We have some interesting results from our Revenue Growth Diagnostic. The number 1 area where CEOs, CMOs, and CSOs agree is on the importance of Market Segmentation. This may sound like a small thing, but it sets the stage for success. While there is less alignment in the #2 items, Account Segmentation is a top 5 item for all three categories.  Let’s quickly define these:

 

  • Market Segmentation – Define the markets you will, and will not compete in.

     

  • Account Segmentation – Define which accounts you will prioritize to win.

     

Since the first round of playoff rankings is being released today, let’s have a little fun, and use college football as the analogy. As the CEO, you really are playing two roles in setting up your team for a championship run: Athletic Director and Head Coach.

 

Athletic Director

 

This individual is setting the conditions for success.  He or she of course, hires the head coach, but also schedules the games. What conference am I going to play in? It is a major advantage to be in a Power 5 conference, but that in and of itself is not enough. Who am I going to schedule off conference? I need enough Power 5 opponents to earn a seat at the playoff table, but need a homecoming opponent, too. Understanding of the market allows you to set the right schedule, and put your team in a position to get to the playoff.

 

Head Coach

 

The best coaches adapt their gameplan to each opponent. Sure, they factor in the skillsets of the team, but the personnel groupings take advantage of the team that is on the field. Dabo Sweeney had a different gameplan to beat Florida State than he used against Alabama. Why?  Each of these teams had unique characteristics that he needed to work around. The game plan that they put in was designed to take advantage of their own strengths to succeed in the context of one game, and one game only. Even if you run the inside guard play very effectively, you’re not going to run that play much against a team with a 400 lb Nose Tackle.

 

Defensive Coordinator

 

Marketing’s role is get sales in a position where they can have an easier time scoring. Our marketing leaders prioritized sales enablement ahead of account segmentation. Sales enablement is a tool that will give the sales team a “short field.”

 

Offensive Coordinator

 

Even with a great game plan, tailored that that account, we must get the right play called, in order to have success. Prospecting efforts are the offensive line of the offense. They are doing the heavy lifting to get the skill players in a position to gain yards (advance sales) and score points (win deals). Understanding the buyers (the personnel grouping of the defense) lets us set up a play that enables us for success. Of course, these units need to be on the same page to be effective. If the Center is pass blocking and the Quarterback tries for a sneak, the play is likely to go for no gain (or worse). Of course, things like that happen in our sales campaigns, and we need to pick ourselves up, and call a new play.

 

It is important that the defense and offense are working off the same game plan. If your defense is geared to get you an early lead, but you don’t have the running game to protect a lead, it won’t be an effective gameplan. The more capabilities those units have, the more flexible your game plan can be. When a team wins, everyone gets their chance to raise the trophy.

 

If you haven’t tried the Revenue Growth Diagnostic tool, do so now. It will help you understand if you have a chance at success. Rate yourself against world-class sales and marketing strategies.

 

Sales Revenue Growth

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Fred Penteado

Guides private equity portfolio companies in a variety of industries on how to make their number.

Prior to joining SBI, Fred held a variety of leadership positions with multinational Fortune 50 companies. He has worked in product/program/channel management, sales operations, and served as a Chief of Staff.

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