Turning Your Team into a Revenue Generating Department.

If you are running a business or managing a department, it’s apparent to you that everything is tied back to revenue. More often than not, owners, VP’s and Directors feel the pressure of having to become a revenue generating department. And if you are someone who has never had to work in sales, it can be challenging and scary.

What Drives Sales?

Short from having great products and services, the answer would be obtaining customers and then getting those customers to come back (ARR). Coupled with responsive customer support, these are the fundamentals for driving revenue.

 Revenue is like water for plants. Businesses need revenue to survive. And Stakeholders are under tremendous pressure to be able to transform their revenue “sucking” divisions into profit “generating” golden gooses. It’s reminds me Willy Wonka and scene with the golden gooses, or geeses, whichever you prefer. I’m going with goose’s because it is linguistically incorrect and ultimately funnier. 

So what does it take to become a “revenue generating” department? And better yet, how can you land a promotion doing so?  

To quote the movie Almost Famous. “…it’s not about the money or the popularity. Although, some money would be nice!” 

It’s easy to sit back during your annual performance review, ask for the 3-5% raise and be on your way. But the people who get more are developing teams and having difficult discussions with leadership. They understand how to talk about the $$$ and they align themselves accordingly. 

Here are some things to think about on how to turn loss into profit.

Customer Support

Getting close to the customer is a great way to make it to the front of the line when it’s promotion time. As a manager you need to align yourself to customers needs and be able to fulfill them. The easiest way is through customer support.

Here’s something interesting to think about. Remember the days of the call center?  Customer support used-to have a heavy influence of call center type people doing call center type things 

did you turn your computer on? Is the little red light still blinking? 

Making your customers wait on hold for an inordinate amount of time is an easy way to piss them off. 

Ok, granted there are businesses that rely on phone support. But let’s work smart not hard. With the internet moving into maturity and Web 3.0 on the forefront, the need for human interaction is at an all-time low. Customers want answers to their problems immediately. This can be done by creating documentation that supports products, services, and customers. 

Let the People Govern Themselves

Clients need answers to questions but they do not necessarily need humans to provide it. Once the sale is completed and the customer onboarding process is over, customer support should fall on the customers shoulders.

When I say this, I always get backlash.

Have you ever bought a product from a sales person, only to find that once the sale is completed, the sales rep is nowhere to be found? Infuriating! Or is it?

Aligning sales resources to provide support to clients is a time and money suck. Sales people should do doing what they do best: Sell. If your organization is relying on sales and marketing to provide customer support then you are marching in the wrong direction. 

90% of customer support can be self-service by creating great documentation that address questions and provide answers. Let the people govern themselves. Provide them with a Knowledge Base of answers through great online documentation and call it a day. Lead the horses to the oasis and let them drink.

Small business owners know this best. 

Sure, if you work for a fortune 10 company and have the budget, you can afford to throw hundred of bodies to support customers. You have the capital. 

But what about the rest of us? Let’s work smart and let’s live lean. Creating great documentation to support your customers can save a ton in the long run. And please, let your sales people do what they do best, sell.

Improve Systems that Suck

Everyone who works with software understands how draining it can be. Whether it’s working with a CRM or churning out code within a repository. We all know that things never work out as promised. My head hurts just thinking about it. 

Improving systems that suck is a no brainer way of becoming a revenue producing division. It’s simple economics. Be able to increase the rate of production which lowers the barriers of resistance, and trims the fat.

No, trimming the fat doesn’t mean get rid of employees. 

When I say fat, I’m referring to the gaps in knowledge and understanding for workers. It’s the same as customer support. It’s employee support. Give employees guidance, pave the road, and let them do the rest. 

Speak Up

Have you heard the phrase the squeaky wheel gets the grease? I hate that phrase because I am an introvert. But if you can speak up and can have your voice heard, it’s remarkable what you can accomplish.

In a sea of employees satisfied with clocking in at 9am and leaving at 5pm, the change leaders are the people who speak up. Find an inefficiency and state your case. If leadership is even remotely interested in bettering the company, they will give you the time you need. And and more often then not, reward you for it.

In Closing

People are inherently altruistic. Believe it or not, most  find joy in being able to help, giving back, and lend a hand. Be a great person and do great things, just because you can.

Spruce Ivory is a Technical Writing Consultancy that specializes in helping organizations adopt the best documentation strategies available. We offer a broad range of specialty writing services within the technology space.