Learn how to grow your revenue and make a lasting impact in this conversation between Brett Snodgrass and Darrell Amy, author of Revenue Growth Engine.
Darrell Amy, best-selling author, join us on the podcast this week as we discuss growing revenue in your business and how to make a lasting impact. Every business owner wants to grow their revenue and make an impact on the people or community around them. We talk all things business, revenue, and kingdom impact. We talk about why every business needs to have an engine and how God and business work together. Lastly, we go over how God impacts all our business and the profit and revenue that come from it.
Darrell knows how to help businesses grow. Rolling up his sleeves, he works behind the scenes with executives, sales leaders, and marketing professionals to develop and execute revenue growth strategies. He knows what works and what doesn’t, and he is sharing this information in his new best-selling book Revenue Growth Engine: How To Align Marketing and Sales to Accelerate Growth.
Every business owner wants to grow their revenue and make an impact on the people or community around them. Darrell Amy and I talk all things business, revenue, and kingdom impact. We talk about why every business needs to have an engine and how God and business work together. Lastly, we go over how God impacts all our business and the profit and revenue that come from it.
I have Darrell Amy on this show with me, and he's written a book called Revenue Growth Engine. Do you guys want to grow your revenue? I know that I do, and I had a conversation after the show with Darrell about growing our revenue with Iron Deep and with our real estate business. This is what he does. He loves growing businesses and their revenue to impact Kingdom Missions projects. He talks about that on this particular show, too. He is an awesome down-to-earth guy who just wants to make an impact for the Kingdom. Stay tuned for Darrell Amy.
We got the wheels turning behind the scenes, guys. We are brainstorming on what is next for the show. We had our Men's Awakening. It was amazing. It was in the Rocky Mountains. We had 30 guys there and it was off-the-hook business owners. It was crazy amazing. God showed up. Now, we are talking about what does this community look like?
We are brainstorming on putting things together and what are next events are going to look like. We are going to do very unique, impactful, and faith-driven entrepreneurial types of events. It's going to be cool. Check that out on IronDeep.com. You can also go over to our YouTube channel and check out all the videos that we have coming out each week. We typically put a very creative type of video out each month and we are going to be increasing that volume as we move forward here. Check that out on our Iron Deep YouTube channel. I want to introduce you to Darrell Amy.
I have a guest on this show, Darrell Amy from Arkansas. You might have been my first guest from Arkansas, Darrell.
I'm a Canadian who married a Southern girl, so that's what happens. I’m glad to be here.
I always like new things and new states to bring people on the show. Thanks for being here. I'm super excited about this show. You do a lot, number one. You have been a business entrepreneur for several years. You are having other businesses scale their businesses. You love to impact kingdom businesses. You are in the nonprofit field with Kingdom Missions Fund. You are doing expeditions with men and the wild crazy and helping pour into men. I know you do a lot, but we are going to dial this down. You have a book called Revenue Growth Engine, and we are going to dial this into how to grow our revenue, especially in kingdom businesses. Let's give a little summary of who is Darrell Amy.
Thank you. It's great to be here. I am passionate. If you boil it all down, all of these things have in common, I'm passionate about helping generous business owners and entrepreneurs grow their businesses so they can make more of an impact. Many years ago, I got to be a part of starting the Kingdom Missions Fund. It’s funding innovation in missions. It’s like the Shark Tank for Christian mission projects that are smart, sustainable, and scalable.
In doing that and working as a volunteer and board member over the last couple of decades, what I began to notice was, that while we have lots of wonderful donors who are individuals and all of that. When it comes time to move the needle, the people who are able to move the needle are business owners and entrepreneurs who are able to grow their businesses successfully and grow enough that they have the resources to be able to be generous.
Inside all of that, my passion in looking at the businesses that I have worked with over the last couple of decades is where are the business owners, where are the entrepreneurs and where are the people that want to grow their business so they can make an impact? I say, “It takes resources to make an impact.” As kingdom-minded entrepreneurs, we owe it to the impact we want to leave to be able to maximize the revenue coming out of our business. That's animated everything that I have done in my career. All that I'm doing right now with Revenue Growth Engine coming alongside generous business owners and saying, “Let's put the engine in place that is going to allow you to accelerate your growth so you can make more impact.”
That's where you come in. You talk about this revenue engine and I started getting into your book. You started to describe this engine that accelerates your growth. You talk about exponential revenue growth. Let's start there. You talked about the Law of Exponential Revenue Growth. Can you take us into that? What does that mean? Take us into some of the core principles of that.
