“Strategy eats culture for breakfast.”

“Success doesn’t necessarily come from breakthrough innovation, but from flawless execution.”

“Strategy is cool. So is doing stuff. Both are important.” ~Me

You’re trying to move fast and build a solid foundation of a business in 2023. We get it. You get it.

That’s why we’re building a series of resources and tools to help you and your team focus on the right strategies, get started quickly and move collaboratively toward the big goals.

No more growth hacking or silver bullets in 2023. When it comes to strategy, revenue growth, team development and achieving goals … it’s about what works for you.

Check out the full Un-Playbook here.

And check out my take on 5 Things to Know to Set your Strategy in 2023

The Rule of 78

If you’ve heard of the Rule of 78, you know how important it is to forecast recurring revenue (even as part of annual or multi-year agreements) as early in the year as possible. More on the Rule of 78 here, but the long and short of it is: a customer that starts paying you in January pays you 12 times in the calendar year. A customer that starts paying you in November pays you twice.

It’s simple, right?

But everything from hiring plans to budget forecasting and reconciliation, marketing campaigns and plans and even sales incentives should align to a fast start for your fiscal year. Otherwise, you’re chasing your tail.

The Takeaway: If you are still firming up your annual growth plan, your budget or any other go-to-market strategy … look at it through the lens of the Rule of 78. Are you coming out of the gate quick enough to meet your goals? Frontload your efforts to frontload your results.

SaaS Economics

If you thought buying and selling B2B tech in pre-2023 was hard … it’s about to become more challenging. But that’s a fun challenge for those who are striving to build more sustainable, dynamic and profitable businesses … and will likely weed out those who have been riding the wave. 

2023 is the year of doing the hard things and setting roots for your business.

And your metrics should do the same.

From the lens of growth, you need to know what your North Star metrics are. From a planning perspective, think about:

  • Where will the majority of your new revenue come from in 2023? New vs. existing customers? A specific customer segment or subset? A certain component of your product or service?
  • How well can you maintain current levels of your primary revenue driver? What happens if you do nothing? What happens with your investment?
  • What’s the relationship between pre-acquisition revenue drivers (new customers / new subscription dollars) vs. retention, expansion and repeat customers?
  • How can your team stay focused on the biggest driver of success? Is your north star metric in a dashboard somewhere?

My colleague Brad wrote about this in more depth here. Check it out.

KPIs, MGOs, OKRs, … oh my.

You’ve got your plan.

You know your top success measures.

How will you monitor progress, incremental results and how likely you are to get there.

Pick the right tool and tactics for your team to measure their results.

The biggest piece of advice? Keep it simple. There’s plenty of time and energy that can be spent building out sophisticated models, perfect calculations and dynamic views into the ins and outs of the business.

Some team members need this.

Most don’t.

In fact, many will be distracted by the noise.

Create a system for your team to a.) clearly state their measurable objectives b.) outline how they will get there and c.) state how and how often they’ll monitor, measure and report on progress.

You can answer some of these questions with our revenue org planner template.

Cross-Functional Collaboration Checklist

You’ve got the strategy, you know the outcomes you’re hoping to achieve … but where’s the cross-functional buy-in?

We as leaders can assume that if we share the what and the why, the team will figure out the how.

But that’s, in reality, never the case.

Disparate teams – or even, two separate individuals – may not have the language, rituals or know-how to work together to achieve a common goal. Putting their puzzle pieces together to make the bigger picture happen.

So you need to help them.

Make sure team members know how their strategy aligns to the bigger picture.

We developed a handy cross-functional collaboration worksheet for this purpose. Check it out, and make it your own.

Communicating Vision

Sharing your vision is as important as having one. Seriously.

If you’ve got a strong idea and plan in your head for how you’ll achieve success in 2023 … but your team doesn’t know it, can’t repeat it and can’t embody it in their day to day … is it really a plan?

I can go into a lot of details on how to communicate vision – and how not to do so, which I’m sure we all have learnings on – but I’ll point to and summarize what Christina Brady shared recently about what happens when you don’t effectively communicate strategy;

  • At best, teams won’t be moving in the same direction. At worst, they’ll be working in conflict with the other team’s goals.
  • Employees will have nothing to rally around. Little that’s concrete to celebrate when there are major achievements or to inspire motivation when they’re in the thick of building, scaling and solving hard problems.
  • Tradeoffs and prioritization will always come to you. Your team won’t have a semblance of what matters most, nor be able to separate the urgent from the important.

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