If you’ve ever been a part of an off-site manager planning meeting then you know that you’ve spent hours coming up with new ideas to drive revenue as you head into the next fiscal year. While many ideas are being thrown around on different projects or ideas to move the needle, often times the people who will actually implement and drive the results are not brought into the mix on if they are truly viable ideas. Just like a failed marketing campaign that is full of really great ideas but doesn’t keep the consumer in mind, an idea to drive revenue is only as good as the people executing it.
If we fail to survey these key people in our organization then we fail to understand how to truly drive revenue and plan for success. The people on the ground floor are responsible for driving your revenue and if your ideas are developed and implemented at the five thousand foot level then you will be out of touch with reality. Sitting together in a room and saying, “I think this will work,” will absolutely not work.
When major brands roll out advertising campaigns they spend years focusing on data that comes directly from the consumer. No decision is made without consulting data, and more importantly, consulting the consumer face to face via focus groups and or panels of customers. The “suits” in the company can come up with a million ideas but if they are not what the consumer is looking for then it will fail. The same goes in an organization that is looking to drive revenue. If the employees on the ground floor are not consulted or brought in to brainstorm ahead of time, the ideas will fail.
Consider these two ideas when consulting your staff on driving revenue:
1. Facilitate an Off-Site Brainstorm
Bring in a third party facilitator to get idea generation started and to create an environment in which your staff will feel comfortable to share ideas. Get the day started off with discussing ideas that have worked and those that have failed. Ask your staff what they would like to see in order to drive revenue and if you are consulting sales people, find out what it takes for them to sell those high margin products and services. When the brainstorm is over, ask your staff to choose their three favorite ideas and shelve the others for the next year.
2. Create Small Breakout Groups Per Business Unit
Break up your staff into small groups and assign each group a different business question. For example, beak up your operations group and challenge them with ways to make their division more profitable and or cut expenses (without cutting staff). Ask your sales staff what they need to from a resource stand point in order to drive more sales. By breaking up your groups into separate break out groups, you will challenge like minded people on different approaches to drive revenue.
If you fail to survey those people who are the most important to driving results, you will fail to achieve your goals. Failing to ask your staff first before rolling out an idea that will directly impact them is not only a bad idea, it’s ignorant to your business mission.