Avoid Competitive Erosion - Remain Relevant in a Changing Market

There is a common question among Chief Executive Officers. How do I stay relevant in a changing market? Many industries are experiencing significant shifts. Disruptive technologies take root, or markets are saturated. The reasons are many. As CEO, your task is to stay relevant amid these changes. Review the Markets section of the How to Make Your Number in 2018 Workbook on page 48 to examine emerging best practices for revenue growth.

 

It is no longer a one-time event to define your position in the market. Long dead is the five year plan based on a traditional mission statement. Sticking to an unchanged strategic position is nothing less than a controlled nose dive.

 

What is needed is a regular, recurring analysis of your market position. One that contemplates market needs from an external perspective. Don’t let your competitive advantage erode.

 

Re-examine your segmentation

 

Segmentation provides insight into your changing markets, accounts and buyers. By the end of the exercise, you will know which accounts to prioritize. You can align your sales strategy with the needs of your buyers. As the result of a sound segmentation strategy, you will better align with the market. Then your corporate, product, marketing and sales strategies will fit together in unison.

 

Markets

 

There is the broad market of opportunities that many speak of.  China or “NFL Cities” come to mind.  But thinking in these broad terms does not bring focus to your efforts. Market Segmentation is needed to condense that broad market into the realistic and relevant.  Then you can understand your playing field completely.

 

Of course, not all markets are created equal. To further complicate matters, all markets have changed over the last ten years. The challenge is in determining which customers are worth going after next. Then selecting the proper sales channels can be an added difficulty.

 

To remain on target, you need to pursue specific target markets. What was true last year may not be true today. And what’s true today may not be true in the future. So be careful not to assume you have this figured out already. Dig deep into the data and redraw your segmentation lines. Then allocate your sales and marketing resources to maximize your revenue potential.

 

Accounts

 

The next step is to understand the potential of every account in your market. Identify which accounts in your market segment are going to generate the most revenue. Identify those accounts that generate that revenue over the shortest period of time. Now you can go after accounts that are going to spend a lot this year and avoid those that are not.

 

Typically, the sales team is provided revenue potential at market level only. But that’s not enough. They need to know the revenue potential by account, product, and solution.

 

With this complete picture, territories and quotes can be designed well. Accounts and incentive plans can be assigned for optimal performance.

 

Buyers

 

The tendency is for an organization to stop at the account level. If you stop there, you’re making a big mistake. You need to go one layer deeper down to the individual buyer. Your buyers can be segmented not only by role, but by psycho-graphic differentiators. With the explosion of information access, you can understand their personal motivators. Define details such as their objectives, fears, and measures of success. This leads to an understanding of how executives make purchase decisions. Then sales and marketing can engineer laser-guided campaigns that address these detailed needs.

 

It is at this Buyer Segmentation level that you can have one-on-one, tailored conversations. This is the ultimate pulse of the market you need to tap into.

 

Stay Relevant

 

How do you remain significant in a changing market? Re-examine your position in the market. To stay relevant, overhaul your segmentation strategy. Put yourself in a position for success. Not based on yesterday’s success, but on tomorrow’s potential.

 

Have expectations gone up and left you wondering if you can make your number? Here is a Revenue Growth Diagnostic 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

     

Sales Revenue Growth

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Dan Bernoske

Go-to Market Innovator

Prior to SBI, Dan held business development, sales, and product management leadership positions at several start-up companies, developing Apple iOS platforms and E-Commerce-based social networks. Most notably, Dan was co-founder of Video Lantern, an online video advertising sales and operations firm. He is Six Sigma certified from GE.

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