If you want to grow a business, what do you typically need to do?
- Increase revenue from core products/services
- Enter new markets or verticals
The first one is hard because at a certain point, unless you’re asking people to repurchase every year, there’s a saturation mark on that market.
The second one is what most try, but it’s also very hard — and often dooms your core business — for any number of reasons.
What are those reasons?
Let’s start with the most obvious ones:
- You don’t know this market/vertical.
- You don’t know how product/market fit works in the new area.
- You’re too distracted by current sales and core business.
- You try to apply the same “sales playbook” on this market segment.
- You don’t have the experience to develop a repeatable sales process in a new area.
Often new market segments also mean new geographies. That brings additional issues with proximity, language, culture, etc.
All these issues distract you from time to market. While time to market is somewhat of an overrated metric — most companies would rather hit the market with the best plan, even if they’re No. 3 or 4 to the market — it’s still important. First-mover advantage isn’t a total myth, you know?
And time-to-market doesn’t mean to get your first random customer. It means to have a scalable sales process that works repeatable.
When you lag on time to market, your entry endeavour can/will suffer. So what’s the answer to all this?
Get local expertise
Pick a local sales partner carefully. They should, ideally:
- Know the area.
- Have experience with the type of business you’re in (e.g. “consultative selling of complex solutions to enterprise market segments”).
- Understand the criteria to achieve product-market fit.
- Have a process for that area or market already in place that your business model can fit within.
- Know much more than you about the market or vertical.
- Have a KPI driven system in place to analyze and optimize activities to constantly improve your sales ROI.
Yes, you need to pay for this — and often at a premium. But good people and good processes don’t come cheap; that’s not how any market system was ever set up. You pay for expertise (not labor work) and not having to fumble around doing it yourself. This is what we provide for the DACH market, but whatever market you’re trying to enter, it needs to begin with a partnership around local expertise. That’s how you’re going to start hitting targets/numbers the fastest.