This is super simple and extremely powerful. It comes down to the realization that there are 2 ways and only 2 ways to grow revenue in your business. We are either getting more customers or we are selling more to our new customers. In Revenue Growth Engine, we talk about net-new business and cross-sell business. What are we doing to grow market share and then grow wallet share?
If you boil it down, those are the only two ways to grow revenue. Even if you say, “I'm acquiring other businesses.” Once you acquire that business, you need to grow net-new business and cross-sell revenue. Here's the realization of that. If you are able to show modest growth in each one of these areas, let’s say 12% to 15% in net-new business or your number of customers and 12% to 15% growth in cross-sell revenue, that's measured in revenue per customer.
If you can do both of those at the same time, that modest 12% to 15% growth in each one of these areas results in doubling revenue somewhere between 24 and 36 months. If you think about it, that modest growth in both of those areas simultaneously could put your business in a place where you have organically doubled revenue in 36 months. I don't know about you, but that gets me excited.
Here's the challenge. The challenge is, as we go into most businesses, and I have had the opportunity to work with hundreds of businesses helping to develop growth plans, what we have discovered is most businesses tend to be good at one or the other. They tend to be good at net-new. “We can go out. We can grab the new logos. We can ring the bell and write it on the sales board. We are good at growing net-new business.”
For one of the clients we were working with, we started asking about their cross-sell revenue and what happens after they get a new client. They say, “That's what we call the black hole.” You realize that there are a lot of businesses that are good at net-new and not good at cross-selling. There are other businesses that are good at managing their client relationships and growing inside their client base but let's be honest. It's been a long time since you added a new customer.
What I would say is the question to everybody reading, first of all, is your business better at getting net-new or are you better at cross-selling? For the one you are not good at, keep doing the one you are good at, and for the one you are not good at, let's put processes in place to allow you to get good and consistent at the area you are not good at. When you get both of those going at the same time, it’s exponential revenue growth. You can double revenue in literally 24 to 36 months with modest growth in each one of those areas.
I was thinking about my own business. I’m like, “What am I?” If you are reading out there, you are probably thinking the same thing. “What am I? Am I good at getting new customers or pouring into the customers and the clients that I already have?” I would say that I'm more of a new customer. I like to have the logos and we have this big launch. It’s great.
The thing that I have been thinking about now, we had this men's awakening, this Iron Deep, this great event. Everyone is excited but then I come home and I'm like, “How do we keep pouring into these guys?” That's where the systems and processes are coming into place. You identify. You are aware of that and how do you help that business get better at the weakest of that area?
What we need to build is an engine and every business has an engine. The Revenue Growth Engine was published a couple of years ago in the summer of 2020. The whole idea came about from mowing my lawn. I know every success guru says, “Don't do work.” Gino Wickman at the EOS Conference where I was speaking a couple of months back said, “Don't do $25 an hour work. Pay someone to do that.”
However, I made an exception with my lawn because of two things. First of all, while I'm mowing my lawn, I get to listen to incredible podcasts like this and no one can interrupt me with a phone call or email. The second reason I like to mow my lawn is that I have worked with businesses all day on strategy. Sometimes, you don't always see the immediate results but when I'm done mowing my lawn, I can see the straight lines and I feel good.
One day I'm mowing my lawn, and you get great ideas like this. I'm puttering across my lawn in my 60-inch zero-turn lawnmower and I see my car at the end of the driveway. I realize in this moment of insight, my lawnmower has an engine and my car has an engine. If I wanted to drive from where I am right now to come to see you, I could probably jump on my lawnmower, point it in the right direction, and I would eventually get there. It might be slow, it might be very dangerous, and it will probably be mocked mercilessly along the freeway as I'm puttering along in my lawnmower. I might die too, so I'm not going to do that because I have a car.
My lawnmower has a 28.5 horsepower engine. It’s great for a lawnmower. My car has a 420-horsepower engine. Here's the deal. Every business has an engine driving growth. If you have a business, you have an engine. The question is how many cylinders are in that engine? My lawnmower has 2 cylinders and my car has 8. Which one is going to get you there faster?
The premise behind the Revenue Growth Engine is, “Let's look at your business and realize that you may be an engine not firing on all cylinders. Let's add the cylinders that are going to allow you to accelerate.” When I talk about cylinders, what I'm thinking in the back of my mind is where are the processes? Where is the series of steps for repeatable outcomes that you can put in place in your business?
