point it out, they engage in it. I have a client for whom I was like, “You could charge for what you’re doing for free.”
They’re doing a bunch of training. Charge for the particular training versus doing it free, you will get revenue through the door. What will happen is not only revenue will come through the door, you’ll get better quality clients and they’ll buy more on the back end. It took them about a year for them to take the advice, but then as on as they did, their show rate went up. On free training, you’ll have a lower show rate because people have nothing invested, but when they pay for something, they show up. It’s the old, “When they pay, they pay attention.”
In that case, what happened is that their close rate has gone up on the back end as well as funding the front end. To me, that’s what a CRO would look at. A CRO would look at and say, “How do I monetize every piece of this process? How do I find the blind spots? Let’s monetize the blind spots because those can be from the past.” A lot of people are looking far into the future, “How do I get new clients? How do we extend the lifetime relationship of the client? How do we engage more new clients and expand that to get more clients, referrals, and all types of things?” Let’s look at it that way.
A CRO will look at that whole holistic 360 view and bring back a plan. If anybody’s sitting there going, “This sounds great, but it’s going to be an expense on the books,” I’ll guarantee you, it’s an expense on your books right now because you’re missing out on stuff that somebody from the outside comes in like Mary. Your company will come in, look at this, and say, “Here’s the next 24 months. This is what I recommend for you to do that component of it. Let’s get it done.” What do you say to people when they say, “I’m focusing on the money now. I can’t afford this because it’s going to be an expense?” What would your response be?
“I hope you enjoy $4 million.” The thing is it’s going to take money to grow. This is a very safe way. Now, our 40-day price at $40,000. That may change. That’s not a lot of money when you look at the green scheme of things because our revenue plan for a $4 million company, historically at that size, we’ve been able to consistently achieve double MRR by months 10, 11, and 12.
Some of the $4 million companies that we scaled back in 2020 and 2021 have now gone on to be $12 million, $15 million, or $16 million. That investment to have a clear and honest roadmap of what it’s going to take to scale, how can you put a price on that? That is my two cents, but I’m biased because I created the program and I run the company by $40,000 in the green scheme of things.
We used to ask people for $250,000 out of the gate. It was a 12-month contract at a base price of $250,000. It was before they ever saw the plan to know how they were going to scale. At a $40,000 price point to have a brilliantly-built specific executable plan based on research from the market, customer, people doing the work, all of the above, in my opinion, that’s priceless to be able to see that.
That is a price point that is going to show you exactly what needs to happen. One of the areas that we will audit is the client base because we want to understand how much of the client base has access to how much of the product or service set. We also want to look for that low-hanging fruit, like you said, “Are you charging for training, service, or for the consulting that you’re doing?”
We’re going to be able to identify some of the low-hanging fruit of things that are being done that aren’t monetized. We’re also going to be looking at, “Do they have revenue sitting inside of the base waiting to be sold?” If 37% of their client base has bought the core package, but the remaining amount has one or fewer ancillaries as an example, how many ancillaries are there? What is the upsell opportunity?
We can break that out by client by line item to show, “If you sold 25% of the available upsell revenue in your base, that could be $1.2 million right there. What is the plan to build that out that you’re attaining that revenue?” Oftentimes a $40,000 investment, whether the company would choose to work with us or not, have got a brilliant revenue plan that they could implement themselves and avoid the fee. If that doesn’t work out, we’d be here.
I always ask people to look long-term because I find that at a $4 million or $5 million level, no disrespect, I’ve been there, I’ve done this, to people who think like that, you think, “How do I get to the next step?” versus, “What am I going to do over the next few years?” That’s where we get caught as business owners because we’re looking myopically at, “How do I get to $5.5 million if I’m at $5 million?”
We’re not looking, “What does it take for me to go from $5 million to $12 million in the next 3 or 2 years?” We start to get pretty short-term thoughts as owners of companies because let’s face it, it’s our baby and we’ve been growing it. Anybody can mess it up. There are all kinds of things that come in. If I can give one piece of advice to people who have built companies and if it’s over $368 million, I haven’t been part of building it, I’m telling you upfront. Anything under that, we always had to look long-term.
When we looked long-term, what happened was the growth rate scaled over a period of time, then we had spurts where we never even thought that it would grow from $68 million or $100 million in a year. It goes up. It was all the pre-planning of the long-term thought that got us there. If you’re going to go from $5 million and you want to be a $10 million or a $20 million company, you got to start thinking and acting like a $20 million company versus a $5 million company. It’s hard when we’re at that place because sometimes when you’re at $5 million, you’re profitable, but it’s not like you’re rolling an abundance of cash depending on the type of business you’re in.
