This week I had the opportunity to sit down to Mark Schmitz, Senior VP of Business Operations at Citrix, to hear how creating and maintaining revenue performance goals have impacted the companies he has been a part of. Schmitz shared some great advice for leaders looking to strategically grow their companies.
Drive a growth culture.
Schmitz made one thing very clear: Revenue performance is not an initiative or a program you run, it’s a culture you create — a growth culture. Business leaders can get caught up focusing on existing profits and forget to see the big picture.
“To have a thriving company, one that is actually growing, you need consistent and stable recurring revenue, and then you can grow on that base with solution expansion, seat growth, etc. Retaining your existing customers is as critical to growth as expanding the new revenue streams.”
Schmitz has played a hands-on role in a variety of companies by creating thriving growth cultures. From transforming licensing models into subscriptions, to building new products and upgrades for existing customers, Schmitz has helped companies embrace this philosophy, resulting in impressive business growth.
Whose job is it anyway?
Many leaders never worry about revenue performance. In Schmitz’s experience, most people think revenue should be left up to the finance or sales teams. Schmitz disagrees.
“Every person in the business needs to be held accountable to revenue goals — from the head of sales to the office manager — otherwise there is a breakdown in vision and responsibility, and the organization may become fractured and unfocused.”
Schmitz gave examples of how each department can operate with a growth perspective — continually measuring themselves on how they are contributing to the company’s overall growth.
“If you truly want to be a company of growth, then no department can be self-serving. Silos need to be torn down and everyone needs to be held accountable to their role in growing the company.”
Although, Schmitz did expand on two roles that should take internal responsibility for creating and maintaining revenue performance goals for the company:
- The Chief Revenue Officer
Formerly thought to be a finance officer, this role is essential to protecting both the revenue base and the new sources of revenue growth.
- The Chief Customer Officer
This role, which is relatively new, is responsible for looking after the entire customer life cycle. They are responsible for the value realization customers seek when adopting solutions and are always working on increasing the use case execution of the purchased solutions— leading to new opportunity development, secured solution execution and overall growth in the solution footprint.
What is the first step?
For leaders who understand this concept and are ready to create a growth culture, Schmitz says the most important piece of the puzzle is having a supportive C-suite and board.
“Culture changes can start anywhere in the company, but support needs to come from the top for lasting impact to take place.”