Over the past few years the tech sector has enjoyed an unprecedented golden period. With many businesses finding extra budget for software and services, SaaS executives were able to embrace a ‘growth at all cost’ mentality, making quick decisions to drive up their user base — even on razor thin margins.
However, with a looming recession, increasing inflation and rising interest rates, it’s safe to say that the B2B heyday is well and truly over. Now, more than ever, finance teams must look to grow sustainably and profitably, with an emphasis on the bottom line to ensure their business can continue to thrive.
At Cloudwerx, we’ve been exploring the digital transformation that businesses are taking to set themselves up for long-term, sustainable success. We kicked off our series buy looking at how businesses must lay solid foundations for transformation by optimising their people and processes first, and then selecting the right technology (and a supportive partner!) to get started. Next, we looked at providing an exceptional customer experience by leveraging multichannel engagement strategies. In this third part of our series, we’ll be shifting from the front-end of our transformation to the back — shoring up our systems to ensure we’re working towards profitable growth.
In our recent webinar, hosted in collaboration with Max Rudman from Prodly and Brion Schweers from Salesforce, we explored the new challenges facing B2B businesses who need, now more than ever, to focus on profitable growth. Here’s what we learned.
Early on in our webinar, Brion noted a shift in the way products are sold. In the past, companies had focused on selling ‘one-time sale products’, but over the past fifteen years or so had shifted to generating various forms of recurring revenue. As a result, sales and finance had needed to align their strategies, far beyond simply gaining approval for discounts. In order to accurately forecast cashflow, the revenue built into the sale must be accurately recognised and accounted for — a more difficult task than when companies were relying on selling one-time products.
Max took the alignment requirement a step further, noting that buyers were much further into the buying cycle by the time they reach out to a sales team. For this reason, everyone in the sales cycle — including marketing and customer success — must be aligned, with the goal of increasing purchases from ideal customers who are most likely to renew.
After supporting a number of B2B companies through uncertain times, both Brion and Max noted that companies often try to use old solutions to address new problems. Instead, Brion argues, it’s important to start with the core profitability problem and go from there — figuring out where the company needs to get to, and then choosing the best solution to help get it there.
“Start with a beginner’s mind,” he states. “Go into it willing to change whatever needs to be changed. Leverage the technology to enable that change, and once you’ve sort of sorted that out and understood the policy changes and the process changes required then let’s start implementing software.”
This approach, also referred to as phase zero, prompts project teams to clearly define requirements and success factors and then ideate creative and out-of-the-box solutions to get there. As you progress, your team will be able to look at the problem from a different perspective, which should prevent the team from simply retrofitting outdated process into new technology.
In 2023, it’s essential that success is built on growing your business profitably. In most cases, this looks like creating a frictionless revenue cycle that is centred around your ideal customer, rather than aggressively focusing on the acquisition of new users.
When taking control of your revenue growth, it’s essential that you work within a system, like Salesforce Revenue Cloud that is designed to:
The key to achieving your new version of success?
“Think big and start small,” Brion advises.
Often choosing quick wins or low hanging fruit is the best way to start gaining traction as you work towards long-term goals in the business. Thinking ‘big’ also keeps your team pulling together towards the same goals, challenging the status quo and implementing creative solutions for existing problems. Brion warns, “If we think small and start small, we often find ourselves boxed into a corner.”
Adopting a qualified partner throughout the entire transformation process is the key to guaranteeing success — particularly a partner who is prepared to take your team on the implementation journey from beginning to end. Unless you plan to completely outsource your revenue growth, it’s essential that your team is able to understand and maintain the systems and how to perform essential functions within it.
Cloudwerx provides the expert guidance and technical know-how to help your team to grow sustainably and profitably with the best tools and systems. We’ll be by your side, helping you lay the foundations for sustainable growth, before we look at optimising both your customer experience and then moving to ensure you’re set up to grow sustainably.
Ready to talk to the Cloudwerx team? We’d love to hear from you.
We’re hosting one final webinar in our Next-Gen B2B series. Register today to attend The Power of Data: Using a 360 Customer View to Unlock B2B Sales and Revenue Growth.