Over the last 18 months I’ve been focusing on simplifying the approach that small and mid-market companies take to growth. There is probably nowhere where this is needed more than in strategic planning process.
Working with thousands of companies, I’ve come to understand that the focus of your go-to-market strategy can be broken into three categories.
- Those who will do business with you.
- Those who won’t do business with you.
- Those who should and aren’t doing business with you.
Those Who Will
The reality is that you do not need to spend significant time creating strategy for this group. This is the customer base that you already have a strong grasp on, and as long as you don’t blow it, they’ll continue to buy from you.
Those Who Won’t
You shouldn’t expend any strategic energy figuring out this market. While this may sound obvious, I’m constantly surprised how much strategic time is spent trying to get people who are never going to buy from you, to do so. At best, energy put in this area will get you into an RFP process, that if you execute flawlessly will allow you to finish second.
Those Who Should
This is the segment of the market that deserves 90%+ of your strategic energy and effort. To do so effectively, however, requires an approach that’s different than most companies take.
Here are some pointers to expand your customer base:
- You cannot figure out how to get the people who should buy from you to do so by looking at the people who are buying form you. If you could, this group would already be buying from you.
- Attracting those that should buy from you requires that you first change how they view and value the issues you impact.
- You do this by creating your Commercial Teaching Point-of-View.
- Expanding this market requires that you focus on building customers – not making sales.