We asked 100's of EO companies what they see as their biggest growth opportunity in 2020. Here is how they answered. The first 5 are what ALL respondents said, the second 5 are what HIGH GROWTH companies (growing over 20% YOY) wrote.
Generating more clients is a top priority for nearly one-third of survey respondents. Companies want to generate more leads and nurture and expand existing relationships. Many are planning to expand their customer base, improve closing rates, and implement strategies to reduce churn and drive retention.
They are also developing strategies for more effective prospecting, with some reporting they relied too heavily on word of mouth in the past – and now need to proactively generate more leads.
Nearly one-fifth of survey respondents listed marketing efforts as a top priority in 2020. Marketing plans include everything from developing stronger customer segmentation strategies to creating stronger market playbooks to beefing up social media and word of mouth campaigns.
Thought leadership campaigns are also a priority for businesses that want to share valuable insights in vertical segments and develop stronger authority in specific niches. Developing online communities and improving customer relationship management (CRM) are also key priorities for business in the area of marketing.
Fifteen percent of survey respondents reported a variety of HR considerations for 2020, but the top area of concern was hiring more salespeople. Companies want to hire more people to grow revenue and provide those teams with stronger training programs.
Almost 10% of survey respondents plan to grow their partnerships in 2020. They want to identify and invest energy in partnerships that will positively impact the bottom line. Those partnerships may include strategic alliances with complementary businesses and developing affiliate marketing relationships.
Eight percent of survey respondents reported they are thinking about product development in the coming year. Some are modifying existing products to better fit the needs of customers, while others are exploring the viability of entirely new products and services. Expanding into new niches with existing products is also a consideration for survey respondents.
The survey isolated the responses of “high-growth firms,” which it defined as companies with at least 20% year-over-year revenue growth.
Over one-third of high-growth companies are focused on generating more clients in the coming year. They are planning to schedule more face-to-face meetings with prospects and looking at new opportunities for market expansion in the new year. Building a stronger sales funnel and creating more effective practices around prospecting are also top priorities.
Nearly one-fifth of high-growth firms are planning to expand relationships with existing customers in 2020. They are creating strategies for identifying their best customers and proactively expanding and growing those relationships. These companies are also looking at strategies for driving repeat purchases and finding the most impactful methods for contacting customers to drive sales.
Fourteen percent of firms are planning to expand marketing efforts this year. They have strategies that include presenting at more conferences this year and highlight case studies and innovation at these events. These companies are revamping their playbooks and investing time in revamping segmentation strategy. Word-of-mouth campaigns with existing customers are another strategy included in their plans this year.
Eleven percent of high growth firms plan to build a stronger referral system this year. They are working to develop a more robust network of channel referrals and are spending more time growing existing sales channels.
Over ten percent of companies are looking for ways to leverage innovation to promote growth in the coming year. They are considering new technologies and also redefining processes to improve efficiency and performance. For example, some high-growth firms are working to reshape the sales process to set up their teams for greater success.