I was reminded just now of a thoroughly decent chap called Dylan. I met him around twenty years ago whilst he was doing a PhD on how small businesses make strategic decisions. He is now a leading academic with specialisations including how such small enterprises become world-class.
About ten years ago excitement grew that SMEs could genuinely break-out globally from the limitless web opportunities opening up. Computer Weekly reported on such hopes at the time. These high-growth, less constrained micro-multinational players were termed ‘sliver’ companies.
Such companies held traits that could be successfully adopted by many solution selling salespeople across their patch.
They focus exclusively on a tiny market or niche. This leverages unparalleled expertise to discourage competition. They push a significant technological leadership. They tend to enjoy applicability on a global scale. They pour huge sums into R&D.
In many ways these characteristics show one element on the roadmap to individual territory management success. Adaptations could include:
- be brutal with market definition, to the point of excluding potential business and maintain close relationships with each person that could buy
- how can you demonstrate your individual expertise?
- what is your specific technological (or procedural) edge?
- can you tell relevant stories regardless of world-wide location?
- what’s your personal equivalent of large R&D spend (what more can you do with your downtime)?