Corporate Strategy: Define which markets you will, and will not, compete.

Today’s topic is how to select the right markets to compete in. 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.


Our guest is Rick Haviland, the President of MarketSource. MarketSource is the world’s most successful sales and marketing outsourcing company. Founded in 1975, MarketSource has helped over 200 companies generate $6+ billion in revenue. In my view, what makes them unique is they can hire, train, and deploy inside or field-based sales teams in a matter of weeks, when it takes most companies several months to do the same.


Rick has been with the company for 22 years, and as President is responsible for setting the strategic direction for the company and for extending its market leadership position. Watch as Rick helps his peers at other companies by demonstrating how to set their company’s up for success by selecting the right markets to compete in.


Being in fast-growing markets is the largest driver of revenue growth. Least important is market share growth. Yet, many executive teams tend to focus most of their attention on gaining share in their existing markets. While it is necessary to maintain, and sometimes increase, market share, changing your company’s exposure to growing and shrinking market segments should be a major focus.


Why is this important? Well, if the President does not make this decision, the employees will individually make it, and this will result in conflicting priorities. When not done properly the sales team will be chasing all business instead of the right business. It is the job of the President to make this call so the entire company is rowing in the same direction.


Watch as Rick and I discuss the following eight questions that help you identify how to select the right markets for your business.


  1. What is your definition of a market? Is it a geography, industry, segment, etc.?
  2. What makes a market attractive to you and why?
  3. Define what makes a market unattractive.
  4. How do you build the discipline internally to keep your resources focused only on the selected markets?
  5. How do you estimate the size of a market, and its growth rate?
  6. What is your market share and do you care?
  7. Critical success factors are the things customers demand you be great at in order for them to give you their business, and they vary from market to market. How have you determined what your buyers want in the markets you serve?
  8. Regarding reach, it is one thing to say “I want to be in this market” and another thing altogether to be able to reach these prospects. When you have entered a market, how have you been able to get access to the decision makers in the target accounts?


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