Make Your Top Line Revenue Growth Process A Strategic Differentiator

Ed Marsh | Jul 1, 2022

Tl;dr - When you're selling capital equipment it's impossible to differentiate your solution before it's bought and installed. Your revenue growth formula, therefore, is to differentiate your company through the sales interaction and marketing materials themselves, using a consultative selling methodology.

Your Revenue Growth Process Could be Unique to You

Your Product is Just a Tool to Help Buyers Create Value

for industrial manufacturing firms, revenue growth strategies and revenue growth management should be designed to boost revenue growth. pricing strategy and customer lifetime value can also support increasing revenue growthIndustrial manufacturers routinely obsess about their products. It's heresy to assert that buyers don't really care about those products. But think about it...who gets out of bed in the morning really pumped up to start a project to buy what you sell? Nobody.

Instead, they arise ready to achieve the business change that your product can support.

Of course quality, durability, and reliability are product table stakes. And your installed base is an asset in terms of ongoing aftermarket revenue and goodwill.

But what if it was possible to turn your top-line revenue growth system - the customer experience across marketing and sales - into a strategic differentiator that both helps you sell more and creates a huge chunk of intellectual property and enterprise value?

It is. Here's how.

Consultative Selling Cements the Value of Your Expertise

for industrial companies trying to calculate revenue growth rates, a revenue growth formula built on a solid previous period's revenue should include tactics like paid advertising to achieve growth and consistent revenue increeasesWhile your product itself probably doesn't provide nearly the competitive differentiation that you believe it does, your team's application expertise is likely a huge driver of prospect comfort and engagement, and ultimately, your revenue growth. Remember, they spring from bed "ready to achieve the business change" they seek. They approach vendors with risk aversion, skepticism of claims, and hesitance to make a mistake.

The challenge for your team is that simply announcing it, or even "telling" them via testimonials and case studies, sounds like everyone else. It won't do much to increase your revenue growth, and it sounds glib and hollow.

Business Growth Built on Helping a Buyer Boost Their Company's Revenue

business technology can help sales teams drive more revenue and add paying customers to boost annual revenue and support business growthThe solution is to take a consultative selling approach through which your expertise gradually helps them define their problem and develops confidence in your unique ability to help them solve it with little risk. Consultative selling is characterized by the following criteria:

  • focused on the prospect exclusively (that means not talking about you!)
  • entirely built around asking questions, listening carefully, and asking more questions
  • creates opportunities to challenge the prospect to understand their problem from a fresh perspective

The importance of consultative selling is in the outcomes it enables; outcomes that "pitching" never can. Beyond simple revenue growth, these include:

  • immediate differentiation from competitors' salespeople and companies
  • prospect recognition of your team's deep and nuanced understanding of their business and challenges
  • appropriate opportunities to ask insightful questions that inherently highlight unique technical capabilities
  • appreciation from prospects for your ability to help them define and quantify their true challenges and desired outcomes
  • successfully uncovering the compelling reasons while prospects will proceed, and proceed with your company
  • creating the basis for quantifying the cost of failing to proceed / the opportunity value of pressing ahead
  • evoking the emotion that's critical to buying commitments

These consultative selling outcomes are at the heart of a sales methodology that will deliver consistent and predictable top-line revenue growth results.

Consultative Selling is Rare, Hard, and Coachable

customer acquisition cost is higher when consultative skills are lower - that reduces the revenue growth rateThe bad news is that according to millions of sales candidate assessments it's clear that consultative selling skills are a critical weakness. Even worse, they're deteriorating. 

In 2012 the average salesperson had 44% of the skills required for consultative selling. That's fallen 9%, and in 2022 the average rep has only 40% of the required skills. That contributes to the failure of a reported 71% of sales reps to make quota in 2022, and is reflected in declining revenue growth rates.

Sales Process & Methodology for Sustainable Revenue Growth

a manufacturers revenue growth rate is a byproduct of having the right revenue growth strategy, lead generation, and organic growth. all impact the revenue growth rate and are important for companies tracking revenue growth percentageFurther many companies handcuff their reps with an emphasis on decks and presentations. Reps are trained to ask just enough questions to hear something that sounds like a bit of "pain" and then to jump into their demo/pitch/presentation. In other words, most companies' sales process actually prevents consultative sales.

The good news is that it's coachable. With training, lots of role-playing, and frequent sales call debriefings, reps can learn to sell consultative which will boost the growth rate.

The revenue growth payoff can be huge!

Not only is the approach more effective at creating the urgency and agreement that are necessary to close deals to drive revenue growth, but it also establishes your rep - and your company by affiliation - as the only vendor that really has the depth of expertise to succeed. It boosts customer success and satisfaction, and increases your revenue growth rate.

Content Marketing and Sales Enablement to Support Consultative Selling

a company's revenue growth rate often ties back directly to the strength of their revenue growth strategies, diverse revenue streams, enhanced customer lifetime value, and an aggressive growth rateWhile there's no adequate alternative to the dialog form of consultative selling, it's possible to create marketing resources that can both help prospects on their journey and support the rep's sales efforts to drive revenue growth.

For instance, research and articles that help prospects understand and differentiate between the symptoms they're wrestling with versus the problems and causes behind them will help to establish the expertise of your company. That content will also help get you found for a broader range of related key terms and much earlier in the buying journey than simply focusing on product solutions.

Building Steps for a Good Revenue Growth Rate Into the CRM

Similarly, diagnostic frameworks can help provide a handrail for reps who are working to develop consultative selling skills, and thoughtful implementation of playbooks and checkpoints embedded in CRM and sales pipeline stages can reinforce the necessity of information that can only be consistently discovered using consultative sales methods.

