Growing Revenue in 2013—What’s Your Plan?
The economy isn’t going to give us any more help this year than it did last year. And despite record consolidation, our industry is getting more competitive, not less competitive.
So how do we grow revenue? That’s exactly what we asked NAPL State of the Industry participants recently. Their responses were very encouraging.
Nearly 83.0% plan to grow by taking a new approach to marketing (social media, e-marketing, more personalized, targeted direct mail, etc.). Well over half plan to grow by deepening relationships with clients by going beyond the standard “our sales rep talking to your print buyer” relationship, by learning more about their clients’ businesses, and by focusing on providing value added rather than commodities. Half plan to grow by developing new services and markets.
Nearly one-third plan to move deeper into consultative and team selling. Over 30.0%—up from 22.6% two years ago and 10.9% five years ago—plan to grow through mergers and acquisitions. (See the M&A white paper NAPL will be publishing soon.) Over one-quarter plan to replace sales personnel who are underperforming, and 13.9% plan to hire sales reps whose skills are better suited to our new industry.
Plans vary from company to company, reflecting each company’s specific circumstances, resources, and goals. But State of the Industry participants, whose annual sales range from under $1 million to over $150 million, broadly agree that waiting for the economy to make everything right isn’t the answer and that “doing the same things over and over will not give different results.”
What’s your plan for growing revenue in 2013?
PS: As the chart below shows, we expect our industry’s sales to grow a modest 1.5%–2.5% this year—at best. We’ll talk more about our 2013 forecast in future posts.