In just the short space of a year and a half (almost), we’ve learnt a lot. In Part 1 of this ongoing series, we share the lessons we’ve learned as a company.
Background: The Need to Become Revenue-Driven
It might seem obvious, but being a revenue-focused company doesn’t just happen. It requires a lot of effort, and not just for the sales team.
At WNDYR, we’re very aware of the challenges that come with growth, especially as a startup. Getting to where we are- a growth phase- has come with many lessons. All of these lessons are appreciated, but many of them were not easy to navigate at the time.
Overall, we’re thankful, because these challenges have helped us to become a more focused and revenue-driven company. In the short space of a year and a bit, we’ve met and worked with many people, and learnt a lot.
While the natural focus of a business is to drive revenue, it requires alignment between people and departments, and sometimes (unfortunately), you only really learn how to do this when things go wrong.
So in the spirit of transparency and sharing out learnings, here goes:
Company Lessons Learned #1: We all need to drive revenue
What does this really mean though, especially for those in the team who don’t deal with clients directly?
It means being focused: on providing a valuable service, reaching our company goals and making sure that everything we do is linked to driving revenue.
It means thinking about how all of our roles work together, and understanding that the financials aren’t just something the finance team needs to know about.
Company Lessons Learned #2: Driving revenue isn’t only about sales
Optimising communication between our sales and deployment department has therefore been critical, and has been done by doing what we do best as a company: digging deep and clarifying processes and expectations.
As our CEO Claire Burge says, the tension between sales and operations is common throughout business:
“Without sacrificing quality or the work/life balance of the team, sales need to manage expectations and operations need to be snappier and deliver quicker.”
Company Lessons Learned #4: Get to work putting things in place
To manage this common tension between sales and operations, and clear up any miscommunication or uncertainty about who needs to do what, and when, our team set up company-wide projects, which were all given specific names. Names like Project Mars (an inside joke based on an April Fools prank) and Project Wolf (we take work seriously, but in a crisis, a sense of humour is equally critical).
Company Lessons Learned #5: Driving revenue is an ongoing process
Our deployment team has weekly “locker room” meetings to make sure all of our deployment consultants are consistently learning and honing their skills to offer the best service possible. The team has also just implemented 360 degree feedback sessions, where each of our deployment consultants listens to a recording of a deployment another consultant has done and gives them feedback.
Company Lessons Learned #6: Cut out what you don’t need
As a company that works to onboard new users more effectively onto cloud-based software platforms, we’re huge fans of cloud-based software. But, with all of the very helpful digital tools and platforms out there, it’s easy to subscribe to a number of applications that you don’t really need.
We’ve subscribed to a number of them over the years, and enjoyed using them all, but when we really looked at what we were paying for, we realised that we didn’t need most of these monthly subscriptions.
So we got our very diligent Systems Administrator to make a list of all the platforms we use and what we pay for them. We then thought about which ones we could do without, and canceled them.
Our design team was sad to let go of Shutterstock, but with free image sites available online, it’s a no-brainer.
Company Lessons Learned #7: Come up with new solutions
With some of the tools they were using now unavailable, our design team responded with a useful and practical solution, one that also solved a lot of the digital tool fragmentation issues we were experiencing internally. Unfortunately, even as a company focused on implementing better ways to work, we’re not immune to the strain.
What our design team did instead was to expand on our approach to transparency and collaboration and create our own internal company Wiki, which brings together content from several platforms we’ve been using.
For example, we’re now migrating our internal “how-to” lessons from an e-learning platform we used to onboard new employees onto the Wiki.
It’s now our central resource for everything, from HR onboarding materials to step-by-step breakdowns on how the sales and deployment departments communicate. It’s a central point of access for everything process related, which means we’re also not having to manage all those passwords anymore (yay!).
How does your company do to create and sustain revenue-driving behaviour? Let us know what you’ve learned in the comments below.
We’ll be diving deeper into each of the seven points above in our ongoing series of posts about what we’ve learned as a company, so follow us on Twitter, Linkedin and Facebook to keep up to date with all the posts in the Company Lessons Learned series.