A CEO’s 2020 Goals
As the calendar year comes to a close, I spend a lot of time closing the books and dreaming about the upcoming year. It’s in a CEO’s nature to set goals and plan for the future. What does every CEO want for their company? Sales, growth, a strong pipeline, and innovation. I’m no different. However, I also dream about these same goals for our clients. This forces me to think more broadly about what those terms mean.
Increase Sales by Improving Client Retention
It’s possible to increase the number of sales by 20% while business growth remains stagnant. There is more to consider than how many items you sold. What are customers buying? If you’re selling entry level products well, what keeps customers from purchasing at the next level? Are they dissatisfied with what they bought, or is there another deterrent?
So many only think of new prospects when considering how to increase sales. In reality, selling more extensive services to existing customers can be equally effective, if not more so.
For example, some of Warren Douglas’ clients come to us initially because they’re looking for a Google Premier Partner agency to run their Google Ads. Once they realize how successfully we run those campaigns, they begin to ask about other services, or we can make strategic recommendations based on our observations while running the campaigns. This is not simply a matter of upselling, any recommendations we make are for our clients’ benefit. For instance, Google Ads are more likely to lead to a conversion when they link to high-quality web pages with clear next steps.
Increased sales, ideally, lead to business growth.
Business Growth, Internal and External
External business growth may look like expansion, but what does internal growth look like? Often, it’s easier to grow wide than it is to grow deep. Here’s what I mean by that:
What percentage of your time do you spend developing your brand versus developing your employees? Employees are the personification of your brand. Ignoring their development in favor of their production works well in the short term, but it may come back to bite you in the long run.
Like it or not, your employees are the front line of your brand reputation. Their successes are your successes, their failures are your failures, and their incompetence is your incompetence. Hiring well is a great start, but you have to nurture certain skills within certain roles to sustain growth.
Allot time for training. This could be inter-departmental, for a better understanding of the big picture, or industry-related training. Warren Douglas sends employees to various Google training events throughout the year to ensure our team is up to date with the most current technology and trends. The social media team works for Facebook Blueprint certifications. Our development team spends time on forums asking for the input of other developers. Training doesn’t have to be in a classroom, but employees should have time to further their education.
Share resources. As you come across relevant material, pass the recommendation along to your team. This could be books, podcasts, articles, or applicable news items. In addition to providing knowledge, such gestures show your team that you’re thinking about them and desire their success. There is currently a stack of books in my office about managing creatives that I need to pass out to my team so we can discuss it together.
Plan to have a shadow. Sales pitches, new business contacts, networking events, and internal brainstorming sessions are opportunities for you to take less seasoned employees with you to learn the ropes. People don’t know what they don’t know. Exposing employees to the bigger picture helps them better understand the purpose and value of their role on the team.
These are in no way efforts in futility. Growing employees has a trickle-down effect of growing business.
Diversified Marketing Pipeline
It’s so much easier to stay focused on nurturing warm leads than it is to put energy toward connecting with cold prospects. Who doesn’t prefer instant gratification to delayed gratification? However, a healthy sales pipeline requires more diversity, prospects at all levels of the sales funnel. At Warren Douglas, we have recently become more intentional about efforts to diversify our funnel. This has included updating certain portions of our website, publishing a biannual magazine, and designating an energetic individual to ensure nothing gets overlooked when it comes to following up with leads, regardless of what client work is in house at the time.
Wouldn’t it be great if someone came up with a way to _______? Great companies make the effort to find a way themselves. Warren Douglas is fortunate to have a team of highly intelligent people. We have developed digital tools to help us monitor ad performance, website results, foot traffic, and “premium-ness”. Currently, our developers are in the process of creating a dashboard to help our team and our clients monitor multiple marketing channels in one place. If you ever reach the point of thinking you’re “done” with innovation, you are probably missing something. Status quo rarely leads to business growth.
This is not a new goal for us. Many of these 2020 goals are ongoing. We firmly believe that partnering with clients serves their business better than simply serving as contractors who place ads. Marketing strategies should holistically drive business. As a partner, we need to know your business goals to craft the best marketing plan. We want to be part of the overall conversation and not relegated to a “need to know” basis. Your success is our success. That’s not just a pithy statement; it’s the truth.
So, in 2020, I want our company to grow internally and externally, to continue to develop partnerships with clients for the betterment of both businesses, and to continue innovating new solutions to populate our sales pipeline.
Warren Douglas lives and breathes marketing. Let us help your premium brand thrive in this new decade. Happy New Year!