This is Part 1 of 2
In my Revenue Rehab teleseminar series, I talk about drivers of revenue growth and how to apply them for maximum advantage. I thought I’d share some of those tips here, starting with a look at three major environmental factors that affect revenue growth in nearly every business: Technology, Attitudes and Demographics.
We’ll explore these three issues and what they mean for you in this 2-part post. In future posts, I’ll cover ways to increase and manage business momentum, as well as how to create SMART growth.
What’s the Weather Like?
The ability of any business to create and sustain growth depends on environmental factors: the industry climate and market conditions that surround your business. Like checking the weather report before heading outside for the day, understanding these factors helps your prepare a strategic approach that works with, rather than against, the prevailing winds.
I’ve identified three major factors to consider, regardless of your industry or focus. Technology, Attitudes and Demographics shape and influence consumers, B2B buyers and service decisions in a number of ways.
There are all kinds of technology shifts at work in business, but there are a few that overshadow the other’s in today’s environment. When I reference technology I’m referring primarily to advances in both mobile and cloud computing. Technology also includes the Internet (in a broad sense), social media, and the globalization of communications.
As you know we live in a time where information spins around the globe in no time flat. We’re accustomed to having a wealth of data just a Google search away, and we expect any information we need to be right as our fingertips.
Whether you’re selling in a B2B environment, are in a service business, or in retail, the trend of instant access to information is affecting your ability to connect with your customers.
For example, mobile is has changed the way that people think about access to information, and it changed the way people allocate their time and attention.
Radio and TV advertising are both suffering because people are spending more and more time online. They have DVR’s and can skip commercials so they never hear your carefully crafted ad.
Instead of listening to broadcast radio, they’re tuned into satellite radio, services like Pandora and their own personal music collections.
If you’ve not convinced of how pervasive mobile tech is, consider this. At the beginning of this year, 2014, 90% of American adults had a cell phone, and 58% used smartphones. 32% owned an e-reader like a Kindle, and 42% owned a tablet computer.
With mobile technology becoming both more affordable and more accessible, 2013 was the first time ever that the time people spend on digital media exceeded the time they spent watching television.
According to a report from eMarketer, consumers spend about 12 hours a day with media of some kind and 5 1/4 of those hours are spent on digital devices. This does not even factor in the trend of people watching TV with the tablet or smart phone in their hand. This “second screen” has a huge impact on your ability to capture the attention of buyers. Their focus is fragmented.
Buyer’s attitudes have been transformed by the advances in technology that I just mentioned, and not just directly. Technology has changed aspects of our lives in ways we don’t even realize.
Attitude includes individuals’ feelings about various trends and styles. People have preferences for communicating in certain ways, they have a greater preference for taking care of business themselves that ever before.
Attitudes include t all kinds of things, from the expectations about customer experience to the speed of transactions, the movement to a self-service culture and also the element of trust that is so important in business today.
In fact, on average customers are nearly two-thirds of the way through the decision-making process before engaging a sales rep. This applies to b2b sales and complex sales as well as consumer sales.
If people are not going to engage you until they’ve already made up their mind, or at least they are close to making up their minds, how can you connect with them to increase your sales?
Watch for Part 2 next week.