Scalability has been a favorite buzzword for business technology providers since the late 20th century… but what does it really mean?
Some think it means the ability to expand and/or adapt quickly to changes in the market or your business — especially to an increase in sales. But that’s not quite accurate. Because that would mean EVERY business is scalable: Did your sales prospects recently jump by 200%? Just add more reps!
@@A scalable business is one that can drive more revenue without adding more resources@@ — driving more revenue while adding more resources is the ability to grow, not scale.
Which is why every B2B sales organization focused on scalability should be using quoting software. Because there may be no easier way to meet a growing market demand without adding resources than by automating the sales proposal process.
Scalability isn’t for everyone
Let’s be clear: you can’t scale on your front end (e.g., processing more RFPs) unless you can scale on your back end. While having more business than you can handle is what some would call a “good problem,” it doesn’t make for a sustainable business model.
So before you add technology that enables front-end scalability, ensure you have the bandwidth/resources to scale on your back end. E.g., if you’re in the furniture business and down to the last couch in your warehouse, it’s probably not the best time to increase the speed with which you send out sales proposals. It is, however, the time to focus on growth, and add resources (after all, you’re down to your last couch).
But if you’re in the software business, it’s almost always a good time to focus on scalability, because — complex implementations excepted — your deliverable is typically unlimited. The more quotes your team can send, the better.
Scaling across the organization
While technology like CPQ is ideal for helping an organization scale its ability to send and track sales quotes, a business’s primary scalability focus should be on infrastructure. Do you have the right tools in place? For example, do you have a CRM solution? (And are your CRM and CPQ integrated?) Do you have enough material and human resources in place to address increased demand? Scaling up is never a departmental undertaking: it’s organizational.
And the business that makes scalability a strategic, organizational objective will have automation at the heart of every process: quoting software being used by sales to send both a greater quantity of proposals, and ensure higher quality of each one as well; marketing automation software being used by the marketing team to both nurture prospects and improve customer engagement; automated invoicing and billing solutions used by the financial team; etc.
Think of scalability like body-building: a weightlifter doesn’t become Mr. Universe by focusing only on his arms — it’s a whole body approach.
When you implement scalable solutions in your business, think of your WHOLE business. If you don’t, the success of department X in becoming scalable will most certainly lead to problems for department Y in addressing increased throughput.
Thinking of the whole body of your business is typically known as a holistic approach… holistic being another favorite buzzword since the late 20th century, and one we’ll dig into in a later post.
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