You can spread through playbooks so that they are followed by all and everybody is able to look at it and know exactly what to do at each stage of the buyer's journey and the customer experience or the ideal client experience. The idea is to say, “Your business has an engine. It's not firing on all cylinders. You need to probably build some cylinders. If you do that, you have got the potential to accelerate the growth of your business and make that acceleration sustainable.”
What are some of the common cylinders that people typically neglect or that you are digging into right away that you can sometimes right when you get in, you do a couple of tweaks here and there and add one cylinder and you are like, “Bam.” Is there something that you are digging into that's obvious?
Let me share a couple of common ones and if anyone reading wants to get the Revenue Growth Engine book, if you text the word REVENUE to 21000, you will get access to our toolkit, and you will also be able to order the book. If you will pay shipping and handling, I'd be happy to get an autographed copy of your way. One of the ideas for cross-sell, you mentioned in your business is, “We are good at going and getting the deal, but not so good at cross-sell.”
I get that. I have got a sales background. I came out of technology sales in the B2B space. We were taught to go land the deals. When it comes to expanding, especially for our clients in B2B, and also in most B2C, one of the biggest, easiest to implement, and most powerful strategies, cylinders, if you will, or processes that you can put in place is a quarterly business review with your ideal clients.
In the book, we talk about ideal clients, and we can unpack that more if you’d like. Those are the 20% of your clients that drive 80% of your revenue. It’s the good old Pareto principle in full effect. If you think about those top 20% of clients, what are you doing to engage with them on a regular basis? In my very first sales job that I walked in, there was a mantra all across the company. It said, “We want every client to be 100% sold.”
That means that every client is buying every product from us that they can buy from us. They are fully realizing all of the value of our organization. As my favorite marketing guru, Jay Abraham would say, “The best and highest value.” To get to 100% sold, we need to realize that when we close that first sale, we are not closing a deal. We are opening a relationship.
We need to have and in any relationship, there needs to be some cadence of engagement. If you are married, I hope you have a cadence of engagement with your wife. I hope you are taking our anniversary trips and hopefully, a date of some kind periodically. Otherwise, you are going to have a date, but it's going to be with an attorney and it's not going to be fun.
You need a periodic engagement with a relationship to sustain it. If you think about your clients and I'm thinking, in particular, your ideal clients, this top 20%, what are you doing on a regular basis to add value? We coach you in the book on how to implement a quarterly business review process in a way that if you skip one, your clients will call you and go, “We didn't do our quarterly conversation. What's going on?” That's how you know you are doing a good job on it.
A lot of companies, we were coached through the years in sales to do quarterly business reviews that were terribly boring. We would go in and review our performance and our service level agreements and talk about the problems. Here's what I want you to do to start your next quarterly business review. I want you to say, “We want to stay in touch and make sure we are in tune with what's going on in your organization. We also are working with other companies similar to yours, and are seeing a lot of trends. I'm curious. What are the top initiatives and challenges you have going on in your business right now?”
Start the conversation there and then bring insight from your other client experiences. I guarantee you that what's going to happen in those conversations is 2 things or maybe 3. First, you are going to build credibility and deepen the relationship. Second, as you talk about the challenges and initiatives that are going on inside that business, you are going to create additional business opportunities.
By doing this and taking good care of your clients, you are going to earn the right to get referrals. With your top 20% of your clients, guess who they know. They know other clients and prospects like them, which are probably your ideal prospects. That one thing of going, “I'm going to take my top 20% of customers. I'm going to commit as a habit to do a quarterly conversation.”
You could call it a quarterly business review. You can call it a strategy review. You can call it a quarterly insights and strategy meeting. Whatever you want to do to make it sound interesting. The important thing is to listen and drive conversation around what's going on in their business and their life and you are going to see a lot of things open up. That right there is hands down probably the easiest to implement and the biggest piece of low-hanging fruit in virtually every organization we have walked into.
You are right. It's very simple but again, I start to think about do I do that in my business. I do that sometimes, but I also am inconsistent. That's where the process and system come into place. Our readers are probably thinking the same thing. Why don't you think people do that more? Do they take them for granted? Sometimes I feel like the people that bring us the most business, or even the people closest to me like my family or friends are the ones that sometimes I take for granted or something. Why do you think that we don't do that more?
It's a great question. It is something to think about for everybody reading. Why don't we do that more? I would say for a couple of reasons. One is it hasn't become a habit. Every good thing in life, when it comes to eating well, exercising, and spiritual discipline. You go down the list of all the different things that you want in life that are good. They require consistency in habits.
