I’m not telling our owner, Alan De Keyrel, that I’m writing this article. I’m doing the “asking for forgiveness, rather than permission” approach. My role has changed significantly since we adopted an inbound marketing and growth-driven design approach about a year ago. I used to be the Sales Manager; which entailed: hiring and firing salespeople, establishing budgets, pushing them to hit those numbers each month, and calculating commissions.
Now, I pull up the numbers in our Hubspot Inbound Marketing CRM and glance at them once in awhile.
In July, as I was pulling those numbers, I realized something; we had our worst month ever since adopting an inbound approach. I discovered it by looking at all months this year compared to last year and I’d like to share those numbers with you. (Don’t fire me, Alan!)
2016 Numbers Compared to 2015
July 128.33% (see...worst month since the first of the year)
So as you can see, July was our lowest increase over last year’s numbers. (In case you are not a numbers person, 128.33% over last year is still fricken’ awesome!)
If you are skeptical, as I am, you’re questioning this by asking, “Yeah, but what’s different? More products? More salespeople?”
Here’s the Difference:
- We adopted an inbound and growth-driven design approach to getting leads & clients.
- We cut our sales staff in half and re-arranged people into different (non-selling) roles.
- We stopped paying people on commission.
Needless to say, the results have been amazing, and fast. We’ve never had a year like this. Certainly, we’ve experienced growth, pretty much every year, but never at this pace. We struggled finding that one approach, the change, that would catapult us into another league and this year, we did it.
This shift in mindset, to inbound marketing and growth-driven design, has also had some nice side effects:
- Employees are happier as their roles have shifted & we can see REAL ROI on our own marketing efforts.
- Clients are uber happy - because guess what - we do the same thing to market THEIR businesses.
- We were able to open a second office. CWS Southwest, our Phoenix Office & launched a new company! (Cactus Cow Digital)
- And...we made Inc Magazine’s top 5000 companies in America!
I’d like to say, as the previous sales manager, this was my idea, but it wasn’t. This was a business owner (Alan De Keyrel) who was insightful and brave enough to take this step. Come on; cutting sales positions and putting them on salaries to increase revenue? How ass-backwards does that sound? But it worked. And it worked quickly. We experimented on ourselves and now we use this approach with our clients who are also now proudly showing off their “worst” revenue months of the year.