Following on the heels of my last post where I explored the “who, where and when” steps for starting a revenue recovery program, this post will examine the “what” and “how” aspects of a program. And more specifically, I want to discuss determining what the objectives of your revenue recovery program could be, and how you will communicate to the key stakeholders in your company about those objectives and more generally about your revenue recovery program.
What should the goals of an initial effort be?
After you have settled on the initial priority areas for revenue recovery, decide with your involved colleagues (those people you identified as part of the “who” step in this process) on what goals you want to set for the program. As you may recall from my initial post in this series, part of the benefit of engaging in a revenue recovery program arises from quantifiable metrics by which the legal department can show how it contributes to the revenue of the company and how it has moved beyond being a cost center. Having defined, measurable goals will contribute greatly toward this benefit and allow you to communicate future successes clearly in a form that your business unit clients and members of the C-suite will easily grasp.
An easy and important place to start with goal-setting is to establish a dollar amount of revenue to be recovered. But there are other goals that may be just as important, if not more so. For example, one goal could be a change in contracting terms or the procurement processes that would better position the company for revenue recovery efforts in the future. Another goal could be engaging in a set number of external audits of vendors within the next year to determine if significant revenue recovery opportunities exist. Still another goal could be ensuring that the legal department will seek out and respond to a set number of class action settlement notices. Once again, the goals of any program are going to be as varied as each company pursuing them.
Also, don’t forget to set a realistic time period for achieving your selected goals, including interim time periods against which you can measure your progress.
Remember, the critical part of the goal-setting process is ensuring that the goals are matched to the scope of the program and the participants. By having clearly articulated goals with a set time-frame (along with interim goals at set intervals), you not only give your revenue recovery program the best chance for success, but you also create an easy way for you to communicate to the rest of the company about the program.
How can you communicate about the program internally?
Once you have settled on who will lead your revenue recovery efforts and what the focus and goals should be, you are ready to share that information with your colleagues and senior management, as appropriate. Once again, the decision on the best way to do this will be highly dependent on your company, its culture and the nature of the revenue recovery program. If the program is to be a company-wide comprehensive effort, an official launch with notices to a broad group of management and employees might be appropriate. If, instead, the program is going to be limited to one particular business unit or geography, then ensure that all of your colleagues in that area are aware of the program, its opportunities and goals. Consider also whether informal, private communications with key stakeholders potentially impacted by the program may be a good starting point before any official, broader announcements are made.
Regardless of the scope of your communication plan, all initial communications about your revenue recovery program should contain all of the information about the “who, where and what” of the program — the leaders and key contacts for the program, the areas of focus for the program, and the goals for it — as well as the “why” — a clear delineation of the anticipated benefits.
If all of this sounds like a lot of work to fit into your already stretched schedule, go back to the first “who” step in this process and determine who else can and should assist you. The success of a revenue recovery program depends on involving other key players who can benefit from this program so that they become not just participants, but rather proponents for moving the program forward.