Consultative selling should be embedded throughout your entire top-line revenue growth team and imbue all interactions (virtual, digital, in person, etc.) with value for prospects vs. pitches.

Differentiation is What Counts

revenue growth for capital equipment companies requires well engineered revenue growth strategy to achieve a suitable revenue growth rate, consistently improve customer relationships and deliver earnings growthOver time you'd love to have your customers realize how your unique quality, precision, and durability differentiate your engineered solutions from competitors to drive sustainable growth in each target market.

But first, you have to close the deals to have the opportunity to make the installations.

That requires establishing differentiation and demonstrating excellence through the prospect's experience with your company.

Your machinery can't do it, and demos that harp on features will draw you away from the important discussions about their business imperatives.

Success comes when you adapt your top line revenue growth process. When your manufacturing marketing and your sales team are aligned around consultative selling your results will improve increasing revenue. Not only is it a more effective sales approach, but the sales approach itself will differentiate your team and your company in a way that will boost prospect confidence in your ability to reduce their risk and increase the likelihood of a successful installation.

Some Additional Background on Revenue Growth

Unlocking Your Business Potential: Strategies for Sustainable Revenue Growth

In today's competitive landscape, where B2B manufacturers strive to stand out, one thing is clear: your product or service, while undoubtedly exceptional, is just one piece of the puzzle. To make your mark and ensure a prosperous future, it's vital to make your top-line revenue growth process a compelling part of your value proposition. Doing so requires a tactical plan for revenue growth, methods to measure and calculate revenue growth, to define a good revenue growth rate, and explore ways to enhance customer satisfaction, all while focusing on the key objective: revenue increases.

Calculating Revenue Growth: The Starting Point

Before we dive into the strategies for revenue growth, it's essential to understand how to calculate revenue growth. The formula is simple:

Revenue Growth Rate (%) = (Current Year's Revenue - Previous Year's Revenue) / Previous Year's Revenue x 100

This formula provides you with a percentage that represents your year-over-year revenue growth. Knowing this figure is vital because it serves as a benchmark for evaluating your financial health and setting growth targets.

What Constitutes a Good Revenue Growth Rate?

A question that often arises is, "What is a good revenue growth rate?" The answer is not one-size-fits-all; it depends on various factors, including your industry, business stage, and economic conditions, whether a privately held company supports a family and lifestyle, the expected return on equity, and the maturity of a succession or exit plan. However, a good revenue growth rate generally outpaces inflation, covers operating costs, and leaves room for reinvestment. For most B2B manufacturers, a healthy target is to achieve double-digit revenue growth annually.

Enhancing Customer Satisfaction: The Path to Sustained Growth

Customer satisfaction is a linchpin of revenue growth. Happy customers are more likely to become repeat buyers and advocates for your brand, driving revenue increases and lowering customer acquisition costs. Here's how to proactively create customer satisfaction effectively:

  • Quality and Reliability - As industrial manufacturers, product quality, durability, and reliability are non-negotiable. These attributes not only meet customer expectations but also serve as the foundation for satisfaction.
  • Consultative Selling - A consultative selling approach can make all the difference. It focuses on the prospect exclusively, asking probing questions, listening carefully, and gaining insights into their specific needs. This not only differentiates you from competitors but also builds trust and satisfaction.
  • Understand Their Goals - Customers don't wake up excited about buying machinery; they wake up excited about solving their business challenges. Understand their goals and show how your solutions can help them achieve those goals effectively.
  • Customer Support - Providing excellent post-sale support is crucial. It ensures that your customers can make the most of your products, leading to long-term satisfaction and potential upsell opportunities.

The Art of Revenue Increases: Strategies to Drive Growth

With those basics in place, then you can turn to tactics to drive revenue increases.

  • Consultative Selling for Differentiation: While your product itself may not be a substantial differentiator, your team's application expertise can set you apart. Consultative selling, characterized by a prospect-focused approach and insightful questioning, helps build trust, highlight technical capabilities, and uncover critical reasons for proceeding with your company.
  • Coachability in Consultative Selling: Unfortunately, consultative selling skills are often lacking in sales teams. The good news is that these skills can be developed and improved with proper training, role-playing, and debriefing sessions. By investing in developing these skills, you can reap significant revenue growth benefits.
  • Content Marketing and Sales Enablement: Support your consultative selling efforts with content marketing and sales enablement materials. Research articles that help prospects identify their problems and causes can establish your company's expertise and attract potential customers earlier in their buying journey.
  • CRM Integration: Embed consultative selling into your sales process and customer relationship management (CRM) system. Create playbooks and checkpoints that reinforce the importance of consultative sales methods at various stages of the sales pipeline.
  • Differentiation Through Customer Experience: Ultimately, it's essential to differentiate your company through the customer experience. Your machinery alone can't achieve this. Instead, focus on adapting your top-line revenue growth process to align manufacturing marketing and sales teams around consultative selling. This approach will boost revenue and differentiate your team and company, instilling confidence in your ability to deliver successful installations.


In the world of B2B manufacturing, revenue growth is not just a goal; it's a necessity for survival and prosperity. Calculating revenue growth, striving for a good revenue growth rate, enhancing customer satisfaction, and implementing effective revenue-increasing strategies are the keys to success. By adopting a consultative selling approach, investing in skills development, and aligning your entire organization around customer-centric practices, you'll not only achieve sustainable revenue growth but also solidify your position as a market leader. So, go ahead and make your top-line revenue growth process the strategic differentiator that propels your business to new heights.