The second layer of the growth machine revolves around two concepts: “Where We Play” and “How We Win.” This layer is all focus and fit; it’s about being in the right place at the right time, in order to get the attention of the right targets.
Step 1: Select Your “Best Markets”
While companies often have numerous markets they can sell to, there are usually one or two markets that are best. How do you know which market is “best?” Often, the best markets are very specific niches where demand for your products/services is a lot of “pull” and not much “push” – in your best markets, you usually don’t have to push your product very much onto potential clients; indeed they are coming to you. In your best markets, your go-to-market strategy works, your “ideal customers” abound, and the firm’s value proposition resonates.
How focused is your firm on its best markets? Some clarifying questions to consider:
Which of your current markets are particularly attractive – and why?
What is your process to determine which markets are “best” for your firm?
What criteria do you use to identify your best markets?
How well-tuned is your go-to-market strategy and actions to maximize success in your best markets?
Step 2: Identify Your “Right Targets”
The experience of trying to sell to “promising” (but in the end wrong) targets is frustrating, time-consuming, and costly. Now that you’re focusing on your best markets, it’s time to go the next step: zeroing in on the "who,” on your “right” targets. What is a "right target?" For starters, these are buyers who closely fit the profile of your “ideal customer.” Your right targets are highly motivated to purchase your solutions and can be engaged easily directly or through your sales channels.
How well does your firm focus on its right targets, especially those who want your services now? Some other clarifying questions:
Who currently is increasing their purchase of your products/services without you asking them – and why?
What does your “ideal customer” profile look like? What motivates them? How do they buy?
What are the primary triggers that cause your ideal customers to purchase?
What do you do to get in front of and help right targets themselves succeed in their own business?
Who are your firm’s top 5, 10, and 50 “right targets?”
Step 3: Position Yourself To Be Remembered
It’s easy to miss the boat if you’re not even on the dock! In other words: positioning is key. Do your best to make sure your business is in the right place at the right time with the right message. Where and how is your firm positioning itself to get the attention of your targets – and to be remembered?
How well do your current efforts to capture mindshare of target buyers work?
What is your Unique Selling Proposition?
What is your brand promise, and how well is it understood by buyers?
What are your promotions and pricing strategies? How well do they work? How do you know?
Optimizing Layer #2, you will know clearly “Where We Play” and “How We Win.” This then sets your company up for real success for Layer #3 of the growth machine: Capture Value. As you refine and improve your firm’s focus on delivering effective messaging to the Right Targets in your Best Markets, your growth machine will be naturally positioned to increase conversion rates, close more sales and grow market share.
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