Good intention, I don't think there's anybody reading that goes, “I don't like my current clients. I can care less about their business.” Everybody has good intentions for it. The question is, do you have good habits? Especially if you have an organization with a sales team in this case, are those habits backed up with a process that is measured and tracked?
For example, if that were rolling up to a scorecard, you would say the percent of ideal clients that we did a quarterly business review with this quarter and that gets to the dashboard, “What gets measured, gets managed.” That's one reason. We all have good intentions. It's got to be backed up with habits. The second thing is it has to do with training. If you are the entrepreneur, the business owner, the founder, or the C-Suite person in your business, you probably feel comfortable walking in and having that strategic conversation with anybody.
However, the question is, does your sales team feel comfortable doing that? What are you doing to equip your sales team to be able to have those conversations? I'm also a co-host of the Selling From the Heart Podcast and a partner in the sales training business where we are equipping reps with skills to build trust. What we have discovered is our trust formula and the foundation of the trust formula is if you want trust, and by the way, you want trust, you need trust with your clients and prospects. You need to build authentic relationships and deliver meaningful value.
This means an authentic relationship, you have to invest time in that to build a relationship. You have to do some training to understand what value is. In Revenue Growth Engine, I say this over and over again. I need to go through and count how many times I say this, “Buyers don't buy products and services. They buy the outcomes your products and services enable.” Here's the deal. You have a whole suite of products and services, but every client that you work with has specific outcomes that they want in their business.
We have been training our salespeople about products, services, and product knowledge, and they need to know that but the other side of the coin is they need to understand the outcomes that their clients want. In the B2B space where I spend most of my time, the word for that is business acumen. They need to be able to understand business and what's going on in the business world, in their client's industry, and their client's business, so they can build a bridge between the product and the outcome the client wants.
That's a long answer to say, “We expect our salespeople to do this. There's no process in place. It's not measured and we haven't coached them on how to have this level of business conversation.” If you get the process in place, you have a measurement and you are coaching your reps, you are going to be in a lot better place to realize cross-sell revenue.
You are speaking to it as it is such a relationship business and it’s training that down. We teach our sales reps to get the deal, but we don't teach them to have these types of meaningful connections and conversations. It's something that a lot of businesses don't train. Thank you so much for that. This is awesome. All of this is in Darrell’s book Revenue Growth Engine. Make sure you guys get that.
Darrell, you do a lot of different things and one of your passions is impacting kingdom business leaders. I want to talk about that for a little bit because you talk about the Kingdom Missions Fund. This is something that lights you up and it probably keeps your engine and you are fire going every single day. You wake up and you are passionate about that.
Can you talk to us about that and what have you seen happen? All this is correlated, which I love is you do a lot, but it is all linked together. You help business owners accelerate revenue and then they can be more generous and give more to missions and more kingdoms. It's all linked together. Can you take us into that?
I want to give a shout-out to an organization that I discovered called Generous Giving. It’s at GenerousGiving.org that leads people on journeys of generosity. If you are an entrepreneur and that's who reads this and a business leader, I want you to check out GenerousGgiving.org and go on the journey of generosity because here's the deal.
What I noticed in the Kingdom and missions, in particular, is there are some people out there. Some of the best and most creative entrepreneurs on the planet are working on Christian missions right now. They are out-solving problems in parts of the world where the problems are big and the resources are limited. This all began for me many years ago when the co-founder of the Kingdom Missions Fund, who's an elder at my church, made me go on a missions trip.
I'd like to think that I was one of those people who signed up to do stuff like that. At the time, I was a regional manager for a Japanese technology company. I was traveling visiting fine Marriott’s all over the United States and taking people out to dinner. I got invited on this mission trip to go build homes and orphanages in Honduras. When the invitation came, I was like, “I will see if I can fit that into my schedule.” I kept getting closer and closer to the trip, and Paul came to me one day and he wanted me to go check this out because I grew up in the construction business.
We are getting close to the trip. Finally, Paul says, “Are you going to go on this thing? It's in three weeks.” I said, “I don't know.” He goes, “We will pay for it.” I'm like, “You don't have to pay for it. I will go.” I remember flying to Houston and then getting on a plane to Tegucigalpa, a city whose name I didn't know how to pronounce and a language I didn't know how to speak. I was looking out the window of the airplane going, “What have I gotten myself into?” God was there and he changed my heart.
When I got home, I was like, “How did these people fund all this stuff? How do they pay for it? They are living on a mountain down a dirt road that you could barely drive on. How did they raise money?” We ended up out of that. Long story short, starting the Kingdom Missions Fund. The idea behind it was we wanted to create a sustainable funding source for missions.
