Phew! It’s over. Another financial year is complete. Was it as successful as you had hoped? What are your plans for the next 12 months? If you don’t have answers to these questions, now is the perfect time to do your revenue and marketing audit, and get focused for the year ahead.
Set your firm up for success by getting your key stakeholders around a table and covering off on the following questions.
Where did our revenue come from last year? Which services, divisions, offices, clients and individuals generated it?
Did clients buy just one particular service, or did they migrate elsewhere into the firm? On average clients buy 2.7 services from a professional services provider.
Do different market segments buy different services from us? Where are the opportunities for cross-selling?
What was the amount of repeat business versus new business?
Which lead generation sources did new business come from?
Did we lose any clients? Why? What needs to change?
Did we lose new business opportunities? Why? What was the potential cost?
Given the firm’s growth goals, where will business come from in the next year?
What is the status of our client database?
How well are we known in our target markets?
Does our marketing/messaging serve us well?
What is our brand strength?
Are we better known for certain offerings, specialities, geographies, industries than others? Are they what we want to be known for?
How have we segmented our markets? How have we performed in each segment?
How good is our lead generation effort? What works/does not work?
Have our target markets shifted in buying patterns/preferences?
Has the nature of our competition changed? How?
Is our value proposition reaching our target clients?
Do we have any special assets (e.g. research, thought leadership articles) we can get more leverage from?
Did any specific area of work do particularly well? Why?
Do we have market data or internal research that suggests changing our approach?
Here are my other tips for success:
Plan for organisational change
Teams that participate in brainstorming ideas for new directives, and get involved in the process from the get-go, are much more likely to buy-in and be accountable. Foster a culture of commitment and engagement, where individuals can take ownership of the strategic plan and engage in implementation/execution. Force-feeding strategies from above will often achieve compliance, but rarely gain commitment.
Get help: use experts
Consult with experts on areas where you are not the authority (e.g. website design, marketing and business development strategy). Remember, the cheapest option is rarely the best, so do your research and ask your professional colleagues for recommendations.
Look outside the box
Seek ideas from industries outside your own. Often you will find similar issues, problems and solutions if you look to your peers in similar industries (e.g. law can look to accounting, and even IT).
Your revenue and marketing audit just might be one of the most important meetings you hold all year. Let me know how you get on. I wish you luck!