If the piles of household goods and clothing overwhelming our donation centers are any indication, all the extra time at home has propelled Americans to purge, organize, and donate what we no longer use.  And although a one-time house clean-up is gratifying, experts tell us the key to being organized is establishing a series of habits.

This is also true when it comes to organizing our revenue houses.

In my house, it’s pretty easy for me to get rid of things.  I don’t care how long we’ve had it, or how much we spent on it, if we no longer use it – it’s gone. My wife and kids can attest to this, and we all debate whether it’s a superpower or a really annoying trait.

When it comes to our organizations, we all could use some of this clean-up superpower. It can be challenging to let go of things – models, people, and strategies – that have served the organization well historically, even when they no longer fit today’s reality or our future path. But establishing good habits – contingency planning, regular revenue model evaluation, and revenue strategy adjustment – is critical to achieve future goals.

Looking at your revenue organization is an important step in this process. The reality is: 

Your revenue team might be designed to execute a fundamentally different strategy than the one you’re tackling now.

 Perhaps your fundraising team’s focus has been events or face-to-face meetings with major givers. Was your sales team on the road or networking at industry conferences?  All of that looks different now and may remain different for the foreseeable future. It’s time for a fresh look at the way you organize your revenue house.

At RevJen, when we talk about designing your revenue organization, we never begin with the org chart – we start with understanding the work you need to be really good at to execute your revenue strategy.   Let’s face it, the work involved in driving revenue has undergone a seismic shift in the last 90 days.  And, whenever the strategy shifts, we have to ask:

·      What is the work we need to be good at TODAY to execute our revenue strategy?

·      Do we have the capabilities on our team to perform that work?

·      Do we have people doing work that no longer serves the revenue strategy? Where can we retrain and redeploy? What do we need to add and what no longer fits?

This might mean some big structural shifts to the team, but it could be that a little bit of training or a few tweaks could make a big difference.

Case in point, I was talking to a chief development officer whose revised revenue strategy relied heavily on phone calls to donors. He realized that some of his team were used to setting up lunches and meetings by email, but not picking up the phone.  He was able to make a minor tweak by retraining and reworking their fundraising playbook to prioritize calls over email. With just a little guidance and direction setting, the team was off and running.

Bottom line? The world has changed seismically in the past 8 months. 

If your revenue team is built to execute your January 2020 revenue strategy, it’s time to ask:  What is the work we need to be good at now? What skills and capabilities do we need to add through training or hiring that will help us do that work?

Get used to regularly asking yourself those questions. That’s the habit that will keep your revenue house organized.  In the coming months, I suspect we’ll get lots of opportunities to practice.


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