The Revenue Growth Environment, part 2

This is Part 2 of 2

In my Revenue Rehab teleseminar series, I talk about drivers of revenue growth and how to apply them for maximum advantage. I share those tips here, starting with a look at three major environmental factors that affect growth in every business: Technology, Attitudes and Demographics. In future posts, I’ll cover ways to increase and manage business momentum, as well as how to create SMART growth.

In Part 1, we discussed Technology and why understanding the prevailing Attitudes in your market is essential.

To find the connection points where your customers are most accessible, you need to think like your customers and become a trusted resource.

That doesn’t happen when you say “trust me.” You have to earn that trust, and you do it by delivering a solid customer experience. This is not simply an experience that is pleasant and streamlined. Instead it’s an experience that is designed to appeal to the distinctive needs and desires of your customers.

Depending on the type of business that you’re in, this might be something that involves taking your time a lot of time with customers, handholding and coaching and cultivating relationships. It might also mean a type of experience that’s very fast and efficient to get people through the transaction and on to other things.

Those are two very different experiences. In some cases, the “take your time” approach would make people crazy and alienate customers. In another case, that experience could be highly valued. The decision as to which is best is one you need to make for your own business.

What’s important is that if your business relies on certain consumer attitudes that have recently shifted, you’ve got a problem. You’ll quickly find yourself in a situation where what used to work doesn’t anymore.

Evolving Demographics

The third area we need to consider in understanding growth dynamics is Demographics.

I’m sure you’ve heard that we had a little baby boom after World War II. Some of you on this call may even be a member of that generation. Boomers are not digital natives, but they’re increasingly tech savvy.

Baby Boomers assumptions about the way that business gets done are different from those of prior generations. They also have different expectations for what their retirement – if there is one – is going to look like, from the kinds of products and services that they will have access to and the way they are treated as they age.

By 2050, more than two billion people worldwide will be over 60. For the first time in history, more people will be over the age of 60 than under 15, and that will have a dramatic impact on revenue for many of us.

Another demographic shift to consider is the emergence of the millennial generation. They have completely different ideas about communication that they parents and grandparents.

If you have a millennial in your family, you’ve probably noticed that they don’t pick up the phone very often. That’s because they grew up in the digital era. Using text, chat and mobile apps to communicate is second nature.

Millennials also place a high value on community, they respect the opinions of their peers, and they look for those things as validation before they listen to advertising messages. This attitude extends from consumer behavior and even influences B2B sales.

With their different attitudes and priorities, Millennials in the workforce are changing the way businesses operate and you’re probably seeing this in your business.

Right now millennials represent about 36% of the workforce, and by 2020 they’ll make up half of it, according to a study conducted by the business school at the University of North Carolina.

As a result, the emergence of the millennial generation as both workers and buyers will be transformative in the next few years.

We also have cultural considerations. Not only do we have global business opportunities, we also have opportunities to do business with people from all around the world locally or regionally.

Where I live in Atlanta, as this is likely true where you live as well, there are communities of people from Latin America, across Asia, Africa and so on. This incredible diversity brings with it differences in culture and history, and attitudes and values that may have an effect on your business.

If you’re accustomed to dealing with a more homogenous customer base, that could have a negative impact on growth. Today we need to understand who is in our market and how to appeal to them, with sensitivity to the diverse backgrounds that are represented.

Why are Technology, Attitudes and Demographics so important for revenue growth?

Because whatever your industry, you’re in a rapidly changing environment. You can’t afford to rely on the “we’ve always done it that way” approach. That’s like standing still on a down escalator when you want to go up. You’ll get further and further from your destination if you don’t turn around and run upstairs!

To create and sustain dramatic revenue growth, be proactive, looking for trends and anticipating changes. Understanding how shifts in technology, attitudes and demographics shape your buyers’ needs and desires is critical to the future of your business.

Growth starts there.

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