Ellucian's Chief Executive Officer demonstrates how to evolve your strategy to hit topline revenue growth goals

Today in this post we will demonstrate how to evolve your strategy to stay ahead of the market. It’s difficult to grow revenue faster than your industry’s growth rate and faster than your competitors. Leverage the How to Make Your Number in 2018 Workbook to access a revenue growth methodology to hit your number quarter after quarter, and year after year.


I recently interviewed Jeff Ray, the Chief Executive Officer for Ellucian.  A worldwide leader, Ellucian provides software and services to the higher education market. 18 million students around the world are touched by Ellucian software tools each day. Jeff demonstrates how to evolve your strategy to stay ahead of the market.


In the first segment of the show, Jeff and I discuss the three drivers of growth for Ellucian. In a mature ERP market Jeff outlines the need to grow by taking share from the competition. Jeff describes this colorfully as a ‘cage match’ between entrenched vendors.  This requires bloody knuckled, classic street fighting sales reps that know how to beat the competition.  Watch as we discuss two other drivers of Ellucian’s growth involving market expansion and market exposure.  Each growth driver requires different skills, hiring profiles, maybe even a different compensation plan.


To avoid competitive erosion, Jeff describes how revealing insights from quantifying Customer Acquisition Costs impacted his strategy.  He evolved the strategy to re-allocating spend in sales.  Jeff explains; “Customer Acquisition Costs became really important. We found that we could make significant trade-offs in where we were allocating spend in sales to go after higher growth markets without disrupting the core sales pipeline of the traditional direct sales model.”


Why this topic? Strategic time horizons are changing.  5 year strategies are getting compressed to 3 year strategies and 3 year strategies are getting converted to 1 year operating plans with quarterly agile iterations.  This time compression requires the CEO, and his executive leadership team, to build the capabilities associated with strategy evolution.


Have expectations gone up and left you wondering if you can make your number? Here is an interactive tool that will help you understand if you have a chance at success. Take the Revenue Growth Diagnostic test and rate yourself against SBI’s sales and marketing strategy to find out if:

  • Your revenue goal is realistic
  • You will earn your bonus
  • You will keep your job