Skip to content

    Holistic Revenue Part 1: Sales Unicorns Don’t Exist

    One mistake CEOs make when trying to scale revenue is hiring an imaginary sales unicorn. Read the full blog post here.

    In the initial stages of growing a company, every business owner eventually reaches the same realization — the tactics that propelled you to a certain point are no longer sufficient enough to help you reach the next goal in terms of revenue growth. 

    In essence, you’ve reached a plateau. Early-stage business growth formulas combined with your zealous, hardworking spirit fostered some initial success, but now you’re stuck sitting on flat ground with no signs of growth in sight.

    We know one thing for certain: as an entrepreneur, you didn’t invest time, effort, and money into your dreams just to saunter up a hill and enjoy the view. No, you made those initial sacrifices with the ultimate goal of scaling mountains, of conquering the seemingly unconquerable.

    That’s the kind of heart that entrepreneurs have, and there’s no turning it off. So what are you to do when you see that plateau approaching? How do you avoid the pending decline and instead find your Mt. Everest to climb? How do you go from plateau to peak?

    If these are the questions keeping you up at night, you’re in the right place. This three-part series on marketing, sales, and customer success alignment breaks down House of Revenue®’s approach to holistic revenue growth. To begin, we’ll discuss why the old way of defeating this plateau — hiring a do-it-all “sales unicorn” — doesn’t work and set the stage for fostering success through the revenue engine

    Revenue Growth vs. Revenue Scale

    Before anything else, it’s important to make the distinction between revenue growth and scale. While similar, the two terms have distinct differences that business owners must understand to be successful. 

    • Growth — Revenue growth is just what it sounds like — your ability to grow revenue by increasing sales, no matter what it takes to do so. 

    • Scale — Revenue scale, on the other hand, is the ability to increase sales at a rapid rate while only slightly increasing expenditure on the resources that help you win those sales. 

    Scaling revenue ultimately comes down to a CEO’s willingness to invest in proper resources early to avoid consistent expenditures in the long run that end up taking away from sales. 

    We’re here to scale revenue, not just grow it. With that base understanding in place, let’s dive into what it takes to scale your revenue.

    Where Did the Milestones Go?

    Think back to the early successes of your business when you accomplished a couple of exciting revenue milestones. You built something from the ground up and acted as a solopreneur to reach the $250,000 milestone, and you continued to grow your business as the Chief Everything Officer to eclipse $1 million.

    It’s close to this point where many business owners realize the need for additional help in a large number of departments and areas. But with cash flow still relatively limited, they make the critical error of trying to hire a jack-of-all-trades team member to fix everything — the sales unicorn.

    What Is the Sales Unicorn?

    The sales unicorn is the person you bring into your company with the hopes that they will be able to save the day and do it all from a sales perspective — prospecting, cold calling, CRM upkeep, client management, proposal drafting, email communication, and so much more.

    Typically a former high-performing sales rep at another company, this person loses the infrastructure and automation that bolstered their success in the first place and is now left trying to do everything manually. Essentially, you’re asking one person to grow revenue by themself without the help of automation or infrastructure.

    Why the Sales Unicorn Doesn’t Exist

    Think about the connotation of an actual unicorn. They’re mythical, legendary creatures that possess magical capabilities that nobody can find anywhere else. Now apply that statement to the sales world and you start to get the idea of just how unfeasible the role is.

    The fact of the matter is that hiring this person as your end-all, be-all actually hurts your company more than anything else. They are tasked with so much manual work that it eats away at their time to win sales and make money.

    No matter how talented of a salesperson they are, it won’t mean anything if they spend 75% of their time building a list of leads and manually entering data and information into an outdated spreadsheet before they’re even able to do what they’re best at!

    In the end, this is a waste of time and money and prevents you from scaling revenue effectively. So what’s the alternative?

    Develop an Infrastructure to Grow Revenue

    High-performing salespeople are so incredibly valuable to your company — that’s a given. But if they don’t have the tools to succeed, they won’t reach their full potential.

    Establishing and investing in internal infrastructure is vital to the overall success of your company. We all know that sales, marketing, revenue operations, and customer success work in tandem with one another — why, then, would you expect a salesperson to succeed without any of that in place?

    Automation, technology, marketing, branding, and website design all play a massive role in the success of the sales process. From generating inbound leads to optimizing workflows and improving customer experience throughout multiple touchpoints, the sales landscape is inherently collaborative.

    This kind of collaboration and infrastructure is the beginning of a high-performing revenue engine.

    Take the Next Steps

    We know it can be challenging to commit to large investments without a high level of cash flow. However, this is the kind of investment that will set your sales team up for success and return massive results, both in the short and long run.

    You can start small, but you have to invest something into infrastructure, systems, processes, and automation from an early stage if you truly want to scale revenue. The good news is that the more you invest now, the quicker you will see the results (and the less you’ll have to invest in the future)!

    For more information on how House of Revenue® can help solve your revenue problems, reach out to us today! Stay tuned for part 2 of the series where we dive into each component of the revenue engine and how to grow revenue holistically. 

    By: Mary Grothe
    Mary began her sales career at a Fortune 1000 company, where she quickly advanced from an admin role to being the number one sales representative. By following her natural instincts to always put the customers first and listen to their needs, she was able to drive success for her clients and herself and brought in millions of dollars in revenue. Driven to help others achieve success, Mary founded her first company at the age of 28 and became a business strategist for startups. Over a three-year period, she was instrumental in helping 36 startups reach profitability.

    Related Articles

    Avoid GTM Failure: 6 Key Areas Companies Struggle
    Sabrina Ott Feb 29, 2024
    Unlocking the Power of a Fractional CMO: Benefits Revealed
    Tymothe Meskel Feb 29, 2024
    Fractional Content Marketing: Essential Guide for 2024
    Tymothe Meskel Feb 29, 2024