Rev up your company’s revenue engine

Emilee Geist

Dick’s Sporting Goods has a fun new back-to-school TV commercial. Over lively, catchy music and kids dancing, the narrator says, “whether you’re going back to school online or in person, get the brands that make a statement. Your Day One starts here.”

I hate all the uncertainty about school reopening. But I love the commercial’s energy. You can almost hear the vroom vroom of the company’s engines as it prepares to get back into the race.

It reminds me of the weekly revenue meetings that for years my colleagues and I have called “Rev Up.”

Rev Up is a great meeting title for two reasons. First, the objective of the meeting — and its entire agenda — is to discuss how to make revenues go up. Second, the allusion to the speeding revolutions of a motor that powers a machine is especially apt. Because a Rev Up meeting is all about tuning an organization’s revenue generating machinery to drive sales higher, faster and through every available market channel.

Traditionally, Rev Up meetings have been common in the hospitality industry where inventory is perishable: Tonight’s empty hotel rooms can’t be sold tomorrow, they’re gone forever. So you need all hands on deck, you need to get out in front of the sales cycle, and you need to act fast, or your wasted inventory will end up like so much spilled milk.

Today, however, with the revenue devastation done by COVID-19, it’s hard to imagine an organization that wouldn’t benefit by establishing a weekly Rev Up meeting. No matter what business your company is in, or no matter what mission your nonprofit organization serves, it’s likely that your top line is under extreme pressure and needs to be managed with unprecedented drive and passion.

Here’s how:

The best Rev Up meetings are fact-based. So get laser-focused on your numbers. Create reports that break down your revenue streams into discrete, actionable categories and sub-categories that can be managed. Set new forward-looking goals for each individual revenue stream based on our current COVID-influenced operating environment. Design action plans to reach those new goals.

Establish the Rev Up task force team. Include staff members who have the greatest direct impact on — and accountability for — achieving your new revenue targets. The Rev Up participants should include your core team of people who decide what to do and as well as those who are responsible for getting it done.

Set a standard agenda so that every Rev Up meeting has the same structure and becomes the well-known routine behind a rigorously disciplined approach to achieving your new revenue targets. Include reports that show where you are vs. where you expect to be. Also, highlight upcoming market activities planned by Sales and Marketing so the Rev Up team can weigh in on whether it’s enough to get the job done.

Record minutes and assign responsibility and deadlines for follow-up actions to specific individuals. Distribute the minutes within an hour of the meeting. Establish a cadence of responsibility and respect for deadlines by starting the next Rev Up meeting with a report on the status of the prior meeting’s follow-up actions.

Insist that all Rev Up participants commit to collaborating to create contingency plans that overcome hurdles, respond to challenges posed by market conditions and keep looking for new ways to achieve revenue targets.

No one knows exactly what the revenue landscape will look like post-pandemic. But one thing is clear, competition will be tougher than ever. To survive, and eventually to thrive, your organization needs to be ready to get back into the race.

Ladies and gentlemen, start your engines.

Adam Snitzer is a revenue strategy expert and president of Peak Revenue Performance, a consulting firm that specializes in designing and executing innovative pricing strategies to increase revenue and generate cash. He can be reached at [email protected]

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