What we realized was that most missions raise money, which is to sending letters and emails out and go, “Will you give money to us?” It is good, but is there a way that missions could do things and raise funds in a way that was smart, sustainable, and scalable, so that maybe even someday they didn't have to ask for money or if the flow of funds from East to West got shut off for whatever reason they would have a sustainable program.
We started taking applications from organizations many years ago saying, “What are you doing out there?” We were looking for the best and brightest ideas. It was like Shark Tank except a little nicer. We didn't tell people that they were dead to us and all of that. We get on average about 50 grant applications every year for innovative missions projects. We get a great team that filters those down, and we award about 10 to 12 grants per year.
We have been able to fund over 200 projects over the last many years and what's happening, and this is what I think is so cool, and parallel to the business world. We have got a lot of generous business owners that are getting behind this and going, “That's something I can get behind. That's entrepreneurial. That makes sense. I could give money to a project that's going to create something that spends our capital to be able to sustain the mission or is a good way to get into some areas you can't get into.”
We are funding these and we are looking at this and I'm going, “These are some of the most innovative people on the planet.” Being able to bridge what's going on in the frontier of the missions world and what's going on in incubators and startups, labs, and bedrooms as people are dreaming up new businesses, there are a lot of parallels there. I love being involved in both. Being involved in business watching great ideas scale, and then being involved in missions and watching great ideas scale and be replicated.
This is something where there's not a whole lot of difference between the business world and the missions world, at least, from my perspective of growth and innovation and all of that. I want to say to everyone, if you haven't gotten engaged in what's going on in the Christian missions world, or if you think it's the same old sleepy things that have been going on for years, take a look. It is powerful. I could spend the rest of the show telling incredible stories. You can learn more about some of the stuff we have done at KingdomFund.com.
This is what's animating me right now and fueling me. I got done with my quarterly planning day and it's driving some tweaks that I'm excited to be making in my career here in the months and years to come. I look at this and go, “Let's figure out a way to get innovation in the missions world. Let's figure out a way to get businesses scaling and let's generate resources so that good things can happen out of that.
I'm the same way. I started doing mission strips a few years ago and got linked to an organization in Guatemala called Transforming Futures. I have been down there a few times. I'm always trying to see how, how I can think and brainstorm with them to be innovative. You get those creative juices flowing and it's so great but there's not a lot of difference between the business world. A great friend of mine is a missionary and he's getting ready to move his family to Puerto Rico. He's been with the organization Young Life for a long time.
We will sit down and he will give me so many great leadership ideas that I take in the business world, and he's a missionary, which there are so many great things just parallel. Thank you for that and thank you for your guys' mission. I'm going to check that out too and you guys reading should as well. This episode has been awesome. Thank you so much. Is there anything that you want to leave our readers with? I know you have your book and your toolkit, but what do you want to leave, that last nugget or that last piece of advice to our audience before the show ends?
Thank you. It's been so much fun having this conversation. If you do want any of those resources we talked about, text the word REVENUE to 21000 or go to RevenueGrowthEngine.com. I have a concept that's rattling around in my head and this sums up the whole concept, and that's growth for impact. There are a lot of reasons to grow a business and there are a lot of things that can motivate the work required to grow a business. It's not easy to grow a business. It takes work.
You can grow a business so you can have a 2nd or 3rd home or add more garages and fill them up with more cars and all those things. You can do that to leave a legacy for your family but to me, the real thing that motivates growth because at some point that stuff is going to be empty. We all know that it's a bottomless well.
If you can grow with purpose, I call it growth for impact. If you can say, “We are going to grow this business and we are going to make an impact with it both on our team, on the world, our customers, and our shareholders, those are the four dimensions of growth for impact. If we can do that, that's the purpose that's going to drive all of this.
I got to be a part of Davin Salvagno, a new friend of mine who is one of the Spearheads of The Purpose Summit, which I highly recommend to everybody. What I recognized as I was leaving that Purpose Summit is that if you don't have a purpose behind what you are doing when you get up in the morning and for years, I was in business to make money and be successful in business.
I had that firewalled from my personal life and what I was doing in my church and all of that. When I realized that what I do in business has a kingdom impact and can have a massive kingdom impact, it started reframing and lighting a fire under me, which is animating. The work it takes to be able to grow but growth is good if it's designed for impact. If you have a heart for impact, as I say at the end of every episode of The Revenue Growth Podcast, let's get going and let's get growing.
Thanks. That's a wrap with Darrell Amy. Thank you, Darrell. God bless you.
You too. Thank you.