Adjacent Areas Won't Waste 3/4s of Your Effort
I travelled by train for a couple of hours the other day, and took with me one of those wildly expensive and often turgid Harvard Business Reviews. They also tend to be off-puttingly expensive for little return, so I was half-expecting to lose out on the deal.
A couple of articles though did appeal to me. This first (by a pair called Zook and Allen) claimed to prevent you from wasting three-quarters of your expansion energies. Not an unattractive headline. Their theory goes that there are six proven avenues that create growth. 75% of growth initiatives fail as they do not follow any of them. How many can apply to how a salesrep wants to grow their patch, and spank those quotas?
- sell along the ‘value chain’, understand what happens before and after your involved and sell something to them too
- develop new products/services into existing target market
- find new distribution channels, use other people selling into your target market
- enter new geographies
- address new segments through modified products or technologies
- attack ‘white space’, which means create something brand new into a hitherto unapproached market