Most of the work we do at Topline Strategy is growth strategy development. We advise companies on ways that we can help them with their corporate/product strategy. But this begs the question- what is a good strategy and how do I know if I have or don’t have one?
A good strategy allows you to develop a focused go to market approach and enhances your chances of success. Specifically, a well thought out growth strategy will:
- Dictate what segments you go after and even more importantly, what segments you deprioritize
- Define customer pain points and needs in those segments
- Imply a clear road map of what products to develop for those segments and in what time frame
- Articulate your competitive advantage and set clear parameters around competitors’ strengths and weaknesses
- Create clear selling messages that address customers pain points
Unless you know clearly what customer segments you are going after, what their needs are, how you solve their needs better than the competition- you do not have a strategy.
An unclear company strategy leaves teams confused about what product features to develop, where to spend marketing resources and how to differentiate from the competition in sales. In short- it results in a tremendous waste of resources.
A good strategy needs to be based on facts. While this statement seems obvious, it is surprising how many times we see clients base their strategies on anecdotal market evidence: on what sales people say they see in the field, what analysts are telling executives, etc. Tech companies, as they are in fast moving markets are more prone to this than anyone else. They have a bias towards ‘doing’ and often think analysis will slow them down. While ‘doing’ has clear advantages, it can also waste a tremendous amount of time and resources.
Further, good strategy development does not have to cost a lot of money. You need to gather primary market information on customers, recent losses, “no decisions” and prospects in your market. You don’t have to talk to every customer and prospect, but you need to develop a thorough understanding of their needs, purchasing criteria and alternatives. You also need to gather information on competitors: where they are focusing, what their strengths and weaknesses are, and why they are winning relative to you.
What are the tell tale signs that you do not have a good strategy:
1. Your teams are unclear about what products to develop and how to prioritize projects
2. Sales is unsure of how to position your company vs. competition
3. Marketing messages are constantly changing and not well differentiated from the competition
At Topline Strategy all we do is strategy development. If you are interested in learning how Topline can assist you please contact us.