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5 Ways for CFOs to Minimise Risk in the Pursuit of Ambitious Growth

As the world feels like it’s opening up again, it presents organisations with
new opportunities.

It feeds that desire for ambitious growth yet also raises challenges.

A time for the conscientious CFO to demonstrate their strategic credentials. How to create value for the organisation. How to bring agility, productivity and performance to the fore. How to ensure strong ROI on the Euros being invested.

Wanting to get the balance right is why organisations are exploring Revenue Operations, also known as RevOps or RO, as part of the solution. 

The approach is designed to achieve more predictable growth, smarter integration of technology, closer collaboration between teams and better performance. 

Here are 5 ways to design for growth with one eye on minimising those risks.

1. Control What You Can Control

Organisations will have experienced different levels of success in recent years.

Some will have stood up to the storm. Some will be thankful to have survived and looking to regroup. Some will have enjoyed fresh, perhaps unprecedented, growth.

Investments in team and technology need to be balanced with that desire to operate in a lean and efficient way. However, if companies only look at traditional ways or what they know, they may miss opportunities that emerge.

It’s a good time to review key areas: The busines model. Budget processes. Scenario and contingency planning. Revenue streams. Capital expenditure and working capital. Performance analytics. Technology and digital integration. Employee skills set and mindset. Venture projects. Innovation projects.

Inbound RevOps is being explored by organisations because the approach naturally lends itself to achieving more with less.

The RevOps framework aligns teams and revenue goals. It fosters efficiency and effectiveness. Because it takes advantage of the latest digital technology, it can streamline processes, speed up sales cycles and help keep more customers happy.

It’s designed to allow you to control what you’re able to control.

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2. Develop Reliable Agility

One of the reasons organisations want to accelerate their digital transformation is to become more agile.

According to a KPMG survey, six out of 10 CFOs agree with the statement that “acting with agility is the new currency of business.”

Leaders recognise that being flexible - able to adapt and adjust to the changing winds of the world - is going to be an uphill task if their organisation’s set-up, systems and operations are cumbersome, outmoded and rigid.

To be agile, an organisation must be able to see a clear picture of the water - then set the correct course to reach its destination.

The Inbound RevOps approach provides the ‘radar system’ to do this.

Every move a lead, prospect or customer makes is observed and tracked. It alerts teams in marketing, sales or service so they can respond with tailored and activity-tracked precision. 

Because a RevOps solution brings together Sales, Marketing and Customer Service (each working to support central revenue goals) it creates natural agility for
the company.

Imagine a flywheel spinning freer and faster. The less friction in the buyer’s journey, the easier and quicker they buy. That’s good news for anyone with a focus on the numbers. 

It means:

  • Improvements to margins and bottom line
  • More accurate sales and revenue forecasting
  • A better understanding of what’s required to make a sale
  • More predictable performance
  • Simpler scenario planning and stress-testing, to minimise risk

It’s a way to limit organisational limitations. A way to respond to any situation.

3. Have Robust Contingency Plans in Place

Two out of three leaders of financial planning expect to be doing more scenario analysis.

That means having a Plan A and a Plan B (and possibly even a Plan C).

By playing with variables, CFOs can look at a best-case scenario, a worst-case scenario and even analyse multiple scenarios: If we do this what happens? If we change this input, how does that change the result? If we adjust the timescale on this, what’s the impact?

Naturally, the astute CFO may want the organisation to hold back a little for contingencies - and to be more agile with funding.

Once they’ve done their analysis on scenarios, they can recommend the best course of action if X, Y or Z happens.

It’s why Inbound RevOps solutions from 6teen30 Digital use a tech combo like of HubSpot Growth Suite and Databox. 

The combination helps leaders see the data and assessments for past performance, summarise the current picture and predict revenues under different variables. It pools together the information from marketing, sales and service under one hood.

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4. Go Deep on Data to Measure
Meaningful ROI

To understand what’s going on, or what may happen, the CFO needs to know
the numbers. 

However, trying to pull all the data from a mish mash of different tools can feel like pulling teeth. Not the best way to provide cohesive and accurate reports.

An ‘all in one’ system through HubSpot and Databox integration simplifies things. 

Instead of staring at multiple screens or tabs for different tools for hours and hours - and remembering all those logins - the CFO sees a picture from one dashboard. 

Real-time data analytics support smarter decision making for growth.

Set objectives, SMART goals and KPIs. Define the metrics (sorted into outputs and outcomes). Measure activity and results. Better predict performance. Share results to improve collaboration and outcomes. Review and adjust course accordingly.

Here’s an example of how an Inbound RevOps system delivers the data.

Marketing sends out regular blog posts. To what end? When that activity is tied to an outcome - let’s say, getting people to sign up for a webinar - it’s possible to measure impact (represented as a conversion rate). 

This allows the company to work out how many blogs need to be published each month to secure the KPI for webinar sign ups. Is activity not getting enough of the audience on board? Increase the blog frequency, see how that works. Test different content. See what resonates best with readers.

Sales can see how their activity leads to a new customer: How many touchpoints, how many calls, how many emails? What are the most common questions asked, what information do prospects need, what format do they prefer that in?

Service can tie an onboarding video sequence against customer engagement, measure happiness through polls, questionnaires and NPS
(net promoter score) surveys.

The CFO can view and analyse all that activity and resulting outcomes from one dashboard, with data refreshed in minutes rather than hours, days or weeks.

RevOps is designed to drive stronger ROI.

5. Resource the Changing Role of the CFO

Research suggests three out of four CFOs expect their role to “increase or increase significantly” in importance over the next two to five years.

That’s reflected in what 6teen30 Digital is seeing, both with clients and in conversations with growth-minded companies.

The trends suggest the biggest challenges and changes are going to be around three areas:

  • Managing a remote finance team under the hybrid working model
  • Bringing in and accelerating digital transformation 
  • Creating a more collaborative culture throughout the organisation

If there’s an enhancement in the CFO role, organisations will want to consider how best to resource and support that. Inbound RevOps helps to design that.

RevOps offers a system which helps people communicate and work together, whether at home or in the office.

RevOps helps to provide online resources and content to serve prospects, customers and employees better.

RevOps aligns Marketing, Sales and Customer Service for improved collaboration and focus on achieving key objectives.

It’s All in the Numbers

A 2019 study by SiriusDecisions revealed companies using an aligned approach to revenue growth were 19 per cent faster and 15 per cent more profitable.

These are significant numbers.

Inbound methodology is customer focused. RevOps strategically aligns Marketing, Sales and Service to deliver leaner, more agile performance.

The framework they offer allows an organisation to design its future - and future growth - in a smart way.

No surprise to hear it being talked about in more C-suite conversations.

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Published by Jamie Midgley March 3, 2022
Jamie Midgley