Consider this: Even though many publicly traded companies have been reporting strong earnings, and parts of the economy have recovered from the depths of the recession that began in 2008, their performance hasn’t always translated into higher stock values. Because these strong earnings often came by way of staff cuts and other cost reductions, real growth has been scarce. As a result, Wall Street has increasingly turned its attention toward the top line, demanding to see more progress on revenue performance.
That’s not news to CEOs or other senior business leaders. For the past three years, revenue growth has been their main objective, according to Frost & Sullivan’s annual CEO Survey. But what’s interesting is to observe how CEOs think about accomplishing it: The largest proportion cites increasing sales as their number one strategy for achieving their growth goals.
This survey result caught my attention because while increasing sales is a hugely important goal, it is not a strategy in and of itself. It’s a little bit like saying that one’s strategy for losing twenty pounds is to “drop a few pounds every week.” It says nothing about how you’re actually planning to accomplish it. So the real question for these CEOs is this: What is your strategy for increasing sales? And how do you plan to actually accomplish that growth goal?
The responding CEOs in the Frost & Sullivan survey identified myriad textbook strategies to achieve their growth goals, including ...