If you think about an auto dealer that’s doing $5 million a year, there’s not a lot of profit when you’ve got a lot of base cost in the vehicles. It’s one of those things that I would highly beg people to look at long term because I see that as the short-term thought process that stalls them from doing what we’re talking about doing, which is important. If we’re inside the book reading, we can only see a few letters. If we’re outside the book, we can say, “You’re on chapter two,” or whatever because we’re looking from the out in. How do people get a hold of you or your company if they go, “This makes sense. I want to talk to somebody? ”
It’s a pleasure having you here on the show. You brought a lot of great stuff. I know you made people think, and that’s what the whole purpose of this is. How do we get strategies in our company? How do we think long-term? How do we build that out? I’d love to have you back again if you’d like to. Any last parting words for anybody? Any last thoughts?
Let me leave you with this. Understanding who you are and for as a CEO, as an executive leader, and tapping into the purpose behind your company, the difference that you’re trying to make, the problem that you’re solving inside of the market, being rooted in customer need, all great revenue scale. The easiest way to do it is to pinpoint your go-to-market strategy to confirm that what you are doing solves a need and that you do it well.
Revenue scale is potentially expensive. It’s difficult and hard, but the easiest thing that you can do is to reevaluate who you’re for and how you meet the need of the person who’s willing to part with their dollars to buy your product or service. If you can continue to invest in that to make it unparalleled, to make it second to none, you’re going to have a far easier path to scale.
Revenue growth is hard if you don’t know what to do. What’s harder is revenue decline or stagnation because when we have growth, then we can throw money at problems in style. If we don’t have growth, we can throw effort at problems and start building a business on our backs. I believe wholeheartedly in what you said because I’ve seen this happen over hundreds of companies that I’ve been involved with. Mary, thanks for being here. We’ll have you back again.
“Start with the end in mind.” I didn’t make that up. Stephen Covey wrote that in a book. I don’t even know if Stephen made that up. He is a very smart man. When you look long-term in your business and you look at revenue and how you want to grow it, it’s a long-term play. One of the things that I have found to be very successful is that you use short strategies and then couple them along. If you think of SSSL, Short, Short, Short, Long, short is how you bring revenue in quickly in the first 30 days. What strategies and tactics do we need to employ to do that? The long is that takes longer than 30 days. That could be 30 days or 6 months.
For example, a podcast, although a great vehicle for getting your name out into the public square and getting people to listen to you is a long-term play. In most cases, I’ve never seen anybody make money in their first 30 days in a podcast unless they have such a huge following that they start a podcast and they can go get sponsors or something, and then they’ll make some money, but it’s a long-term play. It’s usually going to take you 6 to 12 months before you start seeing results from your podcast. Results in terms of revenue would be a long-term play.
The short-term play could be something like referrals or re-engagement of the dormant clients. There are all kinds of ways of doing this. A chief revenue officer who’s worth their salt will come in and show you how to do this. A chief marketing officer can do the same on the marketing side. When those two are working in tandem, you can get explosive growth in your business. Let’s begin with the end in mind. Do you want explosive growth?
Sometimes it’s very quick growth. We grew one time from $68 million to $362 million in two years. That was high growth. I always joke, “I had a full head of hair when we started that process and now I don’t.” Make sure you start with the end in mind, look for expertise, talk to people like Mary, reach out to her, and see what they could do for you if you have that interest in that process.
If you want to scale, remember, having outside eyes look at it from an outside point of view gives you a full different view than you being in there day-to-day. It doesn’t mean that we’re not smart. It means all of us miss it day to day because we’re in it. We can’t see the obvious sometimes. That’s the value of bringing outside eyes in.
If you love this show and you want a subject matter that you’re like, “I would love to read this,” and maybe you think you would be the expert guest or if you’re not the expert guest, but you want to read something, reach out to us. Let us know what the idea is. Send an email to YouMatter@CEOSalesStrategies.com and pose your idea.
We’ll take a look at the idea and get back to you either way. We will let you know, “This fits or this does not fit.” We can figure it out and we’ll create an episode on that if it does fit. If you’re looking to get yourself or someone you know to the top 1% of sales earners in the world, a minimum of $500,000 and up, and you want help in doing that, or you’re a company and you want access to these type of people who are already well trained elite performers, reach out to me at Doug@CEOSalesStrategies.com. Let me know what you’re looking for and if I have someone that I can bring to you, I’d be happy to do that. If you’re looking to be trained on that, we certainly have the ability to do that as well.
If you love this show and I hope you do, please give it a five-star review and tell your friends. The more people read this, the better it is for all of us, and the more we can keep doing this in bringing you high-value people and great content to help you edge over your competition. Until next time. Go out and sell something. Sell a lot of it profitably. Play win-win. They win. You win. Make people happy. Make yourself happy. We make the world a little better place. To your success.
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