This is the question leading companies tackle with brutal honesty every Q3. You should too, if you’re serious about meeting your quota next year.
In all of our research into top-performing (“Level 5”) organizations, we discovered some important shared traits. Yes, these companies have achieved internal and external strategic alignment. But they also recognize the ground beneath them is constantly shifting. And that staying aligned is no easy task.
That’s why, year after year, Level 5 companies validate their market research by way of an annual strategic planning process. They compare how well their corporate strategy is performing relative to stakeholders’ expectations. They assess emerging trends, challenges, and growth opportunities. And they adjust their sails accordingly. You too can examine the emerging best practices during your planning process by reviewing the Markets section of the How to Make Your Number in 2018 on page 48.
Here are two guiding principles these Level 5 companies live by.
Market Research Is an Ongoing Investment
We’ve written a lot about our Revenue Growth Methodology. It’s a proven path to strategic alignment. Market research is the first step in the path, and for good reason. It underlies and informs corporate strategy and every functional strategy that follows.
Strategic alignment is the ultimate goal, but it’s not a fixed destination. It’s a moving target. That’s because market conditions are always in flux. If you continue to rely on outdated market research, you’re not just taking a step backward. You’re returning to square one, year after year.
Starting over is costly and painful. But we can help you can avoid it. Just request a workshop with us. We’ll show you how to create the conditions for ongoing strategic alignment and accelerated growth.
Your Corporate Strategy Must Reflect These Realities
Disruptive companies are forward-looking. So are their corporate strategies. Your strategy should be based on timely intelligence and analysis in these areas.
Changes in the Market
Does your market position reflect changing market segments and total available market (TAM)?
What big shifts are occurring in your industry? How will you stay relevant?
Buyers’ interests, needs, and behaviors constantly evolve. Are your buyer personas and buyer process maps up to date?
How will your product or service improve the daily life of the user? How will it help them accomplish their job? Your end-user persona should be regularly updated to reflect the end user’s changing perspective.
Your biggest competitors—“do nothing,” “do it myself,” major player, and niche player—keep changing positions. How will they line up next year?
What Happens Next?
Corporate and functional strategies must be revisited every quarter. There’s the Q4 Functional Strategy Refinement, Q1 Strategy Launch, and Q2 Strategy Refreshes.
Remember: Leading companies never stop questioning the status quo. Neither should you.
We want you to make your number. Let us help you put our research to work. Leverage SBI’s called the Revenue Growth Diagnostic, a self-diagnostic that allows you to benchmark your strategy against the strategies used by market leaders.